HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Computers & Internet » Computer Help and Support (Group) » Noisy pc fan - any ideas?
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:48 PM

Noisy pc fan - any ideas?

Last edited Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:43 PM - Edit history (1)

My HP Pavilion pc sounds like it has asthma. It makes loud whoosh noises every minute.

Part of my post got deleted by accident earlier. I added it back in italics.

I opened it up and blew a lot of dust out with a hair dryer set on cool, then cleaned the two visible fans gently with a soft watercolor brush. It helped temporarily - maybe an hour or two - and then it went back to making the noise.

I can't seem to find anything about this in the computer's troubleshooting guide, or online.

If anyone has a suggestion, I'd be extremely grateful.

27 replies, 1843 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Noisy pc fan - any ideas? (Original post)
LiberalEsto Feb 2013 OP
Pharaoh Feb 2013 #1
LiberalEsto Feb 2013 #6
RC Feb 2013 #2
Mnpaul Feb 2013 #4
LiberalEsto Feb 2013 #7
Denzil_DC Feb 2013 #14
Mnpaul Feb 2013 #15
RC Feb 2013 #17
Scuba Feb 2013 #3
hobbit709 Feb 2013 #5
LiberalEsto Feb 2013 #9
Warren Stupidity Feb 2013 #12
Pharaoh Feb 2013 #20
backscatter712 Mar 2013 #26
PADemD Feb 2013 #8
LiberalEsto Feb 2013 #10
PADemD Feb 2013 #11
RC Feb 2013 #18
Warren Stupidity Feb 2013 #13
PADemD Feb 2013 #16
RILib Feb 2013 #19
TroglodyteScholar Feb 2013 #21
Phillip McCleod Feb 2013 #22
RoccoR5955 Mar 2013 #23
Pharaoh Mar 2013 #24
LiberalEsto Mar 2013 #25
Warpy Mar 2013 #27

Response to LiberalEsto (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:09 PM

1. you have built up dust on your fan

Last edited Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:46 PM - Edit history (1)

best to open up the computer, get a can of compressed air and blow all the dust off the fan and other nooks and cranny's.

If you are queasy about opening your computer(it's really pretty simple)

you might be able to get enough dust off the fan through the vent holes. But opening it up,is best find a youtube video.






Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Pharaoh (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:46 PM

6. Thanks, Pharaoh, I actually did that

but it got deleted out of my post by mistake. I used a hair dryer set on cool. It helped for about an hour, then the whoosh started again.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:17 PM

2. The first thing that comes to my mind is that the fan bearings are going dry.

 

Can you tell which fan? The one in the back or the CPU fan?

Anywho, if you can get at the label in the center of the fan blades and carefully peel it back and put a small drop of sewing machine oil or even air compressor oil in the middle, where the shaft is. Don't get too messy because you will want to put the label back to keep out the dirt.
A wood toothpick and a Kleenex are helpful. And passably a alcohol swab, for if you get too much oil in the bearing. (Remember the label) Put a drop of oil on the end of the toothpick and place it in the depression in the center. Then spin the blades by hand to distribute the oil. Put the fan back.
You will most likely have to remove whichever fan to get to the label.

Do not use engine oil of any kind, it will gum up and make the fan useless.

You are now on the road to being a computer expert.

Edited to add"
Yeah, do what Pharaoh suggests first.

DO NOT BREATH THE DUST!!11!! Take it outside if possible and stay up wind.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RC (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:56 PM

4. or you could buy a new one

many are under $10 and many can be replaced with few tools.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RC (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:49 PM

7. I think it's the fan that's concealed inside a metal box

There are two other fans that I can see. I cleaned dust off them with a very soft watercolor brush.

Let me see if I can do what you suggested. Luckily I have sewing machine oil. THANKS!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:45 PM

14. "I think it's the fan that's concealed inside a metal box"

Do you mean the one on the power supply?

If so, on most of the power supplies I've seen there's no way to access that fan from outside the box. I'd be wary trying to open it up to get at the fan as the capacitors inside there can hold quite a punch for quite a while.

If it is that, it's annoying to trash a PSU for that reason alone, but new PSUs aren't much more expensive than a replacement normal fan.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:19 PM

15. If it is the power supply I would replace it immediately

Especially on a HP. HP has a habit of using old and under powered power supplies to begin with. They barely put out enough power new and when they get old they cause all sorts of mysterious problems.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:36 PM

17. Canned air does a good job of blowing the dust off.

 

Just don't over spin the fan blades. A few quick blasts.
Don't forget the power supply. Blow the air in through all the vents. Don't breath that shit. Very hard on the lungs.

