Author Topic: computer fan??  (Read 4136 times)

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
computer fan??
« on: August 11, 2016, 11:38:36 PM »
My PC laptop is about six years old, still great, love it. Recently, the fan is loud and its...venty part...is VERY hot. Is this meaningful? Should I be preparing for it to blow up at any moment? Is there a repair due?

chesebert

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 749
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2016, 11:56:22 PM »
Clean up the dust and replace the fan. Cost is probably 10 for the part and half an hour of YouTube watching.

Good luck!


scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2016, 12:02:36 AM »
Oh! Thank you very much, chesebert! I've never done more than replace a battery (twice on this one), so I think it's time for my next step.

zolotiyeruki

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3262
  • Location: State: Denial
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2016, 09:21:02 AM »
Nah, sounds like the fan is fine--it's blowing lots of hot air!  The issue is more likely to be something that's causing the CPU to run constantly at full load.  Oddly enough, I've seen Windows Update be the culprit a lot lately, but lots of other things can cause the same issue.

But yeah, check for dust as well.

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2016, 09:27:19 AM »
The issue is more likely to be something that's causing the CPU to run constantly at full load.

This seems to fit. The whole computer has been having some sort of fit lately. Everything pokey and slow, lurchy.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14036
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2016, 09:31:34 AM »
Dust accumulates in computers, and needs to be cleaned out every few years.  I've taken apart computers that actually caught on fire because of the dust accumulation.

Specific areas to pay attention to when you open the case and clean the dust away:
- The heat sink on your CPU.
- The graphics card (many vent out the back).
- On many computers there is a dust catching screen somewhere at the front lower area of the case that should regularly be cleaned for good airflow.

The inside of a computer is pretty robust.  I've cleaned them out with no problems just using a regular vacuum cleaner, but you can buy compressed air at most electronic shops if you're really concerned.  It should go without saying that most cleaning solvents and soap/water would probably be a bad idea.

After you've cleared away the dust, you want to check that all the fans are working (it sounds like they are).  There's usually a fan in the PSU, a fan on the CPU, a fan at the upper rear of the case, and a fan on the graphics card.  Many motherboards have temperature sensors that you can read from the BIOS, but if you don't know what regular temps are these won't really help you here.

dcheesi

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 861
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2016, 09:47:35 AM »
When you say the fan is loud, is it just more fan/wind noise? Or is it making some additional buzzing, clicking,  or other unusual sound?

If it's the former then it could just be responding to higher internal temperatures due to increased CPU load or other reasons. I would still check the vent covers for dust, but I would also look at what the software/OS is doing to drive up the CPU temperature. The fan itself is probably fine in this scenario.

If it's the latter then it might be the fan itself becoming worn out (unbalanced, failing bearing, etc.), which would warrant a fan replacement. It might not fail right away, but that noise certainly won't be getting any better, and it *could* fail at some point which could be a very bad thing.

chesebert

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 749
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2016, 09:52:04 AM »
6 years is already quite a life for tiny laptop fan. I would just replace it given you are already opening up to clean. Also hard to clean fan without actually taking it out (blowing air through vents do not work well). Modern laptops do not work without a working fan so when it breaks (likely soon) you will need to replace it anyway.

There is usually 1 and at max 2 fans you need to place. The work is quite manageable.


GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14036
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2016, 11:33:36 AM »
Oh whoops.  I read 'PC' and totally missed that this was a laptop.

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2016, 02:02:55 PM »
When you say the fan is loud, is it just more fan/wind noise? Or is it making some additional buzzing, clicking,  or other unusual sound?

No exciting sounds, just the louder whirring of the fan.

Sounds like there's consensus that I might as well replace the fan at this point. And then I will know to clean it regularly from then on.

Thank you all for detailed, beginner's info!!

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2016, 07:30:47 PM »
IMO, opening up a laptop to replace the fan is not a beginner-level task. That's not to say you can't do it, but it'll have a lot more steps and a lot more risk of breaking something than if you were working on a standard desktop.

