How to know fan speeds on a Dell

Discussion in 'Dell' started by micky, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. micky

    micky Guest

    How to know fan speeds on Dell 4400? Maybe Dimension.

    Can you recommend any programs that will do that?

    My friend has a Dell, I think it's a 4400, maybe it's a Dimension.
    The case is a tower, and in the back on the top and bottom there are
    buttons, and it hinges at the front, so the left side opens up.

    She's had problems with overheating aiui, and when I first opened the
    case (Light was very dim and I didn't see the model of the computer),
    when I opened the case, the CPU fan didn't seem to run after I turned it
    on. Later though, it did, and maybe the fan is intermittent, like her
    problem. (It's a pretty big fan at the back of the case at the end of
    the shroud, Not one that sits on the CPU)

    I wanted to install something which would display the fan speed.
    Searching for dell fan speed utility all I found was Dell Inspiron/Latitude/Precision fan
    control utility

    I installed that on my own Dell, a 4700 iirc, and it said it didn't get
    a speed report from the fans. Is that typical? Or could the problem
    be that maybe I have a Dimension. (I don't care if it works on my
    computer, only my friend's)
    micky, Feb 9, 2014
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  2. micky

    micky Guest

    Since the fan may be intermittent, or it might be just fine, It would be
    especially nice if the fan sensor would beep when the fan speed went too

    micky, Feb 9, 2014
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  3. micky

    BillW50 Guest

    Monitoring the fan is one thing, but what I monitor instead is CPU
    temperatures. As who cares what the fan is doing as long as the CPU is
    running at normal temperatures? And CPU temperatures utilities are very
    common and most of them work with virtual any machine.
    BillW50, Feb 9, 2014
  4. micky

    dg1261 Guest

    Since you got the case open, I presume you checked the heat sink to make
    sure it's clear of dust buildup. The green hood hinges up, allowing you
    to inspect/clean the heat sink. The whole fan assembly itself can be
    removed from the chassis for more thorough cleaning if desired. There is
    a release lever on the bottom side of the hood assembly (the side toward
    the bottom of the tower when it's standing upright).

    Also blow air through the power supply vents to clear some of the dust
    out of the power supply. There's a fan in the power supply, too.
    There's no way to speed test that, but at least make sure it still spins
    when the power is turned on.

    To test the case fan, use Dell Diagnostics. The Dimension 4400 would
    have originally shipped with a Diagnostics partition. Assuming it's
    still there (i.e., nobody reformatted the drive and deleted it) you
    should be able to access it by pressing F12 during POST (Power-On Self
    Test, when the giant Dell logo is on the screen). Pressing F12 should
    get you to a one-time boot menu, from which you can select to boot Dell

    If the Diagnostics partition is no longer there you can download the same
    utility from Look for the Downloads and Drivers
    section for your particular model, and find "Dell 32-bit Diagnostics".
    Choose either the "CD..." or "CZ..." versions, download, and extract all
    the files (there are dozens) from it into a separate directory. Dell
    Diagnostics runs from DOS, so to use it you'll need to create a bootable
    CD or bootable flash drive for yourself (plenty of tutorials on the web)
    that will boot DOS. Copy the dozens of extracted files onto your
    bootable CD or flash drive. Then you can boot from the CD/flash drive
    and launch delldiag.exe.

    Once you get the Diagnostics utility launched, find the function to test
    the fan. The fan is a variable speed fan, and the utility will test it
    to see if it turns on/off, checks the speed and checks that it changes
    speeds as commanded.
    dg1261, Feb 9, 2014
  5. micky

    micky Guest

    Yes, it was very clean. The whole insides were.
    Although I didn't look in the powersupply. (There's no place to work
    Ah, wonderful. I guess my Dell had that too, but the harddrive failed
    on this computer, and that's why another friend gave it to me. If mine
    had them, I would have found them .
    Does it always have to be the same model? I have 1 Dell and two that
    could be set up, and she has a different Dell. Are they likely to use
    the same files? I guess I can check this myself eventually, but I
    thought you might know.
    Wonderful. Thanks.

    BillW, you're right, thanks. I guess I got sidetracked when the fan
    seemed to be off when I first opened the case and turned the computer
    on**. Later I wasn't sure if the computer had really been on. It's so
    crowded there, we were working with the computer on the floor and no
    room even to look at the lights in front. So the fan seemed like the
    immediate issue. And a new fan is easy to buy.

    **Can you run these Dells for more than a few minutes, with the case
    open, with the green shroud no longer surrounding the heat sink?
    micky, Feb 9, 2014
  6. micky

    dg1261 Guest

    The Dell Diagnostics utility has to be designed to work with the
    particular hardware of a particular model family. A particular version
    of the utility will work across more than one model if the hardware
    devices in those models are enough alike, but there's no universal
    version that works on all Dells.

