A Goldilocks Fan

For the last two or three weeks there has been a fairly loud, nearly continuous noise in our study. At first I assumed it was a fan from one of the computers but I was later led to believe that it was actually related to our router, which appeared constantly busy. I spent some time trying to determine which system was causing or experiencing the high traffic, but was not successful.

When we got home on Sunday evening, I found that the Windows system was non-responsive. I power-cycled it and was greeted with a message about the fan having failed. Additionally, the system was running very slow — not sure if there is some CPU throttling due to temperature or what. Of course, the sound was no longer present and my suspicion of the router was completely unfounded. The sound was what it originally seemed like, a fan going bad.

This system is a DELL Dimension 2800. I opened it up and took out the fan and put it in my truck to see about replacing on Monday. During the day, I did some web searching for case fans and found that most were either 80mm, which seemed much too small, or 120mm which seemed much too large. At lunch I got the model number from the fan and searching on that revealed that it is 92mm (which was just right). It also showed that it wasn’t readily available online and the places that did have it often charged upwards of $40 (as compared with $2 for several of the 80mm fans).

Eventually, I went to Fry’s and found a 92mm fan for $8 that looked like it would fit within the existing housing. Unfortunately, it had a different connector. Wanting an immediate solution I decide I would splice the old cable to the new cable. When I got home I did just that and now the fan is quietly spinning away and the system is running fine.

I think the work I did on the fan was the quickest I’ve ever completed any kind of repair that included cutting wires.

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