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Test fans on motherboard

Posted on 2008-06-16
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
My server has a fan issue.  I plugged the fan into both slots and it didn't work.  I got another fan that I knew worked and it didn't work either.  Is it possible for someone to turn off the fans?  Whats the best way to check if fans are operating and power is going to them?  

Windows server 2003
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Question by:ThomasBallardIT
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Expert Comment

by:Frosty555
ID: 21793333
Make sure the orientation is correct. The three pins for a fan are hot, ground, and a counter that ticks for every fan rotation (for the computer to count the RPM).

You can always test using the 'ol volt-meter. Chop the end off an old fan (or three prong jumper cable), use a volt meter to see if you are getting 12 volts across the ground/live wire. Don't try to touch the volt meter directly to the pins because there's a good chance you'll short them by accident.

I've never seen a setting for turning off the fans in the BIOS and I can't imagine a good reason for it...
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by:ThomasBallardIT
ID: 21793566
Is there an application that reads the speed of the fan or voltage?
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Frosty555 earned 225 total points
ID: 21794449
90% of the time it is in the bios. You can see what the temperature, core voltage and fan speeds are.

Several tools exist for Windows. But the exact codes for reading the data is usually specific to the motherboard. Typically motherboard manufacturers release their own tools. ASUS, for example, has a tool called "AsusProbe" which reads cpu temp, fan speed and voltage.

"Motherboard Monitor" is a generic tool with a very wide range of supported motherboards, and yours might be on there:
http://majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=311

The other option is SIW, which reads sensors and info that is exposed to windows. It's also a great system-resources tool in general.
http://www.gtopala.com/siw-download.html
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Assisted Solution

by:PCBONEZ
PCBONEZ earned 100 total points
ID: 21798560
Do the fans connect to the motherboard or to a fan controller in the server chassis?

The best way to check power to the fan connector is with a multimeter.




ATX-Fan-Header-Pinout.gif
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Assisted Solution

by:ChiefIT
ChiefIT earned 175 total points
ID: 21801170
Nice PCBONEZ!!!

AND Speedfan is an application I like to use to determine heat related issues.
http://www.download.com/SpeedFan/3000-2094_4-10067444.html
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