Replacement of fan on video card

Answer ID 24   |    Published 09/29/2004 02:03 PM   |    Updated 07/08/2009 04:50 PM

The fan on my video card is going out. How do I replace it myself?

Replacing the fan and heat sink of your video card is not an easy task. If your card is still under warranty, it is recommended that you contact the manufacturer of your graphics card and have your card replaced or repaired.  If your graphics card came as part of your system, then you will need to contact the manufacturer of your system for warranty purposes.  http://www.nvidia.com/object/hardware_support.html
 
If your graphics card is no longer under warranty, then you may wish to replace the fan and heat sink yourself.  There are several local and online retailers which carry 3rd party replacement VGA coolers for graphic cards.  Once you have located a replacement VGA cooler which is compatible with your graphics card, please use the following guidelines for a safer installation. These are suggestions are helpful, but cannot guarantee that a successful replacement or that no damage will be done to your video card.  Heat sinks are generally attached to the graphics card's GPU using a thermally conductive adhesive. This adhesive can sometimes stick to the GPU, thus cracking if too much force is used when removing the heat sink.

Please proceed to remove the heat sink using these steps:

Step 1: Power off your computer, and let the video card cool down for a couple of hours. The adhesive becomes brittle when it is cold which makes it easier to remove.

Step 2: Unplug the power from your PC. Then carefully remove your video card from your system, making sure to not touch any of the contacts in the process.

Step 3: With the video card removed, take an old credit card and slide it underneath the heat sink of the video card. Then take a flat head screwdriver and carefully twist off the heat sink slowly. Keep sliding the credit card further underneath the heat sink to protect the GPU. If done correctly, the heat sink should come right off relatively easily.

Step 4: Once the heat sink is removed, follow the directions provided by the manufacturer of your heat sink and fan for proper installation

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