CPU Fan Running High Speed

April 5, 2011 at 13:37:51
Specs: Windows XP

I have a Dell dimension 4400. The weather was pretty bad and I had the computer on. The electricity went on and off a couple of times and so did the computer. When the electricity finally came back on, the computer booted up but the fan was running very high. A black and white screen popped up and if there was a power outage and I had options to start in safe mode or continue with windows. I continued with windows and the fan began to run regularly.

This morning when I turned on the computer, the CPU fan was running very fast then it began to turn at its regular speed. That lasted for 10 or 15 minutes and then it began to run fast again and has been doing this all day. All this started after the power outage during the storm. What do you think is the problem? Thank you.

Gary Williams
E-mail: williams801048@bellsouth.net

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April 5, 2011 at 17:05:12

First, do not post your email on an open forum unless you want to get slammed with spam.
Your problem is definitely caused by the power outage, more specifically the fluctuating while going out. This is why I always use a UPS aka battery back up which does a lot more than a surge protector. I would recommend that the first thing you try should be a 'Reset Defaults' in your BIOS or possibly a 'Clear CMOS' and then 'Reset Defaults'. Check your manual or online manual for entering BIOS setup, usually a key or combination of keys on start up and then you use your arrow keys and enter to select reset defaults. To clear your CMOS (clearing all settings in your BIOS) you can simply 1-Unplug the system. then 2-Remove the 'coin' battery from your motherboard. then 3-Press the power button for a few seconds. then 4-Replace the battery and reset defaults.

Try this and let us know if it helps and if there are any other issues with the system that may be related to the power issue.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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April 6, 2011 at 16:03:12

Thank you for your message. Here's a little more info on my computer that may help:

Dell Dimension 4400
BIOS Version: AO3
Processor Type: Intel (R) Pentium (R) 4
Processor Speed: 1.60GHZ
System Bus Speed 400 MHZ
Cache Ram 256 KB
Total Memory 512 MB

I got to the System Setup page and there are Five Tabs on the Box: Main, Advanced, Security, Power, Boot, & Exit. F9 is for Setup Defaults. Do I go through each Tab and Setup Defaults or is their something specific I should be looking for?

I tried to clear the CMOS as well: I unplugged the system, took out the battery, pressed the power button for a couple of seconds, put the battery back in and then plugged the system back up. Went to default settings and the CPU Fan is still running very fast.

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April 6, 2011 at 19:10:20

Check under power tab in BIOS to see if there is a CPU fan setting. It should be set to Automatic or something related to the CPU temperature. This should have been fixed by resetting defaults, but it is worth checking anyway.
While you are in there, check the CPU temperature that is reported there. If the CPU is running hot, you may need the fan speed high unless you can get the temperature down.
It is also possible that the thermal sensor on the CPU is now shot (or possible motherboard problem), and you will not get a true reading and therefore the BIOS thinks that you are running hot and therefore is running the fan on high.
I am not sure what your next step should be short of replacing expensive parts on an old system (not the best idea). I would suggest if you cannot get the fan to calm down by adjusting settings, wait for other ideas from someone who has had a similar problem and possibly fixed it.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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Related Solutions

April 7, 2011 at 07:40:15

Thanks I checked under the power tab in BIOs but I didn't see a CPU Fan Seeting. All I seen was

ACPI Suspend State - Either S1 or S3
Restore on AC/Power Loss - Either Stay Off, Last State, or Power On
Wake on PME - Either Stay Off or Power On.

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April 10, 2011 at 18:22:18

Check your CPU temperature either in your BIOS or with Speedfan within Windows. Your temperatures will tell you which way you need to go. If the temperatures are low to normal, then installing a fan speed controller may be an economical way to deal with this. If you do, find a speed that sounds about right and check with Speedfan your idle temps and with a number of programs stressing your system to see how high it climbs and adjust accordingly. If your temp readings are high, I am not sure if you could confirm if these are actual temps or a damaged sensor.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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April 12, 2011 at 15:21:36

Thank you for your message. I don't know what happened when the electricity went on and off but the fan is running fine again!!. I went to the Device Manager and updated everything, cleared cookies, history, etc. and conducted the disk cleanup. I also had two antivirus software and I uninstalled one of them. I really don't know what was the culprit (maybe a running program in the background that kept the CPU fan running high) but it is back to normal now. Thanks again for your help.

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