System Fan Has Failed error booting HP a1530n

HP Pavilion a1530n
May 21, 2008 at 09:46:09
Specs: XP Pro SP2, 4GB
I'm getting this message on restarts of the HP Pavilion:

Error: System Fan Has Failed! Service PC to prevent damage to the system.
press <F2> to continue

The first time I saw the message I blew out the case and fan blades with compressed air, restarted, and it seemed to work. Now though, the message happens anytime I reboot.

I opened the case and looked at the fans and the case fan, CPU fan, and PS fan are all spinning. The free Speedfan utility shows two fans spinning. One, the CPU fan runs around 1800-1900 rpm, and the case fan is running anywhere from 300-500 rpm.

As I looked at the fans a little closer, I noticed that the case fan rpm seem to be erratic. It would rev up slightly, and then slow right down at random intervals. It was as if the fan blade was resting on the end of the shaft and friction were turning it, instead of turning because it was directly attached to it.

The fan in question is a FoxConn DC brushless Fan Model#: PV902512L
DC12V 0.16A
It's 3-5/8 in. (92mm) square x 1 in. (25mm)

I've measured about 2V steady on the yellow lead from the MB, and 5V steady on the red lead from the MB, and of course the black lead is grounded. So I don't think the voltage is varying.

How do I go about verifying a correct replacement for this fan?

See More: System Fan Has Failed error booting HP a1530n

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May 21, 2008 at 10:12:35
Case fans are measured at the blade tips. Your case fan sounds like it may be an 80mm model.

Check your system and CPU temps by entering the BIOS and looking at PC Health. Or you can download a utility to show the temps while in Windows. One such utility is speedfan. Download from the link below.

I think you need to replace your fan but check the temps. I suspect the fan must rotate at a minimum speed or the warning is shown.

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May 21, 2008 at 10:47:29
As noted above, the speedfan utility shows the case fan spinning at 300rpm or so...

I tried entering the BIOS to check the fans, but couldn't get F1 to work. I finally resorted to removing the battery and re-installing it. (I couldn't remember which way I took it out- shoulda made note of it instead of just yanking it out.) Anyway, that made the setup screen come up (so I assume that I got the battery in correctly - someone confirm that?) and I reset date and time, but the fan speed and CPU temp were not editable. In other words the tempp and fan speed for the CPU shows up but the "Advanced/Hardware/CPU Fan check" option was not available.

So, I'm still wondering how to verify the correct replacement for the fan...

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May 21, 2008 at 11:11:03
Check the system temperature first. The specs on the case fan are not critical. Fans vary greatly in CFMs and noise. If the case temps are not bad even with the defective fan then you can get a low RPM unit that will be quieter. Below is a link to a online vendor that ships free. That can double the cost of a fan from some vendors. Get a ball bearing unit. Take care to install correctly so the air blows out, not in. Doubleclick a listing and details will show. Look for fans marked quiet.


In order to connect to the MBoard header you need to get a fan with the correect connector and long enough leads or get adapters. Many of the fans listed in the link have 3 to 4 pin adapters. Three goes on the MBoard, 4 connects to the 12V leads from the PSU.

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Related Solutions

May 21, 2008 at 11:22:40
The short answer......

- There may be nothing wrong with your cpu fan - your problem may be because your power supply is failing.
Failing power supplies are common and can cause your symptoms.
Check the current voltages in your bios Setup. Your bios Setup has the current fan speeds, temps, and voltages in it under a heading such as Hardware Monitor - +12v, +5v, and +3.3v should be within 10% of the nominal value - if any are not you need to replace your power supply as soon as you can!
(According to your info what is supposed to be +12v may be only +5v. If that's your case, that would account for your slow cpu fan speed, the warning you are getting, and your slow case fan speed.)

"I tried entering the BIOS to check the fans, but couldn't get F1 to work"

Are you sure F1 is the correct key? It may be F2, or Del, or some other key.
See your system user manual.
Some keyboards require you press a button on the keyboard in order for the Fx keys to work.

Press the key repeatedly while booting starting very early in the boot sequence - don't hold down the key.

"The first time I saw the message I blew out the case and fan blades with compressed air..."

