By James Coates, Chicago Tribune Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Oct. 2--VENTILATION MAY BE SOURCE OF CATERWAULING:
QUESTION: Whether I am on the Internet or not, there is a noise that comes out like a cat crying. I have shut off my speakers, so I know the sound is coming from the computer. There is no regular time that it comes on, but it sure is annoying.
--Martin Johan @msn.com
ANSWER: That's not a cat, Mr. J. It's supposed to be Beethoven.
You are experiencing a rare phenomenon in which a part of your computer called the BIOS (basic input output system) has triggered a warning that your main microprocessor and/or other chips are giving off heat above the recommended level. BIOS uses a tiny and tinny speaker built onto the chipboards, and the warning signal is a rendition of Beethoven's "Fur Elise" classic.
Usually the cause of the overheating is a failing fan, but another cause can be a lack of ventilation, so move the computer away from any …