Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a 3COM 3870 switch that is randomly getting a Fan Failure alert. When I took the cover off, all the fans appear to be working fine - even when it is faulting. None are grinding or making any noise. The switch will randomly stop all the fans, show the fan failure alert for a minute or so, then start them back up and the failure message goes away.

Should I replace all 4 fans? Is it really a fan problem, or something wrong with the logic board? Unfortunately it is no longer under warranty since HP bought out 3COM. The switch never runs hot and the fan fault does not appear to affect the function of the switch - if replacing the fans does not help, is it safe to run the switch?

share|improve this question
Hmm... I would not trust a switch which logic appears to be faulty. Latest Firmware is installed? A problem in the power rails is remotely possible, too. – Turbo J May 14 '11 at 3:27
HP will still honor the 3com warranty... if, that is, you took time the register with HP a few months back that the switch was still in service. They no longer accept registrations and won't honor the warranty if you did not register. Also, their warranty service only covers the ports (not fans or power supply) and the service for 3Com gear is horrid (you pay to ship it, and they may take a couple weeks to fix it). – Joel Coel Jul 9 '12 at 15:49
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I contacted HP about the issue. Apparently the 3870 series is part of their "indefinite" support system, so they sent me a refurbished one to replace it. The new one lasted about a week, then started having fan issues, so they sent me a 2nd one. The last one has been stable since then. In summary -- fan issues appear to be systemic on the 3870 line, but HP support is good about making it right.

share|improve this answer

I would have a cold standby ready to go, and then not worry about it until it fails. I wouldn't say it's "unsafe" - are you expecting the rack to burst into flames?

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.