Re: Loud (not noisy) CPU fan in my dad's Dell Optiplex GX260 machine.

Discussion in 'Dell' started by William R. Walsh, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Hi!

    > Does anyone have any ideas why my dad's old Dell Optiplex
    > GX260 machine's CPU fan is loud (not noisy) in blowing?


    Weeell...where I come from "loud" is roughly equivalent to
    "noisy". :)

    What kind of a sound is it? Is it air rushing, or is it a rough and
    gritty kind of loud?

    Rough and gritty is a bad fan. Air rushing is probably the fan
    speeding up to meet some kind of increased heat demand from the CPU.
    It could be that there is software stuck in a loop and consuming all
    idle processor time.

    Or you could just have a Pentium 4 Prescott, as I did in my Dim8300.
    That machine would wind its way up to "vacuum cleaner" with great
    regularity. I changed it to a Northwood P4 and the noise drop was
    stunning.

    Dell fans have a thermal sensing bulb on them that will increase fan
    speed as the air going by gets hotter. The motherboard supplies full
    fan voltage all the time, leaving it up to the sensor on the fan as to
    how fast it should be turning.

    > I checked the CMOS to see if I could get fan readings or
    > control, but didn't see one.


    There is a tach lead coming off of the fan and going to the
    motherboard. The Dell BIOS knows if the fan is running--so it *can* be
    sensed. The problem is, nobody (not even Dell, based on a conversation
    I had with a Dell employee) knows how this is done. The fan sense
    inputs on the LPCIO are left unconnected if it has them. Most Dell
    systems use an LPCIO that doesn't support fan speed monitoring.

    (Gee, does it sound like I've been looking into this or what?)

    The secret as to how Dell laptops monitor their fans and control them
    has been at least partially revealed. SpeedFan and i8kFanGUI can
    monitor the fans in many Dell laptops. i8kFanGUI can even change them.

    The OptiPlex GX620 (note: not a 260) desktop will show fan speeds when
    "Dell Notebook Support" is enabled in SpeedFan's preferences. What's
    more, when SpeedFan goes looking for fans, it causes the CPU fan to
    speed up. After a lot of testing here, this is the first Dell desktop
    system I've found to report fan speeds in a similar method to the
    laptops. (I should have tried i8kFanGUI on the GX620, but I didn't and
    it has no OS on it now.)

    > We noticed the interior and fans don't look that dusty/dirty (amazed
    > at that compared to my PCs after all these years).


    A PC is a good indicator of the air quality in a home. I've seen PCs
    that came from spotless homes that were filthy inside and ones that
    came from (shall we say) "less clean" homes that were surprisingly
    clean inside.

    > Any ideas? Do we need to replace it? Both PSU and CPU fans
    > seem to be blowing fine. Just CPU fan is LOUD and blowing hard.


    The thermal sensing bulb may be bad (shorted) and causing the fan to
    run at full throttle. This is impressively loud. I think some Dell
    fans could hurt you at full throttle, if you stuck your fingers in
    there. They put almost all other computer fans to shame. :)

    Dell spare parts should have the fan you need. It's special because of
    the built in speed control and sensing bulb--a regular replacement fan
    is likely to just run at full speed all the time and be loud. Or
    noisy. :) The price should be reasonable.

    > I wonder if this is related to the low voltage battery error in CMOS
    > a few months ago (haven't seen it since then). I told him not to
    > take the CPU fan parts apart because he might make it
    > worse. ;)


    Replace that battery while you're there. It's cheap (about $3) and
    good insurance against it leaking. It's got to be getting close to its
    intended lifetime by now.

    William
     
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  2. Hi!

    > Air rushing. Remember those CPU fans that you can control speeds? Louder
    > at faster RPM, quieter at lower RPM. It's like that but at very fast
    > speed. Maybe maxxed out?


    Yes, it sounds like it is running at full throttle.

    Many of today's motherboards have fan speed controllers built in. Some of
    them are even pretty good, and a few more can even be "taken over" with the
    right software.

    > That's the thing. The PC was just powered on after being off all day or
    > so. We even idled at CMOS/BIOS screen!


    I'm certain it is not program or processor related then.

    > > Or you could just have a Pentium 4 Prescott, as I did in my Dim8300.
    > > That machine would wind its way up to "vacuum cleaner" with great
    > > regularity. I changed it to a Northwood P4 and the noise drop was
    > > stunning.


    > How do I change that?


    You'd change the processor. But I don't think it is the problem--the system
    must have a bad fan. I mentioned it as an interesting sidebar.

    Prescott and Northwood were both different versions of the Pentium 4. The
    Northwood was a pretty competent CPU that didn't get excessively hot. On the
    other hand, Prescott Pentium 4 processors were supposed to perform well and
    I suppose they did look good on paper. In reality, they consumed lots of
    power, threw off lots of heat and couldn't perform as well as the Northwood
    did at the same speed. The later LGA775 (socket type) Prescott processors
    were better than the Socket 478 ones.

