Getting a cryptic error message on your PC might be frustrating, especially when working on a strict deadline or binge-watching. Although you may decipher the errors and fix them quickly, some need a professional fix.

The CPU fan error may occur when the motherboard does not detect a cooling device in the PC. The PC will not reboot due to the lack of a cooling device, as running it without a fan will destroy the processor’s integrity.

Thus this cryptic error message is a useful safety measure that keeps the PC from overheating. You might start learning how to fix CPU Fan errors online. Fortunately, there are possible solutions to the fan error on your PC.

Solution 1: Plug in the Fan Correctly

The CPU fan error may occur when the fan is not plugged correctly into the CPU fan header on the motherboard. Following the motherboard manual for CPU-FAN header instructions, you will check the CPU fan installation.

If the fan is not plugged in correctly, you should plug it correctly in the corresponding header. For instance, if the CPU’s cooler fan is plugged into another fan header that does not correctly correspond with the CPU FAN, you would still receive the cryptic message.

It is better to ensure that the backplate, screws, thermal paste, heat-spreader cover, and other components are correctly positioned as they impact the fan cooling capabilities.

Different headers are closely placed on the motherboard, and you should ensure you have the right header for the CPU fan.

Sometimes you may not get the cryptic message even when the fan is not correctly plugged into the CPU fan header. Unfortunately, the improper connection may lead to PC overheating and damage to the motherboard components.

Since the fan is an important component that keeps your PC working properly, it would be wise to check on it during the routine checks on your machine.

Solution 2: Install the AIO Pump into the CPU Fan Header

If your laptop has a recurring issue with the fan, you may use the AIO liquid coolant instead of the air cooler. When using the AIO pump, you will need a radiator fan connected to the CPU FAN header.

The AIO installation process is simple as you plug the AIO pump into the AIO PUMP header; thus, finding the corresponding header for the pump is better.

On the other hand, the AIO fans are plugged into the CPU-FAN and CPU OPT headers. The motherboard will detect the fan with this connection, and your laptop will not get the cryptic fan error notification. Moreover, the AIO pump coolant will keep the CPU cool and prevent overheating.

Sometimes you might make an issue when plugging the AIO liquid cooler leading to inefficient connection and CPU overheating. Thus, it is wise to identify the right AIO PUMP header and CPU FAN headers as they determine if the AIO liquid coolant will work.

Fortunately, the headers are indicated for most PCs; the quick and simple fix will improve the cooling outcome, improve CPU cooling, and eliminate the CPU Fan error.

Solution 3: Fix the Low CPU Fan RPM

A fan that spins slowly may not cool the PC as expected, and the motherboard may not detect it properly. Moreover, fans which stop completely in low temperatures due to the Q-Fan Control might be problematic.

Despite the fan working properly, you would still get the CPU fan error as the fan makes insignificant Rotations per Minute (RPM) when the laptop cools down. Even if the fan speeds up when the laptop heats up, the error will persist, and you need to fix the low CPU fan RPM.

You will alleviate the low RPM by reducing the BIOS’s CPU Fan Speed Low Limit option. You will use the settings on the Monitor tab; choose the Q-Fan Configuration Q-Fan tuning and reduce the RPM to 200.

However, you may set settings to ignore the low RPM eliminating the error notification on the PC. You may boot the BIOS to disable the CPU Fan speed monitoring, navigate the advanced settings and locate the monitor section.

Choose the CPU Fan Speed, ignore and confirm the changes. Then boot into Windows and look for the improvements.

Solution 4: Update the BIOS

The CPU Fan error may be related to outdated BIOS. It is better to check for BIOS updates to install the latest version. However, it is strange for the CPU fan error to occur due to outdated BIOS. Thus, if your motherboard supports the EZ flash update, you may use it to update your BIOS.

Moreover, you can update the BIOS over the internet. You might find the instructions on how to update the BIOS on the official PC’s website.

The official PC website will have clear instructions on updating different components to improve the appliance functionality. Moreover, the PC will notify the user when there are new updates.

Solution 5: Ensure the CPU Cooler Fans are Functional

The CPU Fan error may result from an overheating CPU due to improper cooling; an insufficient CPU cooler may cause overheating. The overheating may trigger the motherboard to display the CPU fan error.

Moreover, it is better to use the laptop on a surface that distributes heat evenly away from the device to avoid unnecessary overheating, which overworks the fan. Thus it is better to avoid using the PC in bed or placing it on your lap when working.

First, you should remove the overclock settings to allow the coolant to work effectively. Then, ensure the cooler’s fan functions properly, and remove dust and other debris that may overburden the coolant.

The CPU fans should be functional to cool the CPU efficiently. You should check for leaks impacting the cooling when using the AIO cooler.

You can replace the thermal paste sandwich, the CPU, and the cooler, especially if it has been in use. You can learn about the specific thermal compounds, how they last and how often you should replace them.

Some manufacturers might paste plastic covers on the outside of new CU coolers, the covering may impact cooling, and it would be better to remove them before using the CPU cooler.

