Fan Abnormal Message, Whining Sound

When booting up, my Sony Desktop (5 years old) has on a couple of occasions made a stranging whining/whiring sound which I guess was a fan  Sure enough I'm getting a message something like "Abnormal Fan - press 1 to continue or 2 to enter setup" (white letters on a black screen).  The first time was when the machine was locked up and I cycled the power (rather quickly).  The second time (today) was a reboot.  So it seems to happen when the fan is probably still spinning and it gets restarted.  Today I pressed 2 and went into the BIOS.  Under power it shows the temperature and speed of three fans.  The attached picture shows what they say.  Does this indicate that I need to replace a fan?  Is this something I can do (I don't solder or anything like that).
Thanks,
Mark
Fan-info.jpg
mrjlalAsked:
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Jon500Commented:
Fans are pretty standard (although, knowing Sony, they have their own fans that require a plutonium power source--just kidding) so you should not have any issues. I buy my fans from MicroCenter too. And @DrKlahn is right--note the number of wires coming from each fan and be sure to match the number (colors should also match). Each fan should have 4 screws and some fans come with screws/plastic clips while others do not and you will need to use the ones you have.

Don't worry about brand. Just match size and voltage requirements and you will be fine.

Jon500
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Jon500Commented:
When fans begin to die, the bearings go or the brushes fail. Either way, the fan may spin erratically--still cooling enough to keep your BIOS values within range. But this doesn't mean that the fan is operating normally or optimally.

Replacing a fan is a very simple matter. Some have a standard plug on the end that you clip right onto your motherboard; others are soldered to a PCB. A quick fix if you do not want to solder is to cut the red and black wires near the old fan and then splice (bear the ends and twist) like colors together from your new fan. Be sure to observe whether the fan is blowing IN or OUT before you remove the old fan because a new fan may have to be oriented differently to achieve the same air-flow direction. Use electrical tape to secure the twisted ends if you go that route so black and red do not touch each other or the chassis of the computer.

Regards,
Jon500  
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_Commented:
First open the case and see if there is dust packed into the cpu heatsink, that is interfering with the fan.
While you have it open, check the intake/exhuast fans and grills.
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
Jon500 has hit the nail on the head. When a fan starts whining or grumbling, the bearings are shot and it should be replaced.

In this case, since the PC is 5 years old, you might as well replace both power and case fans at the same time, and be done with it.  Fans are cheap on ebay; just make sure the new fan has the same number of wires as the old one, and that the dimensions are the same as the old one -- height/thickness doesn't matter much, but the distance between the screw holes does.

CPU heatsink fans should be standardized on the Intel design, but they aren't.  You'll need to either shop for a fan that matches the one on your heatsink, or replace the entire heatsink/fan assembly with something that fits in  your case.
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Jon500Commented:
@DrKlahn:Thank you. Also, great idea about replacing the two power-supply fans at once. I always do that. If not it seems that the second fan fails the second the power supply is closed and re-seated and secured, the case is closed, and the final screw is tightened. :)

Jon500
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mrjlalAuthor Commented:
Thanks all -- I'm going to take the cover off and try to find the fans -- I'll come back with any further questions.
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Jon500Commented:
BTW, when I said "cut the red and black wires near the old fan", I probably should have been more clear. What I meant is that there will be two wires coming from each fan in your machine. If you follow them you will see that they are attached to a power source on one end and the fan on the other end. To avoid soldering, snip the wires as close to the FAN as you can--this will give you the most length of wire onto which to splice the wires from the new fan.

Also, if it's not too late, check the other fans in your machine and--especially if they're all the same--buy one or two extra fans to keep around, just in case you ever need one. Be sure to measure the fan size (measuring one side is usually enough because they're square). But it's funny how they can look like a totally different size when out of the computer and in a plastic bag.

Regards,
Jon500
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
If your fans are three-wire or four-wire (probably three-wire, since the system is 5 years old), be sure to buy three-wire "tachometer" fans, and connect all three wires.  If the third wire ("tachometer", speed sensing) isn't connected, the BIOS will produce fan failure  messages every time the system boots.
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mrjlalAuthor Commented:
I was planning to hit MicroCenter (there's one in Dallas, which is where I live).  Is there an easy way to get the specs of my fans (they are original Sony issue -- would that be documented somewhere?).   Screwhole distance, size (sort of), # wires, and orientation -- that's what I need to consider based on your great suggestions so far.  I suppose I can haul the thing to MicroCenter and open it up there...
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mrjlalAuthor Commented:
Thanks Jon500.  I'll update again tomorrow.  Last night it starting wailing and didn't stop (before it's only lasted a few seconds) so I'm not firing it up again until I fix this....
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mrjlalAuthor Commented:
Thanks Jon for your awesome help!  Dr. Klaun, thanks for you comment about the 3 wires -- that was helpful, too.  Thanks again to both for your awesome help!
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