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 Tech query from a complete computer turd

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Dionysius
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

You did read that right, I've got less tech ability than a turd. Here's the question.

Buying and installing a replacement fan for a pc. What do I need to look out for.

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TheGreatOok
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Just make sure you get the right size, other than that nothing really.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Check it has the same number of wires coming out of it too. Some have 2, some have 3. Where in the PC is it?

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mike hunter
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Just make sure you get the one that spins counter clockways and not the one that spins the other way.....


j/k

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TheGreatOok
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I thought it was standardized to two wires now, and all the plugs were the same now too, Wayne.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ All kidding aside, make sure you put the fan the right way when you put it on. Obviously they blow air in one direction. Check it's fitted the same way around so blows air in the right direction or you could stop the hot air from escaping out of your case.

(edit) @Ook - it depends. Some only need 2 wires, but some have a speed sensor on them so have 3.

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Gussie Fink-Nottle
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:36 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^^

As above Dionysus.

And don't forget to earth yourself, or the 1st thing you may get is a fried Motherboard or Hard Drives & that really hurts (your wallet).


Pip pip

Gussie

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Pastor Frank
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Make sure the fins are clear plastic, not opaque. The opaque ones do not pass air as well. Wink

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Connie L. Gus
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Gussie Fink-Nottle wrote:
And don't forget to earth yourself, ...

Yes, the first thing to that you should touch is the case. All other connectors should be disconnected. Plastic everything removed from table. No Styrofoam cups or clamshell dinner left over packaging. Is it the HDD or side case fan? If its the power supply fan, replace the power supply and its fan as a unit. If its the case fan, slide the side cover off after you remove the screws holding it down on the back. After you have removed the side cover, remove the fan. Then disconnect the electrical wiring to the fan. Note how the connector is attached. Reattach the new connector, screw the fan back down, there should be an arrow showing the direction of the air flow on the side of the fan. One important thing is to wire tie the excess cable so that they do not come in contact with any other fans. Watch for video card fans and the main processor fan. All you need is the wire to push against a CPU cooling fan to stop it from spinning. Loss of cooling for it can be fatal for your computer.

Once you are happy, put his pants back on and start plugging in the cables.

Don't bother to get the LED fans unless its important for your sex life.

The one last question is do you need the fan? I once had a computer with 7 yes, 7 fans. My last two have had only two. PS and processor. Life is so much quieter.

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OxygenDeprived
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:15 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Are you talking just a basic case fan or a CPU fan or Northbridge fan?

Case fans are no problem at all for any skill level, but some of the other fans may require the removal of a motherboard. I ask as some boards have a reputation for Northbridge fans (ASUS anyone) dying.

Also, take a look around (I use Newegg) and be careful of the noise ratings. Get the quietest you can find (mindful of the amount of air it can move) as you don't want your pc to sound like a jet engine.

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Dionysius
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It's for an old machine. If the machine is left on for a few minutes the case gets very hot, and then rather than melt, the machine shuts itself off. That's the one that is buggered.

As for the rest of the helpful explanations Confused Shocked Confused

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Connie L. Gus
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Oh my.

The first thing I suggest is that you unplug everything, go into the antistatic mode, take off the side cover and vacuum out the thing. Apply suction to all the fan blades. Suck on the processor heat sinks and cooling fans. You should be able to get them spinning like all get out. Do not use the cans of compressed air. Blow job is only an expression. You should be able to remove the crap from the leading edges of the fans by hand. The processor heatsinks should be finned and expect to see solid carpets of dust.

Do the power supply. Use a high power flashlight to see what you are doing. If it has a Northbridge fan, be very careful with it as they are hard to replace. It would be on the motherboard but I am pretty sure yours does not.

Put the pants back on, plug it all back to together. Remember the green cord goes in the green hole and the purple cord will only fit into the purple hole.

Tell us what happens.

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The False Italian
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Dionysius wrote:
It's for an old machine. If the machine is left on for a few minutes the case gets very hot, and then rather than melt, the machine shuts itself off.

Tricky. My little brother's computer showed the same symptoms a few years ago. The fan in the power supply was dead and didn't blow the hot air out of the case.

1. Open the case, start the computer, look at the fans and see if they work. CPU fan, power supply unit (PSU) fan and maybe additional case fans. But older machines usually only have the first two because they don't produce so much heat.

2. If it's indeed the PSU fan then unplug (!) the computer and prepare for the worst. Usually it is possible to loosen the PSU by removing 3-4 screws at the back or side. No need to to unplug all the internal cables from the PSU to the motherboard.

