How to Replace the Processor Fan in an HP Desktop Computer

Written by dakota wright
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How to Replace the Processor Fan in an HP Desktop Computer
A CPU cooling fan is essential to protecting the life of a processor. (blades of fan image by TEA from

A faulty processor fan may invoke havoc on an otherwise healthy system. The CPU fan is responsible for dissipating high heat temperatures around the processor. When the fan fails the processor may overheat drastically, reducing the life and health of the processor, as well as your HP desktop computer.

Changing or adding a processor fan is a common upgrade to computer systems. Fans are built to cool Intel and AMD computer processors, which are used in Hewlett Packard computer systems. Knowing the type of processor you have will help you choose the right fan for your machine. Choosing the right fan for your processor will eliminate mistakes made during the installation.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Screwdrivers
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Thermal paste or pad

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  1. 1

    Go to "Start" and right-click on "My Computer." Scroll down and click on "Properties." This will bring up the system information window. You will see the Windows edition you are using and under that important information about your system.

  2. 2

    Look at the "Processor" information. This will give you the exact type and model of processor installed on the HP machine. The processor socket type will determine the type of processor fan you can buy. Refer to the socket compatibility chart in the "Resources" section to determine the type of processor and socket you have.

  3. 3

    Shut down the computer. Flip the power supply switch to the "off" position. Unplug the machine from power. Remove the hardware screws holding the sides of the computer case together.

  4. 4

    Ground yourself against something metal to release static build-up and remove the sides of the case. Disconnect the power cable on the existing processor fan. Disengage the metal or plastic hook that locks the processor fan down. Press down to release the locks and move them out of the way.

  5. 5

    Lift-off the heat-sink and processor fan in one motion. Remove the thermal pad or paste from the processor by gently scrapping or rubbing with Isopropyl alcohol. Put the new thermal paste or pad on the processor.

  6. 6

    Place the new heat-sink and processor fan assembly onto the processor. Use slight pressure to press the fan firmly into place. Place the locking hook in the engaged position. Move the locks back into position, firmly clamping the CPU fan in place.

  7. 7

    Plug in the power cable for the processor fan. Reassemble the computer case and reconnect it to power.

Tips and warnings

  • Always discharge static before opening and touching components in your computer.
  • Consult your HP warranty information to see if fan replacement is covered.
  • Place hardware screws in a small dish so that you won't loose them.
  • Choose the processor fan that fits your motherboard and processor.
  • Do not use a fan that isn't designed for your motherboard and processor.
  • Never reuse thermal paste or thermal pads.

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