Solved How to change a front computer fan

September 25, 2019 at 08:30:10
Specs: Windows 10
I have a Unicorn Tower and when you open the front door there is a 6 inch fan just above the two USB ports.
Fan has stopped working. Does any body know how to change this fan? Do I have to take out all the drives to get access to it?

See More: How to change a front computer fan

Reply ↓  Report •

✔ Best Answer
September 27, 2019 at 12:08:11
The primary reason for a thermal shut down almost immediately on cold start would be that the thermal compound was disturbed between the CPU and the heat sink. It may even be slightly out of position still which would make it worse. Your only solution if this is the case is to remove the heat sink/fan assembly from the CPU, clean off all of the thermal compound from both with a high quality rubbing alcohol (90% isopropel or higher) and reapply it correctly. If needed use an old credit card to help remove the old compound if hardened but NEVER a metal scraper or razor blade (leaves scratches which make thermal contact worse). Please look here for your particular CPU because many of them need the thermal compound to be applied differently (as per riider's notes above). http://www.arcticsilver.com/methods...
It is important to note that too much thermal compound is worse then slightly too little because it will act as an insulator in thicker layers and can get on other components and some are metal containing and conductive. Almost any brand of thermal compound sold for computers will be good so you can avoid expensive ones with confidence.

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



#1
September 25, 2019 at 08:51:04
I gather you mean this:

https://www.hardwaresecrets.com/sig...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


Reply ↓  Report •

#2
September 25, 2019 at 14:11:08
Thank you for that..... The fan I talk about is in front of machine behind the disc drive rack. Do I still have to take the whole rack out disconnection all the drives to get to the fan?

Reply ↓  Report •

#3
September 25, 2019 at 14:48:49
From the photos only --- if the fan is behind the rack (i.e.---on the same "floor" where the motherboard resides), then probably so, unless the case unlatches from that side as well. Hard to tell from just those photos. Was there not a manual that came with the case???

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


Reply ↓  Report •

Related Solutions

#4
September 25, 2019 at 15:08:44
There are more photos about, such as this:
https://www.tomshardware.co.uk/pc-c...

Best search for the exact model number.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


Reply ↓  Report •

#5
September 25, 2019 at 21:06:09
Every case is different, on many you remove one or both side panels and then the front, There are usually 4 screws that hold the fan in from the front, possibly behind a filter or screen. Then you may have easy access from behind or one side or you may need to remove or partially remove one or more drives to get full access to remove it and position a new one.
When purchasing a new fan, they are usually measured in mm or cm (120mm or 140mm or 12cm or 14cm which are the same).

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


Reply ↓  Report •

#6
September 26, 2019 at 06:12:12
Thanks for all your replies. I do not have a manual. I don't have the model number of cabinet either. What i have noticed is that there was never a fan in the back of the machine. It has always been like that. If I were to fix the front fan and put an extra fan in the back grill would that be too much? Can you have too many fans?
Would the front and back fans being blowing against each other?
I am just about to switch off now and have another look...will report back later.....in the meantime I can get replies via my mobile

Reply ↓  Report •

#7
September 26, 2019 at 09:04:09
In newer (i.e.---hotter) machines, airflow can be critical to the life of the machine. If you've got a lot invested in other parts of it (cpu, gpu, Mobo, PSU), it'd be worth it to look into a newer (and better rated) case rather than pouring money into fans and such that may not help.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A


Reply ↓  Report •

#8
September 26, 2019 at 10:11:09
Front and side fans blow in, back fans blow out.

You want filters in front of the front and side fans to catch dust.
The filters need to be cleaned. Dust still gets in despite the filters.

How many fans is too many depends on how much noise you can
tolerate.

Bigger fans can run slower and still push the same amount of air,
so they are usually quieter.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


Reply ↓  Report •

#9
September 26, 2019 at 12:35:17
Update. Last week fitted a larger hard drive. In doing so I inadvertently pulled out the cable to the front fan. I know this now as I have just pulled the sides down and seen it. The pc shut down because the cpu over heated which alerted me to the fact fan not running. Now fan is running my pc still shuts down. Think there is still a heating problem. Don't know now what to do. Is cpu damaged? My son says take cpu fan off and apply more thermal paste is that a good idea

message edited by Major1


Reply ↓  Report •

#10
September 26, 2019 at 14:26:31
There's a misconception that thermal paste goes bad. It does not. The only time it needs to be replaced is if the heatsink is disturbed or removed. If that happens, the old paste should be completely removed from the top of the CPU & bottom of the heatsink, then fresh paste applied. And it must be applied properly. Different CPUs use different methods - middle dot, vertical line, horizontal line, or surface spread.
http://www.arcticsilver.com/methods...

