My cooling fans: are they about to explode? 9 replies

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Soulhunter123

Slightly cooler than a n00b

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3rd August 2004

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#1 12 years ago

Good evening! Lately, my graphics card and my case fan have been making a horrible grinding noise when I first switch on my PC. This only happens in the morning, when the PC has been off overnight. The fans go "grrrrrrrrbrrrrrrrrreeuhrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" for about 1 minute then stop making any noise at all - but they still remain fully functional!

I think the problem is most definitely caused by the cold temperature in my room in the morning. It's nothing baltic, but this is winter in Britain - and its pretty cold sometimes. So I wonder if anyone can back me up that the problem is perhaps, and is probably, occuring because of the colder temperatures?

Also I should note that if I shove a pencil into the fans to stop them moving for a second or two, the noise stops after a few seconds. Thanks!!!




M!tch VIP Member

intermittently erratic

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12th March 2004

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#2 12 years ago

dunno about your fans, but some hard drives make a noise when you start up a pc, as for sticking a pencil in the fans, get a proper pencil sharpener before you lose a finger :giggle:

could be a fan controller (software or hardware type if you have any) that doesn't slow the fans until the pc is fully booted


Thinking about it.



marvinmatthew

Tech is where you'll find me..

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13th April 2005

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#3 12 years ago

I have a hard time believeing that your room is soo cold that it causes the fans to shrink, and grind. Secondly, definatley DO NOT stick a pencil in the fans. You will cause their motors to overheat and die.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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7th December 2003

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#4 12 years ago

I had the same problem with one of my hard drives. It needed about one minute until it would work properly. Take a look at your BIOS to see if the temperature at startup gets out of hand or if any fans are rotating slowly. You can also carefully remove some dust from fans every once in a while. I wouldn't worry too much about it, my PC worked fine even with all the noise.

edit: and don't stop the fans with pencils, a CPU under full load needs only a short time without cooling before it dies.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#5 12 years ago

I had the same problem with one of my hard drives. It needed about one minute until it would work properly. Take a look at your BIOS to see if the temperature at startup gets out of hand or if any fans are rotating slowly. You can also carefully remove some dust from fans every once in a while. I wouldn't worry too much about it, my PC worked fine even with all the noise.




Mr. Matt VIP Member

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17th June 2002

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#6 12 years ago

Sounds to me like the ball-bearings in the fans. I have had such problems in the past -- a very irritating rattling noise. Although it's supposedly possible to fix the fans without replacing them, I just bought new fans which solved the problem. As such, I never figured out how to fix them (I learn by doing, so if I haven't done it chances are I don't know how to do it yet). You can look it up or ask around if you want to try that. Seems like a perfect opportunity to upgrade your stock fans to me, though. Case fans aren't difficult to replace -- just unplug the old one, unscrew it, remove it, and put the new one in where it was. Plug it back in and it should work the same as usual. Make sure you buy the right sized fan though. Perhaps one of the easiest things to do to the innards of a PC short of installing RAM. Now in my experience, stock graphics card fans are integrated with the heatsink in some kind of stylish, unnecessarily fancy way, forcing you to replace the whole darned heatsink/fan rather than just the fan. Which is often a good thing, as it compels you to buy a better heatsink. To replace the whole heatsink on a graphics card is just as easy as replacing the case fan, it's just a bit trickier. Firstly check to see how it is fixed on -- often with some simple plastic pins poking through some holes in the PCB. Undo these and pull off the heatsink. Clean ALL the thermal interface material off the GPU using some TIM cleaner. Use some thermal paste or thermal pads (follow the instructions given on the packaging to the letter), and install the new heatsink in the same way as the old one -- only carefully. And for the love of god, make sure you plug the new fan back in. Far too many graphics cards explode because of such a simple oversight. And make absolutely sure that the heatsink/fan you're replacing it with are DESIGNED FOR YOUR GRAPHICS CARD. If the heatsink is the wrong shape or has the wrong grappling pins, it won't fit. If the fan isn't powerful enough, your card could overheat. Any old component store online will have them clearly labelled though, so it shouldn't be hard to find. Overclockers has a big list -- though that's a UK company it will give you an idea. If you do decide to replace the GPU heatsink/fan, make sure you have some TIM cleaner and spare thermal interface paste / pads at hand for your graphics card fan. You need to remove all of the old thermal interface material from the GPU before you put a new heatsink onto it. This isn't difficult with the TIM cleaner, but it is very important. New heatsinks often come with pre-attached thermal pads, which you can simply leave on if you want and you will be fine. I personally would remove this, and instead use a paste such as Arctic Silver, which is a vastly superior heat conducting paste. But it would be up to you. TIM cleaners and thermal pastes are very cheap, and depending on what you buy case fans and graphics card heatsink/fans aren't expensive either. You can always shell out more for better though -- you get what you pay for, after all. Search around that Overclockers site I just suggested, they have pretty much everything of this nature and you can use it as a guide. Please don't go and do this unless you're 100% sure it's the fans, though. Get someone you trust to listen to the noise and have a fiddle with the fans. I'm just making an educated guess based on your description of the noise, I would have to hear it myself to be 100% certain.

P.S. I assume by 'case fan' you are referring to the large, usually black fans mounted on the inner sides of the case. If you are not, and you are talking about a fan which is attached to a component (i.e. touching something other than the case), please say so.




Soulhunter123

Slightly cooler than a n00b

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3rd August 2004

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#7 12 years ago

Thanks for all your great replies. I'll have a look and see if there's any large amounts of dust in the fans but the PC is fairly new so I doubt that. I might record the noise later on tonight if you don't mind listening to it.

I'll let you know how this turns out! Cheers!




Sinister Øne

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30th January 2005

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#8 12 years ago

HOLY SH!T I used to have identical problem, but I got new case and fans, so its all good now...

Personally I think it might be friction.

Does this happen with every fan btw? If its only one fan it might be a defect or something similar.




kotfquig

Master skinner-in my mind :-P

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2nd August 2004

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#9 12 years ago

my recomendation would be to get some canned air, blow all the dust out of there, then get a pencil like you said and greese it up so nothings sticking if it still does it its most likely then just that it operates on full speed for a minute or two then gets a gage of the temp and puts the fan where it needs to be, either way i dont really think its something to excessivly worry about




Soulhunter123

Slightly cooler than a n00b

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3rd August 2004

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#10 12 years ago
kotfquigmy recomendation would be to get some canned air, blow all the dust out of there, then get a pencil like you said and greese it up so nothings sticking, if it still does it its most likely then just that it operates on full speed for a minute or two then gets a gage of the temp and puts the fan where it needs to be, either way i dont really think its something to excessivly worry about

I was also thinking about the temperature guaging factor. I'll try cleaning and all the other great advice everyone has suggested! Especially Mr Matt's thousand-word essay of a reply! Cheers everyone!!