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My company has several Gateway E2300's, the slim desktops. One of the machines in particular may be having a thermal issue. THe symptoms are: at seemingly random times throughout the day the fan speed will increase for anywhere from 5-15 minutes making it impossible to work because of the "Darth Vader-like" noise (thats how the end user described it).

I have completely dusted the inside of the machine, the heat fins, and the fan. I have also reseated the processor after cleaning it and reapplying more thermal paste.

This specific machine isnt running any unique software that would make it get hot and it isnt sitting in direct sunlight.

Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It may just be increased load during normal usage... You might try installing something like SpeedFan to either confirm or rule out the thermal issue. It could also provide some additional insight as to what else might be causing it, if it's not a thermal issue.

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+1 just downloaded SpeedFan...has alot of features/info and am sure it will help me troubleshoot this issue. THanks! – cop1152 Jun 9 '09 at 15:57

I would check with a thermometer whether it is actually hot in there. The temperature sensor could have gone bad and it could be reporting highly inflated temperatures which cause it to ramp up the fan. If you're certain it's not too hot in there for system operation, I would replace the fan with a PWM-less fan whose speed cannot be controlled by the motherboard (and make a note of it in case it starts crashing mysteriously - in that case you would know what is going on.)

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+1 I didnt think of that...should have, but didnt. Thanks. – cop1152 Jun 9 '09 at 15:52

Check what processes are running on the machine. It sounds like a background process is eating CPU time and heating up the box at some interval.

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Install a Zalman Fanmate 2

Cabled between the fan and the motherboard and provides an external knob you can dial up and down the fan speed with. Probably will circumvent the natural fan control from the motherboard/OS and give you control over the fan speed.

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If the computer is actually overheating, simply turning the fan down to low is just going to make it expire faster. It would be best to determine the cause before this kind of solution. – Mike Miller Jun 9 '09 at 21:34

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