There is often hidden "mung" on the top of the heat sink underneath the fan where it's hard to see - remove the fan to clean the top of the heatsink.

"As I looked at the fans a little closer, I noticed that the case fan rpm seem to be erratic. It would rev up slightly, and then slow right down at random intervals."

The bearings may be failing and there is too much friction in them.

"...the CPU fan runs around 1800-1900 rpm..."

CPU fan rpms vary, but they often are supposed to spin at 3000 rpm or more. The bios many have a default minimum rpm the cpu fan is supposed to spin, and when the cpu fan rpm is less than that, you get a warning message from the bios - you may or may not be able to change that minumum rpm to change at what point that messag is triggered.
If the cpu fan stops spinning, many recent bioses will shut down the mboard mere seconds after the mboard boots in order to protect the cpu.

"...the case fan is running anywhere from 300-500 rpm."

If it doesn't have a variable speed control on it that sounds awfully slow unless it's larger than the usual 80mm case fan.

If your PS has a second fan that has a rpm lead for it that is being monitored by a mboard header (two wires on a three position female connector), if the rpm varies according to the the internal temp of and/or load on the PS, they often spin quite slowly when the PS is cooler, and/or if the fan is larger than the usual 80mm.

"I've measured about 2V steady on the yellow lead from the MB, and 5V steady on the red lead from the MB..."

The yellow lead from the fan is for the rpm readout FROM the fan - the voltage measured at the pin for it on the mboard header to the pin for ground on the mboard header is not relevant.
The red lead from the fan is where the fan gets it's voltage for the fan motor FROM the mboard header pin for that. On some mboards the voltage can vary automatically depending on the temp of the cpu and/or the load on the system, but if it doesn't change from 12v according to those, your mboard does not support that feature, or it does but that feature is not enabled.
If your mboard does not have that feature, the voltage from the pin for ground to the pin for the red lead for the fan should be 12v, NOT 5v!
Failing power supplies are common and can cause your symptoms.
Check the current voltages in your bios Setup (see below) - +12v, +5v, and +3.3v should be within 10% of the nominal value - if any are not you need to replace your power supply as soon as you can!
Also see response 4 in this:

The black lead from the fan gets it's ground connection for both the fan motor voltage and the rpm readout FROM the appropriate pin in the mboard header.

"The free Speedfan utility..."

Speedfan may or may not be accurate for your particular mboard. Your bios Setup has the current fan speeds, temps, and voltages in it under a heading such as Hardware Monitor and those have been checked and calibrated for the mboard for accuracy.
HP may have a hardware or mboard monitoring utility already installed in your Programs somewhere, or it may have a download available on it's web site for your model that does that, or if not the maker of the main chipset often has such a utility that you can download for your main chipset, that you can use in Windows and/or load on Startup, and it will be accurate for your mboard.

If your PS is okay, if you need to replace the cpu fan, try searching with it's make and model on the web, or you can probably replace the fan with any cpu fan meant to be used with your socket type and size of cpu

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May 21, 2008 at 11:47:05

He already has Speedfan.
He could check the current +12, +5, and +3.3 voltages, etc. in that, but the readings in the bios Setup may be more accurate.

"Take care to install correctly so the air blows out, not in."

Huh? That applies to PS fans and sometimes to case fans but not cpu fans. All the cpu fans I know of blow towards the heatsink.


If the fan can be installed either way, the side where you can see the entire fan blade without a support strut being in front of it should be upwards.

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May 21, 2008 at 11:57:40

I think the OP is talking about a case fan. Reread, CPU fan is fine. The case fan is monitored via MBoard header. I think the OP is measuring the voltage on the wrong leg. The black wire should be the 12V. Maybe I am wrong about that but I don't think so.

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May 21, 2008 at 12:13:47
I'm looking in the BIOS at the Hardware section, and the only information available is as follows (no voltages):

CPU Temp: 37C/98F
CPU Fan Speed: 1717
System Fan Speed: 655

So the case fan must be the "system fan" because it's the slower moving one.

