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How to Fix or Silence a Noisy Cpu Fan

Patrick, a computer technician, is a dedicated writer who wishes to make the world better by informing individuals who seek more knowledge.

What Causes a Computer Fan Become Noisy?

  1. When your CPU is working hard.
  2. Your computer ventilation is poor.
  3. Your computer is dirty.
  4. The computer fan is not working properly.
  5. Your computer needs thermal paste.

When Your CPU is Working Hard.

If you suspect your CPU is overworking, you need to check which software is currently running.

Check which software is using a lot of CPU resources. If you are doing something intensive, then CPU usage will be high. At that time fan noise is expected. The noise should reduce once you are done with the intense activity you are running.

On a Windows computer, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to bring up the Task Manager. You will able to monitor the tasks running on your computer. If you're on a Mac, press Ctrl+Space and search for Activity Monitor.

Your Computer Ventilation is Poor

Your computer requires good ventilation. This means you should not cover the vents used to let air in.

When using a laptop, do not set it on a pillow or other soft materials. These will surely block the free flow of air.

The basic rule is that anything that hinders airflow is going to overheat your computer. This pushes your fans to spin fast to achieve desirable temperatures.

Your Computer is Dirty

Dust particles build up inside your computer with time. This dust prevents the fans from working effectively.

Dust and other debris are a common cause of noisy computer fans. At this juncture, get your computer dust blower and get rid of that dust.

The Computer Fan is Not Working Properly

There are instances when the computer fan fails to work properly. It is common for moving parts to wear down over time. They eventually break down.

Desktop and laptop fans that are running loud might be loose. The best thing is to open up your computer and check things physically. Replace any worn-out fan.

Your Computer Needs Thermal Paste

Several components can make noise inside your computer. For example, cooling fans, CD/DVD or any other disc drives you are using, hard disk drive, power supply, and the casing especially for clone computers if loose.

The kind of noise we are talking of here is the funny, irritating, alarming loud noise, depending on the individual, that comes from your computer.

Thermal Paste

Thermal paste (comes in different containers)

Thermal paste (comes in different containers)

Excess Heat Produced by the Processor

The CPU noise is usually a loud noise like that of a vacuum cleaner, or a car accelerating.

It can be continuous noise. Sometimes it happens for a brief period of time then it is gone only to happen again.

The noise can be loud and intense that you will see people starring alarmingly at the computer as if it is going to burst.

This kind of noise usually occurs when the computer processor overheats. This overheating, which can destroy the computer processor, happens because the CPU and the heat sink are not making 100% contact with each other.

This 100% contact is important because the excess heat produced by the processor must be absorbed by the heat sink and then dissipated to the outside environment.

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The work of the CPU fan on your PC is to remove the hot air and bring in some cool air. This cool air then literally cools the heat sink which in turn cools the processor.

A Fan on Top of Heat Sink

Processor and heatsink

Processor and heatsink

Use Thermal Paste

First of all, you have to make sure that the fan is okay, this can be done by checking it physically.

This is because the cooling fan can be faulty at times. After determining that the CPU fan is okay, you will need to buy a thermal paste.

Yes! Thermal paste, heat sink compound, thermal gel, a thermal compound also known by other names, will do the trick.

This thermal paste is a fluid substance (very similar to toothpaste). It is used for enhancing thermal conductivity between two thermal conductors.

The thermal interface material fills the invisible gaps between the CPU and the heat sink. Since the thermal paste conducts heat better than air, it ends up improving greatly the thermal conductivity of the processor.

Open Your System Unit Cover

Open your system unit cover to access your processor. This is after turning off your computer and removing the power cable from the wall socket.

I suggest you can take this chance to blow or vacuum the dust that has accumulated on your computer for the last ...

This is in case you have not carried out any computer preventive maintenance lately.

Remember you have to take care of ESD precaution. This is to avoid harming your electronic components inside the system unit.

Some electronic devices are prone to damage because of electrostatic charges made by the human body.

These charges may be up to 4000 volts and cause damage without being noticed.

You can make use of use antistatic wrist straps and ESD mats when working with potentially sensitive electronic components. There are also ESD floor mats available.

CPU Fan Clips

CPU fan Clips, they vary depending on the design

CPU fan Clips, they vary depending on the design

Remove the Fan and Heat Sink First

To access your processor; you will have to remove the fan and heat sink first. The two are usually fixed together.

The heat sink is usually held into position by clips. Observe them keenly how they have been hooked before unhooking them.

Some types use screws. Having done that, you will be able to see your processor. You don’t have to remove it unless you want to have a look at it.

Wipe off any previous heat sink compound. Apply the paste evenly on top of your processor surface. You can make use of a small brush and if not available you can improvise something to use.

Return your heat sink and hook it back firmly. Connect everything back and power on your system.

If it powers on properly that means you have not messed with your system and you have fixed your noisy CPU fan.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Patrick Kamau


Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on August 18, 2016:

Alex there are a number of things that could be causing this, unfortunately you have not stated if it shows anything on the screen when you power it up. However trying doing this;

1. check if the RAM is seated properly

2. Try any other RAM

3. still the same problem check the video or graphics card , if any

4. if no graphics card and problem recurs, clear your CMOS by removing battery and returning it again

5. still problem , check the processor heat sink

7. still problem then suggesting checking motherboard and processor

Remember that also messing with the video drivers can cause such a problem.

alex on August 18, 2016:

my cpu boots but and after sometimes it shows a black scree what could be the problem

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on January 26, 2012:

Thanks josiejossy. Just try it out. It will also solve the problem of a computer hanging or freezing due to overheating of the processor.

josiejossy from Nairobi Kenya on January 26, 2012:

Great hub, thnx for sharing, i had a noisy one bt now after reading this am gona fix it. Its Wow

Lynn Jones from USA on October 27, 2011:

You're welcome and thanks for sharing the information as well, have a good one I look forward to reading many more of your hubs in the future. Have a good one

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on October 27, 2011:

Thanks lyns for reading and commenting on my work. I hope you will check my other works.

Lynn Jones from USA on October 27, 2011:

Very good information Patkay, thanks for sharing, have a good morning. lyns

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on October 22, 2011:

Good, lucy patrick, check the rest of my hubs and you will enjoy.

lucy patrick on October 22, 2011:

i learned a lot from your hub

Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on October 22, 2011:

Thanks nenytridiana, for reading and commenting.

nenytridiana from Probolinggo - Jawa Timur - Indonesia on October 21, 2011:

A useful information. Thank you.

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