This is the same 1.9L DOHC with A/C and manual trans. This is going to be a complicated description of observations... bear with me, I need help! The noise sounds like a very loud belt screech or squeal, and only happens when starting the engine cold. It doesn't happen every time, and sometimes lasts for just a few seconds, and other times lasts so long I just give up any shut it down and try a re-start. The noise started happening a year or two ago, and has progressively gotten to be more frequent and of longer duration. It seems to be alternator-related in that it is more likely to happen if the headlights or heater blower are on when the engine is cranked. A couple of months ago I put a new serp belt on it and checked all the idlers and driven units for bearing slop or roughness. The tensioner is a non-adjustable live-spring unit and seems like it has plenty of tension. Today I pulled the (new) belt off and checked all bearings again, no change. The belt does not look like it has been skidding, either against idlers on the back-side or in the drive ribs. The alternator is charging fine, and there are no unusual noises anywhere after the horrible "start-up screech". I have not checked the alternator output or AC ripple while the noise is happening, but it is now lasting long enough that I may be able to do it; so that will be done soon. My gut feeling is that it is an alternator bearing, but my experience with ball-bearings is that once they are bad enough for the balls to skid and screech, they never heal again. The balls or races get all beat-up, or the ball separator/cage parts are destroyed and get wedged between balls and races. I really don't want to dig that alternator out of there and open it up "on a hunch", but also don't know what else to look at or try. If I had a really short serp belt I would try driving each item individually with an electric drill or such, but honestly doubt the bad one would screech like that; that would be too easy! So... give me some ideas.