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Released alongside the AirPort Extreme base station, this hard drive equipped variant offers 802.11ac speed on a time capsule NAS.

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Blinking Amber light - overheating warning in utility

I have had this problem for over a year now, but have tried the 'ignore it and it will go away' approach with no success. Older versions of the time capsule have bad overheating issues, but mine is just warm to the touch - not iron your clothes hot. I can't hear the fan, but I don't know if that is by design or not - plus I figured it would get a lot hotter if that was the problem. The only solution I have found is to reset the device with the hard reset button in back. That does turn the light green again, but as soon as my my wife tries to print a recipe from online, the light turns blinking amber again. The other problem with the overheating warning state is that it limits multiplayer minecraft games with my son. Still able to stream video to multiple devices without a problem though. I thought about modding the top of the brick with air holes to increase airflow, but wanted to check in with the community before I destroy my device. Thanks.

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A lot of people are disassembling those nowadays in order to clean up the fan - well, that’s not enough actually to prevent it from overheating especially on hot summer days. I had to also replace the heatpads on mine under the radiators on the opposite side from the fan. The heatpads on mine looked awful with some fat-like liquid around them, so I bought a new pad, cut it to fit and so far so good - works like new.

P.S.: pads seem to be about 2mm thick


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Over heating implies the fan is not working and/or there is a lot of dust build up inside.

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So, I just open it up and attempt to clean it out first. Failing that, replace the fan?


Yep, get a can of can'ed air and a soft paint brush to scrub things down. Just be careful, as the connectors and some of the components can easily damaged if you're not careful. Let us know if it was dusty.


So, tore it down. Fan had a little dust on it. Brushed and used some canned air to clean it out. When I got it back together and functional again, overheating warning came up immediately and now it is not accessing the HDD. Will keep playing with it.


Do you see or hear the fan running?


I have an issue with a faulty fan. Anyone know where I could get a replacement fan?


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The little Sunon maglev fan is up in the top of the time capsule (tall versions). The fan goes bad (I have had this happen with two Sunon Maglev fans, one on a time capsule another on an enterprise router. Fan costs about 20-30 bucks from china, arrives in 10 days or so. The replacement is pretty easy, the primary difficulties are getting the 4 little cables off the board so you can remove the guts and get to the fan (this is described pretty well here, but good eyesight and or small fingers would help. to the rescue here Airport Time Capsule A1470 Hard Drive Replacement with detailed instructions on 3 of the little cables 4th , the reset switch, is like #'s # 2 and 3.

Anyway, once you pull the thing out, the fan pops off with no trouble, the new fan does not have screws (so you need to re-use those) it does come with the little rubber bushings in the screw holes... I recommend you wet the screws before putting them in (because getting those bushings back in the hole (if you, like I, dislodge one) is difficult.)

the new fan comes with cable with peel off adhesive for placing the fan wire in the case, and after that just reverse the steps...

It took me an hour....

While you wait for your new fan, put a fan on it. I took a little bullet fan turned the time capsule on it's side, and created a vacuum on one corner. You need to choose a corner that "assists" the fan. The fan in the picture is blowing toward you (the viewer) and is assisting the fan inside. You can figure all this out by looking at the fixit site if it is not clear. My fan was working some of the time but the overheat warning was constant. With the fan in the picture the overheat warning would go off most of the time.

My fan was sqealing like a pig... waking me up at night occasionally. But the new fan works fine, and the box isn't overheating.

Block Image

When I first installed it, the fan was running, the unit was cool, but the airport utility still said it was overheating. Probably I had to reset it in some way, but what I did was roll back to the previous firmware version, then roll forward to current, and the overheat warning is gone.

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Really Bruce? Posted 5 hours ago (it's 9:50pm ET now) - About 10 min. ago when I saw my Airport Time Capsule's amber light blinking; I started searching for help on the 'This device may be overheating' warning in my Airport Utility, and found your post. I've unplugged it for now (as it was a little warm to the touch), and will power it up again after a few hours, and see how it's doing, before I attempt your fan-fix... Thanks!


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restart it and make sure the power cable is fine , check the fan

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Hey bcjames

Apple AirPort stations need ventilation and breathing room to run efficiently, especially if its always running. If the system is getting to hot, most-likely this is an issue of dust collecting in the vents and the fan system. if dust is collecting in the fans and the components, this will burn the fan out easily, since the fan then doesn't have the strength to push out the heat.

If the indicator light is blinking amber especially after completing a hard reset, this is a network issue. use the AirPort Utility, from a Mac or iOS based device to see the status of the AirPort. try refreshing the network settings and re-adding it to your ISP box.

When the AirPort limits the online playing or any online activity, such as your son's games, the AirPort base may be trying to temporarily block services so that it has a chance to start cooling itself down. This is normal!

Follow @bruce0 to open the AirPort base, to remove the dust, you will also need to spray out the fan itself too (USE ONLY COMPRESSED AIR), this should resolve the problem, and also extend the fan's life.

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Just wanted to quickly chime in. I’ve been experiencing the yellow light + overheating warning in Airport Utility. I decided to open up the Airport Extreme to see what was going on. Found very light dust, so I lightly greased the fan and put it back in. Tested it without putting the case back on, and the fan would periodically turn on after powering up. On the times it didn’t spin up, if I gave it a little spin, then it would go at full RPM for a minute before slowing down to a more normal speed.

All that to say . . . I’m not entirely sure if the fan simply wasn’t spinning up all the time due to load, or if indeed the fan was dying. I’m confused because when it (did) spin up, it seemed like the motor was totally fine. Even adding a bit of friction to the fan didn’t stop it. So I’m pretty stumped.

I decided to order a new fan from eBay for $14. Will install it just to be safe and hope for the best.

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bcjames será eternamente grato(a).
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