Generally speaking, front & side case fans are unnecessary; a rear exhaust fan is usually all that's needed. One large (120 or 140mm) rear exhaust should do it. It creates a negative pressure within the case & draws in fresh air from all the other openings, cracks & crevices.
https://www.howtogeek.com/303078/ho...

message edited by riider


Reply ↓  Report •

#11
September 26, 2019 at 21:15:47
To elaborate a little more:
Old computers relied on the fan in the power supply to remove most of the heat.
Most computers for many years now use a rear exhaust fan as well the one in the power supply.
Front fans are not generally needed for stock systems.
Higher performance systems and gaming systems and those with a lot of drives and add ons may benefit from a high CFM rear fan. some gaming cases allow a top as well as a rear exhaust fan when the power supply is bottom mounted to remove more heat out the top and back. A front intake fan can be used when there is enough negative pressure to move additional air directly over multiple hard drives and toward large graphics cards and should always be lower cfm's than the total exhaust cfm's. Side fans are ALWAYS a bad idea because they disrupt the smooth flow of air in low in the front across components as it moves back and up as it warms up and out the back/top back by causing eddies in the air flow.

If you can add a rear exhaust fan then do it. I prefer looking for fans with high cfm's but also low Db. Once you have the rear fan set up the front one of working should still be fine as long as it is there already and working.
Use software to tell what the internal temps are to see if there is a problem. A good working system should be in the 30'sC at idle, 40's C when working normally, and no higher than the low 50'sC when gaming or running very intensive long running programs. Most CPU's are probably safe until around 70C but you would have to look up your CPU to be sure. At its max recommended temp you would get thermal throttling or a slow down until it cooled off. Over a certain limit the system would just shut down to protect itself. Running in the higher range constantly would shorten the life of components.

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


Reply ↓  Report •

#12
September 27, 2019 at 00:22:28
Hi fingers thanks very much for your very informative reply first of all I'm not a big gaming fan so it's not a high-end and gaming PC however I do use it a lot the problem I had initially was that that the PC shutdown and when I restarted it said it had shut down because the CPU had overheated this drew me to the fact the front fan was not working when I found the cable has come adrift from the motherboard due to me putting in a hard drive I must have knocked it off and now working now when I put the computer on on it only goes up to the bios screen maybe a little bit further and then shuts off if I start the computer up from cold i.e. the next day it'll let me log on on got to my desktop and then it will shut off if I immediately turn the computer back on I get a warning sound which is a two-tone audio sound a bit like a UK police car and this time it doesn't stay on the very long so I am sure that it is still an overheating problem has the initial overheating problem damage the CPU if so how would I know because it let me from cold go right onto my desktop screen next stages what do I do I'm pulling my hair out my son said why don't I take the CPU fan off and put some new paste underneath could I have damaged that I'm at a loose end don't know what to do

Reply ↓  Report •

#13
September 27, 2019 at 12:08:11
✔ Best Answer
The primary reason for a thermal shut down almost immediately on cold start would be that the thermal compound was disturbed between the CPU and the heat sink. It may even be slightly out of position still which would make it worse. Your only solution if this is the case is to remove the heat sink/fan assembly from the CPU, clean off all of the thermal compound from both with a high quality rubbing alcohol (90% isopropel or higher) and reapply it correctly. If needed use an old credit card to help remove the old compound if hardened but NEVER a metal scraper or razor blade (leaves scratches which make thermal contact worse). Please look here for your particular CPU because many of them need the thermal compound to be applied differently (as per riider's notes above). http://www.arcticsilver.com/methods...
It is important to note that too much thermal compound is worse then slightly too little because it will act as an insulator in thicker layers and can get on other components and some are metal containing and conductive. Almost any brand of thermal compound sold for computers will be good so you can avoid expensive ones with confidence.

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


Reply ↓  Report •

#14
September 27, 2019 at 13:12:19
Hi fingers.
Have bought Kryonaut Ultra High Performance Grease. Will let you know how I get on in the next day or so. Hope it goes on ok

Reply ↓  Report •

#15
October 1, 2019 at 11:03:04
Update : Thanks all for you advice and inputs. I cleaned all the fans with compressed air then took off the fan and heat sync cleaned both contacts reapplied thermal paste and touch wood my computer stays on and does not overheat.... Fingers crossed.......

Reply ↓  Report •

#16
October 1, 2019 at 17:04:07
Give it a day or two and pop back to let us know how it goes. If solved, please select a best answer so the thread is marked Solved to help other people who read it.

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


Reply ↓  Report •

#17
October 3, 2019 at 12:39:22
Solved...phew!!!
Back in business

Reply ↓  Report •

#18
October 3, 2019 at 14:32:17
Good to hear and thanks for letting us know.

message edited by Derek


Reply ↓  Report •

#19
October 3, 2019 at 20:48:07
Great news, thanks for popping back to let us know.

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


Reply ↓  Report •

Ask Question