A reasonably stiff brush works better, if you want to go that route. The fans are not really that delicate.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:29 PM

3. Turn up the music.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:29 PM

5. Fans are cheap. Most replacement fans are around $5.

Get a can of compressed air and blow out all the dust in the case.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hobbit709 (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:09 PM

9. I'm not sure I'd know how to install a fan

but the compressed air sounds worth a try.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:29 PM

12. It is really easy.

Take some pictures of the connection and placement, then unplug and unscrew the fan and take it to wherever in your area they sell computer parts and find the right size replacement. Five minutes tops to disconnect, reconnect.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:21 PM

20. yes try the compressed air

it's a heck of a lot more powerful than a hair dryer!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hobbit709 (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 08:12 PM

26. That's my suggestion. Replace the fan.

First, run your computer with the case open, and use your ears to figure out which fan is making the noise.

Then you can take that fan, take a picture of it, and its connector, and you can get a replacement fan at MicroCenter or Frys.

Chances are good they'll have a replacement that you can install in less than five minutes - just unscrew the old fan, screw in the new fan (or use whatever fasteners the fan uses - you'll be able to get replacement fasteners at the computer store too), plug in the connector, problem solved.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:05 PM

8. Don't leave it running when you are not at home.

The motor on my old HP PC burnt up.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PADemD (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:10 PM

10. Thanks for the warning! nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:11 PM

11. You're welcome!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:45 PM

18. The only time I turn my computers off is when I will be gone for a few days or longer.

 

The fans and the computer itself, will actually last longer, if left on, than if turned on and shut down daily. The temperature cycle is the problem on both and the surge of electricity on the electronics, when the computer is powered up is hard on them.

I started my career in Broadcast engineering in 1966, so I have some experience here. The stuff I shut off at the end of the day, always gave more problems than the electronics l left on all the time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PADemD (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:30 PM

13. Recent pcs (5years) go to low power mode and turn almost everything off all on their own.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:43 PM

16. This happened more than 5 years ago.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:27 AM

19. HP

 

I buy my laptops used off ebay, from different sellers. I have over the years had 3(?) HPs and recently a lenovo. The HPs always had quite loud fans and got very hot. I hardly know the lenovo is on.

The HPs also had a tendency for the hinges and USB ports to break. no such problems with this lenovo.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:44 PM

21. Replace your power supply

This has happened to a few Dells I used to own. Replacing a power supply is actually very easy--just a few bolts to deal with, then and reconnecting everything you disconnected from the old one.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TroglodyteScholar (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:07 PM

22. this ^^^^^

 

usually the cpu heatsink fan and the enclosure fan are quiet verging on silent. it's the power supply that's noisy. not a good sign. if you have a shopvac put it on 'blow' instead of 'suck' (yes, 'spaceballs' fans, i know..), take the side panel off the machine, and blast the dust out through the fan vents in the bottom of the power supply at the top back. the fan will spin like crazy. that's ok. once most of the dust has blown out, put the vac nozzle at the back of the computer and blow INTO the computer. make sure to do it in this order, k?

if that doesn't work and you have $40 or so get a silent running replacement and you'll never hear your computer again.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 07:03 PM

23. The fan has a bad bearing

REPLACE it!
If it is one of the fans in the PC that can be seen, you can buy replacements at Newegg, Tiger Direct, or some other e-tailer for dirt cheap.
If it is in a silver box, with wires coming out of the box, than it is the power supply fan, and you should just replace the power supply.
Make sure that you get the correct one, and don't skimp on it. Power is the life blood of your computer, and having clean power is a must. When I build a PC, that is the one thing that I will insist on not skimping on. I will replace it after about 3-4 years, as the capacitors wear out. You should be able to get one at an e-tailer as well. Plan on spending at least fifty bucks for a good one, for that HP box.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Original post)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 05:47 PM

24. any luck resolvong it yet LiberalEsto?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Pharaoh (Reply #24)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 07:28 PM

25. Not yet, but thanks for asking

I've got a lot going on at home - daughter moving to West Coast in a couple of days, husband with a kidney stone, me turning 61 in a few days

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LiberalEsto (Original post)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 11:12 PM

27. Since removing dust was only a temporary fix,

just go buy a couple of new fans. They're reasonably cheap and easy to install.

Dust and grit can get into the works inside the fan, making it run hotter, noisier, and it will eventually fail. Since you don't want to take a chance of having anything fail with it, it's better to replace it when simple filth has been eliminated as a potential cause of the problem.

(and yes, I know simple filth, I have a long haired cat)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread