Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm running Windows Server 2003. When I log on to the server using Remote Desktop (from Windows XP) it plays an E minor triad - long E, G B G E - through the PC speaker.

We've tried setting Remote Desktop to leave remote sound at the remote computer and do not play remote sound but the sound still plays.

There are no alerts and nothing in the event log.

Why is my server being so musical? It clearly wants to tell us something... but what?

share|improve this question
Is it a Volkswagen? – Kyle Smith Jun 16 '11 at 16:17
More serious comment: It might help to know the model and make of the server. Does it have a DAS? This could be an error code on the DRAC/BMC/SAS Card. – Kyle Smith Jun 16 '11 at 16:18
Because it doesn't know the words? – joeqwerty Jun 16 '11 at 16:55
@Cosmic google is your friend if you don't know those acronyms. They're fairly common. – MDMarra Jun 16 '11 at 17:44
@Cosmic - They're just various systems management cards. DRAC = Dell Remote Access Console, BMC = Baseband Management Controller. SAS is a type of hard disk. Acronymfinder is a good tool as well. – Kyle Smith Jun 16 '11 at 18:24
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Have you considered that someone might be playing a prank on you?
Back when I was working in an environment with lots of Sun workstations a co-worker of mine would follow people on the security cameras and make the machines scream or laugh as you walked past.

Assuming you can rule out pranks, as others have suggested perhaps it's a RAID card or remote-access card trying to tell you something. I assume the event log you've looked at is the Windows event log - have you checked the IPMI event log (methods to do this vary by server manufacturer)?

share|improve this answer
That's pretty epic to do with IT godness + security cams – Chris Marisic Jun 16 '11 at 17:44
I'm embarrassed to admit it took the rest of us a while to realize (a) that the Ultra 1s had sound capability and (b) exactly what was going on. – voretaq7 Jun 16 '11 at 17:53
All signs of a good and successful prank – Chris Marisic Jun 16 '11 at 18:19
Not a prank but you called it with the RAID card - apparently it's how the Adaptec RAID cards we use signal that they need a new battery. – Cosmic Flame Aug 4 '11 at 16:33

Have you seen

I know nothing about music, so I don't know if either "Fur Elise" or "Its a small, small world" are an "E minor arpeggio", but even if not perhaps it's a different motherboard/bios manufacturer warning about something.

share|improve this answer
Now I thought I'd seen some weird KB titles from Microsoft, but this one tops them all! – Ben Pilbrow Jun 17 '11 at 7:10
Wow... and can we have a LESS intuitive "Hey, your fan is failing!" alert? "Award" BIOS -- The award was for SUCKAGE! – voretaq7 Jun 17 '11 at 8:01

As it's coming from the PC speaker, rather than the sound card, I think you need to stop looking at the server side altogether because the server can't make sound come from the PC speaker.

I suggest either reinstalling or upgrading the remote desktop client or simply replace the client files with those from another PC that knows how to shut up. It's possible that there is some corruption in there somewhere which is causing the sound to be played.

share|improve this answer
"the server can't make sound come from the PC speaker", how do you come to this assumption? – Tom Wijsman Jun 17 '11 at 0:56
@TomWij, the server can send commands to the PC to play sound and if the client is appropriately configured that sound will play. However, the server cannot send a command to tell the client to play that sound on the speaker, so the PC will use the default Windows sound device, which is normally through the sound card. – John Gardeniers Jun 17 '11 at 1:05
Have you considered that it would play on the server's PC speaker? :) – Tom Wijsman Jun 17 '11 at 10:10
@TomWij, not if the problem is on the PC, as I believe it is. – John Gardeniers Jun 17 '11 at 11:31

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.