How to Fix CPU Cooling Fan (9 Steps)
By Mikhail Polenin
One of the most important things to maintain in a computer is the cooling system in order to prevent components from overheating. The CPU is the most important component to keep cool. If the CPU does not transfer the appropriate amount of heat into the heat sink and then onto the fan, it will overheat and it probably would not work anymore. You will know your CPU fan needs repair if it starts making a lot of noise that will keep you awake at night.
Clean the blades of the fan as much as possible, getting every speck of dust out. This is important so that dust doesn't get blown from the fan blades into other parts of the computer. For fans with heat sinks below them, clean off the dust from the heat sink as well.
Remove the fan assembly by clipping the metal bars on the side off from the processor.
Gently remove any thermal grease from the top of the processor and the bottom of the fan assembly by using a paper towel.
Place the fan assembly on a flat surface clean of any dust with the fan facing up.
If the center of your fan has a sticker on it, carefully peel it and place a little bit of oil inside the exposed area. Add the same quantity of graphite powder. You may need to tape the sticker back on to prevent the fan from leaking out oil and powder while spinning.
If the center of your fan does not have a sticker on it, try putting some oil and the same quantity of graphite powder in the bottom side of the fan just above the heat sink where its spinning mechanism rests.
Place a small amount of thermal grease on the top of the processor and start spreading it with your finger. If the thermal grease is too thin to spread all over the processor, add another small amount until the thermal grease can spread through the entire surface. The grease is extremely important to transfer heat from the processor to the heat sink of the fan assembly.
Clean your hands thoroughly before handling anything else.
Carefully nest the CPU fan on top of the CPU and clip the metal bars on the side of the processor's clips firmly so that they latch on securely. Do not worry if the fan assembly moves slightly to the side when you push it in a particular direction. The thermal grease is very slippery, so this is very normal when mounting the fan back on a processor.
- Always operate on the fan and internal components of a computer with extreme care and clean hands. This is especially true about thermal grease, which can make things very messy when not cleaned off of your hands.
- Handling internal computer components will present a danger of electrostatic discharge. Never operate on a computer before first touching another metal surface with your hands to get any excess static electricity out of your body.
Mikhail Polenin has been working with computers since 1997. His experience also expands to astrophysics, masonry, electricity and general appliance repair. He's written about various different subjects regarding astrophysics and electrical circuits for various online publications. Polenin attended the New World School of the Arts and the University of Florida.