Dell Dimension 4100 - Fan noise at startup

I have a Dell Dimension 4100 (733 MHz Pentium III, 512MB, Nvidia graphics, Win98SE). When I turn it on, the fan makes this horrid grinding noise that then goes away after about 2 minutes. If I shut it down and turn it on again, the fan doesn't make the noise? Any ideas? It's not the hard drive.


  • It's probably bad bearings in the fan. Once they're warm it stops making the noise.

    You could try oiling them. I've had some success with that. But honestly, it's usually easier / better to just replace them.

  • A big problem with oil/grease is, once the fan is warm, it's fluid and goes all over everything that is around.
    These fans are not made to be serviceable.

  • Had that exact same problem with the fan of my old computer, only that dust build-up was the root cause of it. But yeah, replacing it seems to be the best option.

  • Try cleaning a fan,it may be a dust as Bry89 mentioned above.

  • Fans are dirt cheap. It is easiest to just keep several in your inventory for replacement.
    In my case, failing fans usually start becoming noisy in winter (room temps in 60s F).
    If the noise doesn't subside after a few minutes, I replace them. I have one PC where the fan acts up every winter for a few weeks, but goes away as the weather warms up.

  • @altracker9 said:
    In my case, failing fans usually start becoming noisy in winter (room temps in 60s F).

    I thought they went noisier in the warmer weather? Unless it was only me that experienced this...

  • Depends on the actual reason for failure. When they get cold, grease gets hard, makes noise. Once grease is slightly softer in lowers the noise.
    Sometimes, when plastic-"bearings" are totally worn out, hard grease holds fan in place. Grease gets warm (softer) the fan is spinning around without control and makes noise too.

  • I have that machine. Used it as a secondary server for a while before I got a newer HP. The fan noise is the CPU fan. I couldn't get mine to stay quiet, so I replaced it.

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