STOP 0x116 – If the card isn’t cooling it will STOP

I thought that I had solved the STOP 0x116 errors but it seems that I had merely delayed them.

After a spate of BSOD, I left the video card out of my main rig until I had some time for tinkering.  I use the GPU for BOINC processing, so those CUDA workunits just had to wait.  I replaced the card and within 5 minutes of starting the BSOD appeared.  Power down and restart and the same thing happened 5 minutes later.

Since the case is quite small, the double-width video card sits close to the bottom.  Had it been anywhere else, the dead fan (!) would have been obvious.  (I also had a noisy case fan that made diagnosis by ear impossible too.)  I couldn’t start the fan with a flick of a finger.  I removed the card and the fan and found that indeed no reasonable amount of force would spin the fan; it was DED.

Computer shops didn’t have a direct replacement (fair enough) and the only fans were case or CPU.  Jaycar had some interesting units that are both quiet and move bulk air.  So I bought a 120mm case fan that I could bolt to the existing fan shroud, to replace the 95mm original; quieter and more air flow.

First minor issue was the fan header on the card; somewhat smaller than a standard motherboard fan header.  No great drama as I could use the old lead to connect to the new fan socket.

Bigger issue was there being no way to line up the case fans mounting holes to any solid object!  Back to Jaycar for a smaller fan.

But at least I found the reason for the STOP 0x116 errors.

Fixing a dead fan on a video card

I tried a quick repair with an 80mm fan (exchanged at Jaycar for the 120mm fan).  I tried to clip it into the existing fan shroud, but it wasn’t going to fit easily or securely.  So I took some self-tapping metal screws at carefully screwed each corner into a suitable pair of fins on the heatsink.  I directed the airflow away from the heatsink to try to draw air across the GPU and RAM.

Case fan to replace a video card fan
Case fan to replace a video card fan

The case fan came with a 3-pin case fan plug to suit a motherboard socket, which is larger than the fan socket on the video card.  I cut the old fan leads, stripped the insulation, twisted and tinned the leads and squeezed them into the new fan plug.

Case fan into a video card fan header
Case fan into a video card fan header

Plugged in the new card, downloaded some utilities to confirm temperature and fan speed and instant success!  I even managed a BIOS update.

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