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How To Fix Case Fan Not Spinning, But Light Works

To resolve the case fan not spinning but light works issue, I can fix it by updating my PC, checking the fan motor, inspecting the PWM signal, and examining the power supply.

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Case fans sometimes fail to spin despite their lights functioning, posing PC operation issues. The case fan is not spinning; however, its light is still working, an issue linked to the PC’s power supply. The power supply can supply enough power to the light. However, it cannot give the fan the right voltage to spin. Troubleshooting involves addressing various potential causes: outdated firmware or system bugs, debris in bearings, incorrect BIOS settings, or improperly connected fan cables.

Key Takeaways
  • The issue is linked to the power supply being unable to give the fan enough voltage to spin.
  • You can fix the issue by updating the PC, checking the fan motor, checking the PWM signal, checking the power supply, reattaching loose cables, and cleaning the fan bearings.
  • The fan should have its speed set according to its size in the BIOS for optimal spinning.

The image showing the Case Fan Not Spinning:

Case fan not spinning, but light works
Case fan not spinning, but the light works? Image credit: (Tech4Gamers)

Method Difficulty Rating

Check Connections
Rated: 6/10

Test Fan
Rated: 7/10

BIOS Settings
Rated: 7/10

NOTE: Work around the basic troubleshooting first, such as Power cycle your PC, Update your PC, Clean your fans, and Check for insufficient power supply. 

Check The Connections

Checking the connections of a case fan that isn’t spinning while the light works is crucial. I’ve successfully resolved various hardware problems by simply redoing the connections. Hence, ensuring secure and proper connections is the first step in troubleshooting, preventing potential issues with power supply or motherboard.

WARNING: Make sure to be extremely gentle while cleaning the fans, as they can get damaged easily.

  1. Ensure PSU Connection: Make sure the fan’s power cable is securely plugged into the fan header on the motherboard or a fan controller.
    Fan Cable (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  2. Ensure Controller Connections: If the fan is connected to a fan controller, ensure the controller is turned on and properly connected to the power supply.
  3. Double Check Connections: Double-check all the cable connections for any loose or damaged wires.

Check PWM: Test the PWM motor by connecting the fan to a different motherboard PWM header. If the fan spins, the original PWM header may be faulty.

Test The Fan Directly

Testing the fan directly to pinpoint the problem allows to verify if the fan itself is operational. If I observe the fan spinning when connected directly to a power source, it indicates to me a potential issue with my motherboard or its connections. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Disconnect Fan: Disconnect the fan from the motherboard or fan controller.
    Removing Intel CPU cooler fan connector
    Disconnecting fan from motherboard – Image Credits: Instructables.
  2. Connect Fan Directly: Connect the fan directly to a Molex power connector from your power supply.
  3. Check the Problem: If the fan spins up now, the problem is likely with the fan header or controller.
  4. Troubleshoot: If the fan still doesn’t spin, it’s likely faulty and needs to be replaced.

Fix The BIOS Settings

The BIOS may have fan speeds that may prevent the fan from spinning. This scenario often leads to the light still functioning despite the case fan not spinning. To resolve this issue, follow the below:

  1. Restart: Restart your PC.
  2. Press the Keys: Press the following keys based on the motherboard manufacturer of your PC:
    HP: Esc or F10.
    Dell: F2 or F12.
    Acer: F2 or Del.
    ASUS: F2 or Del.
    Lenovo: F1, F2, or Fn+F2
  3. Fan Speed Controls: Once you enter your BIOS, navigate through it to find the fan speed controls. You’ll likely find them under the ‘Hardware Monitor,’ ‘Power,’ or ‘Advanced’ section.
  4. Adjust RPM: Adjust the RPM of your fan according to its size.
    CPU Fan speed control
    CPU Fan speed control โ€“ Image Credits [Tech4Gamers]
  5. Press F10: Press F10 once you are done making the changes to save them.

Final Thoughts

Users find it strange when the case fan is not spinning even though the light is working. 

Directly testing connections and the fan motor helps pinpoint power supply or motherboard issues. One user emphasized the importance of checking the connections because, in their case, the PC fans weren’t the issue; rather, it was a problematic fan header causing the problem.

byu/SomeAmigo from discussion

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the case fan not spinning, but its light is still working?

This issue is most likely linked to the PSU of your PC having an underlying issue or other connection problems preventing the fan from getting the voltage it needs to spin.

Is it essential to address the issue of the case fan not spinning but the light working quickly?

Yes! You need to make sure your case fans are working ASAP. Your PC needs to have a cooling system so that it doesn’t heat up and damage its components.

What should I do if I end up having my fan motor as the culprit behind the issue?

Unfortunately, in this case, you will have to get yourself a new case fan. There isn’t much that you can do to fix this issue.

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