    The version of Dell Diagnostics applicable to the Dimension 4400 is
    A1109. Visit the download page for that version:

    and at the bottom of the page click "Compatibility" to expand the list of
    models that version works on.

    Now, that's the software utility we're talking about above. The fan
    itself should be pretty much universal. So another alternative might be
    to swap the 4400's fan into another machine temporarily and use that
    machine's diagnostic utility to test it. I haven't actually tried that,
    but as long as the wire connector is the same it should work.

    If the CPU isn't under heavy load, it should be able to run for a long
    time with the case open and the green hood flipped up, as that should
    provide enough ventilation for the CPU heat sink.
    dg1261, Feb 9, 2014
  7. micky

    Ben Myers Guest

    Sadly, these older Dells do not have sensors that allow software to monitorand report CPU temperature or fan RPMs. Actually, I do not think any desktop motherboards from this era of Socket 478 CPUs and 845-or-865 chipset do.. That all became possible with Socket 775, and I am unsure which chipset (915,925,945,965,later?) first supported sensors. I have not kept organized notes on these newer Dell boxes like I did with the older black clamshells and black Mitac systems.

    Interestingly, one enterprising person did write a utility for Dell laptopscalled I8KFANGUI. I8K was short for the Inspiron 8000, which had heat andventilation issues. And I8KFANGUI ran on a wide range of older Dell laptops. I stopped using it when I stumbled across CORETEMP one day, because CORETEMP minitors temperatures perfectly well on a wide range of modern desktops and laptops. But not on one of the new Dell ones, the subject of another post for me this evening... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Feb 11, 2014
  8. micky

    micky Guest

    Thanks Ben, BillW, and dg, I learned a lot.
    micky, Feb 11, 2014
  9. micky

    micky Guest

    Yes, Dimension 4400.

    Ben has explained that the older Dells didn't have sensors for fan
    speeds** or temperature, and also it turns out my friend's problem runs
    deeper than that. I came in in the middle.

    **I assumed it did because the case fan has 3 wires running to it. I
    thought that meant there was a speed sensor. Did they maybe just use
    that fan because 2-wire fans were no cheaper or were even harder to get
    in 2003 or so when the 4400 was made?

    Anyhow, the deeper problem is this. The monitor is turned on and
    warmed up before the computer, and yet it doesn't show the start-up
    screens, with the Dell logo or whatever else follows. Yet on one
    occasion, after a black screen, it displayed only what I'm calling the
    start-up option screen, that gives a choice between normal, safe-mode,
    etc. But not Dell Diagnositcs, that would be another screeen. It
    was counting down from 30 seconds, and at about 10 seconds, the screen
    went blank and that's all there was.

    Except for some noises, maybe from the harddrive. Not what I would
    describe as the clicking that came from a hard drive I had that had
    failed. This involved an occasional click or thud, and the harddrive
    light was lit, but nothing appeared on the screen.

    1 Could it have overheated so quickly? We let it cool for 10 minutes
    and tried again, and nothing at all showed.

    2 I thought that until windows started to boot, all the other screen
    display and info came from the BIOS and it was very unlikely that would
    be erased, or that it could get to the start-up option screen if it were
    erased. So how come it doesn't display anything at that earlier stage,
    where it displays the logo and iss supposed to mention F12?

    3. She has two harddrives but no idea why or when. The tag number
    sticker doesn't seem to be on the box. The drives are arranged so it
    will be easy to connect them via USB to my laptop, without removing
    them, but I didn't have the connections with me at the time, and I have
    to find a time when her tenant can let me in and help me. What I fear
    will the be the case is not that the one with windows is broken, but
    that both will seem good, and I won't know what to do.

    4. If the one with windows is broken, I'd like to restore windows from
    the hidden partitition , but that seems harder since that first screeen
    never shows up on the monitor??? I suppose I can just keep pressing

    Thanks a lot. This isn't my girlfriend so you're just helping out
    someone who needs help. She's been using the computer at her job after
    work hours for personal stuff, but I'm sure she'd be better off at home.
    micky, Feb 15, 2014
  10. micky

    Bob_Villa Guest

    Sorry, this isn't worth the typing involved...P4, DDR, ATA, XP, if it was my best bud's I would trash it!
    Bob_Villa, Feb 16, 2014
  11. micky

    micky Guest

    You'd throw away someone else's computer?
    micky, Feb 16, 2014
  12. micky

    Bob_Villa Guest

    I certainly would suggest it to them...but I'm sure you knew what I meant!
    Bob_Villa, Feb 16, 2014
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