rogerharris
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Precision T5400 "alert unable to initialize the fan controller"

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After this message I press f1 and it all works but all fans are full on. This is the constant state of the machine for some time.

 

Speedfan shows no RPM indicator for fans 1 to 3, and no temperature readings for the dual xeons. except all at -26. I presume that means no reading. The memory temps are low at 50-60

CPUID shows no temp readings for the xeons

Dell diagnostics from the usb boot, says that there is an error for all fans, and that they are all on full.

All CPU/Memory diagnostics OK

 

Done all the usual stuff. So how do I diagnose if a fan is the problem, or it’s the motherboard ?

 

 e.g. Could one fan with a dodgy sensor cause all this, or is it likely the motherboard ?

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RE: Precision T5400 "alert unable to initialize the fan controller"

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Those errors from the diagnostics are advising that it can't detect the RPM of the fans, yet they are on full. As the sensors are normally built-in to the fans on this system  - it would be really unfortunate for all 3 sensors to fail at once - I'd say that you're looking at a faulty Motherboard.

The red circled plug has been on the Motherboard since the T5400 was released. I can't remember off the top of my head what it is for though.

Colin H
Dell | Social Outreach Services

I'm based in the UK and available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm GMT

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speedstep
6 Thallium

RE: Precision T5400 "alert unable to initialize the fan controller"

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The picture is from optiplex only to show what it looks like.  In the Optiplex and Precision and Several other models they put a thermal Diode directly in the path of the case fan.  On Some models this changed to be a sensor on the panel where the 2 pin connector was.



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RE: Precision T5400 "alert unable to initialize the fan controller"

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Hey rogerharris,

If it's showing no results for fan RPM and errors with the fans, then I'd advise opening the chassis and checking there are no loose fan cables or if possible reseat all the fan cables

When you ran the diags and it gave you the error, did you happen to note the error code - eg 2000-0xxx - if not run the diags again and get the error code and message.

As well as getting the error code, can you update the BIOS to A09 (if you're not already at that version) & check to see if the error goes away, if it doesn't, go into the BIOS (F2 at the Dell logo) and reset the defaults.

Another option is, if you have another T5400, to swap the fans to see if the fault follows the original fans or stays with the system. I don't know what fan it is - there are at least 3 in the system - so I'd start with whatever one is easiest for you. Although if the diags indicate a certain fan then focus on that. This could help to determine if the Motherboard's faulty or not.

Colin H
Dell | Social Outreach Services

I'm based in the UK and available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm GMT

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speedstep
6 Thallium

RE: Precision T5400 "alert unable to initialize the fan controller"

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Speedfan does not work for these  in fact it works for very few Dells..  That is not a dell program.  Its not supported.

INTEL Motherboard sensors are not part of the system.  Nor are there Bios readings of the Fan speed and temp etc. Non Dell fans will produce this kind of error.  They are not generic they are model specific.


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rogerharris
1 Nickel

RE: Precision T5400 "alert unable to initialize the fan controller"

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I ran more diagnostics. This where am at so far. No better for knowing which to replace. i.e. fans or motherboard.

Bios defaults reset

All cables disconnected, reconnected. Fans dismantled and cleaned

Bios defaults reset

Bios at version A11

1234 lights all off

All tests for CPU/memory OK

All tests in windows 7 OK. i.e. Sandra, Dell diagnostics, CPUID etc

 

No change in problem. 

"alert unable to initialize the fan controller"

All fans full on, no readings for any fan RPM in Speedfan or Dell bootup diagnostics. Details to follow.

 

Fan on off tests   for the 3 fans. Results as follows (Abridged from screen readouts)

 

 ++++++++++++++++++++++

Test status setting fan speed on high

Detected fan speed rpm 0

Error code 3700:011B

Msg: FRONT_FAN – The fan speed is incorrect

 

Test status setting fan speed on high

Detected fan speed rpm 0

Error code 3700:011B

Msg: MEMORY_FAN– The fan speed is incorrect

 

Test status setting fan speed on high

Detected fan speed rpm 0

Error code 3700:011B

Msg: CARD_CAGE_FAN– The fan speed is incorrect

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Cable Detect inputs: Cable Detection summary  (Abridged from screen readouts)

 

Thermal diode cable not installed

 

NOTE from, user.. no messages on boot like Alert! Air temperature sensor not detected.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

SMBIOS: Environment information  (Abridged from screen readouts)

 

Device no: 1

Device type: fan

Temperature probe handle : no probe provided

Cooling unit group: 0

Conversion factor: n/a

 

Device no: 2

Device type: fan

Temperature probe handle : no probe provided

Cooling unit group: 0

Conversion factor: 1

 

Device no: 3

Device type: fan

Temperature probe handle : no probe provided

Cooling unit group: 0

Conversion factor: 1

 

Device no: 4

Device type: fan

Temperature probe handle : no probe provided

Cooling unit group: 0

Conversion factor: 1

 

 

Description : CPU0 and CPU1

Temp Readings all at N/A or unknown.

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

My Motherboard 0RW203 is Revision X10. Is this earlier than A02 etc I see as common second hand replacements ?  There is an un-used plug (in red) not in the T5400 manual.

