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Girlfriend's computer's fan(s) stopped spinning and she's panicking...

By Cloud557 · 4 replies
Nov 24, 2011
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  1. Okay, so my girlfriend is currently living in Hawaii, and her computer is constantly heating up. Just recently (Or at least, recently that she's told me) her computer's internal fans have stopped spinning. When this first happened, she and her mother opened it up and cleaned it out, which worked the first couple of times.

    Now however, the only fan that was working, the smaller one that I assume is the power supply fan, has stopped spinning, and no matter what she does, it won't spin. Because there is a large lack of money between the 3 of us (My girlfriend, myself, and her mother) a replacement is unlikely to happen, so is there any way to save her computer without buying anything?
  2. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,031   +53

    Fans stopped?

    Guessing this is a Tower (Desktop PC?)
    If the fan has stopped in the PSU, it's possible that it's motor has failed.
    They are built for a long life, but don't last forever.
    I am assuming the PSU does work the PC properly?
    But if the fan is not working, I would not use it for now, or just to test it can boot to the desktop.
    If you have no, or not much money to spend on it, you could add another fan on the outside of the PC, over the top of where the (not spinning) one is now.
    It won't look very slick, but it's around the back anyway.
    You will need to power it from a power cable inside the PC, but you can buy all the parts for very little, about £10 / $18?
    Ideally you would buy a new PSU, but guessing not an option.
    Have a look here;

    and to extend the cable;
    You may have a socket on the motherboard to connect to this to; if you can't find one, then you can get a plug/socket that takes power from a hard disc power plug or a DVD power plug (same thing). I have a fan powered that way.
    But until the fan is working at the back of the power supply, I would suggest not to use the pc, it will not do it any good at all.
  3. Cloud557

    Cloud557 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for your help, and I understand that pretty much all of that was very uninformative and likely unhelpful. I apologize for that, but she is very technologically stupid, and it took her an hour to figure out her OS... So asking the basic questions would probably keep her busy for longer than it's worth.

    For now though, she has borrowed a fan from her mom to put behind the computer and she uses that as a replacement fan, and she turns off the computer as soon as that stops working, but for now her computer is still turning on, still working, and not over heating too much.

    I plan on actually getting her a new computer when I have the money, as an anniversary gift and stuff, but so far that's not turning out so well...

    Anyway, thank you for your help.
  4. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,031   +53

    No fan for cooling.

    Ok, that's fine, it's just in my mind that running any pc without cooling is going to do it no good sooner or later. So anything you can to get more airflow through the pc's case is going to help. Easiest, for a 15 minute job is to buy and replace the Power supply unit, but it's going to cost say $50 for the very minimum wattage, 300 W (ish) and that may be enough for that pc.
    Another trick you can do for no cost, is to use the pc with the side of the case off.
    It will run a lot cooler.
  5. Cloud557

    Cloud557 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for that suggestion, I'll pass it onto her in the morning. Though I don't know how good of an idea it'll be to do that with 2 cats in the house...

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