Fan whirring, is it dying?

  square eyes 02:44 19 Nov 2005

Hi there,
My pc is 3 years old now and have just noticed the cooling fan (or a fan) is experiencing small surges.
One becomes accustomed to the noise of a fan after a while so im pretty sure its never done this before.
As frequent has once or twice a minute, even when idling, it will raise (tonewise) about a semitone for 1 second and resume. Checked my Asus probe software for any emergencies and all apperas normal (altho im no pc wizz!)

Is there anything i can do? system restore maybe, i am soon upgrading important hardware and will remormat for good measure anyway so hopefuly it might stop after that.

My system is: Mesh computers
Win XP
ASUS a7v333 rev1.01 mobo
AMD Athlon XP2100+ processor
Radeon 9600 AGP
640mb ddr-sdram
60gig HDD

  Skyver 03:01 19 Nov 2005

System restore won't have any effect - if you've never noticed fan speeds changing during use, one of the fans is wearing out. You can easily check the PSU fan by taking a look at the back of the PC with the machine switched on. If you're confident taking a panel off the side of the machine, do so and check the CPU fan. Just don't touch anything. I don't mean to be patronising, just a friendly warning.

  Chegs ®™ 03:25 19 Nov 2005

If you take the PC sides off,you'll no doubt be horrified at the dust and dirt thats accumalated,particularly on the heatsinks with a fan attached.I usually strip my PC down every few months and with a small paintbrush clean out the fins/fans and give it a bit of a going over.About twice a year,I visit a mate who possesses a compressor,and give the interior a darn good blast of air to remove the dust from parts inaccessible with the brush.I also apply a couple of drops of oil to the fan spindles,as I have had 3 PSU's die with the fans seizing up,and also had assorted difficult to explain crashes from the internal fans within the case also siezing.

You might find the reason your fans speed is altering,is its equiped with a sensor controlled speed adjuster,and the dust is creating slightly hotter running and the fan speeds up to compensate.

  jack 08:41 19 Nov 2005

A good internal clan out paying particular atention to fan balded and housings- There are usually at least two fan in the comuter case - one on the processor and one in the case sometimes in the frony panel- there also fans in th power supply but there are pretty inaccessable
As mentioned there is a temperature contol that will vary fan speed.
Now it is well known for coolers associated with Athlone processors to get noisy and the topic has been well covered here in the past -my NEW[July] 64bit machine will break into songe occasionally at start up and then die away.
To lubricate a possibly dry bearing- carefully lift the paper lable on the fan hub to reveal the bearing- a tiny drop of 3in1 oil will suffice.

  ACOLYTE 10:43 19 Nov 2005

If its a case fan there isnt much to worry about with regards the fan,they are reletivly cheap to buy,and as said a drop of oil would most likly give you more use of it,but if its a CPU fan then i would get a new one right away cheaper than buying a new CPU.If its the PSU fan i think you would know if it was/had failed in short order when the pc doesnt boot.

  Belatucadrus 10:59 19 Nov 2005

Note on PowerSupplyUnit fans, not only are they pretty inaccesible, working inside a PSU casing is potentialy hazardous. NOT to be attempted if you don't know what you're doing.

  Arnie 12:18 19 Nov 2005

Belatucadrus, I endorse what you say. Also, PSU fan cables are usually soldered to the circuit board - no good for the inexperienced.

  woodchip 12:33 19 Nov 2005

Main fan to check is the CPU, but also check PSU fan these should be free and working at a speed that does it's job. If not the you hardware will break down due to heat

  square eyes 03:05 20 Nov 2005

OK, i've opened up the case and checked the fans for dust but wasnt expecting a build up becuase i vaccumed it out 6 months ago including the cpu fan which was really thick with dust so i removed and cleaned very carefuly and used an air canister around the circuitry. One thing i overlooked at the time tho was just as important, and that was the vents around the casing! On the opposite side to the case door there are 4 vents that were solid with felt and the two vents right at the front of the tower at the bottom.

I've also realised that it doesnt happen for some time after switching it on. Maybe the fan was compensating for the heat as the air wasn't circulating properly,

Will monitor now and see, will report back, thanks

  square eyes 22:10 20 Nov 2005

It's the case fan that is the culprit,
Maybe it's always done it and just havent noticed it.
Also i can repeat the noise by opening the side cover, as i do this the case fan increases slightly.
Maybe the fan is showing signs, and i will at some point renew it.

Is there a good way of monitoring the situation where i would be alerted if the fan did die?
Maybe i wouldnt notice it by sound.


  Chegs ®™ 23:20 20 Nov 2005

Motherboard monitor(freeware)is a configurable app to alert you to probs with heat/fan speeds,etc. click here

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