    Intel ran into something of a dead-end with the Pentium 4 family. They
    dumped a lot of work and doubled back to the Pentium M (which itself was a
    hopped up Pentium III) to come up with a better idea. That better idea is
    today's Core/Core2 Solo and Duo processors. You can still buy the Pentium D
    and Pentium 4 though.)

    > I wonder if that is why we got CMOS/BIOS warning about low voltages a
    > few weeks ago/a month ago. Related?


    I'm sure the battery is probably starting to get weak. It's only used when
    the machine in unplugged or without power. Without any power, the lifetime
    is supposed to be three years.

    > So I can't use a custom fan like for custom built PCs? :(


    No. The connector is different, although that is the least of your problems.
    You can hook up a standard fan and it will promptly run at full throttle.
    Most fans don't have an onboard thermal sensor to control their speed. They
    let the motherboard and its fan controller decide the speed that should be
    chosen. Dell did it the other way around and specified a fan with its own
    built in thermal sensor.

    Look the fan over and you will see a "bulb" coming out of one side of the
    hub.

    William
     
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  3. S.Lewis

    S.Lewis Guest

    "Ant" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On 6/26/2009 11:45 PM PT, William R. Walsh typed:
    >


    <snip>

    replacement Dell fan assembly is <$30 on ebay.
     
  4. S.Lewis

    S.Lewis Guest

    "Ant" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >A status update since the CPU fan just stopped a few minutes ago, but the
    >PC is still working (no reboots, no lockups, no crashes, etc. yet!).
    >
    > Not sure if the CPU fan is dead though. PSU fan is still spinning, black
    > CPU fan is not spinning at all, but we can see it shaking/vibrating (not
    > sure if it is from it or the PSU fan -- can feel air flows from both
    > vents). Not sure if it is trying to spin or just dead.


    <snip>


    Just dead. There's never a time when it will stop spinning when functioning
    normally.
     
  5. Charles

    Charles Guest

    Ant wrote:
    > On 6/30/2009 6:57 AM PT, S.Lewis typed:
    >
    >>> A status update since the CPU fan just stopped a few minutes ago, but
    >>> the PC is still working (no reboots, no lockups, no crashes, etc. yet!).
    >>>
    >>> Not sure if the CPU fan is dead though. PSU fan is still spinning,
    >>> black CPU fan is not spinning at all, but we can see it
    >>> shaking/vibrating (not sure if it is from it or the PSU fan -- can
    >>> feel air flows from both vents). Not sure if it is trying to spin or
    >>> just dead.

    >>
    >> <snip>
    >>
    >>
    >> Just dead. There's never a time when it will stop spinning when
    >> functioning normally.

    >
    > Darn. Would this be a motherboard issue (capticators) or just the CPU fan?


    SHUT IT DOWN, then get a replacement fan for it. Continued use w/o the
    fan will destroy the processor from the excessive heat.

    Charles
     
  6. S.Lewis

    S.Lewis Guest

    "Ant" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On 6/30/2009 6:57 AM PT, S.Lewis typed:
    >
    >>> A status update since the CPU fan just stopped a few minutes ago, but
    >>> the PC is still working (no reboots, no lockups, no crashes, etc. yet!).
    >>>
    >>> Not sure if the CPU fan is dead though. PSU fan is still spinning, black
    >>> CPU fan is not spinning at all, but we can see it shaking/vibrating (not
    >>> sure if it is from it or the PSU fan -- can feel air flows from both
    >>> vents). Not sure if it is trying to spin or just dead.

    >>
    >> <snip>
    >>
    >>
    >> Just dead. There's never a time when it will stop spinning when
    >> functioning normally.

    >
    > Darn. Would this be a motherboard issue (capticators) or just the CPU fan?
    > --




    Judas H. Priest, man.

    By my count, this is the third time I've suggested just replacing the Dell
    fan assembly with a similar assembly off of ebay.

    Now, it COULD be it COULD be the fan pin header on the system board, but I'm
    sure you'd want to replace the entire motherboard first to determine that a
    <$20 fan assembly is bad. ?

    With all due respect, good luck to you.

    I'm sure you'll get it fixed. I'm so out of this thread at this
    point............


    -Stew
     
  7. Hi!

    > A status update since the CPU fan just stopped a few minutes ago, but
    > the PC is still working (no reboots, no lockups, no crashes, etc. yet!).


    Shut down time! Don't use the computer again, it will cook. Perhaps it won't
    be instant, but it will cook.

