CPU fan error is a common error message that can appear when you start up a Windows desktop or laptop computer. Usually, the warning is triggered after the computer shuts down due to overheating. This can occur when the fan(s) cannot cool the equipment properly.
The CPU error and forced shutdown message, while frustrating, indicates that the computer’s protection is working properly. If the fans are not working properly and the computer continues to overheat, it can cause permanent damage to several hardware components.
There are ways to determine the cause of overheating and the resulting error messages and correct them.
How a CPU fan error occurs
The CPU fan error usually appears during Windows PC startup or startup; it does not appear during normal Windows operation. The text of the error message usually looks like this:
- “Error: CPU fan has turned off!”
- “CPU fan error.”
Why do you get a CPU fan error?
In general, there are some reasons why computer users may get the corresponding CPU fan error message in POST. To solve your computer fan problem, you first need to know the reasons why you are getting such error problems, such as
- Incorrect setting of the fan information in the BIOS interface.
Did you accidentally or intentionally open the BIOS interface to reset the CPU fan information before receiving this fan error warning? Honestly, in daily use, if your computer cannot detect the fans of the connected CPU or cannot detect the fan speed at all because you have not changed the fan settings correctly.
In this case, you need to change the fan settings first.
- Processor fan running too slow due to dust or poor quality.
Usually, relevant CPU fan errors happen to computer users when the CPU fan runs too slow or even stops working simply because the fans used are blocked by dust overtime or the fan is of too low quality. So, check and clean your CPU fans, which is what you should do next.
- Your CPU fan is not properly connected
Are you sure you connected your PC’s CPU fans correctly? Have you dropped/started your computer or recently connected your CPU fans to cause a malfunction or loss of connection? Honestly, you can also get stuck with such CPU fan failure problems because the CPU fan is not properly connected to it. So reconnect it to get a chance.
- The CPU fans are damaged or broken and are causing PC overheating problems.
And then, if you make sure that the corresponding fan problems are not caused by the above causes, you may need to check to see if there are any physical problems with your CPU fan.
For example, if your fans are really damaged or broken and can’t work completely, such a CPU fan error message will certainly appear on your computer’s start screen to help you avoid some of the more serious overheating problems, such as your computer suddenly freezing, unexpected computer failure, slow computer operation, and more.
In general, regardless of the cause in your case, don’t think you need to replace your CPU fans with new ones.
How to get rid of CPU fan error?
Reduce the default fan speed in your BIOS.
- Boot into your computer’s BIOS.
- Navigate to the CPU fan settings. The sections may differ depending on your motherboard. It is important to look for anything related to CPU fan control, which can usually be found in the advanced settings menu.
- Now look for the setting that controls the RPM alerts. The default value should be 600 rpm (revolutions per minute).
- Lower the default to 300 RPM and save the changes.
- Exit the BIOS and boot the system.
Disabling CPU fan speed control in the BIOS
- Boot into your BIOS.
- Go to the advanced settings mentioned above.
- Locate the “Monitor” section.
- Change the CPU fan speed to ignore and confirm the changes.
- Boot into Windows and look for improvements.
Check your hardware.
- Check the fan connections. Check the connection to the motherboard.
- Remove the fan and dust it. You can clean it with compressed air.
- Make sure that the fan is working and working as intended.
- To lower the CPU temperature, reapply thermal paste.
After that, any problems associated with the CPU fan error at startup should have disappeared. However, if the problem persists, bring your PC in for diagnosis and repair.
You can also replace the cooler, which is not a difficult task.
Troubleshooting hardware problems
Before you start, make sure you are confident enough to unscrew the computer and check the operation of the fans yourself. If you do not have this basic knowledge, we recommend that you take your system to a local technician and have it checked. Now, please follow these step-by-step instructions to inspect your fan for physical damage.
- Turn off your computer, then remove the processor case glass to reveal the fans that are connected to the motherboard.
- Then make sure that all of the cables for each fan are properly connected and that there are no loose cables.
- After that, turn on the power to the system and do not put the glass back in place. Watch the fans carefully to make sure they are not spinning.
- If you find a fan not spinning and check that the cables are properly connected, it means that the fan is damaged and must be replaced.
- If all the fans are working properly, congratulations. Your fans do not appear to be physically damaged and the error message appears to be due to a software error.
If you have looked at the hardware diagnostics and the fans seem to be working correctly, it means that the problem is caused by a software error. Follow the instructions below to resolve the problem:
- Turn on the computer and enter BIOS settings by pressing the F10 key (the key may vary depending on the manufacturer).
- Now go to the fan control section. You can usually find it in Hardware Monitor, which is under Advanced Settings in some BIOSes, while in others it may only have a separate tab.
- There, make sure that the CPU’s Q-Fan control option is enabled.
- After that, you can see the lower speed limit set for the CPU fan. Set this option to ignore and reboot your system.
- See if this solves your problem.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Move your computer.
- Stop overclocking.
- Clean the ventilation slots.
- Clean your CPU fans.
- Check your CPU fan.
- Check the location of your CPU fan.
- Try a different CPU fan head.
- Check your CPU fan settings in the BIOS.
If you see the error message "CPU Fan Error" in POST, it means that the system does not recognize the Fan. If you install a different brand of a CPU fan with a lower speed, the system may not detect it correctly. You can try setting the "Low CPU Fan Speed Limit" to 200 RPM in the BIOS settings.
- Turn off and restart the computer.
- Run the BIOS or UEFI firmware installer.
- Change the SATA setting to the correct value.
- Save the settings and restart your computer.
- When prompted, select Normal Windows Startup.
- Press F2 during startup to enter the BIOS setup.
- Select Advanced > Cooling.
- The fan settings are displayed in the header area of the CPU.
- Press F10 to exit the BIOS setup.
Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog, techquack.com, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.