Is it possible to replace the fan in the power supply of a DELL XPS 420 without replacing the entire power supply? I've been unable to find that part/price on any site, so far. I've seen listings for the other fans, but not the one inside the power supply.
First, understand that even unplugged, a PSU has enough stored electricity to fry you. Touch the wrong thing, and your dead. That said, you won't need to remove the PCB for this, so its fairly safe to do.
It should be a simple matter of undoing the screws that hold the PSU together, and removing the fan. Most are cooled by 80 or 120MM fans, some newer ones are cooled by 135/140MM fans which will be harder to find. Take it to a store and buy the correct sized replacement.
Thank you for the reply. First, I appreciate your word of caution but as an ex-grad student of physics (and having worked with electronic/capacitor-containing devices for 40 years, including PCs for two decades), I know how easy it is to get seriously injured or worse). Thank you, though, it never hurts to be sure.
I am sure it's the fan. I have the side cover off and can insert a small straw through the metal mesh and slow it down or stop it briefly. The sound disappears. I can hear it clearly when it starts to vibrate and whine again. I transported it recently to a friend's house and my guess is that the journey changed the central rotor or affected the bearings or something else just enough to cause it to whine.
It's good to know that the fan is replaceable. However, I live in a rural area in Idaho and getting a replacement would be best over the Internet, if possible. Do you know of any likely sites for that?
Thanks again for your prompt, clear, and well-worded response.
Not everyone has dealt with caps for 40years, so its always worth giving a warning.
You can use a case fan. Measure the current fan, and browse newegg until you find one that looks like it will fit. I'm not sure how many CFMs you'd need. I'd shoot for something middle of the pack. 30-40?