Fan emitting high-pitched noise

April 25, 2011 at 12:31:45
Specs: Windows XP
I just bought a used Fujitsu ST5112 slate computer. It works fine, but I noticed that it starts emitting an irregular, high-pitched noise about 15-20 minutes after turning it on. This only happens when the fan is NOT spinning. It's a weird sound, and it varies in pitch--almost like music but totally random. It usually lasts for 5-10 minutes, then stops. I opened the computer and used some rubber hose as a stethoscope to find the source, and I'm positive it's coming from the fan (only 1 fan in this slate computer, next to the vent). I cleaned the fan and the whole motherboard with compressed air, with no effect. The weird thing is that it's not the fan's spinning that causes the noise. It's quiet when it spins, but when it's NOT spinning it sometimes makes this noise. I read that sometimes capacitors can cause this. There aren't any visible capacitors on the fan, but there's a small chip attached to the fan's casing that might have a capacitor inside--or some other component of the chip could be making the noise.

Anyway, it looks like it would be difficult to replace the fan. The connecting wires look soldered into the motherboard, and it would be difficult to find a replacement fan for the ST5112. But I'd like to try to reduce the noise, which is very annoying. I'm wondering if I could try putting some kind of sound-damping material over the chip without causing any harm. Maybe Something like chewing gum, but a bit stickier? Any specific ideas of what might work for this use? Some kind of paste or resin that's sticky but removable, and won't interfere with the circuitry. Or any other ideas for a fix?

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April 25, 2011 at 14:23:48
If there is a warranty, take it to the place where you bought it.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.

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April 25, 2011 at 16:09:19
Yeah, warranties are always one way to go. But I bought it cheap online, it wouldn't be worth shipping at it back and forth for something like this. It's used. I'd rather fix the issue myself. Anyone have any ideas for a fix?

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