Looking at SpeedFan Fan 1 corresponds with the CPU fan at 1708rpm, and Fan 2 with the system fan at 615rpm. I see voltages at the bottom of the screen but they make no sense:

+5v: 5.03V
Vcpu: 1.32V
Vcc: 3.38V
+5V: 8.18V
+12V: 11.98V
+3.3V: 3.33V
Vbat: 0.00V

On a side note, if I install the CMOS battery backwards what happens?

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May 21, 2008 at 12:29:31
The + side of the battery normally faces up. Many boards have + & - marked on the contacts.

The Speedfan readings are all within specs except for the second listing for +5V which is 8.18V. Are you sure you posted that right?

It also appears you have the battery upside down or it is dead. The Vbat: 0.00V should have a reading of around 3V.

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May 21, 2008 at 12:32:41
Well the battery isn't lying flat, it's standing up on edge. The instructions say that the + side of the battery are to go against the latch. Since the latch hooks around the top of the battery it's hard to figure out what they mean by that...

I suppose I could just turn it around and see what the voltage looks like..

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May 21, 2008 at 12:37:08
The 8.8 volts is correct.

I guess the big question is whether the problem is actually the PS or the Fan? How to diagnose this given the information above? Or is there more I can do to diagnose, such as more accurately measure voltages?

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May 21, 2008 at 12:39:25
The battery should have +&- stamped into the metal. I would say in your case the + side should be the visable side. If the battery is installed correctly the contacts may be loose, the battery is dead, or Speedfan is wrong.

The CMOS battery is only in use IF you interrupt power to the MBoard by unplugging or with on/off switch on the PSU.

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May 21, 2008 at 13:09:32
I found out which way was correct by testing to see if the date/time was correct after shutting down and rebooting. So now the battery is in there correctly, but the Vbat is still 0 in Speedfan. I think it's because the MOBO doesn't support all the features. I mean, not even the voltages were available in the BIOS.

So the question still remains, is the problem the Power Supply or the Fan?

(Oh, and by the way, that 8.8 volts went back down closer to 5 volts. Now I'm wondering if I was hallucinating.)

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May 21, 2008 at 13:38:09
The battery may have been causing the bad read. There is no doubt the bad fan is the case fan. Look at your RPM readings in your first post. CPU fan 1800/1900RPM. That is about where a typical processor fan runs. If you are still concerned disconnect the case fan from the MBoard header. The reading should go to 0.

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May 21, 2008 at 13:45:35
Oh the the fan that runs slow is definitely the case fan. If I stop it with my finger for a second, the rpm stops in speedfan.

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May 21, 2008 at 14:34:27
HP Pavilion a1530n

HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Motherboard Specifications, P5LP-LE (Leucite)
Motherboard manufacturer's name: ASUS P5LP-LE
HP/Compaq name: Leucite-UL8E

Socket: 775
Intel 945G
Southbridge: ICH7DH
No PS fan header.

Cpu fan header has 4 pins.
You can connect either a 3 wire or a 4 wire cpu fan to it
The cpu fan voltage and fan speed can be variable, less voltage, less speed when there is less load on the computer, but as far as I know, only if the cpu has 4 wires and you are using the variable speed feature in your bios Setup (AMD calls it Cool and Quiet - I don't know what Intel or HP calls it).

Key to get into the bios Setup - F1.

Intel software for monitoring your current hardware readings -
Intel Desktop Utilities:

That's likely to be just as accurate as the bios Setup readings are.


"...the fan that runs slow is definitely the case fan."

I wouldn't think it was the PS fan unless the PS has been replaced.
Brand name systems usually have only one fan in the PS, and/or it does not have the fan rpm monitoring lead coming from it to a mboard header.

I never heard of or seen a bios warn you because a case fan is detected as spinning too slow, unless you can set a minimum speed for all the fans in the bios Setup and can set the warning ON for a case or system or PS fan. Otherwise, I've only seen or heard of that for the CPU fan.
"Reread, CPU fan is fine."
The CPU fan is spinning but that doesn't necessarily mean it's spinning fast enough.
I still think the cpu fan speed is spinning slower than it should be.

" the problem the Power Supply or the Fan?"

Your PS voltages are okay, outside of the 5v being 8.8 v temporary? glitch.
One of the 5v readings is probably 5vsb - that's not as important.
Since it's rpm isn't monitored, make sure the PS fan is blowing air out of the back of the case at all times and that it, and the interior of the PS, is relatively clean.

