"CPU Fan Error! Press F1 to Resume" (cpu fan gummed up)

Nomad of Norad

Extraordinary Member
I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for this, though this one seems to be the closest to a general-hardware forum on this site.

A couple of months back, I was having an issue with my CPU heatsink/fan not spinning at the correct speed. Upon examination, it was fairly clear the fan itself was gummed up, because when I turned it by hand, it didn't move freely enough, and made a noise something like rrrrrrummmmp when I turned it. Blowing it out with canned air didn't do any good. I've had this machine, with that CPU heatsink/fan in it, for probably a couple of years now. I was thinking about replacing just the fan, but it looked like it would be more trouble getting that unscrewed and a new one screwed in than simply replacing the whole heatsink/fan module altogether. And so I replaced the whole heatsink/fan module with what was probably the same exact one from off the shelf at CompUSA. I don't think I spent more than $10 or $15 on it. I could have gone with something more advanced, but it seems those heatsink/cooler modules are a lot more of a nuisance to install.

That was about a month and a half ago. For the past week or two, occasionally at powerup, I'd get CPU Fan Error! Press F1 to Resume, but I would shut the machine off for a moment and turn it back on again and it would then boot without the error, and go the whole rest of the day without problem. It only gave this error occasionally, though, every few days, say.

Well, today, after I had had the machine running a few hours, the machine suddenly, without any warning, simply powered off. BAM! I turned it back on a little while later, started doing things on it again... and after a little while... BAM! It shut off again.

I turned it on after a bit, and got CPU Fan Error! Press F1 to Resume, and from this point on it did that every time. Opening the case up, and turning the machine on, I could see the CPU fan was NOT spinning very fast at all, and I was still getting the fan error. With the machine powered off, I found that if I turned it by hand, it didn't move very easily, and was making the same rrrrrrrruummmpp sound the previous one had made. It SHOULD be free-wheeling like the case fans do, where I give it a spin with the finger and it spins a few revolutions before slowing to a stop, instead it gives a bit of resistance when I turn it, and stops almost immediately. It is behaving as if it is gummed up inside.

I haven't even had the new heatsink/fan in there two months! Why would the new one be failing in the exact same way as the previous one? oO And why would the old one work fine for something like two years, and then fail, and then the replacement fail less than two months later, of the exact same problem?

And no, the case is visually free of any dust right now, I had given it a thorough blowing out when I replaced the heatsink/fan module about the end of March. At that, there isn't anything new or changed around the machine that might be introducing gunk into the system. And the case fans aren't showing any indication of trouble. This is really exasperating.

I did replace the power supply a few months back (the old one gave out), and the video card with a better one a couple of weeks ago (the fan in the card was making a noise as if there were a piece of confetti stuck in it, and it would sometimes spontaneously shut off), I don't think those are related to this issue, but I mention them anyway just in case there IS a connection.

In any event, I'm building another, better machine now because I'm getting fed up with the limitations of the current machine... but I don't have all the parts together just yet. Oo

The current machine has an ASUS M2N68-AM Plus motherboard, AMD Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition Dual Core processor, and 4 gigs of ram.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Someone else may have a better way to explain it, but the smaller fans do not work the same as the larger case fans. When you spin it by hand, it might feel springy instead of free wheeling.

But those fans will normally speed up or slow down depending on the need and your system. Have you checked the bios to see if there are any settings you could adjust to set the fan at some speed or allow it to change? Does that unit have the ability to change speeds?

I will normally spend a little extra to get good CPU cooler and heat sink compound. Keeping the CPU cool adds to its lifespan and keeps random errors from occurring because of an overheated processor.


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
As Saltgrass rightly says those little fans do have some resistance to them when spun by hand so don't worry too much about that. Again as pointed out these fans will also modulate the output depending on the heat of the chip. A handy little app I use for monitoring and setting fan speed is Speedfan: SpeedFan - Access temperature sensor in your computer I've used it for years and can totally recommend it.

When your machine was shutting down did you notice the cpu temp?

OK, this might be a bit late, but, better late than never, right? I had the exact same issue. Laptop CPU fan was gummed up and wouldn't spin at speed. Since laptop makers make it freakin impossible (or at least too much work to be worth it) to take your CPU fan out, there had to be another way. I'm not recommending you do this. What you do with your laptop is your business. But, here's what I did with mine. I got my handy WD-40 (w/ straw) and CAREFULLY sprayed a small amount into the motor and the edges of the fan. Booted up and once the fan started spinning the WD-40 worked it's magic and destroyed whatever was gumming up the fan motor. Fan is now quiet and runs at multiple speeds depending on the machine's needs for cooling. We'll see how long this lasts. :) Good luck.

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