Zalman CPU/heatsink fan

Intel Core 2 duo e6600 dual core process...
August 21, 2009 at 01:20:52
Specs: WIndows Vista 64 bit Media Center, Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800MHz
I have a Zalman heatsink/CPU fan installed in my PC. Here is the model:

It gets rather dusty so I took it out today to clean it and it smelled awful. Maybe I'm paranoid about hardware stuff ever since I fixed the USB port on my old media bay with a little soldering but it smelled kinda like solder, burning and a skunk-like smell all in one indescribable scent. The PC had been off (power supply not unplugged though) for about 3 hours. I stuck my head in the case and the motherboard nor any of the components smelled like that, so it isn't the CPU burning or anything (PC off of course. Maybe it is justt a metallic kinda smell since I have Antec Artic Silver 5 on the CPU and CPU fan (should I reapply a layer of that, it has been 3 -4 years since I did it) and the CPU fan is made of copper.

I put it back in there and I can't really smell it when the fan is running (I think I smell something every now and then,but I'm probably just being paranoid having smelled it at other times or smelling dust or something)

The fan isn't making any strange noises and is churning along at like 850RPM or something so I wouldn't think there would be a mechanical issue with it, but could Arctic Silver 5, the fan, or any combination of stuff cause a smell like that to be normal? Forgive me, I really don't mess with my parts very often except to use an air compressor every month.

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August 21, 2009 at 01:36:49
Actually I think I am kind of smelling it now some while it is running. When it had been running initially I had the side off and was looking down on the top of the fan and I coudln't smell anything. If there were a real problem with the CPU fan wouldn't this smell be present a lot more often than "every now and then sometimes I smell this"? I could just buy another one and see if it does it, but I wouldn't be able to send it back if I didn't need it would I?

I wish you could post smells on the internet...

Could it just be dust that is stuck in the fan (there are little threads of it stuck in-between the copper plates that are really difficult to get out. My CPU never gets over 42 celcius so I am almost certain that is not an issue.

I have never heard the fan make any weird noises and have never seen it stop spinning even once. Wouldn't it be noticeable if the fan was getting old/not working properly anymore?

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August 22, 2009 at 22:23:36
Well, this is really strange. Back when I overclocked my FSB to 340MHz my Asus BIOS hardware monitor (latest BIOS 1238, beta version; the last 9 BIOS updates remain in beta for some reason) the CPU seemed like it stayed at about 42 celcius. I even had it up and running all night copying and compressing (at the same time) a 100+GB file from another hard drive. That morning it wasn't over 45C. Today, I go in there to check just to make sure (I have been having issues booting from my external hard drive and was looking for LBA mode or something) and it was idling at 52 celcius or so at 340MHz FSB. Stock is 266MHz FSB. So I changed it to 266MHz FSB and rebooted and it immediately said 47.5 celcius. Why is my processor running so hot? Do you think it could be related to what I thought was that funky smell from my CPU fan? I don't know if this has anything to do with it but when I took the CPU fan off the other day to clean the dust out of it I dropped one of the screws and lost it. So I got another screw that looked like the same size (length, screwhead, etc.) out of my box of screws and fastened the heatsink/CPU fan back down. Is it possible that the fan is not correctly placed on there and that is making the CPU get really hot?

Do you think my fan is going bad or could this be another issue?

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