However, if the PS brand is an el-cheapo you are more likely to have problems with it - if it is BESTEC you are A LOT more likely to have problems with it.

The battery should not be 0 volts.
It CAN be 0 if it is upside down in it's socket (as OtheHill says, usually + is upwards) or if it is not touching it's contacts properly (a bent contact) or if it is completely dead.

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May 21, 2008 at 14:57:52
tubes, did you read #14? The OP stated they stopped the case fan with their finger.

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May 21, 2008 at 15:00:40
I searched with: PV902512L

Your fan is an el-cheapo - it has sleeve bearings.

If it's bearings are not already worn to the point they produce too much friction and slow down the fan, they WILL eventually.
No rpm info found.
Foxconn currently lists two models each of AMD and Intel (socket 775) cpu fan/heatsink combos - the ones for Intel cpus spin at 2500 rpm.

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May 21, 2008 at 15:07:34
"tubes, did you read #14? The OP stated they stopped the case fan with their finger."

Yes I saw that. Nothing I have said contradicts that.

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May 21, 2008 at 15:13:50
There are actually three fans. The PS has it's own. The case fan and the CPU fan have three wire connectors and 4 wire connectors attached directly to the MB. I'm not sure where the PS gets it's power from. I'd expect it to be internal.

I suppose I could just replace the case fan and the PS since I have no known good PS, and if I waste any more time on this, I might as well have just replaced them anyway... time is money y'know.

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May 21, 2008 at 15:22:47
If the PS fan seems to spin fine, just replace the cpu fan, and occaisionally check the voltages. Virtually all PS fans have ball bearings these days and are rarely a problem.

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May 21, 2008 at 17:30:38
Actually I was speaking of replacing the whole power supply (as well as the case fan), as there was some inference that the PS might be going bad.

There seemed to be no way of checking the power supply so I figured for $25 or so it was just better to replace it.

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May 21, 2008 at 18:38:50
A decent power supply is more like $50. It's your cash but I see nothing to indicate you need a new PSU.

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May 22, 2008 at 05:55:02
Here's a replacement I found for the PS (HP-3057F3R):

It's actually only $20 plus whatever shipping is.

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May 22, 2008 at 06:03:00
That PSU is a Bestec. They are junk. If you insist on replacing the PSU at least install something of BETTER quality. Bestec are used in EMachines Computers and fail at an unacceptable rate. You are looking for problems where none exist. Look at this PSU as a replacement for your current one.

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June 2, 2008 at 21:14:22
I have the same error message:

(Error: System Fan Has Failed! Service PC to prevent damage to the system.
press <F2> to continue"

on my HP. I recently switched cases (moved the motherboard over to a new case) and got a new power supply, that's when it started. My previous system fan was drawing power from the motherboard itself, but my new system fan is drawing power directly from the new power supply. My guess is that my MOBO can't recognize the new system fan (working perfectly) because it's no longer connected directly to the MOBO.

I'm not worried about being able to check the status/speed of this new fan either now or in the future, I'm just wondering if there's a way to tell the PC to not worry about it and not display the Error Message anymore...


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June 3, 2008 at 09:58:48

It would help a lot if you stated
- which HP model the mboard was previously in - preferably the specific model from the label on it's case - I (or we) may be able to find specific info about the mboard it uses. (HP didn't make the mboard - it was supplied to them by a major mboard maker.)
If you can't supply that info, look for an obvious model number on the mboard itself, often printed in larger characters between the slots, or if you don't see that, a stuck on label on the mboard, probably that also has a bar code on it, that has the HP mboard part number on it - xxxxxx-xxx - and possibly a HP specific name - and tell me/us what you find.
- which brand and specific model of power supply you have connected to the mboard now - include all of it - e.g. Enermax EG495P-VE SFMA, not just Enermax EG495P. The whole model designation tells me, or us, which features it has.

ALWAYS remove the AC power to the case/power supply whenever you plug in or unplug anything inside your computer case!!! Turn off a power bar it is connected to, or unplug the cord to the PS, or turn off the switch on the PS!!
Most mboards have an led on them that is on as long as the PS is getting AC power - it must be OFF when you make changes.