    > Not sure if the CPU fan is dead though. PSU fan is still spinning, black
    > CPU fan is not spinning at all, but we can see it shaking/vibrating


    It's an attempt to get started up again. The idea is that if the fan is
    stuck, it will "rattle" and hopefully break free. In this case, I would
    imagine you've lost one of the sets of magnetic coils in the fan.

    Dell spare parts may carry the fan. I don't know the price, and I know that
    their web site is not always really clear about what you will get when you
    order. Even if you don't do eBay, a friend might. You will have no problems
    if you buy from a reputable seller (been around a while, good feedback
    profile (look at comments AND percentage)).

    William
     
  8. Hi!

    > I wonder what software I can use to control the fan issue in this Dell
    > PC. Any ideas?


    I already spoke of this in the post you are replying to. To recap:

    1. No known software can control Dell desktop fans or report their speeds.
    2. The Dell BIOS knows if the fan is turning. Whether it knows how fast the
    fan is actually going, I cannot say.
    3. The LPCIO IC on the motherboard frequently has no fan speed
    monitoring/control support OR it isn't hooked up*.
    4. Conversations I've had with Dell suggest that nobody there knows how it
    is done. I suspect I just haven't talked to the right people.
    5. Selected Dell laptops *will* report fan speeds and support limited
    changes using a tool like i8kFanGUI.
    6. The fan speed is controlled *internally* by the fan itself. There is a
    thermal bulb on it that senses the temperature of air as it goes by. The fan
    receives its full operating voltage from the motherboard.

    William

    * the lone exception to this (that I know of) is the Precision 220
    workstation, which has functional fan speed monitoring that can be tapped
    into with a tool like SpeedFan.
     
  9. olfart

    olfart Guest

    "Ant" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > And, the fan spins at full speed again for who knows how long after
    > powering on for today! I did tell my father to not to use the PC when the
    > CPU fan stops again like last night to avoid heat damages to the old CPU.
    >
    > I hope to get the fan and/or motherboard replacement this long weekend.
    >
    >

    look at www.pcexchange.com
    you can probably get another GX260 cheap and use it for parts if your Dad
    wants to keep his running. I bought a 260 a while back for a friend. very
    reliable dealer
     
  10. Hi!

    > Is that magnetic coil what caused the fan to go full throttle
    > before it stopped?


    The fan has malfunctioned internally. Multiple parts of its circuitry
    are likely to be bad. One failure in an electronic device can lead to
    cascade failures. Look at it this way--instead of just silently
    failing, it gave you an audible warning that something was wrong.

    The magnetic coils in the fan are used to make it turn around and
    around. There are multiple sets. One or more have failed, leaving the
    fan only able to twitch.

    Without that, you might have only found out when the machine started
    crashing. And then you'd have found the toasted CPU, bloated
    capacitors, and ruined computer.

    > OK. I guess it might be a fan issue only.


    Numerous people who know have said that. :)

    It is *extremely* unlikely that the motherboard is bad. All you have
    to do is get a fan--one way or another--hook it up and pop it into
    place. I couldn't see it taking more than ten minutes. It's a special
    fan, so it will need to come from Dell, a third party retailer that
    has one, or from a scrapped system.

    William
     
  11. Ben Myers

    Ben Myers Guest

    Ant wrote:
    > Weird. Earlier, it said out of range for CPU fan in BIOS and CMOS event
    > logs. Eh, what the heck is that? Is that normal when changing the fan?
    > It is not the Dell's fan we're using too. It is a generic fan hacked
    > into the Dell CPU fan container (whatever you call it).
    >
    > PC still seems to work so far. Weird is that my friend and I didn't see
    > this last Saturday when we rebooted a few times. We even turned off and
    > on the PC a couple times too.
    >
    >
    > On 7/3/2009 7:45 PM PT, Ant typed:
    >
    >> The issue has been resolved. A computer hardware guy/friend came to
    >> fix it since I am not a handy, due to my multiple disabilities. He
    >> said it was the CPU fan with its broken sensors (not physically) after
    >> replacing the CPU fan with a new $11 transparent Antec fan. It doesn't
    >> have a sensor (don't need it) and very quiet (can't hear it compared
    >> to mine).
    >>
    >> Whew, I was glad it wasn't a motherboard issue. :)


    You really are 100% better off using a fan with a Dell part number and a
    custom 3-pin connector. The Dell part number for the entire assembly of
    fan, mounting bracket and green thingie is 02x585. These are cheap and
    easy finds on eBay... Ben Myers
     
  12. Ben Myers

    Ben Myers Guest

    Ant wrote:
    > On 7/7/2009 6:47 AM PT, Ben Myers typed:
    >
    >>> Weird. Earlier, it said out of range for CPU fan in BIOS and CMOS
    >>> event logs. Eh, what the heck is that? Is that normal when changing
    >>> the fan? It is not the Dell's fan we're using too. It is a generic
    >>> fan hacked into the Dell CPU fan container (whatever you call it).
    >>>
    >>> PC still seems to work so far. Weird is that my friend and I didn't
    >>> see this last Saturday when we rebooted a few times. We even turned
    >>> off and on the PC a couple times too.

