I'm on a laptop with an i7-7500U cpu, running Arch. I have compiled the latest (as of this writing) 4.17-rc2 kernel from Linus' source tree using two different config files:


My problem: when booting the small-config kernel random activity (even touching the touchpad, for instance) results in a persistent creaking electrical sound resonating from inside the machine. It is louder when the battery is in, but can be heard even while on AC without a battery.

The problem does not manifest (or rather the sound is there occasionally but much reduced) when booting the larger-config kernel.

I am looking mostly for ideas of which config options might affect this. I've tried to replicate the ACPI-related configuration from the larger file into the smaller one for instance, in the hope that that would do it. To no avail.


The pastebin links are currently out of action. Alternatives:

Edit 2:

In response to one of the questions below: the hard drive is an SSD (well two, but both SSDs).

I understand it's hardware, but I can't tell specifically which part (it sounds electrical in nature). Perhaps capacitors, etc., and I am sure the configuration makes the difference (having tested both kernels). Perhaps through the ACPI system, but I do not have the expertise to determine this.

Re: the fan: this does not seem to be it. I can reproduce the sound I am referring to consistently by simply holding my finger(s) on the touchpad. The fan never kicks in, and when it does under load the sound it makes is easily distinguishable from the stray creaks.


The pastebin links seem to be up again, so I am disabling the alternatives.

Edit 3:

Re: a second reply received below:

It does not seem to be a moving part of any kind (I am out of options for what could be moving in there..). Rather, it must be something more akin to this.

I am not claiming to have gotten in any way closer to resolving the issue or tracking it down, but the linked discussion seems pertinent at least in that it confirms that components in an electrical circuit do not need to be "moving" to produce sound.

Edit 4:

I’ve also just found a post on a Dell forum that describes a problem that appears to be very similar to mine.

The sound can be described as a ‘buzz’ in my case too, and it also comes from the upper left side of the chassis.

  • It's probably your hard drive, as software doesn't "creak" . What type of disk do you have in your laptop? The other suspect is your system's fan. – L.Ray Apr 28 '18 at 13:59
  • Thanks for the replies! I've added more info to the message; it does not seem to me to be traceable to either the hard drive(s), whicha re SSDs, or to the fan, which upon starting sounds smooth. – grobber Apr 28 '18 at 16:13
  • Well, your creaking must be coming from a moving part. The only other moving part in (some) modern laptops is a CD/DVD/Blue-ray drive. Do you have one of those, and could that be the source? – L.Ray Apr 28 '18 at 17:17
  • No optical drives, no – grobber Apr 28 '18 at 21:09
  • 1
    Sounds like the word(s) you're looking for is: coil whine See the answer here for a possible solution, which I'm hoping applies to you. You could also try to prevent some devices from going into low power modes (or even that didn't work, the opposite: high power modes) by using sudo powertop or tlp – Marcus Linsner Aug 26 '18 at 8:17

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