View Full Version : New-build PC - CPU fan problem

01-12-2013, 06:54 AM
Hi guys
This problem is not Reaper-specific, but I'm hoping someone here might be able to help.
I've helped a buddy build a new PC for audio work.
Components relevant to the problem are:
Asus P8Z77-V LE - motherboard
Intel i7 3770k - CPU
Artic Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 - CPU cooler

On first start-up the BIOS reported a "CPU Fan Error".
We seem to have got rid of that by switching the fan to Manual in the BIOS, but ongoing, the fan doesn't always seem to be spinning!

This is obviously causing some concern.
Any keen PC builders here who might be able to shed some light...and a cool steady breeze!?
Cheers for now

01-12-2013, 10:19 AM
when building a pc all your components must be tested BEFORE ASSEMBLY!!, that means this:

Any Fans, LED's or any weird ligthing system must be checked and powered to make sure they work before going into the system

YOU NEVER AND I MEAN EVER put a CPU fan unto a CPU and turn the machine on!! without testing that fan out first before installation to make sure the fan works and check for noise levels

1. power that fan with 12 volts ( most CPU fans are 12 volts use an AC adpater ( with different ends) cue one end you are not going to use and use it as a power load tester ( I have a few of those for quick tests)

Does the fan run ( powered) okay? or stops and goes?

You need to make sure. Check the wiring on the fan plug the plug that connects to the MOBO, look at the plug and are the wires good there?

If the fan runs okay, put it back on the CPU and power on the machine

When building a system you never have the CMOS battery in. This avoids dealing with system ghosts

Assembly prechecks

1.Cpu fan working
2.ram modules installed properly ( RECHECK THIS COMMON PROBLEM)
3.RESET AND POWER BUTTONS cables plugged in properly
4.Graphics cards in properly and pushed in right
5. add your harddrives and DVDROMS
6.plug in those drives with the proper cables

Power on the machine and quickly check to make sure the CPU fan is working okay, shut the machine off ASAP if not.

Goto BIOS settings and RESET TO DEFAULT, POWER DOWN now. PUT battery back in for CMOS, and power on and do the same step again LOAD DEFAULT SETTINGS.

Try a different plug for Fan's on the MOBO ( mobos have 2 or 3 sometimes)
if this still does not work

here is a youtube video on the installation of the ARCTIC COOLING FREEZER system in case you need to go back over it... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKWh24l5-tQ

01-12-2013, 10:59 AM
Cheers Dan
Will forward your comments to my mate.
I had no idea about removing the CMOS battery before assembly, and certainly never thought about checking the fan with a 12v adaptor!

Its odd though - I've found some bits and pieces on the net about other people having exactly the same problem with this particular combination of board and cooler. I'm finding some suggestions to alter the minimum spin-speed of the fan to <600rpm in the BIOS.

I put together my own custom build some 15 months ago, same cooler, but i5 Sandy Bridge chip and an Asus P8P67 board. Never had any of these issues at all, just following each step of the build in the motherboard's manual.

Bah, I'm sure we'll get it sorted in the end. Back to first principles and all that...!;) I've also contacted Arctic's customer support so we won't go short on advice.

Nice one mate. All the best.

01-12-2013, 11:27 AM
Np it's just these days with these cooling systems, it's all game open now, you have to dig down and read the docs and do some steps before even powering the machine LOL sounds a bit backwards, but that is how our machines are like today.

I heard some issues with that cooling system and certain mobos, read up on google and got a couple of hits on that.

01-14-2013, 10:19 AM
I work in a computer repair shop and I've never heard any of that, or experienced it for that matter. All of that troubleshooting is good if the machine is crashing or not booting at all, but for a situation like this, I do not believe it has anything to do with hardware failure at all. All motherboards have failsafes built in, and even if a CPU fan goes bad, after a certain temperature, the whole computer will shut off to prevent damage, and that shutoff temp is well below the actual threshold of the CPU.

In this case I would suspect the CPU fan is plugged into an incorrect header on the motherboard, causing the motherboard to give you a CPU Fan Fail/Fan Error warning. The reason the CPU fan doesn't always spin is because many new motherboards rely very heavily on thermal sensors. If the overall temp is below a certain level, then the CPU fan will slow down, and all other case fans may slow down or even stop. If the CPU fan is plugged into a case or system fan header, this could very easily be the cause.

