cb1025
2 Bronze

fan overdrive on startup - fixed by reboot

I have recently been given an old optiplex 990. When I turn it on the CPU fan is very loud; however, if I reboot this tends to fix it. I looked in the BIOS and it is not set to fan override - so it should be using environmental conditions to set the fan speed - but it only seems to do this after a reboot.  It seems to be a hardware problem - as it will also be fixed while running tests in the BIOS menu. I don't know if it matters, but I'm using xubuntu.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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7 Replies
RoHe
8 Krypton

RE: fan overdrive on startup - fixed by reboot

When was last time motherboard battery was replaced?

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I'm not a Dell employee

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cb1025
2 Bronze

RE: fan overdrive on startup - fixed by reboot

I don't know - I just got the computer from the uni's e-recycling center.  Can I check the battery life in the BIOS somewhere?  (Sorry, don't know much at all about hardware)

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RoHe
8 Krypton

RE: fan overdrive on startup - fixed by reboot

Does the e-recycling center refurbish or just recycle them? If they refurbish, they might know if the battery was replaced recently.

Not hard to replace the battery. It's a CR2032 3-volt lithium ion battery, ~$2 at discount stores.  You didn't say if it's mini-tower, desktop, small form or ultra-small form, so look on the list for the right service manual which should have instructions to replace the battery, here: www.dell.com/.../manuals

If you're not a hardware person, maybe you have a geeky friend to help. No guarantees a new battery will help, but at least you will rule it out as part of the problem for a couple of bucks.  

On some Dell PC models, the CPU fan revs high at boot like this until the video driver(s) is loaded from the hard drive, so it's possible this could be a software issue with xubuntu. Does xubuntu install the right drivers for your hardware, eg, chipset, video, audio, network, etc? Dell doesn't support Ubuntu on this model so they don't offer any drivers or the System Software Utility that's needed for Windows, so you've entered into uncharted space.  You might google to see what others have done to run xubuntu or some other version on the 990...  

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I'm not a Dell employee

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cb1025
2 Bronze

RE: fan overdrive on startup - fixed by reboot

I think the computers are just wiped at the e-recycling center - it came with a blank hard drive and is no longer uni property, so I doubt they replaced anything.

The computer is a mini tower. I'll pick up a battery tomorrow and give that a go - seems like an easy, cheap option. I have changed out the RAM, hard drives, etc, so I should be able to do that (fingers crossed).

The hard drive with xbuntu on is one I had running on another computer that broke - so I just swapped it out. I did notice one FAIL message (out of otherwise all PASSES) on the loading screen - it flashes by quickly, but I think it says something about load kernals. I will investigate this further.  Otherwise, everything seems to be working fine: internet, video and audio all work.

I don't really know much (anything) about xubuntu, but I have a friend who does (though he's away for a month now).  I'll google using xubuntu on the 990 and see what I can come up with before then.

Thank you for the suggestions.

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RoHe
8 Krypton

RE: fan overdrive on startup - fixed by reboot

Wait a nano-sec... You can't just swap a hard drive from one PC into another unless they have *exactly* the same hardware.

Sounds like you may need to wipe the hard drive (back up your files first!) and then do a clean OS install on this "new" PC...

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I'm not a Dell employee

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cb1025
2 Bronze

RE: fan overdrive on startup - fixed by reboot

My friend (the one who knows lots about xubuntu and actually installed it on the hard drive for me) - said it should be fine (xubuntu shouldnt have the same issues as windows with drivers or something).

Everything is backed up, but I have a programme on there that I can't get while the uni is closed. Maybe I will wait until he returns from holidays and discuss it with him.  Hopefully, he can tell me how to check/change things without reinstalling the whole operating system.

Do you think it's still worth trying the battery now? If I let the computer run for a minute or two on first turn on, the reboot always sorts out the fan - so presumably I'm not doing any harm?

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RoHe
8 Krypton

RE: fan overdrive on startup - fixed by reboot

Won't hurt to change the battery, if you're comfortable doing it yourself.  

Even if xubuntu has all of the drivers built in, unless the right ones are loaded "on the fly" at every boot, there's going to be some issues. xubuntu may also have problems because Dell could have tweaked some of the drivers for their specific hardware. So you may have to reinstall the OS on this hard drive.

Drivers for NVidia video cards seem to be an issue for xubuntu. And a revving CPU fan can be the symptom of a missing or incorrect video driver...

You didn't say what version of xubuntu you have, but have a look at this site for some tips:

sites.google.com/.../first-xubuntu

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I'm not a Dell employee

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