Before you try messing with the hardware, you should refurbish the software (i.e. reinstall Windows -- or better yet, Linux). That might get rid of whatever software (probable-malware) that's pegging the CPU all the time. Don't reinstall all the current programs just because you have them; only reinstall the ones you actually use. Pay attention and test as you do so, so that if the computer starts suddenly running hot again you'll know which program caused it.

If that doesn't fix it, then on a six-year-old laptop, I'd say it's worth the risk to take it apart. Just accept that the machine doesn't owe you anything and that if it doesn't work afterward then it was time for a new computer anyway.

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2016, 07:34:14 PM »
I looked at the CPU processes thing, and understood nothing, so then I ran defrag, and no more fan sound! What? I'll take it :)

Cyaphas

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 495
  • Age: 36
  • Location: DFW, TX
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2016, 08:25:32 PM »
Recently had a processor failure account of the contact grease being gone between the porcessor and the het sink. What you may be seeing is a symptom of a heat issue.

Optional: You can download a temperature gauge app to find out how hot certain portions of your computer are running.

1. Blow out all of the dust.
2. Reboot computer. If fan is loud for the next 10 mins; pull the heat sink (fairly easy) and make sure the processor grease between the sink and the chip is present.
3. If it needs new grease, buy and install, very inexpensive. If it doesn't, replace the fan. Both solutiona re very in expensive, you may choose to do both.

Also, I've had prcessor fans that the wire pulled too tight into the fan itself and the friction was what was causing the noise.

Make sure that you computer has plenty of space near it's intake and out vents.

If you have a lot of dust or hair in your home, usually account of four leggers, I suggest blowing all the dust out every 6 month or so.

CmFtns

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 583
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Melbourne, Fl
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2016, 08:45:01 PM »
Still probably wouldn't be the worst idea to clean the dust out of the heatsink if for anything to keep the computer running as cool as possible and extend fan life since it won't have to work as hard... After 6 years you probably have at least some acumulation.

Fan blows air through a bunch of thin copper plates called a heatsink and dust gets stuck between them over time.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 08:49:36 PM by CmFtns »

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2016, 09:11:08 PM »
Yeah, I'm still sold on cleaning out the dust, at the very least from the outside via a can of compressed air. I'm going to pick that up tomorrow. Thank you all for such great help! I really love this (wide screen) Asus, and definitely want to make it last as long as possible. It's had two rounds of maintenance in its life—virus removal; screen replacement. I was glad I got those done, and am keen to baby it as needed.

I'm learning about maintenance this year—I also hadn't known my paper shredded needed an oily page through it every so often! Learned that one the hard way.

CmFtns

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 583
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Melbourne, Fl
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2016, 01:04:51 PM »
Yeah, I'm still sold on cleaning out the dust, at the very least from the outside via a can of compressed air. I'm going to pick that up tomorrow. Thank you all for such great help! I really love this (wide screen) Asus, and definitely want to make it last as long as possible. It's had two rounds of maintenance in its life—virus removal; screen replacement. I was glad I got those done, and am keen to baby it as needed.

I'm learning about maintenance this year—I also hadn't known my paper shredded needed an oily page through it every so often! Learned that one the hard way.

Some laptops are easy and you can just take 10 screws out of the bottom and pull bottom panel off and there is everything you need... Some are much more of a pain to get to stuff so just keep that in mind and don't get in over your skill level.

Also, do your work on tile or hardwood and not on a carpet or rug because if you have any kind of static discharge from your hand onto any of the microchips then you've probably just broken that part of your computer.

chesebert

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 749
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2016, 02:18:57 PM »
Yeah, I'm still sold on cleaning out the dust, at the very least from the outside via a can of compressed air. I'm going to pick that up tomorrow. Thank you all for such great help! I really love this (wide screen) Asus, and definitely want to make it last as long as possible. It's had two rounds of maintenance in its life—virus removal; screen replacement. I was glad I got those done, and am keen to baby it as needed.

I'm learning about maintenance this year—I also hadn't known my paper shredded needed an oily page through it every so often! Learned that one the hard way.

Some laptops are easy and you can just take 10 screws out of the bottom and pull bottom panel off and there is everything you need... Some are much more of a pain to get to stuff so just keep that in mind and don't get in over your skill level.

