Noisy fans and other short stories

You know that line – Could you take a look at my pc for me ? You’re on holiday and haven’t fixed anything for a week so you are in withdrawal. So what seems to be the problem ? The pc – a dimension 4700 – about 6 or 7 years old – sounds like a Poweredge 710 starting up with the fans running at 150% of performance. Even at idle this machine sounds like a jet waiting for takeoff – and worse when the user tries to do anything. So whats the prognosis ?

First check the fans – nice coating of dust on the fans and especially on the heatsink. (Quick hoover sorts that). This unit has both an inlet and outlet fan so both get a good clean. Next check the memory – 1GB – with 80% in use before any real apps start – so recommend memory upgrade. Checking the bios version shows it as 5 versions behind – so a quick upgrade should get rid of any bios quirks. Finally looking at disk usage on the 80GB primary shows – pretty full – 1GB left with lot of evidence of it having filled up multiple times – so the drive has the worst fragmentation I have seen for quite a while.

The other part of the puzzle was that despite the above measures reducing the noise and frequency of the fans dramatically – ocassionally I could hear the fan speed rising as the machine was made to work harder. The culprit – Kaspersky antivirus because it was the process causing the peaks. The solution – reduce the aggressive nature of the AV package and the machine now runs somewhere appoximating its age and spec.