The print on motherboards is very tiny, but the CPU fan header is not always closest to the socket anymore, but it is labeled as being such. The CPU fan header on your motherboard is on the top edge of the board, and is the header on the left side.

01-14-2013, 11:27 AM
Cheers for your input JG

What you say does sound very relevant.
My buddy assures me that the fan is connected to the correct header on the board, but I will make sure he double & triple-checks it.

However, the room in which it is housed is the attic, and its bloody cold up there at this time of year. I guess this would naturally play a part in keeping temperatures at abnormally low levels.

Apparently the cpu fan did burst into life last night. The machine under a small load.... playback from iTunes, software installation and some web-surfing.
Not exactly ball-breaking work for this machine, but progress nonetheless.

Seems there might be a road to getting it properly sorted out.

Thanks for taking the time to look-in on the problem.

01-14-2013, 11:40 AM
That is why you start with electricity 101 for these weird errors,

I have seen some strange things in my computer life, pretty much have been around them for 20 years now.

I have seen fans slow down an up due to a bad fan module.

So start with the basics as mentioned when you build a new system always start with the cmos battery out. This way all settings will not stick untill you iron out any bugs

I have seen CPU's getting fried very easily, wrongly installed heatsink + bad dying cpu fan combo.

So fans do indeed have problems sometimes, and sometimes they work okay and sometimes not.

So go back over the basics. is the fan hooked up to the right power socket on the mobo as JG mentioned?

Do you have another CPU fan to try out??

01-14-2013, 12:51 PM
It's the same with my PC. I got a large fan, and I got both the 'CPU Fan error' and the fan that is not always spinning.

In short: it's all normal! Read on...

Combine a large efficient fan, with a modern CPU, and modest or silent BIOS settings, and you can get a fan that not always needs to be on. Or a fan that normally works at such a low RPM (large fans do that), that BIOS is concerned and throws out a 'CPU Fan Error' (which is just a warning that the BIOS thinks your fan isn't spinning fast enough).

Here's how to confirm if there is a cause for concern or not...

1) Play around with BIOS settings. Try the most aggressive cooling and fan settings. The fan should then be spinning at all times and not giving you any errors. (you should be able to disable the warnings anyway)

2) Try normal or silent modes and do some CPU intensive tasks (like benchmarking or CPU testing). Once the CPU starts getting hotter, the fan should then start spinning (and then stop again once the CPU has cooled down). If it's not spinning at all, there is a problem for sure.

Make sure to use CPU temperature monitor software. If the CPU temp rises above 65-70C during stress test (or worse, during idle), then get concerned.

01-14-2013, 12:59 PM
I do actually have an identical (and 100% working) fan right here in my PC.
Trouble is, I'm 180 miles away from the problem right now!
We're working on getting a spare on-site a bit quicker than I can get there myself.
Also still waiting on verification that the fan is coupled to the right header too.

I'm actually considering re-speccing the cooler altogether.
I'm not sure how much need or desire there'll be to OC this box but in the event, this particular model may not be up to the task.

Will post back here when there's more to add.
Appreciate your interest guys.

01-14-2013, 10:22 PM
The freezer 7 pro isn't quite what I would consider up to snuff for an 3770k, as is, I feel like you'd have been fine with a regular 3770, even the 3770S would have been nice, and more appropriate for the Freezer 7 Pro.

Either way, if you're looking at getting a new cooler, look at Prolimatech, Noctua, Xigmatec, Scythe or Thermalright. Those are the big 5 best names, but not all available always.

I've been using tower coolers since the original Scythe Ninja came out, and I haven't turned back since.

01-15-2013, 05:09 AM
Nice one JG, and my thoughts exactly!

When I spec'd the machine, I looked at a popular UK custom-builder's website and basically copied the list of components that they use in their OC'able Pro i7 rig. Trouble is, they didn't give the actual ID of the cooler, so I just went with the one that I'm familiar with in my own PC.
They must have updated their site though, because it now lists their choice of cooler as the Xigmatek Gaia SD1283. Seems to be a pretty good balance between cost and performance, and clearly has no issues with the m'board and cpu combination.

Wha'dya reckon?

01-15-2013, 08:49 PM
For my own custom build that I'm finishing up tomorrow hopefully, I chose the Xigmatek 1283 Dark Knight II. The Gaia SD1283 is a good cooler absolutely, only just a little different than the DK-II model, nothing you'll probably notice on a normal basis. I changed the stock fan though, I ended up not going for a lighted computer, don't want it to be flashy.