Troubleshooting Fan Issues with Intel® Boxed Processors

Documentation

Troubleshooting

000029307

10/02/2019

PCs are generally built with industry-accepted motherboards, Intel® Boxed Processors, chassis, and peripherals. Boxed processors are packaged in a retail box with a fan heatsink and a three-year warranty. Some Intel® Boxed Desktop Processors Ship without a Fan Heatsink. Anyone working on a PC should have general knowledge of and experience with desktop PC operation, integration, and thermal management. The recommendations below allow for more reliable PCs and reduce thermal management issues.

Thermal Management

Systems using Intel® Boxed Processors require thermal management. The term thermal management refers to two major elements:

  • A heatsink properly mounted to the processor
  • Effective fan airflow through the system chassis

The goal of thermal management is to keep the processor at or below its maximum operating temperature.
Proper thermal management efficiently transfers heat from the processor to the system air, which then vents out. Desktop boxed processors ship with a high-quality fan heatsink that effectively transfers processor heat to the system air. System builders are responsible for ensuring adequate system airflow by choosing the correct chassis and system components.
The processor’s fan is used to facilitate airflow and normally used with heatsink. Sometimes fan can stop working in the system. Check the symptoms and the troubleshooting tips listed below.

Symptoms of Fan Failure

  1. System continuously reboots and doesn't start unless the power button is pressed to reboot the system.
  2. System occasionally reboots or crashes.
  3. System stops booting completely.
  4. Temperature of the system (chassis) is warm to hot

Troubleshooting Fan Failure

These tips might help in the case of fan failure:

  1. Check the power cord that is connected from the fan to the motherboard. Processor’s fan might be incorrectly installed.
  2. Clean up the dust. When the system is used for a long time, sometimes in dry and hot conditions, the fan can accumulate dust.
  3. Check to see if the fan stopped working. Fans do have lifespans that may end when used for a long time. Poor quality fans can also stop working.
  4. Check to see if the fan is drawing air in the same direction as the overall system airflow.
  5. Check to ensure the processor is properly installed in the system. The fan will start but will shut down shortly, causing the system to shut down to protect the processors from the heat damage.
  6. Check the hotspots of the chassis that are significantly warmer than the rest of the chassis air. Such areas can be created by improper positioning of the exhaust fan, adapter cards, cables, or chassis brackets and subassemblies. These can block the airflow within the system. To avoid hotspots: 
  • Place exhaust fans as needed
  • Re-position full-length adapter cards or use half-length cards
  • Reroute and tie cables
  • Ensure space is provided around and over the processor
Related topic
Symptoms and troubleshooting overheating issues for Intel® Boxed Processor