Atlas Informatik How-To

Cooling Fan for the Dreambox



What can be done if the Dreambox is always very hot and the built-in drive (SSD / HD) fails quickly?


I have a Dreambox 900 (dm900) and after only 6 months my Samsung 870 EVO 2TB SSD was no longer responsive. It showed only "Unknown Device" in the Devices control panel. Totally unusable. That shouldn't happen after such a short time. Samsung even promises a 5-year warranty on this product. Either it was just bad luck on my end or I noticed that the Dreambox gets very hot. It has a very powerful processor, but only a large heat sink without cooling fins. If you read online, some people think that the temperature is at the upper limit for electronics. If you then install an SSD, which itself also produces heat, you may wonder whether this was perhaps the cause. There are a few reports online of people who have even had 2 SSDs break after a short time. There are also professional repairers who receive many Samsung EVOs for repair. But I didn't want to rely on the fact that "it's probably not the temperature". I still had an old Intel processor fan lying around, so I came up with the idea of simply installing it. Better safe than sorry. I just wanted it to run at a slower speed to avoid noise. And the result was amazing: Easy to make and cheap. So here are the instructions to follow.


  • Ensure that the fan connection inside the box (see picture below) has power. There should be approx. 12 volts between the first pin (black, GND) and the second (yellow). With older Dreambox images (box software) this connection may still be switched off. Then you should first google which image (=firmware) or addon you should install. For example, I use the NewNigma2 Image from 2023, which has the connector switched on.

    If you can't manage this, you can also simply connect the black and yellow cables of the fan to GND and 5V. I tested with 5V and the fan turned slowly as desired. I found where to tap the 5V (or if that's too slow for you, 12V) in this picture on the net, but without any guarantee (we didn't test that):

Material required

  • Intel processor cooler. Other products could also work, it depends on the height. The flatter the better. In any case, mine is an intel E97378-001, CNDP453Q10 DTC-DAA15, 12VDC 0.60A, DELTA. The connection is a 4-pin plug with black-yellow-green-blue colors which is described as compatible with socket 1155/1156. Dimensions 32L x 92W x 92H millimeters. Intel is very expensive in terms of price. It is therefore an advantage if you still have or can buy an old fan, or have cheaper products to choose from. The height from the ring should not be more than approx. 58 mm.

  • Two approx. 30 cm or longer cable ties.


Tools required

  • Phillips screwdriver


  • Saw for plastic or wood


  • File for plastic or wood or sandpaper


  1. Remove the metal heat sink from the radiator. To do this, press the 4 retaining tabs slightly outwards, then it is very easy.


  2. Saw off the 4 legs directly at their original location so that the ring can then lie flat.

  3. Saw off the 2 plastic walls still protruding from the ring

  4. File the ring flat with a file or sandpaper so that it lies flat on the table

  5. On the white 4-pin plug, cut off all the plastic guide lines on one side with a sharp knife or scalpel that prevent the plug from going in (black should be on the left). Alternatively you can also file them off.

  6. Switch off the box, disconnect the power, unscrew it with the front facing you and place the fan on the black heat sink in the middle. Turn it so that one strut that goes to the motor at the top is pointing to the left and the other to the right.

  7. Take a cable tie and pass it around the left strut of the fan, then around the rear diagonal cross strut of the Dreambox housing, but leave it loose, do not tie it tight yet. The head of the cable tie should be somewhere on the inside, not on the side.

    Then do the same with a cable tie around the right-hand strut over to the front diagonal cross strut on the right-hand side (see picture). Again, the head should be inside.

    Now tighten both cable ties more and more so that the fan is held in position. The thick black and red cable at the top should pass under the fan. Be careful of the edges of the cross struts, which can be very sharp. We recommend to file or sand them down a little beforehand. Clip off the rest of the ties.

  8. Carefully insert the plug at the bottom of the connection. Make sure that the black cable is on the left and that all 4 pins are in contact (the plug is not offset):


  • The temperature inside has dropped significantly. You can display it on the box by 'Menu->Informations->About' or query it with the following Linux command:

      >cat /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp

    The number is temperature * 1000. I had previously measured over 60° Celsius, now it is only 46° in standby and max. 51° when watching movies. It is now in the normal range for hardware, where the hardware can remain functional for a long time.
  • The solution is very quiet and energy-saving. The fan turns relatively slowly, at the lower end of the speed range, and is therefore extremely quiet and energy-saving. You hear practically nothing, not even in the vicinity. The fan also runs when the box is in standby, it won't switch off. It only switches off when the box is shut down completely.

  • Cool air is drawn in from above through the ventilation slots and pressed down onto the heat sink of the processor. In this way, it also indirectly cools everything else inside.

  • An internal drive is also cooled. The drive stand has a large hole underneath where the cool air can reach the drive. The plastic drawer also has a few extra large ventilation holes.

  • The plug fits perfectly and the power supply has also been designed for a fan. With fans, you generally have to think about voltage peaks that can occur briefly when switching off. In theory, it is basically a large coil, and these simply have this induction characteristic. But the logic on the circuit board is specially designed for this.

  • The height of the cooler is just small enough for the housing to be flush. You don't have to bend anything.

  • It is an extremely cost-effective solution, especially if you still have an old processor cooler lying around somewhere. Otherwise they can be bought very cheaply second-hand.

  • Practically no additional material such as electronic components are required, you don't have to order anything

  • Absolutely nothing needs to be soldered. This reduces the risk for making mistakes to zero.

  • It is an extremely quick solution. It can be done in 30 minutes.

  • You can remove this solution again without leaving any residue if necessary and even transfer it to another Dreambox.

If you don't have a Dreambox yet

The Dreambox has been voted the best box for watching live TV with recording and video playback for several years. The cost is low at less than 400 $. We love this box. We have therefore also programmed the Atlas Subtitler software to supplement the films with subtitles. It is now installed on more than 1500 PCs worldwide. On this page you will find instructions on how to set up a Dreambox from scratch.



Go to Homepage