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What is this loud popping noise

why does my dell laptop make a sudden loud popping noise, similar to what a small fire cracker would sound like? Sound is very startling and I am wondering if it is a fire hazard ? This is not a consistent problem. It happens randomly a few times over the course of several months.

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The "loud popping noise" you are hearing may simply be the sound of a foreign object caught in the one of your laptop's fan(s). I'm thinking of something like a small piece of plastic, wood sliver, or perhaps even a small crumb of "crunchy" food (potato chip, grain of rice, etc.) here. Something small enough to get sucked-up by the laptop's fan and lodged somewhere within.

I list a few possible yet somewhat specific things that could be caught in your laptop's fan because I had similar issues with a number of my past laptops. In my case, it was a small piece of plastic from the corner of some thermoformed packaging. This stuff is sometimes called a blister pack or clamshell, and it's that crazy-annoying, anti-theft clear-plastic packaging (sometimes with a stiff piece of cardboard sandwiched within) that most off the shelf, small, electronic products are packaged in these days? You know the stuff.

Anyhow... when I noticed a similar noise coming from my laptop, I could lift it up in the air and gently shake the laptop, and most times, the noise would go away. ...and then it would come back at seemingly random times.

One day, I took the back case of my laptop off, found that little sliver of tough clear plastic, removed it, and put the case back on ... problem solved! I figured this piece of plastic must have come from a recently opened blister pack that was missed and left on the counter or something.

I've also had a similar experience with a noisy laptop fan on a friend's laptop. We found chip crumbs caught on some lint around his laptop's fan. Once vacuumed-out, all better.

Good luck!

_rs

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