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My fan is going crazy!

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September 12, 2012 10:48:03 PM

Hello everyone! I have owned a Gateway FX 5200 laptop for the last few years and all of the sudden my GPU fan has been making some weird noises.

Here are a couple of videos, shot about a week apart from each other

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDyfJXTQlvA&feature=yout... <-- Before

During the time in between shooting these videos (About one week) I noticed my CPU was at an abnormally high temperature, I checked my processor and found it to be very low on paste, after applying it this is what my GPU fan sounds like now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGtarbZVGIk&feature=yout... <-- This is what it sounds like after applying thermal paste to the CPU (Note: this IS the GPU fan not the CPU fan) -- Not as loud

I assume the fan is dying, I've tried checking for dust, anything blocking its cycle, the blades to see if they're damaged, and I checked if the fan was stable in place (not loosening out of socket or anything), it seems to be okay. Is there perhaps any other explanation other then it's dying?

The temperature of both my CPU/GPU are adequate (60C on my GPU while playing games / CPU is 40C)

I think it's safe to say my fan may be dying, but perhaps it could be something else, let me know what other ideas you guys have.

Thanks in advance!

More about : fan crazy

September 12, 2012 10:49:36 PM

did you overclock the gpu?
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September 12, 2012 10:50:45 PM

noob924 said:
did you overclock the gpu?


Nope, I have put quite a lot of strain on it over the years, though. I do a lot of gaming on this laptop.
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September 12, 2012 10:51:37 PM

how many years you have been using it?
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September 12, 2012 10:53:34 PM

noob924 said:
how many years you have been using it?


Purchased in December 2009, it's coming up on 3 years
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September 12, 2012 10:58:16 PM

maybe its just like that my laptop does that for 1 year. maybe just get a new gpu if user upgradeable or get a new fan or just live with it.
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September 13, 2012 1:02:07 AM

Heh, perhaps. Anybody have any some other ideas? It's much appreciated :-)
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a c 128 à CPUs
September 13, 2012 1:12:02 AM

Ever blasted it with compressed air to clear dust bunnies? Since most retail PCs have no air filters, I would expect the PC to have accumulated quite a bit of dust unless you have cleaned it once or twice.
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September 13, 2012 2:31:41 AM

I used canned air to clean it out, I'm pretty sure it's all set on dust, as I opened up my laptop to check it out
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September 13, 2012 7:20:30 PM

Going to bump this one last time to see if anybody has some other ideas or tests on what the problem may be.
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a c 128 à CPUs
September 13, 2012 7:25:45 PM

If it is a rattling noise, it could be that the fan bearings need lubrication. Sleeve and ball bearing usually have a rubber plug hidden under their frame sticker. Putting 2-3 drops of engine oil in there usually gives those fans a few extra years lease on life.
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September 13, 2012 7:59:00 PM

InvalidError said:
If it is a rattling noise, it could be that the fan bearings need lubrication. Sleeve and ball bearing usually have a rubber plug hidden under their frame sticker. Putting 2-3 drops of engine oil in there usually gives those fans a few extra years lease on life.


I'll try that! Thanks for posting.
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September 13, 2012 8:17:12 PM

Just tried it, didn't seem to fix it.

Now there was a sticker on my fan that I peeled off to reveal the barring, is it okay to leave this exposed? Or should I cover it back up
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a c 128 à CPUs
September 13, 2012 8:29:49 PM

timovertim said:
Now there was a sticker on my fan that I peeled off to reveal the barring, is it okay to leave this exposed? Or should I cover it back up

There usually is a plug under the sticker and the reason for that is to keep oil inside and keep dust out. If yours had no plug, thoroughly clean the sticker area to remove any spilled oil and use scotch, packing or electrical tape to cover the hole.

Did you spin the fan while it was facing down after you put the drops in? You need to do that to make the oil work itself in. Give it a couple of gentle flicks to make it do a few dozen turns.
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September 13, 2012 8:59:28 PM

InvalidError said:
There usually is a plug under the sticker and the reason for that is to keep oil inside and keep dust out. If yours had no plug, thoroughly clean the sticker area to remove any spilled oil and use scotch, packing or electrical tape to cover the hole.

Did you spin the fan while it was facing down after you put the drops in? You need to do that to make the oil work itself in. Give it a couple of gentle flicks to make it do a few dozen turns.


Just tried doing what you said, didn't work. (Seems to be running a little louder now). I put some electrical tape over that sucker, though.

My fan's bearing was exposed after I took the sticker off, My CPU fan however, doesn't have a sticker. Just the rubber casing you were talking about.
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a c 128 à CPUs
September 13, 2012 9:27:38 PM

Guess the bearing might be too damaged to recover then.

BTW, I have no idea what sort of oil you used but just in case: DO NOT use fine machine oil (the stuff used for mechanical watches and sewing machines) or WD40, use actual engine oil like 10-30 which have much higher viscosity. The thicker oil film should be preventing/reducing bearing vibrations, not make them worse.
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September 13, 2012 9:48:03 PM

InvalidError said:
Guess the bearing might be too damaged to recover then.

BTW, I have no idea what sort of oil you used but just in case: DO NOT use fine machine oil (the stuff used for mechanical watches and sewing machines) or WD40, use actual engine oil like 10-30 which have much higher viscosity. The thicker oil film should be preventing/reducing bearing vibrations, not make them worse.


I used standard 5W-30 motor oil

If the problem is a damaged bearing, how much longer on average would you expect this thing to run before it fails? I've been using this for the last few weeks, and plan on buying a new computer within a months time
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a c 128 à CPUs
September 13, 2012 9:57:25 PM

Somewhat damaged but well lubed fans will usually buzz around long enough to drive you nuts and want to throw the laptop/PC out the nearest window so the fan's longevity is likely only a secondary concern.

With standard PC fans, the simple fix when lubing up fails to fix it is to rip the old fan out and put a new one in. Unfortunately, this rarely is an option with laptops.
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September 13, 2012 10:28:09 PM

InvalidError said:
Somewhat damaged but well lubed fans will usually buzz around long enough to drive you nuts and want to throw the laptop/PC out the nearest window so the fan's longevity is likely only a secondary concern.

With standard PC fans, the simple fix when lubing up fails to fix it is to rip the old fan out and put a new one in. Unfortunately, this rarely is an option with laptops.


Haha, well I'll just keep using this thing until it dies. It's had a good life anyways. Thanks for the help!
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September 13, 2012 10:28:30 PM

Best answer selected by timovertim.
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