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Optiplex 7010 CPU fan randomly spins too fast

Posted on 2013-05-29
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Dell OptiPlex 7010, few months old, Windows 7 Pro. User claims the CPU fan spins too loud occasionally. No patterns as to when or while doing what - absolutely random. I've updated the BIOS to what Dell had on-line - A13. I myself cannot replicate the problem while computer in my possession for the last couple of days, but the user insists.
Logs in BIOS show the following error: "Previous thermal failure". The intervals of the event are at random - about 6-7 in the last month. I saw this message when I got the computer, pressed F1 as was suggested and it got into Windows and sits there with no sound so far from within the chassis.
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Question by:nfinorthit
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9 Comments
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39205630
If you get thermal failure logs in the BIOS, there is either something wrong with the hardware, or the heatsink isn't fitted properly. As this is a new PC I'd get Dell to replace it for warranty (also, if you'd try repairing this you'd probably void the warranty).
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:tailoreddigital
ID: 39205654
Sounds like the CPU fan.   I would make sure it's plugged in well.    If you have a spare CPU fan you could swap it out.    Maybe the fan has a short or is flaking out.       If it were to flake out, then the CPU would start to get too hot, then if it turns back on that fan would spin extra fast to try to cool processor quickly.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:c08ra
ID: 39205668
It could be that the fan is getting loud due to it altering to a faster speed to cope with the processor. However, with having a thermal failure in the logs it could possibly be due to worn fan bearings which would also account for the noise increase. Take the fan out and check for any movement on the blades if you rock them from side to side, if so replace fan.
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Assisted Solution

by:c08ra
c08ra earned 750 total points
ID: 39205680
Try out this prog called speedfan and see if anything unusual shows up,  it displays all fan speeds and voltages etc....
http://download.cnet.com/SpeedFan/3001-2094_4-10067444.html?spi=b5deaa39392301f319113e19bbb98c9d
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Skyler Kincaid
ID: 39205720
It sounds like the CPU and the heatsink do not have the correct contact. If the computer is under warranty then you can work with support and if they determine it is a hardware issue they will send a tech to replace the CPU, the motherboard or the thermal paste.

If you don't want to mess with all of that then buy some cheap thermal paste, pull the CPU cooler, clean it with alcohol, apply the new paste and re-seat the CPU cooler.

We recently had a client that was having a similar issue. The machine was shutting down randomly. Lenovo finally sent a tech that replace the RAM and motherboard. No problems after the replacement.
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LVL 32

Accepted Solution

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Scott C earned 750 total points
ID: 39205725
I've had the exact same thing happen in quite a few Optiplex 380s.  Turned out it was the motherboard.  As they machines were still under warranty I simply had Dell send me a new motherboard, I replaced it and sent them back the bad one.
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Author Comment

by:nfinorthit
ID: 39216265
Dell replaced the fan and heat sink. It sounds like it made things worse. While I couldn't recreated the problem before the swap, now it's spinning fast and loud. I've installed SpeedFan, but number don't tell me much except that they look normal. Attaching the picture.
DHBC-PC21-CPU-fan-issue.jpg
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Author Comment

by:nfinorthit
ID: 39216268
After spinning for about an hour, it stopped. I'll probably have Dell replace either mobo or the whole unit.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Skyler Kincaid
ID: 39234778
Yea keep working with them. They are obligated to get it working perfectly per the warranty.
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