Posts Tagged ‘hardware’
I noticed a “Chip fan” warning on my sons PC this morning at boot time and decided to investigate. Looks like it was as well I did as the fan that cools the northbridge/sli chip on the motherboard itself (an Asus A8N Sli Deluxe) was not running.
I tried giving ht emachine a good dust out including the fan but no life was seen. You could smell burning though when it was switched on, so I pretty well gave up hope for the fan and was cursing the whole thing, as it coul dmean a complete motherboard/CPU/RAM upgrade to sort. Not a big deal technically but a pain in the backside financially when the PC is otherwise fine.
I decided to have a look see if I could fix it.
Its a bit tricky to get out and basically I needed to remove all the motherboard securing screws to get to the back of the board and the two retaining plugs that hold the fan on the chip. The only way I could see to remove them was to pull each plug out from the borad one at a time against the spring tension of the securing pillars on the front of the board, and cut them with side cutters.
This causes the retaining pillars to ping off so watch out for losing them and the springs. Its going to be hard to resuse them but watch the springs don’t end up trapped in amongst the components onthe bard and cause further problems.
The Fan comes out once the pins are released and the power plug needs to be removed from the board.
Its held closed by 4 tiny cross head screws (a very small phillips will be required) then once the cover is off the fan is secired to the bottom of the heatsink with three further similarly sized screws.
I got these out and gave the whole assembly a really good dowse in Electrical Solvent cleaner. This certainly got it clean but it did not feel especially free spinning.
I had a wee trawl on the web and it seems this is a very common fault and the general recommendation is to replace it with a Zalman ZM-NB47J Passive cooler you can get them at micro direct here in the UK. Most appear to fail early in the life of the PC, so I guess we have been luck as this board is a few years old now.
They only cost a few pounds so I decided to order one though have to admit I have doubts its going to fit as my sons PC has a pair of NVidia graphics cards in SLI mode that are very long and I think they are going to impede the cooler. However the cooler is rotateable so I might be able to make it fit…nothing ventured nothing gained.
Anyway I decided to have a go at getting the fan going again if I could, so after the liberal cleaning in Solvent gave it another good dose of WD40 lubricant.
I cleaned off the excess, set the motherbaord back to at least power up (plugged the atx connector in) and connected the fan – just holding it in my hand. I could feel it wanted to go – it pulsed but did not turn, so I had another wee look at it, and it seemed to be a bit squint on its axis. I applied a bit pressure to try make it look more evenly mounted, and this time it fired up.
I gave it another oil and tried again, this time it seemed much faster. So time to put it all back together, connect up and apply a bit heat paste to the chip . Now I don’t have any screw to fix the cooler back to the chipset so am kind of counting on the paste and the friction of the graphics cards above the fan holding it all in place, but the warning is gone and the fan is working fast and smoothly.
I will report on the cooler when it arrives but this might have saved things for now.
Just encountered an issue with the Transcend JF220 Secure USB stick. This stick uses a finger print reader to secure the partitioned USB stick.The stick works fine in my Windows XP system but once used with my Vista system I noticed that the main icons off the Start button stopped working. How odd?
I got hold of a utility called ShellExView from Nirsoft which allows you to see which shell extensions are running on your platform and to selectively disable them. Be warned disable them one at a time and only those you suspect. If your not sure ask a PC savvy friend!
Anyway working chronologically backwards- ie newest first I noticed an Icon Handler extension supplied by Arachnoid Biometrics Identification Group Corp. Disabling this restored the icon function onthe start button.
Unfortunately I see no easy way to uninstall this as it has no entry in the Control Panel. Looks like a manual/ registry hack job for later.
I need to look into if there is a fix for this first though. Perhaps an updated driver for the Transcend USB stick.
My Motherboard, an Asus A8V Deluxe uses the Promise Fastrak 378 onboard RAID controller and I discovered that there does not appear to be a Vista driver for this. However I decided to try using the Windows 2003 Server drivers which come on the ASUS CD and loaded them during Vista Set up and hey presto it all worked fine. I don’t seem to have any obvious issues and Vista isn’t whinging so it looks OK as a work round.
Hopefully this helps someone else in a similar situation.