Question Sudden high fan RPM


No Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
Not gaming / heat related.

First question - is it ok to be removing the cover to my tower while the PC is on? I was just checking on dust accumulation. Because when I did that a few days ago, I accidentally pushed the cover in against the side of the CPU cooler heatsink which then somehow made the GPU (not CPU) fan that faces downwards spin at super high airplane-takeoff speed. The GPU is a good 4 inches below the CPU cooler that I actually impacted and also set in more, so there's no physical way I could've touched the GPU. Anyway, my display blacked out (no signal). I restarted the PC and all was fine. Afterward, I powered off again to clean out dust with compressed air, including inside the GPU.

2 days later this afternoon, while watching a video on FB and not even going near the tower, the GPU fan took off like a jet engine again, and I lost display again. Is my GPU about to die? I checked temps and they were fine but it's obviously too coincidental that I knocked into hardware the 1st time to cause the exact noise, so it's unlikely to be a random failure.

Now I'm afraid to leave my PC on 24/7 like I usually do. GPU is an EVGA GTX 1060. I don't see any loose connections.
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Tech Junky

Platinum Member
Jan 27, 2022
Opening isn't usually an issue. Since you knocked the panel on something there's always the potential for a discharge to occur. Reseat the GPU and see if it persists. Small chance it might fix the issue. Otherwise pull apart the GPU and check the fan connections on it to make sure. Fan might just be going bad and needs to be swapped on the card.


Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2006
What you describe is typical of some problem with the graphics card that causes it to reboot. A temporary disturbanace of signals or power supply to the card could cause that. And that, in turn, MAY be simply an intermittent connection on one contact of its edge plugged into the PCIe socket or of a power suuply cable to it from the PSU. So with POWER OFF you can carefully disconnect and remove that card, then re-instert it and re-connect. That may clean off any slight oxidation on contacts and re-establish normal operation.


Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
It's okay to remove the cover if you don't do what you did... or any other bad things, I'd refrain from doing it if you have a HDD in the system as it is not something I like to jostle around while spinning.

Depends on how hard you hit the heatsink, but I'd wonder if you have stressed the motherboard, broken some solder joint and this is causing the video card to behave erratically. I could be wrong but nothing else comes to mind to explain it.

I doubt it was an ESD event because with the PC plugged in/running, the moment you touched the case it should have dissipated any charge, unless it is not a metal case, not properly grounded to psu, or your wall outlet lacks the ground contact or premises wiring doesn't have it hooked up, or you were rubbing balloons on your head at the time. :)

As already suggested, I'd pull the video card and inspect then reinstall it.