If your computer is running kind of sluggish, you can fix it with an easy clean up of your registry. Here's a link to a free scan that works well: www.your-free-info.com/RegCure
I've used this one and it sped up my computer by quite a bit. Hopefully this helps.
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Replace the fan as soon as possible. If the noise suddenly stops, DON'T assume the problem corrected itself. More likely, the fan completely froze and stopped spinning entirely and you're at risk of overheating something inside. Generally, there are usually 3 fans in a desktop computer (cpu/heatsink, case, and power supply) and sometimes a 4th fan if the computer has a separate graphics card. Laptops usually only have one fan.
If the fan is failing the most times the computer will not start because it will overheat. There are two fans inside the system, one inside the Power Supply and one that sits on the motherboard.
Remove the Power Cord, Open the case, Remove the cover and with a can of compressed air blow out the dust inside the computer. Clean the dust away from the Fans, Vents, CPU and Heat Sink are that sits under the Fan on the motherboard.
This model (as well as many other Dell desktops) has a DUAL SPEED CPU fan. If the motherboard detects that the CPU temp is running hot it will increase the speed of the CPU fan to lower the temp of the CPU. You should do a Google search for the correct CPU fan and purchase it and install it back into your computer.