If the cpu fan has 3 wires (or 4 wires) why don't you connect it to the mboard cpu fan header?
(4 wire cpu fans can be connected to either a 4 pin or 3 pin cpu fan header (on the proper 3 pins), or any 3 pin header for a fan on the mboard).

Most, if not all, wiring for a fan from a power supply has only two tiny wires and can only merely monitor the rpm of a fan in the PS - the mboard does not power the fan and cannot control it's speed.

When a PS has 2 tiny wires on a 3 position female connector for monitoring the rpm of a fan inside it (or three wires for monitoring the rpm of, and powering the fan from the mboard, which I doubt is your situation) that fan in the PS usually also runs at variable speeds - slower when the PS is cooler. It often runs slower than the minimum default rpm the bios expects for a cpu fan, so when you connect it to a cpu fan header, or possibly any 3 pin fan header, the bios may detect too low an rpm, or no rpm at all, much of the time, or all of the time (if the capacity of the PS is a lot more than you actually need and the inside of the PS never gets warm enough for the fan to spin fast enough to be above the bios default minimum rpm.)
If the tiny wires from the PS have only 2 wires on a 3 position female connecter, connecting them to the mboard is optional - you don't have to connect that at all - it gets it's power from inside the PS, and, probably, it's rpm is controlled by the PS according to the temp inside the PS.

Most older mboards cannot control the rpm of a fan - they can only monitor the rpm of it.

You should NOT use a cpu fan that has only two wires on most more recent mboards on a 3 pin (or 4 pin) cpu fan header on the mboard, or one with 2 wires that plugs into drive power connectors. There must be a third wire from the fan on such mboards and it must be connected to the mboard, to a 3 pin fan header somewhere, in order for it's rpm to be monitored.

You MAY be able to turn off the message if you can go into your bios Setup and turn off the warning about the rpm of a cpu fan not detected or running too slow, but often you CANNOT, especially in brand name systen bios versions which are often dummied-down and have fewer settings to choose from.

If you can't turn off the message, as a workaround, you can connect any fan to the 3 pin cpu fan header that spins at a speed likely to be higher than the minimum the bios expects to detect - e.g. a 3 wire case fan will usually do fine - 80mm ones are cheap to buy if you don't already have one - make sure it has dual ball bearings, or better (ceramic, fluid filled), so that it will last longer.

As for monitoring the speed of the cpu fan, it must have three wires, and you can connect to any 3 pin header on the mboard that is monitored in your bios Setup current rpm (and temp and voltage) readouts, or you may be able to get a program from HP in the downloads for your model, or from Intel if it has an Intel chipset, or from a third party freeware source such as Speedfan so you can monitor all those same things in Windows itself as well as in the bios Setup.

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June 3, 2008 at 10:09:06

For best response you need to start your own thread here.

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June 3, 2008 at 11:12:01
kneebone wrote: "My guess is that my MOBO can't recognize the new system fan (working perfectly) because it's no longer connected directly to the MOBO."

That's exactly what's going on. I installed a new fan and it took care of the RPM problem - no matter that I got the wrong darn size fan, at least the RPM's showed up and it shut off the error message. I then installed the correct size fan (used), but it was a two wire fan instead of a three wire fan. The third wire is the tach signal to the motherboard, and the error message came back on reboot. The Speedfan utility showed 0 RPM for the case fan also, but the temp came down.

I'm going to get the correct fan, and maybe add one more to the case, and possibly upgrade the CPU fan, just to get the temp down even more.

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June 3, 2008 at 11:41:14
"The Speedfan utility showed 0 RPM for the case fan also......"

The bios often has hard coded minimum rpms it expects that can't be changed in the bios Setup settings. If any fan spins slower than that, the bios may show 0 rpm for a three wire fan. E.g. that may apply to larger than 80mm case fans, or some lower rpm or variable speed cpu fans, or to many power supply fans if there are wires to monitor the rpm of a fan coming from the PS. Sometimes in third party programs you can tweak settings such as the divider used to come up with the rpm (what the fan is outputting is divided by some number to get the actual rpm) and then you get an rpm reading. I don't know if you can do that in Speedfan. I know you can do it in MBProbe, but it is no longer being supported or updated and may not support detecting the hardware monitoring outputs of newer chipsets.
(if you do try MBProbe, you need to get TWO downloads in order to use it in 2000 or XP - you install one, install and follow directions in the other.)

