Alert! Additional card cage fan needed for PCI Express card over 75 watts.

That’s probably the message many of you have seen and hopefully I can help remedy it for you. The main reason I am blogging this is to help save others the frustration I went through to troubleshoot, research, order, and install this darn card cage fan.

So I purchased my Dell Dimension 8400 a while ago and decided to upgrade the video card to a GeForce 6800. After doing so, I started getting that message every time I booted up. I’d have to hit F1 to continue which was annoying.

So after some trolling through Dell’s support site, I finally discovered my problem wasn’t unique. In order to satisfy my machine, I needed to purchase an auxilary blower fan.

Dell 8400 additional card cage fan

Ok, so to the right is a picture of the fan which obviously doesn’t have much to it. You’ll need to call Dell Spare Parts (800-372-3355) and purchase this part number:

H3840 Auxilary Blower Fan for an 8400 PCIe video card. I actually picked one up from eBay for under $9.00 + shipping so I’d recommend that route. I think Dell charges $20 or something.

I was excited when my fan arrived (sad huh) because that stupid boot message will soon be gone! So I got home and popped open my computer ready to plug the sucker in.

Well, I’m a pretty tech-savy guy and very comfortable working with computer components but couldn’t figure out for the life of me where this thing is supposed to go. Of course the package from eBay didn’t come with any sort of directions (maybe ordering it from Dell would’ve been a better idea after all).

My solution for pretty much anything I can’t quickly figure out is a little known site called GOOGLE. After over an hour trying to find a diagram of some sort of instructions, I finally came across a Dell forum post that led me in the right direction.

The install instructions were on page 89 I believe

Actually they were on pages 86-88. Thank you AZtoSD! So here are the instructions from the pdf Dell 8400 online manual.

Card Fan

NOTICE: PCI Express graphics card that run higher than 75 W require an additional cooling fan. Otherwise, your card could overheat and damage your computer.

If a card fan is not present in your computer and you are installing a graphics card that runs at 75 W or higher, contact Dell (see page 123) to find out how to purchase a card fan.

  1. Follow the procedures in “Before You Begin” on page 59.
  2. If spare drive rails are installed on the inside of the computer cover, remove them by gently pulling the rails up and out. dell additional card cage fan
  3. Slide the card fan bracket onto the hooks on the inside of the computer cover.
  4. Press the top edge of the card fan bracket toward the computer cover until it clicks.
  5. Route the card fan cable through the cabling slots.
  6. Plug the card fan cable into the card fan connector (PCI FAN) on the system board (see page 71).Dell additional card cage fan installation
  7. If you removed drive rails in step 2, you may attach them to the side of the card fan bracket for convenient storage.
  8. Close the computer cover (see page 104). NOTICE: To connect a network cable, first plug the cable into the network device and then plug it into the computer.
  9. Connect your computer and devices to their electrical outlets, and then turn them on.
  10. Cross your fingers

So hopefully after you follow these steps, your machine is happy like mine was and didn’t display the boot fan message. I can’t say this solution will work for all machines since there are always so many edge cases, but hopefully it will. Feel free to comment below or provide any questions or other resources to this post.

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