Solution 6: Replace the CPU Fan

If the CPU fan error occurs after software updates, the issue might be related to hardware issues. Although you can replace the faulty hardware, it may be challenging to pinpoint the exact non-functional CPU fan component in most cases.

Although you may repair the non-functional CPU fan components, it is better to let a professional check it out. If repairing does not improve the CPU fan’s functioning, replacing the CPU fan would be better.

You should buy the CPU fan from trusted vendors and ask for recommendations from loved ones to find a high-quality CPU fan and other computer parts.

Solution 7: Clean the CPU Fan

Dust impacts the computer hardware, and avoiding using the appliance in a dusty room is better. The dust may build on the fans blocking the fins, thus reducing the ideal rotation speed. It is better to clean your workstation as the dust settles on the desk and may transfer to the PC.

Moreover, cleaning the laptop bag frequently and avoiding using it for other purposes to avoid debris and dust build-up is better.

You should be careful when removing the dust specs from the CPU fans; avoid using water in the delicate computer parts. Water may cause electrical short-circuiting and impact the components in the system leading to reduced functionality.

You can unplug the PC from the power source and use canned air to blow off the dust. You may swipe a cotton pad soaked in alcohol on the CPU fan to eliminate the stubborn dust particles. Cleaning the CPU fans regularly prevents appliance damage.

Solution 8: Use another CPU Fan Header

Your PC might have multiple fan headers, and if one does not work, you can switch to another header. Switching to another header may fix the CPU fan error notification; the problem would have occurred due to a faulty CPU header.

If the PC has multiple non-functional fan headers, you will request new parts to fix the issues. Sometimes you might not know if the issues result from the non-functional fan header until you test the CPU fan header with a third-party motherboard with functional fan headers.

Solution 9: Return the CPU cooler to the manufacturer if it has manufacturing faults

If you have tried the remedies to avoid overheating in vain, the problem might be related to manufacturing faults. Although manufacturing faults are rare, errors may occur during CPU cooler manufacturing.

The manufacturing faults may occur soon after purchasing the device; in most cases, the warranty may cover the appliance. The manufacturer will deal with the manufacturing faults at no cost.

However, if the issues are not related to manufacturing faults but negligence, the manufacturer might correct them at a fee.

The following might be some of the manufacturing errors which cause CPU fan errors:

  • Catastrophic CPU cooler failure

A catastrophic CPU cooler failure may happen due to oxidation; the CPU cooler will cease to function. The catastrophic failure leads to AIO pumps failing or spontaneously dying. The fix is simple when using an air cooler: order a new fan to replace the old one.

However, it may not be easy to replace an AIO liquid cooler. You would contact the manufacturer, and if the cooler fails during the period covered by the warranty, the manufacturer might replace the AIO cooler at no cost.

  • Dead on arrival

The CPU fan may die on arrival; you don’t have to stick with a non-functional cooler. Contact the vendor to authorize the return of merchandise. Although it is hard to find a dead CPU fan on arrival, manufacturing faults happen.

You will know the CPU fan is dead on arrival when it does not work properly, and you can test it by plugging a third fan header to ensure it boots properly. Avoid using the PC during the configuration to avoid overheating and damaging the motherboard.

Plugging in a non-functional CPU to the PC may cause overheating and damage the motherboard. Luckily, most computers prompt for issues and send notifications to let users correct issues with the CPU.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CPU Fan Error?

The CPU fan error occurs due to overheating on the motherboard. When you receive the message, your laptop would have shut down to avoid damaging the important components. Thus, the error should allow a user to prompt and fix issues with the CPU system.

How Do I Reset the CPU Fan?

Sometimes you may need to reset the CPU fan after cleaning them or removing an old fan and fixing a new one. You can start by removing the fan connector from the fan header, turning the push pins using a flat-bladed screwdriver 90 degrees counterclockwise, and pulling up the push pins.

Then remove the fans and turn the pins 90 degrees clockwise to reset them and reinsert new or cleaned fans. Finally, plug the connector fan header.

How Do I Know the CPU Fan is Damaged?

A damaged CPU produces noise; your fan should run silently. The noise may occur when dust particles settle on the fan preventing them from working properly.

Another sign may be the overheating of the internal OC components making the laptop freeze which is a sign that the system will fail. Finally, you may get the CPU Fan Error notification on the screen, indicating total CPU fan and coolant failure.


You can easily learn how to fix CPU fan errors at home by following instructions on the PC’s official website and other online learning resources. You may check if the CPU fan connections are accurate and compact.

If the connection is right and the error persists, you may reset the monitoring for low RPM to let the motherboard read the fans when they rotate slowly in low temperatures. Then update the BIOS, change the outdated hardware, and replace worn-out CPU fans.

If the issue results from manufacturing faults, you can return the parts to the manufacturer to replace them at no cost. Good luck learning how to take care of your PC.

Tim Miller

Tim has always been obsessed with computers his whole life. After working for 25 years in the computer and electronics field, he now enjoys writing about computers to help others. Most of his time is spent in front of his computer or other technology to continue to learn more. He likes to try new things and keep up with the latest industry trends so he can share them with others.

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