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2009-09-24

CPU Fan error thriller

If you read my "RIP: My Falcon Fragbox2" story, you know that I own one of these beasts.. Since I got it back from Falcon, it was working fine all these months and I love it.

Recently though, I upgraded my Vista to Windows 7 Home Premium Edition from MSDN. I know, I know it is early and many vendors do not have drivers etc etc but I love Windows 7 and could not wait!

All went well and I have been running it fine for the last month or so. Recently though, I started to see some weird behaviour from “sleep mode” again. I dont remember what setting it had originally but at some point it would not go to sleep. I mentioned that story below and I thought it was a software issue. Unfortunately it came back and the final solution I found was to change BIOS setting for sleep from S1 to S3. That had put and end to it. So, I went back and checked the setting to see if it somehow got reset. It was still in S3.

It would go to “sleep” fine; then sometime later it, fan wakes up with full ferocity and does not stop running. This kept on happening so I started to shutdown the machine instead of putting it into Sleep. I started to notice another weird behaviour though. Windows would come up fine but after I logged in, it would suddenly start to act up. Basically it was running for 2secs and freezing for 2secs. I could see this behaviour clearly by simply moving the mouse around. It was quite weird and I had no idea what was causing it as I had not installed any software (I did inplace upgrade) recently. I was annoyed but figured out that rebooting system would clear this issue.

The worst happened today though. I cold booted the system and noticed an error:
CPU fan error!
Press F1 to continue.

I was freaking out at this point and immediately opened the case only to find out that all fans were plugged properly and firmly, and they were all running just fine. So, I started to research this and found out that other people with Asus Motherboard had seen this issue. They suggested to “disable” Q-fan, which was set to “silence” mode. I tested this and it did clear the error. However, I thought this would be a risky thing to do; so kept on checking Asus site. Apparently they have a BIOS update 0902 (mine was 0802) but instructions were not too clear to me. I downloaded a utility from their site, which is supposed to allow saving bios and updating it from Windows.

When I ran it; it displayed a message which told me to remove Memory from A* banks. I checked the motherboard documentation and found out which one was A1 (I have 2 Gig at A1 and 2 gig at B1). I powered down the pc, removed all the cables and removed A1 memory. After reboot, I saw a message which said something like “Because of AMT requirement A1 bank should be filled or you may experience system malfunction”. I went ahead anyway and launched Asus update utility after logging in. This time, it did not complain and gave me the option to save and update bios. I did that and chose to reset CMOS.

All went fine. I rebooted and of course got CMOS checksum errors. I hit F1 and continued to logon to Windows. All seemed fine. Then, I rebooted and went into BIOS. Took out the awesome  documentation from Falcon and reset all the setting one by one to what was documented. Saved and rebooted again. I do not see the fan error and all seems to be OK right now.

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