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How to Fix or Silence a Noisy CPU Fan

Updated on March 24, 2017
Patkay profile image

Patrick, a Computer Technician, is a dedicated writer who wishes to make the world better by informing individuals who seek more knowledge.

How to Fix or Silence a Noisy CPU Fan

Noise From Inside Your Computer

A number of components can make noise inside your computer, for example, cooling fans, CD/DVD or any other disc drives you are using, hard disk drive, power supply, and the casing especially for clone computers if loose. The kind of noise we are talking of here is the funny, irritating, alarming loud noise, depending on the individual, that comes from your CPU fan.

Thermal Paste

Thermal paste (comes in different containers)
Thermal paste (comes in different containers) | Source

Using Thermal Paste to Silence a Noisy CPU Fan

Excess Heat Produced by the Processor

The CPU noise is usually a loud noise like that of a vacuum cleaner, or a car accelerating and it only happens for a brief period of time then it is gone only to happen again. There are times when the noise will go on continuously without abating. Sometimes it is so loud and intense that you will see people starring alarmingly at the computer as if it is going to burst.

This kind of noise usually occurs when your processor overheats. This overheating, which can destroy the computer processor, happens because the CPU and the heat sink are not making 100% contact with each other. This 100% contact is important because the excess heat produced by the processor must be absorbed by the heat sink and then dissipated to outside environment. The work of the CPU fan on your PC is to remove the hot air and bring in some cool air; this cool air then literally cools the heat sink which in turn cools the processor.

A Fan on top of Heatsink

Processor and heatsink
Processor and heatsink | Source

So How Do We Fix This Noisy Fan?

Use Thermal Paste

First of all, you have to make sure that the fan is okay, this can be done by checking it physically. This is because the cooling fan can be faulty at times. After determining that the CPU fan is okay, you will need to buy a thermal paste. Yes! Thermal paste, heat sink compound, thermal gel, thermal compound and also known by other names, will do the trick.

This thermal paste is a fluid substance (very similar to toothpaste), used for enhancing thermal conductivity between two thermal conductors. This thermal interface material fills the invisible gaps between the CPU and the heat sink and since the thermal paste conducts heat better than air, it ends up improving greatly the thermal conductivity of the processor.

Preparing to Apply Thermal Paste

Open Your System Unit Cover

You will need to open your system unit cover to access your processor. This is after turning off your computer and removing the power cable from the wall socket. I suggest you can take this chance to blow or vacuum the dust that has accumulated in your computer for the last ... This is in case you have not carried out any computer preventive maintenance lately.

Remember you have to take care of ESD precaution in order to avoid harming your electronic components inside the system unit. Some electronic devices are prone to damage because of electrostatic charges made by the human body. These charges may be up to 4000 volts and cause damage without being noticed. You can make use of use antistatic wrist straps and ESD mats when working with potentially sensitive electronic components. There are also ESD floor mats available.

CPU Fan Clips

CPU fan Clips, they vary depending on the design
CPU fan Clips, they vary depending on the design

How to Apply Thermal Paste

Remove the Fan and Heat Sink First

To access your processor; you will have to remove the fan and heat sink first. The two are usually fixed together. The heat sink is usually held into position by clips, observe them keenly how they have been hooked before unhooking them. There are some types that use screws. Having done that, you will be able to see your processor; you don’t have to remove it unless you just want to have a look at it. Wipe off any previous heat sink compound. Apply the paste evenly on top of your processor surface. You can make use of a small brush and if not available you can improvise something to use.

After that, return your heat sink and hook it back firmly. Connect everything back and power on your system. If it powers on properly that means you have not messed with your system and you have fixed your noisy CPU fan.

Have you ever encountered a noisy CPU fan?

See results

© 2011 Patrick Kamau


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    • Patkay profile imageAUTHOR

      Patrick Kamau 

      2 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Alex there are a number of things that could be causing this, unfortunately you have not stated if it shows anything on the screen when you power it up. However trying doing this;

      1. check if the RAM is seated properly

      2. Try any other RAM

      3. still the same problem check the video or graphics card , if any

      4. if no graphics card and problem recurs, clear your CMOS by removing battery and returning it again

      5. still problem , check the processor heat sink

      7. still problem then suggesting checking motherboard and processor

      Remember that also messing with the video drivers can cause such a problem.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      my cpu boots but and after sometimes it shows a black scree what could be the problem

    • Patkay profile imageAUTHOR

      Patrick Kamau 

      6 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Thanks josiejossy. Just try it out. It will also solve the problem of a computer hanging or freezing due to overheating of the processor.

    • josiejossy profile image


      6 years ago from Nairobi Kenya

      Great hub, thnx for sharing, i had a noisy one bt now after reading this am gona fix it. Its Wow

    • lyns profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      You're welcome and thanks for sharing the information as well, have a good one I look forward to reading many more of your hubs in the future. Have a good one

    • Patkay profile imageAUTHOR

      Patrick Kamau 

      7 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Thanks lyns for reading and commenting on my work. I hope you will check my other works.

    • lyns profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Very good information Patkay, thanks for sharing, have a good morning. lyns

    • Patkay profile imageAUTHOR

      Patrick Kamau 

      7 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Good, lucy patrick, check the rest of my hubs and you will enjoy.

    • profile image

      lucy patrick 

      7 years ago

      i learned a lot from your hub

    • Patkay profile imageAUTHOR

      Patrick Kamau 

      7 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Thanks nenytridiana, for reading and commenting.

    • nenytridiana profile image


      7 years ago from Probolinggo - Jawa Timur - Indonesia

      A useful information. Thank you.


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