HPE ML30 Replacement Cooler/Fan Issues

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New Member
May 26, 2020
Hi - not sure that this is entirely the right forum to place this question/request for help - but here goes.

I bought an HPE ML30 Gen 10 [E-2224 16GB RAM, running WSE 2016] in May, earlier this year. The CPU fan was horribly noisy - so took the plunge and replaced it with a Noctua NH-U9S cooler [with an NF-A9 fan].

Fitting wasn't straightforward - had to remove some of the original pressed-in fittings on the system board [from the original HPE cooler] to make it work. After a couple of hours of careful 'fettling' had the new cooler in and everything worked nicely.

After 4 months the Server started reporting 'Fan 3' failure [the replacement Noctua CPU fan] via the iLO5 console - and the fan would cycle between 0% and c.60% - revving up and then slowing down every few seconds. It sounds like an aircraft taking off. The server continued to run and temperatures at the CPU stayed nominal [around 40 degrees C].

So I replaced the fan and all returned to normal.

Six weeks later - the same problem came back.

So I replaced that fan - thinking that this might just be a batch probelm with Noctua.

Three weeks after that - the problem came back again.

This time I replaced the Noctua fan with a Nanoxia Deep Silence Fan. Thinking that there may be an issue with Noctua and HP.

I also updated BIOS, iLO5, and other firmware updates to the latest versions. Cooling is set to 'Optimal' in BIOS.

The server started and ran perfectly for an hour or so and then the problem returned again.

The server is housed in a purpose-built 'rack' in a well ventilated loft. There's never been an issue with overheating.

The original [and replacement] Noctua and Nanoxia fans are all 12v PWM 4-pin versions. I can see no obvious damage to the 4-pin connector on the systemboard.

The mystery to me is that the problem didn't initially manifest itself for four months - but then the time between apparent failures is increasing.

I guess the 4-pin connector could be failing/faulty? It could be that any other than the original HP fan is 'incompatible'? It could be that the monitoring systems are 'buggy'?

Although the server is technically under warranty - by changing the cooler I am sure that warranty will have been invalidated. I realised that at the time and took the risk with full knowledge. A replacement systemboard from HP is just short of the cost for a brand new server from a reseller.

Not quite sure where to go next - so any thoughts or ideas would be gratefull received.