desk frameSince I work from home now, I started to try and make everything in the home office as quiet as possible. I replaced the fluorescent light ballasts with new ones that do not buzz. In fact, when replacing one of the ballasts, I found that it was actually burned out! I swapped out the tubes as well with new LED ones. The next thing was to tackle the tower Windows Server box that sits in the office. I took the case completely apart and installed all new Noctua fans except for the CPU cooler fan. The fan power control for the motherboard was still too noisy, so I used a Noctua fan controller instead to power most of the fans to be slower. This reduced the noise and I was able to work in a quiet office for several months. What eventually cropped up was the power supply started to make some fan noise. This Windows Server runs all the time, so some components can fail over time.

The Power Supply

This is actually the second XFX power supply. The original XFX 850 failed after a couple of years. I sent in for warranty and received a new replacement. In the mean time I purchased this model:

XFX ProSeries P1-1050-BEFX 1050 W ATX12V 2.2 / ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Now after a few more years with the 1050, it started to whine and make fan noise when the tower would heat up. Trying to get warranty service for slight fan noise, will probably be hard and this power supply is out of warranty at this point. It has been running for 9 years!

desk frame

Do not do this if you do not know what you are doing. It is best to just buy a new power supply if you are not proficient with electronics.


I disconnected the power cord from the power supply, then held the power button for a couple of minutes on the computer to discharge some of the electricity. Next, I disconnected all the computer cables from the power supply and unscrewed it from the tower case. After this, I unscrewed the main screws and carefully opened the power supply. The HA13525H12F-Z fan is partially glued to the case, so I recommend a plastic tool to detach it.

Once I had it opened, I did not detach the fan power line to the supply. After using a can of compressed air to clean off the dust, here is what it looked like:

Butcher Block Desk

The power supply and fan were not as dusty as what I thought it would be. Make sure you do not touch the blue capacitors as they may still have a charge. You can google the fan model number HA13525H12F-Z if you want to replace it with a new one. For me, I just want to see if I can keep the original fan after some maintenance. A replacement fan would most likely be $25 or more and so it would be easier to just buy a new power supply.

Butcher Block Desk

This is perhaps one of the easiest fans to work with. It literally snaps apart and once you have it disassembled, you can clean the inside with some cotton swabs and a bit of rubbing alcohol. Be careful, as you do not want to break any of the copper coils.

What I noticed is that there really was not much lubricant left, so this can explain the whining sounds. I used some sewing machine oil and a bit of Permatex Anti Seize lubricant. Less is more in this application, because you do not want any oil or lubricant spilling out. Clean up any excess and check it once more, after snapping the fan back together.

Butcher Block Desk


After this maintenance, my fan noise is now gone and I hope to get a few more years out of this power supply. Another plus is that I kept more electronic waste from the landfill.