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Cooling fans not running

I have 16.2 volts output to the fans. Run the fans with a dc power supply and they work but won't run off the control board

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  • Bart Falzarano
    Bart Falzarano Apr 15, 2014

    A couple things you can check: 1) make sure the wiring is not crossed. correct polarity to the fans. 2) check to make sure the 16.2 output voltage is DC and not AC. If one of the electrolytic capacitors failed you can AC voltage present and fans operate of DC voltage. 3) sometimes the connectors to the fan corrodes and not visible looking at the connector. This happens to the pins inside the plastic connector housing. Hope this info helps you. Best regards,

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I concur with your diagnoses.

Weak power supply due to a weak, or failed, voltage power rail.

There are three main voltage power rails for your Dell Dimension 3100 power supply.

1.The 3.3 Volt rail
2.The 5 Volt rail
3.The 12 Volt rail

Newer computer power supply's are doing away with the 3.3 Volt rail.
Your power supply has,

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21 Amps on the 5 Volt rail, and
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1) ALL the lights use less than 1 Watt.
2) EACH fan uses 2 to 3 Watts
3) A typical processor uses 55 to 125 Watts.

(A typical Intel Pentium 4 HT processor, Model 640, (3.2GHz), uses a maximum of 84 Watts,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Pentium_4_microprocessors#Prescott_2M_.2890.C2.A0nm.29

With a weak, or failed voltage power rail you don't have enough power to turn on the processor.
No processor running there is nothing to run the operating system. (Windows XP is an example of an O/S)

The harddrive just sits there, and spins, or will spin a few times, and stop.

What causes this?
1) Cheap quality power supply, (SMPS), installed by computer manufacturer. Cheap components are used in the power supply. (Electrolytic Capacitors, gauge of wiring, rectifier bridge, and so on)

2) Inside of computer, and power supply hasn't been cleaned on a regular basis.
Causes havoc inside the computer.

The processor fan builds up with dust, dirt, hair, etc, and the cooling capacity drops tremendously. Eventually the processor turns off. (BIOS turns it off)
It's a Fail safe feature that is built-in, to keep the processor from burning up.

Before it get's to the stage of overheating, and turning off, it calls for more power from the power supply.
The power supply works overtime to keep up.

When the inside of a power supply, and it's cooling fan are clogged with the above mentioned gunk, the cooling capacity of the power supply also drops tremendously.

The heatsink's inside the power supply cannot get rid of the heat. The fins are clogged, and air cannot rush through them to disperse the heat.

When the blades of the fan, and it's center hub become clogged, the cooling capacity drops due to not enough air is passed.

Heat = Wasted Energy, and the power supply strains to keep up. Eventually components inside the power supply start to fail, or fail.
(Electrolytic Capacitors are usually the first to go. They are the weakest link)

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