Same board as me and yes you're right a common problem. And this is not the only board with this problem, my last one a Gigabyte board has 2 Northbridge fan failures in a bit over 2 years.
Because of this I replaced it with a Zalman Northbridge Heatsink. Cheap, easy to fit, no fan to fail and if or should I say when my Northbridge fan fails on this board I will replace it with a heatsink too. Far better than having to dismantle the computer each time.
click here out of stock at the moment but other companies will have them.