Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

My power supply is making weird sounds HELP

  1. Jun 3, 2004 #1
    My power supply is making weird sounds!!! HELP

    Hey guys, my power supply (possibly my cpu fan - but i think its the power supply) is making funny sounds, like a dieying chicken, its getting really loud, then really quiet. Acting strange, I detached it from my case, and im trying to figure out what is wrong, but I dont know what to do. Lately Its been getting louder, and im afraid its going to blow up or something - i have a compaq presario 7001CL, what do i do!!!?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2004 #2
    Well, with minimal difficulty it should be possible to rule out the fan. If it is the fan the problem may only be a dry bushing, which could be greased by someone possessing minor tech ability. Otherwise I suggest determining the type and power rating of the supply and purchasing an equivalent replacement.

    Good luck.
  4. Jun 3, 2004 #3
    Ok, an update: I took out the power supply, and realized....that the power supply is fine, but this other fan, attached to the mother board, is F'd, like big time. The motherboard fan is the problem now.....can they be replaced without buying a new mother board?
  5. Jun 3, 2004 #4
    Without looking at your system I couldn't say for certain, but generally I believe so. I've seen CPUs that had the fan glued in place. Still, with some manipulation it should be possible to replace even those types.
  6. Jun 3, 2004 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus

    What processor do you have? Is your fan screwed into the heat sink?
  7. Jun 3, 2004 #6
    it screwed onto a heatsink
    I have a p4
  8. Jun 3, 2004 #7


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus

    You have two options:

    1. Get a fan that fits the whole that your current fan ocuppies
    2. Get a fan/heatsink combo with a pre-applied thermal pad

    Most likely you'll be stuck with option 2 since standalone cpu fans are hard to come by.
  9. Jun 4, 2004 #8
    Another option:

    Remove the fan from the motherboard, check that the heatsink it was attached to is relatively clean, and leave it at that.

    To be honest, most of those crappy little fans attached to the motherboard are fairly superfluous - they're generally pretty low-quality fans which die quite easily, and you generally don't even need them. I had exactly the same problem with my motherboard (ASUS A7V266-E). I removed the fan about 2 years ago, and have not had a problem since.

    While your Northbridge (usually the part of the motherboard chipset that manufacturers attach the fan/heatsink to) will get hot, it doesn't tend to get so hot that it'll have any noticeable effect on your system, as long as it has a heatsink on it (and not even a particularly large one at that). Assuming your system has not been seriously overclocked, that is.

    You may well want to get a new fan, and that's fine. But whatever you do, don't think you have to get a new motherboard on account of a crappy Northbridge fan. First try running your system without the fan, and if the system can handle a heavy load without becoming unstable, then I wouldn't worry too much about getting a new fan.

    Also, if you have temperature sensors on your motherboard, then use an appropriate program (e.g. Motherboard Monitor) to check the temperature before you remove the fan, and compare this with the temperature after you remove the fan. If the difference is too big for your liking, then you might prefer to get a new fan.

    By the way, isn't the Compaq Presario 7001CL an Athlon-based system? I'm not really up to speed with my Compaq models, but after Googling it the only description of that model I could find was "1.2 GHz Athlon". It's not particularly important, I'm just curious.

    Edit: fixed a stupid mistake
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2004
  10. Jun 4, 2004 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Cheap option. Disconnect the dying fan. The heat sink will pull the heat to the fins. You just need to move the warm air from around the heat sink out of the computer. Since the resale value of computers sucks, you can find any good mountable fan and either mount it just inside one of the air vents or outside one of the air vents. Just go ahead and drill the necessary holes in the box. The fan should blow the air out of the computer (so make sure you have room inside your computer before you buy one to mount inside the box). Since no computer box is airtight anywhere, the only functional drawback if is the fan is just sucking in cool air and blowing it back out without ever circulating the air near the heat sink, but that's unlikely - especially since you can mount a more powerful fan than was originally installed (some computers have two fans, a really cheap one to push the heat away from the heat sink and one to push the air out of the computer - that's a pretty good indication you might have circulation problems, but extra power solves every problem, right?). There are a couple of possible irritating drawbacks, like your home mounted fan might be noisier than the original (and that does get irritating eventually) or the fan might wind up blowing air on the user (another thing that can get pretty irritating, but is easily overcome if you can reposition the box).

    If you have a really high tolerance for irritation and a really limited budget, just set a window fan next to the air vents. Window fans have enough power that they'll almost certainly suck out the warm air in spite of the shoddy set up.

    Regardless, having the fan separate from the power supply is a lot cheaper option than some designs. I had an old 486 where you couldn't replace the fan without replacing the entire power supply - a much more expensive fix than the fan alone.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2004
  11. Jun 4, 2004 #10
    I can't agree with the omit the fan option. Although the P4 will operate this way, it will slow down to avoid overheating (this capability is built into Intel P4 processors to keep them from burning up if the fan should fail). A fan and heatsink combination can be purchased for about $15.00 U.S. that would be more than adequate.
  12. Jun 5, 2004 #11
    Yes, P4 CPUs do have in-built overheating protection. However, the problem is not with the CPU fan, it's a fan on the motherboard (from what I gather from Mark's posts). I made a mistake in my post (reproduced below before I edit it out), which is what probably caused the confusion:

    "To be honest, most of those crappy little CPU fans attached to the motherboard are fairly superfluous - they're generally pretty low-quality fans which die quite easily, and you generally don't even need them. I had exactly the same problem with my motherboard (ASUS A7V266-E). I removed the fan about 2 years ago, and have not had a problem since."

    I meant chipset fan, but clearly wasn't paying much attention at the time :)

    I will edit my earlier post.
  13. Jun 5, 2004 #12
    Ok, well yes, it is a p4, i dont know what is wrong with google, but mabye it was modified by Costco when i bought it, i dont know. Hmmmm, Ill check to see if i can get a new fan, i mean, ill just unscrew the thing, and put a new one on - 10/20bucks, meh

    thanks for all your ideas guys, very appreciated.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook