Aspire TC-710 Fan whirring intermittently and The sound is not very loud

bob1066
bob1066 Member Posts: 5 New User
My Aspire TC-710 is about 4 years old. Recently I have heard the fan whirring intermittently. Every few minutes it starts up, whirrs for maybe half a minute, and then quietens down. The sound is not very loud but it bothers me because this is new behaviour. I had a look inside the case and there appears to be no significant build-up of dust. The case is not hot to the touch, not even warm. Is this something I should worry about?
[Edited the thread to add issue detail]

Answers

  • ttttt
    ttttt Member Posts: 1,947 Community Aficionado
    Dear Bob1066,

         Can you identify which fan makes the noise? Power supply fan? If I were you I'll keep an eye on it until it get worse to a point that it deserve a replacement. Try spraying some compressed air and clean it, see the situation will improve.
  • billsey
    billsey ACE Posts: 31,153 Trailblazer
    edited August 2020
    You often have enough dust build up to throw the fan blades just a little off balance without it looking all that dirty. Vacuum or blow it out and watch for it to get worse. If it does get worse before it has time to accumulate more dust then the bearing might be starting to go out. A new fan is a cheap fix usually. As @ttttt says you want to figure out which fan is making the noise before fixing it. :)
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  • bob1066
    bob1066 Member Posts: 5 New User
    edited August 2020
    I am not sure whether this is solved or not:

    I identified the intermittent noise as coming from the power supply vent, from which warm air was emerging. I opened the case and cleaned the innards as far as possible, including unscrewing the circuit board fan and examining it from the other side (it wasn't at all clogged).

    When the machine was turned on after this cleanout the power supply fan started immediately, blowing cool air out of its vent. (It was probably doing so before, but I am not certain.) The circuit board fan did not start. Is this as it should be? I expected it to turn immediately, but perhaps it does not operate until a certain temperature is reached?

    Leaving the PC running with the case open, after a while the familiar whirring started. Examination revealed that the noise was the circuit board fan, which ran for a minute and then stopped.

    Perhaps I am worrying too much. Both fans are working, and neither is making any excessive noise. I am just bothered by the fact that this represents a slight change in behaviour of the machine. Previously, fan noise appeared quiet and constant, with no intermittent starts and stops. It does mean that I am shutting the machine down overnight, because the noise is disturbing, whereas I used to just leave it running.
  • ttttt
    ttttt Member Posts: 1,947 Community Aficionado
    Dear Bob1066,

              Just exactly what is he circuit board fan? Do you mean CPU fan? Or is it the chassis fan? The CPU fan will turn immediately after boot up, but chassis fans may turn only as needed. Generally, what we can do is to blow compressed air and vacuum dust from the fans. After four years the fan may have some wear and tear and some dust build up. This kind of situation may last for years. Just get use to it until you feel a replacement is needed.
  • billsey
    billsey ACE Posts: 31,153 Trailblazer
    If the blades are clean and you get excessive noise still while the fan is running then it's likely the bearing (or bushing on some fan designs). Just replace the fan with another that matches the spec. Normally the CPU fan comes on when you power up, then adjusts speed to hold the CPU temperature in the best range. It should run most of the time and speed up when things get too warm.
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  • bob1066
    bob1066 Member Posts: 5 New User
    Thanks for the responses.

    I am probably not using the right terminology. What I referred to as the "power supply fan" is not visible or accessiblewithout removing the power supply unit, which I am not going to do. That one turns on immediately at boot-up.

    The other The other is screwed into position beside the notherboard, and I think this is what you call the "chassis fan". This is the one that runs intermittently.

    Neither of the fans is excessively noisy, so I think I'll take your suggestion of accepting the situation unless things change for the worse.\
    Thanks again.
  • billsey
    billsey ACE Posts: 31,153 Trailblazer
    OK, there are actually possibly three fans then. The PSU fan is as you said hidden inside the power supply, the CPU fan is bolted onto a heatsink that in turn is bolted to the motherboard. If there is a chassis fan it is usually mounted to the back of the case. A chassis fan is the easiest to change... Though you so need to measure with width/height (likely 80mm or 92mm) between mounting holes and look at how many pins are on the power connector. That's usually 3 or 4, but some really old machines used just two pins.
    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.
  • bob1066
    bob1066 Member Posts: 5 New User

    Thanks for all the responses.

    Since my original post the situation has changed somewhat. What happens now is:

    • When the PC is turned on, unless I intervene manually, the CPU fan (which I was calling the circuit board fan before) does not start of its own volition, and it will not start even when the core temps rise into the 80C+ range.
    • "Intervene manually" means that I flick the fan a number of times with a finger until such time as it begins spinning of its own accord. Once it gets going, it will spin for few seconds, stop, and then spin again after about 10 seconds.
    • This state of affairs (intermittent running) is slightly annoying but seems to keep the core temperatures in a comfortable 30C-40C range. However at some point, it could be after a few minutes or a few hours, the fan will stop running altogether, which means I have to keep monitoring it to ensure that it is still running. The cessation seems to happen sooner in hot weather. The manual intervention described above sometimes gets it going again, but often I find that the only remedy is to turn off the machine and let it cool for a while before starting up again.

    I am happy to simply replace the fan if necessary, if I can feel certain that the problem lies with the fan itself. I see reference to "fan control software"; I would like to experiment with this but I don't know how to access this or what it is supposed to do. FYI I am currently running Fedora Linux 35.

  • Larryodie
    Larryodie Member Posts: 1,416 Supercomputer Wrangler
    edited February 11

    The statement that you have to "manually start it " is enough to replace the fan "Unless you can get a drop of light machine oil into the bearing which is usually covered with a sticker.

    No access then REPLACE it.

    If you have good ears then you should be able to hear the dry bearing when you manually spin.

    There are many YouTube etc on oiling fans. BTW it does work and not a band-aid. This one should do it for you. Just don't get oil on anything else beside the bearing.

    https://www.overclockers.com/em-spinning-lubricate-pc-fans/

    https://www.overclockers.com/em-spinning-lubricate-pc-fans/

    Sorry I got a double link post ? In the TV business repair we would take a toothpick to a car transmission dip stick & put a toothpick drop of ATF (very light) oil on the bearing. Worked OK as not much is needed. Just spin manually a few times to work in.

  • billsey
    billsey ACE Posts: 31,153 Trailblazer

    Those fans are cheap enough that it's really not worth trying to lube them, just replace with a new one.

    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.
  • bob1066
    bob1066 Member Posts: 5 New User

    Thanks, I'll try the "drop of oil" method before giving up and replacing the fan.

    Cheers

  • Axxo
    Axxo Member, Ally Posts: 110

    There could be several reasons for that:

    1. If the fan is running at a very low speed at almost all the time, then this might not be a serious issue as fans are designed to automatically turn on, when the higher CPU temperature is detected.
    2. If they are running at a relatively higher speed(not max speed)( you can check RPM of the fan from the system software) but are making too much noise, then it might be happening due to dust particles trapped onto the fan. For this, you just have to use a vaccum cleaner or air blower to clean off the dust.
    3. If they are running at full speed at almost all the times, even when you are not performing any task, then the computer is definitely running some major background softwares. For this, go to the task manager(Ctrl + Shift + Esc) and end the unnecessary background processes.
    4. If the 3rd method, did not solved your issue, then your system might have some alienated software/virus installed, which is hogging up the CPU usage and causing the fans to run. For this, get a decent antivirus and get your system scanned for viruses.

This discussion has been closed.