My i/o interface Dell MM777-784-006m   Rev X04

has no temp sensor as indicated in the manual. (example photo)

It would help if you can let us know if some motherboard revisions have CPU temp sensors or sensors located in the fans ? or link me referral to dell engineer documents for these boards ? As it is not clear how the temp control works, or how to diagnose thanks.

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rogerharris
1 Nickel

RE: Precision T5400 "alert unable to initialize the fan controller"

Jump to solution

I ran more diagnostics. This where am at so far. No better for knowing which to replace. i.e. fans or motherboard.

Bios defaults reset

All cables disconnected, reconnected. Fans dismantled and cleaned

Bios defaults reset

Bios at version A11

1234 lights all off

All tests for CPU/memory OK

All tests in windows 7 OK. i.e. Sandra, Dell diagnostics, CPUID etc

 

No change in problem. 

"alert unable to initialize the fan controller"

All fans full on, no readings for any fan RPM in Speedfan or Dell bootup diagnostics. Details to follow.

 

Fan on off tests   for the 3 fans. Results as follows (Abridged from screen readouts)

 

 ++++++++++++++++++++++

Test status setting fan speed on high

Detected fan speed rpm 0

Error code 3700:011B

Msg: FRONT_FAN – The fan speed is incorrect

 

Test status setting fan speed on high

Detected fan speed rpm 0

Error code 3700:011B

Msg: MEMORY_FAN– The fan speed is incorrect

 

Test status setting fan speed on high

Detected fan speed rpm 0

Error code 3700:011B

Msg: CARD_CAGE_FAN– The fan speed is incorrect

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Cable Detect inputs: Cable Detection summary  (Abridged from screen readouts)

 

Thermal diode cable not installed

 

NOTE from, user.. no messages on boot like Alert! Air temperature sensor not detected.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

SMBIOS: Environment information  (Abridged from screen readouts)

 

Device no: 1

Device type: fan

Temperature probe handle : no probe provided

Cooling unit group: 0

Conversion factor: n/a

 

Device no: 2

Device type: fan

Temperature probe handle : no probe provided

Cooling unit group: 0

Conversion factor: 1

 

Device no: 3

Device type: fan

Temperature probe handle : no probe provided

Cooling unit group: 0

Conversion factor: 1

 

Device no: 4

Device type: fan

Temperature probe handle : no probe provided

Cooling unit group: 0

Conversion factor: 1

 

 

Description : CPU0 and CPU1

Temp Readings all at N/A or unknown.

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

My Motherboard 0RW203 is Revision X10. Is this earlier than A02 etc I see as common second hand replacements ?  There is an un-used plug (in red) not in the T5400 manual.

My i/o interface Dell MM777-784-006m   Rev X04

has no temp sensor as indicated in the manual. (example photo)

It would help if you can let us know if some motherboard revisions have CPU temp sensors or sensors located in the fans ? or link me referral to dell engineer documents for these boards ? As it is not clear how the temp control works, or how to diagnose thanks.

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rogerharris
1 Nickel

RE: Precision T5400 "alert unable to initialize the fan controller"

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Fans are all dell, and all work, except full on.  See the test results above. This is what is confusing. Where are there sensors  ? and if there are none how is the system regulated.  I do have ram temps so obviously those are on the this board.

For example this user posted CPUID on here, has CPU and RAM temps, but I don’t get such CPU readings.

Is 89C Too Hot for Precision T5400 Under Full Load?

 

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19463576

Some posts elsewhere on this refer that there are there temp sensors in fans. I don’t know about that, but still no clearer,  Why do fans trigger the bios alert to go full on ?

Right now it is not clear how to proceed. Buying a series of parts (3 fans, motherboard) without diagnostics can take up to two months with waiting times. And also is very high cost.

 

I could try reverting the bios, as the updates may not work with some configurations.

IF there is no diagnostic method then simplest route appears to be fit a high spec fan control system with temp sensors.

 

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Moderator
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RE: Precision T5400 "alert unable to initialize the fan controller"

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Those errors from the diagnostics are advising that it can't detect the RPM of the fans, yet they are on full. As the sensors are normally built-in to the fans on this system  - it would be really unfortunate for all 3 sensors to fail at once - I'd say that you're looking at a faulty Motherboard.

The red circled plug has been on the Motherboard since the T5400 was released. I can't remember off the top of my head what it is for though.

Colin H
Dell | Social Outreach Services

I'm based in the UK and available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm GMT

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speedstep
6 Thallium

RE: Precision T5400 "alert unable to initialize the fan controller"

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The motherboard may not be faulty however if the fans were replaced with NON DELL Fans. Fans going to airplane mode can also be lack of thermal compound or bad caps on the board.  The Thermal diode that attaches to the front can be loose or bad.



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Moderator
Moderator

RE: Precision T5400 "alert unable to initialize the fan controller"

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Hey Speedstep,

The T5400 doesn't have that particular sensor - that picture is from an Optiplex.....

Colin H
Dell | Social Outreach Services

I'm based in the UK and available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm GMT

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speedstep
6 Thallium

RE: Precision T5400 "alert unable to initialize the fan controller"

Jump to solution

The picture is from optiplex only to show what it looks like.  In the Optiplex and Precision and Several other models they put a thermal Diode directly in the path of the case fan.  On Some models this changed to be a sensor on the panel where the 2 pin connector was.



Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues
here

I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.

The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating
Contact USA Technical Support






Get Support on Twitter @DellCaresPro