Problem with GPU on OLD Dell Precision 470

Hi, the Fan on my Quadro FX 540 GPU on my very Old DELL Precision 470 is making extremely loud noise, so i have 3 questions:

1 - Is there a way that i can turn on and off the Fam from the Bios or through Windows just to be completely sure that the sound is coming from it? I know i could also remove the video card, but...

2- If i remove the Quadro FX 540 just to check if the sound goes away, will its settings in the Bios and OS be erased? or something like that...

3- Which Video Card could i buy today to UPGRADE this computer? I definetely want it to be an NVIDIA Card, and i would like to have one option being a QUADRO model, and another being a GFX model, so i can review a little bit and compare prices.

This is a very old computer which i use for rendering and some basic stuff, it is not my main computer and i dont use it frequently, but nonetheless its working fine and i would like to keep it alive a little bit more with the GPU upgrade.

It runs on Windows XP Pro 64bit

EDIT: Ok actually i just REMOVED the GPU and the terribel sound stopped....

I tried removing The Fan and its heatsink from the GPU and i broke one of the 2 Plastic Pins with coil that holds it to the mobo.

Question 4) So forget about Question 1... Instead, how can i replace this broken Plastic Pin? Can i hold it with something else? and Screw or something?

And one more thing, the heatsink came out easily, the THERMAL PASTE was completely dried... so i am thinking on cleaning it and putting a new bit of thermal paste... I will clean also the Fan and see what happens...

Question 5) Can i just replace the Fan with a new one? Since it is too old, what kind of Fan could i buy to replace it? and where? I can only buy those things ONLINE...

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Noise is usually caused by excessive dust blocking the fans and the airflow, so first of all thoroughly clean out all dust. Another common cause is the fan's bearings are bad or blocked. What often helps here is a small drop of oil on the bearing.

You can try whatever you want to hold the heatsink in place, like maybe a screw with nut, if possible plastic so you don't cause any unwanted short circuit.

You could look for another old graphics card from another PC with similar fan to replace your fan.

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unrinoceronteAuthor Commented:
Thank you Rindi, good idea about the oil. I will do that inmediately. I also just removed all the dust that was stuck...  

I dont have a similar graphic card at all, so i will try the screw/nut option... and cross my fingers.

Any idea which new GPU could i upgrade to? I just went to my local PC shop and they told me that new GPUs will not work because they are not supported for XP (drivers)...  Is that true?  I just want an inexpensive GPU, but i would like it to be BETTER than the one i already have (Quadro FX 540)... At least double in performance...
According to pdf you can download for that pc from the dell site, it supports PCI Express cards up to 150 watts. The cards are listed in that pdf:
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1 -For future use to check if the noise comes from the fan, take a piece of carton, and stop the fan for a second - that will show it
2- if you remove the card, and reinstall it later, all software and settings should still be present

and you find the card and fan on e-bay very cheap :
unrinoceronteAuthor Commented:
Wow thankyou nobus! i did not thought of ebay... and actually i need that fan since when i was cleaning it i accidentally broke the cable on the welded connection to the fan.... It is very cheap indeed... And good advice on the "piece of carton"..

Rindi thanks for the PDF, i searched for something like that on the dells website but i did not found it, so yours comes in very handy.

I have started a new question regarding only the GPU upgrade, so if you can please check it out:
Video Card upgrade for Old DELL Precision 470

Thanks, this where quick and useful solutions.
unrinoceronteAuthor Commented:
Please check out this follow up question:
Use Video Card without FAN?
unrinoceronteAuthor Commented:
RINDI:  Hi, could you explain me how did you found that PDF with the Computer Specs on DELL site?  

I am looking through all the options on DELLs site for the same kind of document but for another computer and i can not find any. I also tried looking myself on DELLs site for the PDF you sent me and nothing...

I am also trying with the Service tags, but no luck yet.

 I am looking for the same thing for a Dell INSPIRON 531
The inspirons are consumer PC's, and for those the doumentation often isn't as good:
unrinoceronteAuthor Commented:
Thanks Rindi!. Yes i looked everywhere, even through google, but nothing.
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