Apparently there are several different possible types of output from fans. Rarely, the hardware monitoring sensors can't detect some type or types of output.

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June 3, 2008 at 14:47:22
Let me clarify something...

Even the 92mm defective "system fan" (case fan) showed 250-300 RPM in Speedfan. It is a three wire fan hooked into the MB.

The fan which was the wrong size, was also a three wire fan, which spooled up to 1500 RPM (or thereabouts) as shown in Speedfan. Although it was only an 80mm fan it kept the PC fairly cool even hanging by one screw...

The current fan (the used one), although it's the correct size at 92mm, is only a two wire fan, and shows no RPM at all in Speedfan even though it spools up pretty fast.

I just read somewhere yesterday, that the third wire (now missing) is the tach wire. If that's the case, it would seem to be patently obvious why Speedfan doesn't currently "see" the RPM. It would be because there's no signal wire from the fan...

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June 3, 2008 at 20:46:30
Oops, missed that.

Yes, the third wire is for the rpm readout, so, of course, you can't get a rpm readout if it's not present.
You can get two wire fans but they're not meant for use as a cpu fan .

As I said in response 26, you can connect any 3 wire fan to the cpu header to get rid of the message.

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June 3, 2008 at 21:16:18
The CPU fan in this case has a four wire fan. It has always registered an appropriate RPM in Speedfan. The "system fan" is the case fan, and it plugs in next to the CPU fan on the motherboard. If the CPU fan failed, then the message would be similar to the original message, except it would reference the CPU fan instead of the system fan.

On another note, another computer, a Dell Precision 350, I looked at tonight with Speedfan showed a really high temp reading (no fan RPM available on this MB) at 81 degrees C. The CPU and Case fan are one and the same, Dell having used the case fan, a heat sink, and ducting to cool the case and the CPU. I noticed the case fan barely turning over, and plan to modify this situation immediately since the boss says his computer has always slowed down the longer the day goes on... Could be why the HD went out recently...

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June 3, 2008 at 23:04:43
Lots of bioses have no warning messages except for the cpu fan, and it isn't always called the cpu fan in the message.

If you can't change settings in your bios setup to shut off the message for the system fan, or to disable monitoring the system fan, then obviously you will have to get a 3 wire fan to connect to that header.

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July 12, 2008 at 12:11:16
English: sorry i can not english well.
hello, i had the same problem, i changed the system fan and as i start the pc i became the same error, u must change the system fan and the neu one must have the same Amper A.
in my pc i have DC 12V/0.24A and as i used a new one with DC 12V/0.14A it did not work.
later i bought onother one with DS 12V/0.24A and everything works well.
Hallo Leute,
Endlich habe ich die ursache gefunden
leider hat HP bzw. Asus keine info weitergegeben aber egal, also HP PCs haben ASUS mainboards, und diese Fehlermeldung kommt weil die Systemlüfter von HP PCs haben DC 12V /0.24 A haben.
also wenn die Amperezahl (Stromstärke) weniger als 0.24 ist wird der Lüfter im BIOS nicht erkannt.
die meiste Systemlüfter haben 0.14 A.
ich würde empfelen wenn jemand ein HP(Asus Mainboard) rechner hat und vor hat den Systemlüfter umzutauschen:
IMMER auf Stromstärke im orig. Lüfter zubeachten und danach ersetsen.

ich hoffe es gibt keine probleme mehr............

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July 12, 2008 at 14:24:58
All case fans and cpu fans used for computers that I know of use 12v.

That's something that did not occur to me. Some newer bioses may require a certain minumum current draw for the cpu fan header because that is often directly related to the amount of air the fan can move per minute - the cfm rating - and less amperage might indicate it is inadequate.
A replacement fan should have the same cfm rating and a very similar current rating as the original one, or higher.

One thing I have heard of is there is more than one type of cpu fan rpm output, and some types won't report the rpm properly to some mboard main chipsets.

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