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How to clean CPU Fan by a newbie.

by Scott274 / August 14, 2008 5:16 AM PDT

Friends, I have this 4 year old intel fan which is making a lot of disturbing noise. Thats

probably because of the dust accumulated in it since long time. I usually just dust it

lightly with a brush from the top sometimes but that doesn't help the noise at all. Can

someone explain me how to remove my CPU fan so as to clean it without causing any major

problems like processor getting burned etc. Do you think it can be done safely by a PC

newbie like me once every six months.

My CPU Fan is square in shape with side long white flaps on two sides which can be flipped

up. There are no noticable screws anywhere on the fan. I have tried to search for pictures

similar to my fan model on google but couldn't find any.

Further I had once tried removing the CPU Fan myself. Here is how.. Slowly flipped up the

two white flaps and felt the fan relax a little. Then holding the fan on either side just

below the flaps, tried pulling it up with little more than gentle force. The fan just

wouldn't come off..!! I dared not put any more force in case I was pulling at the wrong

thing. Then just quietly put the flaps back in place and haven't tried since. Should I

try once more guys..

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There's more than one way
by Steven Haninger / August 14, 2008 7:31 AM PDT

First off, a noisy fan isn't always external dust. It has a motor with a shaft and bearings or bushings. These wear and clearances increase causing the shaft to sort of bounce around rather than run smoothly. You may not be able to do much about the noise without replacing the fan. I've been able to lubricate a few but the quieting is temporary. As for dust, I'll recommend canned air and a small paint brush. You're going to need to also clean the dust from the heat sink. They come in all shapes and sizes so I'll just say to blow away as much dust as you can with the air and then go at it with the paint brush getting into all the nooks and crannys that are reachable. Follow up with another blast of air. I've heard it wise to unplug the fan from the motherboard first. The reasoning is that spinning the fan might cause enough current to be generated to damage circuitry. While you're at it, use the canned air to remove dust from the inside of the power supply as well. You might want to go so far as to do this outdoors so the same dust doesn't have a chance to come right back inside. There's plenty of new dust around anyway. Hope that helps.

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Might find a new one but...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 14, 2008 7:36 AM PDT

No make or model of any component given. This makes it tough to offer which replacement to get.

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by Willy / August 14, 2008 10:18 AM PDT

You need to replace fan as "noise" is sure sign its going to fail. If you can post a picture on "pic sharing" forum do so. You gave no clue as to the fan and/or system. But, in buying a replacement get one capable of cooling your cpu, thus if P4-2.4Ghz cpu, one able to handle that. As to removing the fan, just use common sense. Some are held in place by ears/tangs/prongs and/or clips and posts where screws would go, allow it to used for awhile to warm-up the "goop" on the heatsink, then try twisting slightly and pulling on it. Bes ure any clips, etc. are free for removal. Provide the pic "you take" if you can so we can view, if possible.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Reply 1..
by Scott274 / August 14, 2008 12:18 PM PDT
In reply to: Details

Ok can't take any actual pictures but my fan looks like this..




I have slightly figured out how to go about taking out the fan along with it's clip frame for cleaning later on. But how to practically remove it without disturbing the thermal paste. Any tips on this as I can't reapply the thermal paste later on. And any tips on were I could go wrong during removal and reattach of the CPU fan with it's clip frame. I heard that if this is not done properly, one could end up with a burned CPU.

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without disturbing the thermal paste = Non-issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 14, 2008 9:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Reply 1..

This looks like a common Socket 478 or even 423 Pentium 4 Intel heatsink. No one I know has successfully found a new fan. Because of this pull the entire unit, toss it and install a new one from newegg.com or geeks.com

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Reply 2..
by Scott274 / August 14, 2008 10:19 PM PDT

Er. I didn't quite understand what did you mean by "This looks like a common Socket 478 or even 423 Pentium 4 Intel heatsink. No one I know has successfully found a new fan." Did you mean the fan is not good or not easy to replace with another compatible CPU fan model??

Also can someone advise me on the thermal paste etc questions I asked in post 5.

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Reply 3..
by Scott274 / August 14, 2008 10:24 PM PDT
In reply to: Reply 2..

Oh sorry, I didn't notice this statement by you "without disturbing the thermal paste = Non-issue." Did you mean removing the CPU Fan along with its clip frame doesn't disturb the thermal paste at all and I needn't worry about it??

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 14, 2008 10:31 PM PDT
In reply to: Reply 3..

It's a non-issue since thermal paste is about 1 dollar and you can refresh it with ease. If this is not something you want to deal with then it's best you take it to a shop.

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Proceed with caution
by Willy / August 15, 2008 2:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Reply 1..

OK, great info...

Unlock the latches/levers to open position. In the 2nd pic, you see in the circle, those brackets(top&bottom) hook into the ears/holes, use a small screwdriver or pocket knife to pry carefully away from each other all 4 corners. Once loose, lift the bracket assy. away. You now have access to the heatsink&fan directly. The fan may just sit on top on some posts. Either lift as whole unit by pulling up or slight twist and up. If the whole cpu&heatsink assy. (heatsink compound will hold them). Yes, you will have to replace(re-apply) when remounting again. The whole HSF, heatsink assy. can be replaced by those cooling fans(or HSF)compatible with your model cpu if you can't replace the fan alone.
Robert, has provided links to some vendors. May I suggest this one too: http://www.frozencpu.com

tada -----Willy Happy

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Cooling fans
by Willy / August 15, 2008 3:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Proceed with caution

If the stock Intel fan assy. is "molded" and can't be fixed and thus replaced. Here's another fan/HSF source:

Its important get one that matches your cpu needs, so verify the socket type, as in socket478 for a proper match. I think I covered all there is on this topic, good luck. -----Willy Happy

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compressed air
by GENE8 / August 16, 2008 4:44 PM PDT

Try using compressed air to clean the CPU fan. Don't risk using anything else.

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How to clean CPU Fan by a newbi
by anjanchakraborty2001 / August 18, 2008 4:36 AM PDT

you can clean with small USB vacume cleaner. This USB vacume cleaner is made for PC purpose. I clean my PC with this USB vacume cleaner.

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I Think
by lbjones3 / August 18, 2008 8:49 AM PDT

Hi Lee
On mine view goes to this way by applying air pressure or soft hand brush to clean the CPU Fans.
You remind me 2 weeks ago I try my best to repair someones PC. It problem was red light blinking and I relax that the CPU was fualty with a lot dust in all system unit. so I couldn't do it for the person, suggested unles replacement.

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