Motherboard fan causes boot-up problems?

  BrianW 15:42 17 Aug 03

I have run against a problem I have not encountered before. It is resolved but may be of interest / help to others.

My machine, based on a duron 1300 on a gigabyte kt400, ga-7vaxp suddenly started having lock-ups when booting up. No obvious cause was showing despite several checks.

I then noticed that there was a new sound, a sort of whining / hum. Checking it, I found it was coming from the motherboard cooling fan. I removed this, and ran the machine without, keeping a close eye on temperature.

Too my suprise, the boot-up problems have disappeared and the machine is now completely stable (over 3 days) and many re-boots. Also, the m'board temperature has only gone up a couple of degrees.

I know that these fans have a bad reliability record but had not expected failure of the fan to cause boot-up problems. I guess there must be some sort of electrical spike generated as the fan attempts to start spinning - but have no real clue. Anybody else seen this?

  -pops- 16:27 17 Aug 03

If the fan is straining to get going with a failed bearing or whatever, it is quite possible that the high current drain is seen by the safety devices in the motherboard/PSU as a fault and it shuts down as a precaution. It does seem as though there is a mechanical failure of some sort. I suggest that you get it fixed pretty sharpish. Fans aren't there for decoration;-))

  BrianW 16:40 17 Aug 03

In the case of this board I'm not so sure - I have read one or two comments by owners of the board who have removed the fan to reduce noise - with no increase in temp. A lot of boards don't have fans and, as I say, I've only seen a couple of degrees increase even with quite intensive use.

Thanks for the confirmation of my thoughts though pops, I'll monitor the situation for a while and have a look around to see who does 40mm fans.

  BrianW 17:39 17 Aug 03

I knew I was tempting fate posting this. After running stably for the last 3 days its gone and thrown a wobbly on me. Blue screen with a white rectangular box about 2/3rd of the way up in the centre of the screen. Switch off, restart to Safe Mode, scandisk, restart, perfect.

Anybody got any ideas - cos mine were wrong!

  BrianW 17:41 17 Aug 03

Don't know if its relevant, but each time there is a glitch, my icons are in a different array on boot-up.

  DieSse 17:44 17 Aug 03

Just because you've seen no "system temperature" increase without the fan, doesn't mean that the specific chip is not overheating - after all that's why it had a fan - to keep it cooler than just a heat sink.

  mrdsgs 18:04 17 Aug 03

you might want to try a large heatsink like the one made for exactly this purpose by Zalman. This is "passive cooling" and is obviously silent as there is no need for a fan. I would not recommend just disconnecting the supplied motherboard fan.

  BrianW 21:11 17 Aug 03

Curiouser and curiouser - I left the PC with the locked up screen, after about 30 secs it spontaneously rebooted to Safe Mode, I told it to start normally, it did a Scandisk for incorrectly shut down and then was OK.

By the way, I'v lubed the fan (removed all excess), refitted (no more noise) and the temp is down 1Deg C - I reckon its only there to look flash meself!

Any clues re: the odd start up probs appreciated. I'm on 98se so it can't be the dreaded worm. Virus + firewall are all up-to-date and showing no probs - I'm baffled.

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