I had exactly the same problem with my 9880 -- the fan (the second one from the left numbered "2" on page 1-12 of the manual) looked like it was wanting to turn on, but it just sat there and wiggled. And chirped at a frequency specifically designed, no doubt, to stimulate the homicidal centers of the human psyche.
I called Discount Laptops (where I got the computer), and we tried a conference call with Sager tech support. Turns out that the connection didn't work well, so Sager called me back. Good connection. I described the problem, and it sounded like it was a familiar thing to them.
Here's what we did. First, I had to disable the logo screen, which covers the startup information. (Get into the BIOS [F2 when the logo screen appears], go to the Advanced tab, and disable the Logo screen [should be the bottom option].) Save that (F10). I shut the computer off via Windows once Windows finished starting, and then turned the computer back on. Once you see the startup screen with the memory test happening, hit the "Pause Break" key (top row of the keyboard). Look at the "KBC/EC" line. Mine read "1.00.02", which apparently isn't new enough. Allen (the tech support guy at Sger) then emailed me a ZIP file to do a firmware flash. (Pretty simple. Make a bootable XP diskette, delete all of the files except for IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, and COMMAND.COM, and extract the ZIP files to the diskette. Reboot the computer from the diskette, run the BAT file that it extracted to the diskette, and restart.) I did that, and I'm now at version "1.00.S7". I can't say that it's solved the problem yet, because I haven't had the 9880 on long enough to be sure . (I'd have to have it running typically an hour to an hour and a half before it would start chirping. Kinda sounded like a drunk cricket.) I can
say, though, that a fan I hadn't heard before has kicked on three or four times now for just a few seconds. It's louder than the one I'm used to hearing, so that's a good sign. It's loud just for a second or so until it gets up to speed, and then it ramps down pretty quickly. Pretty inocuous.
So, there you have it. I'm hoping. I'll try to remember to post a followup later tonight once I'm more certain that it's done the job. Seems promising so far, though.