CPU Main Fan Error


I've decided to come for any help I can get on this highly reputable site after some frustration with my laptop. Let me get the basics out of the way..

Gateway M-2626u Laptop.
Phoenix Bios 97.05
No more warranty.

At startup, I get a 02FA: Main Fan Error.
Basically the sensor doesn't like the voltage it is getting so the CPU fan never starts.

Initially, the laptop would suddenly just shutoff. It appeared to happen when the laptop had been getting a little warmer and the fan had to run at higher speeds. Eventually after some period of time, I began to see the error on random startups. From time to time it'd appear.. progressively getting worse and worse. Now it's every time, and it takes quite some time to actually get the laptop to turn on.

The fan is in perfect working order, and for lack of option I also have a replacement one, both in perfect working order. The connections are also fine. After some googling around, I have tried many things. I have replaced the fan, I have cleaned everything there is to clean (not that anything was dirty to begin with). Heatsinks, thermal paste, etc..
I have also tried booting the laptop straight through the power. I've tried removing the RAM, and other components.
Ultimately I tried this; I wired the cpu fan straight to a DC adapter, and only left the sensor wire connected to the board. That way I know for a fact it is getting enough power. Still, I continue to get the same error.

Also, when the laptop does boot it is after many attempts. After the chip kind of starts heating up, the fan starts to kick like it wants to start.. every 10 secs or so or randomly.. after many attempts it would usually start. Lately, it has taken forever for it to finally start. So long in fact I have to let the computer cool down before I can even try again. The last time I booted it was just last night. The fan was spinning quite slow. I checked the temps and on idle it stands at HDD 37C, CPU 65-73C, Core 58-64C.

I am pretty helpless at this point. I am assuming this sensor is on the system board, which I can't find a replacement for. I can't find one to buy anywhere.

I would appreciate any input on this issue.

3 answers Last reply
More about main error
  1. Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

    CPU should be running at ~70 not beyond that...
    here' a lil food for thought, this problem just appeared as soon as the warranty went out right?

    I have cleaned everything there is to clean (not that anything was dirty to begin with). Heatsinks, thermal paste,

    did you place the HSF on with a new coat of TIM and was the seating equally pressured..uneven seating can result in improper dispersal of TIM. What TIM are you using now?

    Your problem indicates that the mobo is basically glitchy...laptop mobos are a hard thing to fix. Either the whole circuit board needs a change or the part that needs fixing isn't available anymore
  2. Yeah just about, it always ran kind of hot but it never died out on me. It just progressively got worse and worse.

    I have, and I've also played with the pressure as well. I know from experience on other machines that the fan wont start if the pressure applied on it is improper. However on this one, not much changes it. It continues to try to start, very subtly and randomly.

    I also believe the motherboard is glitchy, and the faulty sensor makes a lot of sense. Yeah unfortunately I can not find a replacement for it. Now from the experiment powering the fan straight from a power source, here is what I don't understand.. if in fact the problem is the fan isn't getting enough juice, as the error claims to be, why wouldn't it work then? As far as I know, the only way that sensor is getting its reading is from the RPMs it is getting from the fan once it's on.. but then it would appear it isn't getting those readings since the fan is on and spinning at full power. Unless the error occurs elsewhere, and even before the computer tells the fan to turn on in which case it never gets any readings. A note though, even when the computer is on.. the fan is quite low, never seems to spin anywhere near full power.
  3. note the number of wires that come out of the fan...they are blue, black, yellow and red. The blue and yellow wires help with the PWM function to power the fan from the mobo header/connector while the red and black deliver a constant flow of power from the mobo.

    Download speedfan or HWmonitor and post back with the fan speeds, especially the CPU fan cos all it connected is the main power not the mobo header right?

    here' a lil food for thought, this problem just appeared as soon as the warranty went out right?

    your learning the hard way that gateway intended their product to last until the warranty lasted
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