fan on all the time
why does the fan run all the time
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Released in 2002, Model Number PCG-981L CPU: Intel Pentium III 850Mhz DVD-ROM 15" SXGA(1400x1050)screen It included windows ME from the factory(xp was optional)
I can venture a guess: the heatsink compound between the CPU and the heatsink has dried out and is no longer good at transferring heat between the two. Thus the CPU runs hot, and the fan is always running to try and cool it down.
To diagnose this, you might run a utility that tells you the temperature of the CPU. This is a bit tricky, since every computer is different (in terms of how to read the temperature), but a general utility such as SpeedFan often does the job. If the temperature goes up and doesn't respond much to the fan, then you've got a cooling problem. If the temperature does go down to where the fan should turn off, then you've got a software problem (you might want to see if there is a BIOS update for your system in that case).
It is possible to open the system up, remove the heatsink, replace the heatsink compound with fresh stuff, and put things back together. However, this requires a certain amount of skill, attention, and knowledge of the general do's & don'ts of computer repair. If you have this, or know someone who does, you can follow the guides on this site for help in doing the job. The "Maintenance" guide seems to get you most of the way there.
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