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Is it normal for the air coming out of fans to smell SLIGHTLY off?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
This has been driving me crazy for a day now.

For the last few days I've smelt a very very faint smell coming out of the exaust fans of my computer. IT's almost impossible to tell without putting my nose directly to it.

It doesn't smell terrible, or exactly like something's burning. Just... a tiny bit off.

Is this normal? I've taken the computer apart just to be safe and I can't find anything that's burning. All my temperatures are fairly slow. There's no smoke, no sign of anything wrong on or off.

Am I just being paranoid and the air from inside a case always smells a bit like electronics and maybe burning dust?
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post #2 of 29
I have noticed this wierd smell from some of my friends pcs and it is usually dust. Not burnt dust. Most dust is made up of dead skin cells(in a house that is).

Have a nice day.
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post #3 of 29
If its a new fan, there will be a burn in period where the fan will smell a little bit and also dust can cause a slight smell as well
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post #4 of 29
I would turn it off again, and check all the Caps on your board and video card, try to isolate it, and check to make sure your fan motors aren't going (they shouldnt be)

also, blow our your system with canned air, and your fans (MAKE SURE when you blow out your fans, you dont let the air duster "free spin" your fans, it can hurt the bearings in them).

Sounds like you have a grasp on the issue.

Also, do you have a UPS for your computer? you might want to see how "clean" your power from your outlets are too. IE do you have voltage irregularities. This might be a bit much for jsut a computer, but better safe than sorry. I have a monster home theatre power cleaner and a UPS on my computer and television (I live with roommates).

I look at it this way. buy a good surge suppressor/ups and a power cleaner (panamax is a great brand).

you can find good power cleaners/voltage regs/surge suppressors from panamax on ebay for decent prices.

just my 2 cents.
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post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tipless View Post
If its a new fan, there will be a burn in period where the fan will smell a little bit and also dust can cause a slight smell as well
I did install a pair of new fans yesterday. I suppose that might be it.

I checked everything I could, including the Mosfet beneath the heatsink (I thought that might have been it) but nothing. The only ones I didn't check were the graphics card, but A: I don't think that's it and B: I don't want to mess with it's heatsink.

I think I'm going to chalk it up to nerves for now. I'm always an anxious guy, makes sense I'm anxious about my computer too.
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post #6 of 29
Do you smoke in the computer room by chance? I had a problem a long time ago with tar/nicotine building up on my fans and causing all kinds of weird odors from time to time.

Edit: Just noticed you said new fans. That is most likely what it is. They will smell different till broke in sometimes.
post #7 of 29
I would turn it off again, and check all the Caps on your board and video card, try to isolate it, and check to make sure your fan motors aren't going (they shouldnt be)

also, blow our your system with canned air, and your fans (MAKE SURE when you blow out your fans, you dont let the air duster "free spin" your fans, it can hurt the bearings in them).

Sounds like you have a grasp on the issue.

Also, do you have a UPS for your computer? you might want to see how "clean" your power from your outlets are too. IE do you have voltage irregularities. This might be a bit much for jsut a computer, but better safe than sorry. I have a monster home theatre power cleaner and a UPS on my computer and television (I live with roommates).

I look at it this way. buy a good surge suppressor/ups and a power cleaner (panamax is a great brand).

you can find good power cleaners/voltage regs/surge suppressors from panamax on ebay for decent prices.

just my 2 cents.
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post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'll look into a UPS. It's something I've considered, but I tapped out my bank with the computer in the first place.

It seems like the PSU is NOT where the smell is coming from , so I don't think there are voltage problems, but I'm no expert.
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post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneaky Payload View Post
I would turn it off again, and check all the Caps on your board and video card, try to isolate it, and check to make sure your fan motors aren't going (they shouldnt be)

also, blow our your system with canned air, and your fans (MAKE SURE when you blow out your fans, you dont let the air duster "free spin" your fans, it can hurt the bearings in them).

Sounds like you have a grasp on the issue.

Also, do you have a UPS for your computer? you might want to see how "clean" your power from your outlets are too. IE do you have voltage irregularities. This might be a bit much for jsut a computer, but better safe than sorry. I have a monster home theatre power cleaner and a UPS on my computer and television (I live with roommates).

I look at it this way. buy a good surge suppressor/ups and a power cleaner (panamax is a great brand).

you can find good power cleaners/voltage regs/surge suppressors from panamax on ebay for decent prices.

just my 2 cents.
I agree. Good advice. +rep

I do recommend a DataVac blower rather than canned air (see my sig). I also recommend re-lubricating your new fans. If they are sleeve bearing they may be dry or have some funky oil that needs replacement with Singer oil or something similar (see my sig about that too).

Finally, stick your nose in the box and let your primary olfactory sensor snoop around for malefactors.
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post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
I've looked and smelled around and haven't been able to find anything. The smell seems to be just in the general upper left corner of the Mobo (CPU, VRMs, ext) but that's also where my new fans are blowing air into and out of.

Ran a stress test for a few hours just to see if I could get it to smell any worse, but it's just the same even after all that.
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