3. Have somebody standing nearby ready to call the medics. Open the PSU case and have a look at the insides. Please try not to touch the coils and capacitors because they are still loaded with that zapping stuff.

4. You will see the PSU fan and its plug. If you are lucky then you can remove it with a screwdriver (careful!) but sometimes the manufacturers used lots of glue to fasten the fan and its plug. Remember how the thing was plugged in.

5. Take the fan to your nearest computer shop and get a replacement with the same specifications (voltage, rpm, type of plug). Some newer fans have a regulator that activates them only at certain temperatures. If you want to be on the safe side then get an unregulated one but the others also work fine.

6. New fan + screws + PSU = careful work. Pay attention to the orientation of the fan so that it blows in the right direction later. If you get it wrong then you must open the PSU again later. Put the PSU in the case again and fasten it with its screws.

7. Pray to Murphy.

8. Plug the computer in again and turn it on. With some luck it doesn't explode or blow every fuse in your house. If it works then check if the new fan works and blows the hot air out of the case. Close the case if successful, otherwise unplug the machine again, get the PSU out, open it and correct the fan settings.

9. Good luck!

Worked for me and the computer is still very much alive.
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Marvinator
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm a computer repair tech for the state supreme court, and everything said above is all you need to know, especially TFI's instructions above.

CPU fans are the hardest to replace as said.

Once the case is open, check everything and make notes before you touch a thing.

1) placement of fans - which way does the fan blow?
2) Are they working.
3) where do they plug in
4) How does it come apart?
5) don't touch a thing until you are certain that you know how to put it back together once you have it apart.

Get a coffee cup or something to put the screws in. (Trust me here, screws are alive and they crawl off when you're not looking!) They will be all the same size, so no need to separate them. If they are not the same size, get something like an ice cube tray (empty) or egg carton (paper, and also empty) to help you track them. Again, read #5 above.

Use only computer rated tools - this usually means non-magnetic. DO NOT USE ANY SCREW DRIVER which is magnetized. I can't tell you how many machines I've seen damaged because someone reached into the box with a magnetized screwdriver. (Newer machines are not as susceptible as older machines, so better to be safe than sorry.)

I've replaced many fans in many types of machines, and have never gotten shocked. It's not that we're trying to scare you, we just want you to be safe and we want the repair to cost you very little.


Last edited by Marvinator on Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:04 pm; edited 2 times in total
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thud419
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Some other points.

Do not wear man-made fabrics.

It can be useful to put different screws in different places, rather than in the same cup. Then you have a chance of putting the right screw back into the right hole.

If you have to get into the power supply, wear rubber gloves, or you will experience at least one shock. They're almost certainly not life-threatening, but with electricity that is never certain, and they hurt. Work one-handed, and have the other hand in your pocket when it is at all possible. Anything that other hand is touching is almost certainly earthed, and a hand-to-hand shock is the most dangerous sort.

It isn't really all that difficult, so don't worry; the sweat lowers your skin resistance. Wink

One other point: if the worst happens and, (the chances are very tiny,) you lose consciousness, tell your mate that it is not dangerous to pull you off the power supply and administer first aid. It isn't connected to mains earth and it only has a limited charge. He will not get a shock.

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harrya
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

All fans in a PC are easy to replace.
As above clean everything first it it may not be the fan but too much dust.
However any fan exposed to too much dust will fail in due time.
It's a bit like rubbing 40 grit paper on your genitals, sooner or later
something will stop.

Power supply fans are fairly cheap, as are the power supplies, as so is a new case as a full unit. Shop around and also try to remember if you ever thought about over clocking the machine? Everyone has a friend who can tell you haw much quicker they run if you put that jumper over there Rolling Eyes If so lower the clock speed.

Many processors come from the same production run. After testing they are given a rating. This determines the speed they should be run at.
This is a speed below the failed tested speed.

Processor fans aren't two much different just a different size some with inbuilt sensors so they can report back to the bios stats about how they are hanging.

As said before don't by fans with lights, You need a fan not a disco. Where did this idea come from.
"I am so board with my life, Oh here is great Idea I'm going to fill my PC with flashing lights" Thats going to impress the girls/guys.

As with the earthing thing maybe it's just 'I'm so down to earth'
Sorry bad pun
It is important to simply touch an earth point on the chassis go to the fridge get a beer touch the kitchen tap before handling. however in 30 years as an electronics technician I have never seen anything I could contribute to static discharge from mishandling. Even the old 4000 series chips put up my abuse Smile

It's a bit like using two condoms and the pill. Better to be safe than sorry.

Given your original self assessment sometimes, it's cheaper to go to work and pay someone else to do do the things we might F up.

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