Thanks the feedback flemeister and edh (I'm not wearing a tinfoil hat for this problem I assure you
The fan is scraping continually and sounds like it's going to fail at any point, so need to solve this right away.
A) is there anything temporary, like lubricating the fan bearing?
B) as for a real fix, the cover over the heatsink is metal, not sure it can be taken off. I've removed it before a long time ago putting on new thermal paste, and that is my recollection. Unfortunately this card is so old replacement parts are difficult to find.
edh, I won't be able to drill anything or use tools like that, but appreciate the idea, but an unconventional solution am open to.
Will the Zalman VF700 work? http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=25004&highlight=
That old thread from SPCR says so, although the wiring doesn't work quite right.
Will the Zalman VF770 work, or are there too many attachment points? Any other ideas?
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.