Also, do your work on tile or hardwood and not on a carpet or rug because if you have any kind of static discharge from your hand onto any of the microchips then you've probably just broken that part of your computer.

Great point. I actually use an anti static wrist band, like this when I work on anything involving micro electronics https://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Anti-Static-Wrist-Adjustable-Grounding/dp/B00004Z5D1

zolotiyeruki

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3262
  • Location: State: Denial
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2016, 02:19:59 PM »
Some laptops are easy and you can just take 10 screws out of the bottom and pull bottom panel off and there is everything you need... Some are much more of a pain to get to stuff so just keep that in mind and don't get in over your skill level.

Also, do your work on tile or hardwood and not on a carpet or rug because if you have any kind of static discharge from your hand onto any of the microchips then you've probably just broken that part of your computer. you will inevitably drop those tiny M2 screws
Fixed that for you

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2016, 06:07:11 PM »
:)    Still paying attention here!

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14036
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2016, 06:33:23 AM »
I've worked on hundreds of computers over the years now and never worn a static discharge bracelet or ever had a problem from a component damaged by static.  Dropping tiny screws however . . . yeah, that comes up pretty often.

chesebert

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 749
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2016, 07:17:11 AM »
I've worked on hundreds of computers over the years now and never worn a static discharge bracelet or ever had a problem from a component damaged by static.  Dropping tiny screws however . . . yeah, that comes up pretty often.

Damage may be gradual and not immediate that would link static electricity to component failure. 

From Wiki: "ESD in real circuits causes a damped wave with rapidly alternating polarity, the junctions stressed in the same manner; it has four basic mechanisms:

    Oxide breakdown occurring at field strengths above 6–10 MV/cm.
    Junction damage manifesting as reverse-bias leakage increases to the point of shorting.
    Metallisation and polysilicon burnout, where damage is limited to metal and polysilicon interconnects, thin film resistors and diffused resistors.
    Charge injection, where hot carriers generated by avalanche breakdown are injected into the oxide layer."

Note we are talking about months perhaps even years before the breakdown will manifest itself as failure. Even when a component is failing, you may not recognize it as hardware failure. Perhaps your computer crash a bit more often now then before or perhaps your program takes just a bit longer to run (due to errors that are being corrected).

If you look at the modern MOSFET, the amount of volt to puncture the oxide layer or damage the poly is very very very low......as in way way way lower than a typical micro ESD that you would not feel.

I used to design this shit a long time ago and I am pretty much paranoid about ESD. I ground myself (and keep my self grounded) every time I open up the case.

I do agree about the tiny screw....I keep extra around just in case.

Found another article on ESD:
http://www.howtogeek.com/262313/is-static-electricity-damage-still-a-huge-problem-with-electronics/
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 07:28:25 AM by chesebert »

CmFtns

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 583
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Melbourne, Fl
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2016, 02:40:02 PM »
I've worked on hundreds of computers over the years now and never worn a static discharge bracelet or ever had a problem from a component damaged by static.  Dropping tiny screws however . . . yeah, that comes up pretty often.

I also have never worn a special bracelet but I do work on hard surface because it is literally no more work to pick a location that does not temp fate. I also don't rub my hair with a balloon while I work on computers.

While I have never fried a computer component myself, I have heard of it happening to other people so why risk it?

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2016, 04:30:38 PM »
I also don't rub my hair with a balloon while I work on computers.

::laughing to the point of tears::

ChicagoGirl

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: computer fan??
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2016, 09:40:57 PM »
this is just my recent experience...other forum Techies may have better advice. I just replaced my computer fan due to slow performance and running hot and fan blowing constantly. I consider myself a novice when it comes to computer repair. I purchased a fan for my model laptop and some thermal paste from Amazon. I watched a youtube video a few times and proceeded slowly and took notes and took pics of the inside of the laptop after each step so I could remember where the screws went. Once opened up...there was a huge dust ball lodged in the fan inside. Cleaned it out, replaced the fan,replaced the thermal paste, good as new.

Just a note...if u decide to try the easy canned air technique be careful..if u hit your fan too hard with the air it can break the fan (lesson learned...thus the reason I had to go ahead with the fan replacement).

Yes..as others suggested be careful of the static issue, research precautions.