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How To Replace a Cooling Fan

Your PC probably has two or more fans. Common fans include a power supply fan, CPU fan, case fan, graphics card fan and drive fan. Each of these is generally replaceable with the exception of the power supply fan. Some power supplies have replaceable fans, but many do not. If the fan is not replaceable, then you will have to replace the power supply.

Caution: Please read our safety information before attempting any testing or repairs.

Before replacing any of the fans, unplug the PC to avoid an electrical shock hazard. Exercise caution as there are sharp edges on a PC and its components. Always wear a static electricity discharge strap when working with your PC's components to avoid damaging your PC.

Cleaning Fans

Fans crirculate air and so a lot of dust passes through the fan. Simply cleaning a fan may solve the problem. The build up of dust and grime may slow or stop an otherwise working fan. To easiest way to clean a fan is to use canned air to blow out all the dust and debris.

Case Fans

Case fans can be mounted to the case, in a drive bay or installed in a slot. They are easy to remove and install. If replacing a fan, simply open the case, locate the fan, disconnect it from its power source, remove any fasteners holding the fan in place and install the new fan. If you are installing a new fan, rather than replacing one, then locate a suitable position for the fan, secure the fan in place, connect it to a power source (typically one of the power connectors from the power supply or possibly a connector on the motherboard designated for powering a case fan.

Drive Fans

Drive fans typically mount in an available drive bay and connect to a power lead from the power supply. Whether installing a new fan or replacing an existing fan, open the case, locate a bay that will best move air over the drives. Secure the drive fan into the drive bay and connect it to the power supply.

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