GPU fans not working

You just turned on your new build, PC boots Check, RGB fans light up Check, ohh waiting a minute my GPU isn’t running. Your glorious graphics card fans are not spinning. Now, what do you do? It can be frustrating to get everything up and running just to find out that your graphics card or some other part for that matter is not working.

Most of the time this is a pretty simple fix as the most common issues are simple just builders error. That is not to say that your card should be fine. You could easily have a none working graphics card on your hands. But before you freak out, let us do some simple troubleshooting to help narrow down the issue.

Part 1: The GPU is just idling.

If this is the first time you are turning your computer on, or you just randomly noticed the issue. It might be your GPU is just in Idle mode. Most GPU’s will try to save power and lower noise by not booting up the fans until the GPU reaches a certain temperature. Your graphics card will need to be put under a little stress before it decides to run the fans. To test the issue simply play a video game. This will be enough stress for your GPU to turn on the fans and start to lower your GPU temperature.

Another way to test your graphics card fans is to use a program like MSI afterburner. This program is used to overclock GPU’s. This allows you to adjust the fan speeds of your graphics card. By adjusting the fan settings you will be able to figure out if this is an idle issue or worse.

Part 2: Did you set the graphics card up right?

Trust me this happens to the best of use. After plugging in everything on your computer, doing some cable management and double-checking everything is in working order. You might have forgotten or didn’t notice that you missed the GPU power cables.

1.) Make sure to check that your card is properly connected to the power supply. Check your power supply to make all connections are correct. If you have to completely remove your graphics card from your PCIe Slot and install it please do so. Please note that not all graphics cards use a 6 or 8 pin PCIe power connector. These cards draw their electricity directly from the PCIe lane to make sure a card like this is properly connected you will need to remove it and reinstall it back into the PCIe slot.

Have you tried turning it on and off again. Remember a simple restart of your computer can solve a number of issues.

Check to see if your motherboard is the problem

2.) Now if it still didn’t work after being properly plugged in, We will have to remove the graphics card again to see if the systems can boot up without the card. This will help troubleshoot if it is indeed your graphics card that is causing the issue or that it might be your motherboard that is the actual problem. Remove the graphics card from your computer and plug your monitor into the motherboard and turn on the computer.

If your computer boots up without the graphics card installed. Then it is recommended to run a stress test on your machine to see if anything pops up. Now we are trying to figure out if it is your card that is causing the issue or maybe the PSU is bad and has a faulty PCIe connector. This isn’t a common issue but if you can test your GPU on a different PSU it is worth a try to see if the PSU was the problem all along.

If this is a new build and you have done everything above then it is time to try to see if you card is still under warranty or to get a return from the retailer you purchase the card from as this is most likely a faulty GPU.

Part 3: Is your GPU in a older build?

If you have been noticing lower frame rates in games or your graphics card has started to act funny. it might be because your fans are not properly cooling your GPU. Can all come down to your graphics card needs a good cleaning? Dust can clog the fans leaving them unable to spin. Raising the temperatures of your GPU and thus lowering the frame rate. This build up of dust and other particles can stop the fans from working entirely.

Clean out the fans using a can of dust off. Making sure that the fans are clear of all debris. You can also use a cloth but a can of dust off is recommended as this will be able to clear out the fan area and the radiator. Try using a toothpick to stop the fans from moving when using the dust off to clean the area.

If your GPU is a few years old. Then it might be the fan bearings that are causing the trouble. After a long while, the bearings will dry out causing the fans to not work properly. To fix this you will need some machine oil or even sewing oil. Do Not use WD-40 as this will destroy the bearings.

How to apply oil to GPU fans.

Step 1: remove the stick that is located at the top of the fan.

Step 2: There should be a protective plastic cap cover the center of the fan. Remove this cap carefully.

Step 3: Once the cap is removed. US machine or sewing oil to place a small drop in the center. Go sparingly even the smallest amount of oil goes a long way. We don’t want to overdo it cause the oil to spread across your machine.

Step 4: Once you placed a small amount of oil replace the protective cap that you removed in step 2. And boot up your computer. Try playing a game quickly to see if your fans turn on.

Part 4: Is everything up to date?

Updating your Drivers and restarting your computer is pretty commonplace when trying to resolve issues with your PC. Try using Nvidia and AMD GPU software like GeForce Experience and Radeon Software. To see if this may solve the issue.

Part 5: If all else fails

If all else fails it is possible just to replace the fans on your GPU. By now we should have figured out if the problem is with the actual GPU and not a motherboard or a PSU issue. Also, it would probably make more sense to get a return or repair under warranty if your card has one. If it is out of warranty and the fan has failed. it will probably be a better option just to upgrade your GPU. Honesty at this point spending money to get a new fan and installation won’t make financial sense compared to just getting an upgrade.

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