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Why Is My Laptop Vibrating?

Why Is My Laptop Vibrating

When you turn on your laptop, and it keeps producing a weird vibration, it can be pretty concerning and disturbing. You may often experience this vibration when gaming or connecting the laptop to the internet, amongst other things. Ideally, the laptop shouldn’t vibrate! But if your laptop does vibrate, it raises the question, why is my laptop vibrating?  

Quick Answer

Laptops don’t come with vibration feedback like most smartphones. So, when your laptop vibrates, something isn’t right! If your laptop vibrates, it is most likely due to a malfunctioning cooling fan, a faulty HDD, an overworked optical drive, or a chassis picking up electrostatic discharge.    

Allowing your laptop to vibrate for a prolonged period isn’t healthy for your PC as it can lead to damage. Hence, when you notice your laptop is vibrating, you should always try to trace the cause and fix it. This article elaborates on why your laptop may be vibrating in the first place and how you can fix it. 

Common Causes Your Laptop Is Vibrating and What To Do 

When your laptop starts to vibrate, it indicates something isn’t working as it should. Ignoring it can cause several components in your laptop to get damaged, which could lead to the death of your PC. 

If you plan on using your laptop for an extended period or to generally ensure everything is in perfect condition, whenever you notice anything abnormal in the working condition of your laptop, you should investigate the cause. As in this case, when your laptop is vibrating, it can result from several things. 

Below are some of the main things that can cause your laptop to vibrate and how you can fix it. 

Cause #1: Fan 

The fan is a cooling system installed on most laptops and is a primary culprit for the vibration feel on your laptop. However, not all laptops make use of a fan! Some laptops are designed with heat pipes that help regulate the laptop’s temperature relative to the temperature outside the laptop. However, laptops that do not come with a fan may not experience this weird vibration. But if your laptop comes with a fan, it should be the first thing you check when your laptop is vibrating. 

When you perform a resource-intensive task on your laptop, it can lead to heat buildup. If this heat is not dispersed, it can cause overheating, easily damaging components on your laptop. As such, the fan on your laptop would spin faster to cool the laptop. However, dust and hair buildup in the fan or the fan not sitting correctly can cause it not to rotate smoothly, thus causing the weird vibration you feel. 

You must open the laptop to clean the fan and find a way to fix this. It would help if you also used this time as an opportunity to replace the thermal paste on the processor and do other maintenance necessary on your laptop. 

Cause #2: Magnetic Hard Drive

Another reason your laptop is vibrating might be because your laptop uses HDD storage. An HDD stores data on a series of spinning magnetic disks called the platter. Under normal working conditions, the spinning motion of this magnetic disk can be pretty negligible. In some laptops, you may not even hear the spinning noise of the hard drive. But when the HDD starts to get old or is overworking, it spins more aggressively, which causes your laptop to vibrate even more.  

To fix the issue of your laptop vibrating more than usual when its cause is from the magnetic hard drive, close programs you are not currently using. The first thing is to close as many programs as possible to reduce the workload on the hard drive. If the problem persists, you can try rebooting your laptop, as this will close all programs on your laptop and refresh the processor. If the problem persists, we recommend upgrading the storage from an HDD to an SSD.  

Cause #3: Chassis 

Additionally, the chassis of your laptop could be the reason your laptop is vibrating. If your laptop has a metal case, electrostatic discharge may move from the laptop case to your hand when you connect it to its power adapter to charge. If your feet are on the ground, it completes the circuit, thus making you experience a feeling of tingling or vibration. Ideally, touching your laptop casing, especially a metal case, shouldn’t feel this way. 

What you feel when current flows through your laptop this way is below 0.1mA of current. Also, this feeling differs from the vibration you get from the fan or hard drive. But you feel this way because the wall plug you connected to your adapter is not well grounded. So, to fix this issue, you can plug your laptop charger into a different wall socket. Also, footwear or lifting your feet off the ground can help reduce or eliminate the flow as it breaks the circuit. 

Cause #4: CD/DVD Drive 

If your laptop comes with a CD or DVD drive, you might experience the laptop vibrating when the CD drive is working. While not many laptops today come with a CD drive, some laptops do have one. When a CD is in the CD drive, the CD spins, which can cause your laptop to vibrate. Although the CD may spin slowly at first, when a lot of data needs to be read or written on the CD, it tends to spin a lot faster. And if the CD is not well seated, this can easily cause your laptop to vibrate gently. 

Keep in Mind

Do not use your laptop over a soft surface such as a sofa or blanket, as this blocks the air vent, which causes the laptop to overheat and also causes fibers and dust to clog the fan vent.

Conclusion 

Like most electronic devices, it is not unusual to experience weird noises from your laptop for one reason or the other. If your laptop is vibrating, then it’s a reason to raise concerns. However, with our suggested possible causes and things you can do in this article, you should be able to figure out how to correct the issue. 

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