    >>
    >> You really are 100% better off using a fan with a Dell part number and
    >> a custom 3-pin connector. The Dell part number for the entire
    >> assembly of fan, mounting bracket and green thingie is 02x585. These
    >> are cheap and easy finds on eBay... Ben Myers

    >
    > So, there's no way to tell the BIOS to ignore the fans readings due to
    > non-Dell? Also, I just noticed the date (e.g., 2004) was incorrect too
    > so I had to fix that as well since we forgot to fix it after changing
    > its CMOS battery. I don't think that is related to the fan's out of
    > range issue.


    Right. The motherboard BIOS has built-in safeguards to prevent the CPU
    and board from burning out due to excessive heat, and there is no way to
    override the fan detection circuitry unless you want to do your own
    hacked BIOS.

    It is nearly impossible to match the exact characteristics of Dell fans
    except with other Dell fans... Ben Myers
     
  13. Hi!

    > Weird. Earlier, it said out of range for CPU fan in BIOS and CMOS event
    > logs. Eh, what the heck is that? Is that normal when changing the fan?
    > It is not the Dell's fan we're using too. It is a generic fan hacked
    > into the Dell CPU fan container (whatever you call it).


    Well, not to sound harsh or rude or anything, but numerous people here
    (myself included :)) said "go with a Dell supplied fan". There is a reason
    for that.

    You put a fan in that doesn't have a tach lead, so the BIOS has no idea
    whether the fan is running or not. This is not something you can readily
    disable as it is a safety feature to prevent the system from burning out.
    The message implies that the Dell BIOS will only accept a given range of
    speeds in order to consider a fan to be "good". Zero (which is what the BIOS
    sees) is not going to pass that test.

    I'm not sure why you want to just diddle and hack around when the proper fan
    unit is inexpensive, readily available and should be very easy to install
    (in most cases). It really has me baffled, when the right answer is, well,
    right there.

    The PC will "run", but it's never going to be happy about not seeing a valid
    reading on the tachometer line. Also, the Dell fan has a thermal bulb so
    that it can sense increased heating and speed up accordingly. Your new fan
    doesn't, and if it doesn't move more than enough air all the time, the
    computer could still overheat. (Though this is unlikely, it could happen.)

    Please just go and get the Dell fan. Make your life easy and the computer
    happy once again.

    William
     
  14. Hi!

    > Anyone know how to disable/remove the fan range warning
    > message in Windows 2000 SP4's Dell pop-up? I don't see
    > a Dell named program listed in Add/Remove Programs and
    > services list.


    I've never heard of this. Being a business box, it could have some
    Dell specific management software present. That software may have been
    intentionally made difficult to remove so that users wouldn't play
    with it or shut it down when it bugs them.

    You could probably find out approximately where it is located by
    bringing up the Task Manager when next the dialog box appears
    complaining about the fan. Leave the dialog box on the screen, go to
    the "Applications" tab in Task Manager and right click the entry
    representing the dialog box (hopefully it shows up).

    Choose "Go To Process". The responsible process will be highlighted in
    blue on the "Processes" tab. Search the computer for that program, and
    an uninstaller might show up nearby. (I would not recommend you just
    delete it, however.)

    > It was easier and faster to use a generic fan than getting
    > the specialized Dell fan. ;)


    Well, if you say so. You could have had a Dell fan delivered from just
    about anywhere by now. I'm not sure how you value your time, but at
    this point I think the cost difference between any Dell fan and the
    third party fan you got has been nullified.

    William
     
  15. roikkalamppu

    roikkalamppu

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Dell Optiplex GX620 noisy CPU fan and wiring

    Dell Optiplex GX620 noisy CPU fan.
    I just changed the fan and use again
    only those Rubber Fan Mounts and old fan's connector.
    New fan is
    Scythe Slip Stream 120mm PWM 4 pins
    You can buy from eBay adapter
    x2 Motherboard 4Pin To Dell 5Pin(4 wires) Adapter Cable Wire Converter
    I made wiring myself and I use old fan connector.

    old connector goes.
    pin 1 yellow or white sense
    pin 2 red +12V
    pin 3 black ground
    pin 4 blue control
    pin 5 empty empty


    New fans cables

    cable 1 black ground
    cable 2 red +12V
    cable 3 yellow sense
    cable 4 blue control

    so you can see Dell use special wiring order.
    Bios recognize fan and fan is working fine.
    Check picture from eBay if you don't believe me.
     
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