Question ARGB Fan dead? How to test it please?

Titler

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Jan 17, 2009
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I recently picked up a B Spec case from Novatech UK, the MSI Vampiric 100R... and despite the reviews, it's really not very good, but that's a story for another time. After much agonizing cable management, I managed to get it up and running, with all fans and case lit and spinning. But at some point in the 4 days since, the rear ARGB fan will light up, but has stopped turning.

Behold the shockingly poor MSI manual. In real life, it's only about 8 inches tall, so it was impossible to see they've cheaped out and put a single bay drive right next to the power, and expects you to screw a second drive on top of it. Mmmmm. Anyway, turn to page 12 . It both says to NOT connect the ARGB to the SYS_FAN on the board, but also visually shows ARGB fans in series but ending in 2 different points connected to SYS_FAN. The case came with one ARGB at the rear, one non-ARGB at the front, so what I did was connect the ARGB to the 4 pin connection that goes to the case controller, the case controller to the SATA power/motherboard, and the front fan directly to SYS_FAN. This seemed to work for all the fans but as mentioned, the rear has now stopped turning.

It might be because it's got so cold in the UK, and my PC is running at around 26c at the moment; but I can't find any way to access the rear fan to manually try and spin it to see if the motors have gone. BIOS doesn't recognise it, and there doesn't seem to be any easy way to access the case mounted ARGB controller; because of the manual's warning I've been loath to dismount the front fan and attach the ARGB fan directly to SYS_FAN and see if it spins that way... how do the folks here recommend I test the ARGB fan motor please?
 
There is a cable on most fans that run the motor and a completely different one that run the LEDs.

In general you would plug each fan into a fan header on your motherboard directly. When you have lots of fans you will run out of headers and they use a special cable to connect multiple fans to one header. Some fancy systems connect the fans to some kind of fan controller rather than using the motherboard. The controller on yours appears to only do the LED and not the motors.
Very hard to say in yours because they have multiple models of cases with different numbers of fans documented in the same manual.

I suspect you either have some cable disconnected. Follow the cable from the fan that does not work and see where it connects. If it connects directly to the motherboard try a different fan header. If there is some kind of splitter I would disconnect it from that plug directly to a motherboard header if you have a extra one.
 

Paperdoc

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I'd say the manual instructions are written badly and causing confusion.

You will note that all ARGB fans have TWO separate connections to power and control. ONE is a common female 4-pin FAN MOTOR connector that goes to a mobo SYS_FAN header normally. The SECOND is the LIGHTING cable with a wider female connector with a (4-1) layout - that is, it looks like it had 4 holes but one is blocked off. That goes to a mobo ARGB male header normally. However, in your case it appears the case itself has an ARGB controller where any ARGB fan lighting cables must plug in, and YOU get to select the lighting pattern using a font panel button. It also appears that the REAR fan supplied is already connected to this ARGB Controller, and any additional ARGB fans you may acquire should be plugged into that Controller's ports.

None of that addresses the MOTORS of fans. The fan motor cables probably should be plugged into mobo SYS_FAN headers as you have done for your front fans. The manual says nothing about the REAR fan's motor. Since it did work at first, I have to assume it was plugged in somewhere. Now it is not working, so three possibilities. Trace out that fan's two cables and identify the one for its motor.
(a) It was plugged into some special socket in the case with unknown control settings. Either it has come loose from there (check that), or that socket has decided the temps are low enough the rear fan is not needed. In the latter case it will start up sometime when you get working hard and generating more heat.
(b) It WAS on a mobo SYS_FAN header and somehow has come loose, so check if it is still plugged in.
(c) It is still plugged into a SYS_FAN header but you need to adjust its settings so that the fan does NOT stop at low temperatures.

The fact that BIOS does not appear to detect that rear fan MAY be becasue it is NOT plugged into any mobo fan header, OR that is is stopped so the mobo header gets no speed signal.
 
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Titler

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Thank you Paperdoc; that was much more informative than the manual!

I might have just been imagining that it was spinning at some point, but I've gone in and used a splitter (that was in the case box but not in the manual at all) to connect a separate line for the motors from the front case to the rear, then down to the SYS_FAN; what threw me was that the two fans were using the 3 pin only motor connector, not the 4 pin shown in the manual (the ones marked with a figure "1" for some reason in the illustration), but the splitter was 4 pin across all the endings (looking something like this). The little tab of course on the ending is to guide the 3 pin in, like SYS_FAN itself, and leaves the 4th open.

Everything else I just tightened up and bundled back together, and when started up now the rear fan is spinning and lit. So once more, thanks Paperdoc, and please apply to MSI to write all their docs for them, because their manuals are bobbins.
 

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