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That is likely the sound of a hard drive getting ready to have a mechanical crash from which there is practically no recovery. If I were you, I'd backup everything important off of your drive and don't forget your favorites from your browsers, email if you use email that's not web-based, photos, docs etc and back up your importand info to disks or an external removable drive, and prepare for an impending demise of that drive- especially in light of how old that computer is if that's the original hard drive. Think of it like the sqweak that disk breaks make to warn you that they're almost gone. Better back that drive up soon. I wouldn't wait as it could crash at at any time. Once you've backed up all your filse run scan disk and do a defrag, and virus scan and you'll know better what the situaqtion is with that drive
I think this tower is of the clamshell design where the whole chassis opens up down the middle. Try pressing the pressure points on the top and bottom of the tower and pulling the tower open. No covers will come off, it will open on a sort of hinge to expose the inner workings. Here are some pictures from Dell of how this works on the smaller model, it should be the same for yours: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/opgx150/sm_en/smdsktp.htm#computer_cover
click on computer cover, or scroll down to that section
The small form-factor and small desktop systems support a single enhanced integrated drive electronics (EIDE) hard drive in the hard drive bay; the small mini-tower system supports two EIDE hard drives. Yes!
Ah music to my ears =) this pc I know very well. The easiest way to restore is to restart your pc and when the DELL insignia appears press F8 then a screen with pop up go down till you get to LAST KNOWN GOOD Configuration and viola!! It would help if you made a restore disk once it starts running again or set a new restore point from there on out. Good luck =)
on the motherboard there is a battery. it looks like a watch battery. there should be a jumper next to it with 3 prongs. move the jumper over to the next prong and start the computer.( it will start but will not come on). turn off the computer and put the jumper back to the first position. start the computer again and the bios will be reset
Try to boot the PC without the XP Home CD in the CD drive, and
keep pressing the F8 key until it comes up with a boot menu that
includes a Safe Mode option.
If you had the XP Pro CD I'd suggest doing a recovery, but XP Home doesn't have that option I don't think.
You may have to try a few times until the boot menu appears. Don't hold the F8 key down - keep pressing it!
When you get into Safe Mode, right click on My Computer and choose
Properties. Then go to Hardware tab (i think - not in winXP right now)
and choose device manager. Just remove the Video Card from the list
altogether, and then restart. Should force it to use generic video card
then check your video card model and look for the updated driver