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I found one similar question on superuser.com but it doesn't answer for my problem.

Today I noticed that my graphics fan doesn't spin at all. It's Radeon HD3870. I found some 'adivce' on the Internet like- buy new fan or graphic card. Instead of that I want to know if there is an easy way (to do at home) to check what cause the problem- is it only fan or power cables or something else? I will be grateful for any advices!

EDIT: After your advices I changed fan. Now it only twitch on PC start. You can see it on YT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQb-gSHZk3A Please, hear sounds of PC to, does it sound like it starts to times?

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2 Answers 2

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It's really going to depend on what brand card it is, how it is set up, and what equipment/experience you have.

If your fan's wires can be easily removed (after removing the card from the computer, of course) you can try powering them with an external source and see if it spins. That won't tell you whether it's the wires or the fan, but unless you're experienced at repairing small, high-speed motors, then it's irrelevant.

If you don't have access to a good 12v power supply to test the wires with, a 9v battery will do in a pinch (it only has to make it spin for a second to test, not actually power the fan to full speed).

In all likelihood, though, your fan is probably dead and you'll either have to buy an aftermarket cooler or get a new video card.

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Hmm, I tought that I posted comment in here yesterday... I wrote in that comment that I will try to do what You suggest to me during weekend. Today I removed fan at all from video card. If I'll find some battery I will check this. Thanks for help! I will post info about success/failure of test. –  Rob Apr 10 '13 at 17:50
    
Ok, I've changed fan for good one and now when I start computer fan rotates only for few milimeters and stops. :/ Do You have an idea why? –  Rob Apr 14 '13 at 12:00
    
My guess would be that something is obstructing it. Try holding the card in the orientation it would be when in the computer and see if anything catches when you turn it by hand. Cooling fans are high speed, not high power, so it would not take much friction to stop one. –  techturtle Apr 14 '13 at 21:20
    
I tried that and it can rotate. One thing (maybe important) - I connected bigger fan than it was previously. Previous had 2 wires and less 'metal' inside. New one has 3 wires (I unplugged one wire, checked if it works with only 2 on 12V power somewhere else and it worked). Maybe there is not enough power? –  Rob Apr 15 '13 at 17:45
    
That is possible. At this point, I would probably suggest getting an adapter to just plug the fan straight into one of the leads from your power supply. It would mean the cooler fan would be always on, but you wouldn't have to worry about it being underpowered. –  techturtle Apr 15 '13 at 18:54

These types of fans just fail over time. If I am not mistaken, the HD3870 is an older model. So, there is a good chance the fan has aged to the point of failure. There is no way for us to know for sure by what you've posted.

If you feel adventurous, you can remove the cover on the fan, lubricate the shaft and see if it will work again or find a replacement fan. Otherwise, it's time for a new card.

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Yes, it is older model- I have it since 2009. I will try do what techturtle suggested to check fan. It is good that this video cards accept very high temperatures without crash so I can safely use it until find out what is wrong. –  Rob Apr 9 '13 at 20:11
    
As I wrote in @techturtle answer: I've changed fan for good one and now when I start computer fan rotates only for few milimeters and stops. :/ Do You have an idea why? –  Rob Apr 14 '13 at 12:01

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