Fan Speed Issue with EX475
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Author:  dph3055 [ Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Fan Speed Issue with EX475

The short part of a long story is that I know I really should replace my EX475 but it still works and does everything I currently need a media server to do.

One of the cooling fans was making a lot of noise so I took the mss apart and removed the fans. I neglected to determine which fan was making the noise before I took the mss apart. With no hard drives installed, I reconnected the fan and powered the mss on just long enough identify the top fan as being the noisy one.

Long pressed the power button to turn everything off. Dusted and cleaned everything. Put the mss back together and booted. Fan noise was reduced but clearly the fan needs to be replaced.

My problem and what I am hoping someone can help me with is this:

Both fans now run at full speed where as before the fan speed was variable. On power up both fans now start at approx 2500 rpm and remain at that speed. I do have MSS Fan Control installed, and before, I was able to adjust fan speed using that plugin but now, changing the speed in the plugin has no effect.

I kind of suspect that the fan control setting in the bios has somehow been changed (I'm assuming when I booted with no hard drives and one or both fans possibly not connected to their pins). I have tried everything I can think of but with no vga connector to boot into the bios screen I can't see those settings. I am not aware of a way to reset the bios to default values otherwise and I know of no other way to tell the mss to use pwm to control fan speed based on temperature again.

Anyone have any thoughts that might be of help?


Author:  Ruben Rocha [ Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fan Speed Issue with EX475

Well I can only speak for the ex495
At boot the fans start at 100% then a bias setting of 50% takes over. Then the controls go from that.
This happens very quickly
The fans have a extra wire for feedback to tell the server what they are doing. If you have a bad fan then it may be reporting a bad or good rpm
Depending on how you look at it say the fan is reporting 200 rpm but is running at 100rpm and it is hot the bios tells it to be 1200rpm. so it keeps ramping it up to compensate.
I don't have a line on a proper replacement fan.
But I would look at replacing at least one of them
The trick is to find one that has the extra wire, I think it is a tolal of 4 and have the connector to plug it in or you will need to splice it in. and will accept the rubber feet to mount it to the server.

Author:  dph3055 [ Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fan Speed Issue with EX475

Thx for taking the time to reply.

Before I started mucking about, my mss fans behaved as you describe. 100% at boot then throttled back.

Now, the fans stay at 100% speed all the time. I have found 4 wire pwn replacement fans and they are on the way. However, I expect that they too will run at 100% speed all the time.

I am pretty sure that my issue is bios related in that the setting to modulate the fan speed has somehow been changed/reset to full speed all the time. I can't see how I could have damaged the fan controller and the chances that both fans are defective is remote.

I was able to control the fan speed using the mss fan control plugin before, now that plugin has no effect. Unless there is a setting somewhere in the OS it has to be the bios setting.

I'm just wondering if there is a way to force the bios back to its default settings by some sort of button press at boot time or a utility/image combo that can reflash the bios with the default settings. Since vga connector cables are no longer available to be purchased and I am not able to make one myself, I have no way to connect a monitor so that I can see the bios settings and change them manually.

Author:  Gardian [ Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fan Speed Issue with EX475

I would try replacing both fans (being very careful) and reassembling and boot and see what happens.
If it goes back to normal, great, if it does not, well, you have two choices:

1) Find a deal on a newer server on ebay with the cd's and get some more speed and less wear. Most of the parts will inter change so you would have spares.
2) They still sell a VGA adapter on ebay for the mediasmart, but would be very careful playing with the bios.

Before going much farther, do you have a backup of all the data you can't lose?? I would hate for you to get into a data lose as a result of tinkering.

Let us know how it goes, if successful on the fan replacement and they go back to normal. A link to the fans you used might help others.

Good Luck and enjoy...

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