Power supply fan not running - can I use briefly anyway?

By nferg
Jul 15, 2008
  1. Hi, I have an old PC/AT computer that I have kept around thinking I would pull some data off it someday and that day is here. I managed to find all the cords and plugs (although the ps2/AT keyboard adapter doesn't work, hope Radio Shack has one). When I powered it up, everything seemed normal, only message was that the keyboard was missing which I expected. However, the big box/fan in the top rear of the case wasn't moving. I took the case off, swabbed the fan blades with alcohol, and even tried a little WD-40. Still no fan. I can turn it with force but it won't move at all on its own. Since I only want to retrieve some data, which I don't think will take too long, is it safe to run the computer with no fan in the power supply? What if I leave the case off, or use an external fan to cool the power supply? Obviously this computer is on its last legs and I don't want to invest any time or energy in repairing it. Would it be better just to pay someone to remove the hard drive and try installing that in another computer? Not sure the AT compatible drive could be installed in anything anymore. Appreciate any advice or suggestions! Thanks, Nancy
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Hi Nancy,

    yes just use a house fan on it, whilst you are backing up your documents.

    Do not leave it alone, and continuously check the computer for too much heat (ie Hot to touch)

    I suspect all will be OK
    But have the wall power switch (not computer switch) easily accessible (in case you need to turn it off in a hurry (which I doubt)


    On second thought, it can be dangerous (ie curtains so forth)
    Maybe remove the internal Hard Drive, and get someone to back it up for you
  3. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    nferg, you don't need to pay anybody to remove the drive for you. you only have to unplug two cables (4-pin power cable and 40/80-pin data cable, then simply unscrew it...

    that computer is so old that [IMO] it would not be worth installing that old HDD in a new computer. I would suggest you buy an external USB hard drive enclosure. that way you can remove the HDD from your "dead PSU" PC and use it as a backup drive for your new PC. you will have access to all files in your old PC, with the ability to hook it up to almost any other PC

    good luck :)
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