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progunner
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Cooling Fan problem

Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:53 pm

Any idea how to solve my problem with my laptop? The cooling fan becomes very noisy after some time.
 
Shobai
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Re: Cooling Fan problem

Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:25 pm

I think the simplest bet would be to wear headphones.
 
TwistedKestrel
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Re: Cooling Fan problem

Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:01 pm

Good: Make sure the vents aren't blocked with dust/hair causing the fan to spin up excessively
Better: Disassemble the laptop, then the heatsink, then remove and oil the fan with appropriate oil, if possible
Best: Replace the fan (may involve replacing the assembly it's attached to)
 
DPete27
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Re: Cooling Fan problem

Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:18 am

Grab a can of canned air and blow into the exhaust vent (usually on the side of the machine). Most likely a bunch of dust will come out of the fan intake (usually on the bottom).
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continuum
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Re: Cooling Fan problem

Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:37 am

Also if you're going to go so far as to disassemble, check the thermal interface material between the heatpipe/heatsink and the CPU/GPU.
 
Shobai
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Re: Cooling Fan problem

Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:21 am

I'll disagree with everyone:

TwistedKestrel's 'Better' and 'Best' have never, in my experience, been necessary - especially without knowing the current state of the fan.

I've replaced too many fans where a gung-ho user has stripped the hub of blades using compressed air to ever consider suggesting shooting compressed air into a fan. Even if you don't strip the blades off, you're sending dust and fluff exactly where you don't want it to go [and where it won't get during normal operation] - back under the fan and into the hub.

Finally, aged thermal pads will often be destroyed by inspection. I wouldn't recommend checking TIM unless you're sure you can replace whatever's there.



progunner, what laptop do you have? How easy is it to get into?

My recommendation would be that, if you're going to do anything about this, you open up the laptop until you can get at the fan and heatsink assembly, and then remove the fan assembly from the heatsink: this will expose the intake side of the heatsink fins, which is where your lint, cat hair, dust and cruft accumulate. Depending on how much is there, pull it out holus-bolus with tweezers or whatever works. Then ensure that each passage in the heatsink is clear - you can either do this manually with a fine tool that fits into the passage without distorting it, or use compressed air [my preference!] with the fan removed [some might even position a vacuum cleaner into the fan well in order to pick up whatever the compressed air dislodges]. Once the heatsink assembly is clean, reassemble it. I would do some comparative testing at this point to determine whether it's necessary to look at TIM, because you can easily make matters worse if you're not equipped to fix or replace a broken thermal pad.

Finally, having cleaned your heatsink, consider behaviour changes that can help reduce the frequency of maintenance:
- always use your laptop on a hard, flat surface; never on carpet or blankets
- never block the fan's intake
- regularly vacuum your home
- get rid of any inside animals [dogs, cats, birds]
 
Aranarth
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Re: Cooling Fan problem

Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:02 am

You forgot one:

DO NOT SMOKE.

I am glad I never took up smoking especially after seeing the inside of a computer from someone who did. If your computer looks like that imagine what your lungs look like!

If the fan rattles replace it and in the middle of doing that blow out the heat sink.
Most laptop fans these days are made as cheap as possible and are designed to maybe last a year past the warranty.
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Anovoca
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Re: Cooling Fan problem

Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:10 am

Shobai wrote:

I've replaced too many fans where a gung-ho user has stripped the hub of blades using compressed air to ever consider suggesting shooting compressed air into a fan. Even if you don't strip the blades off, you're sending dust and fluff exactly where you don't want it to go [and where it won't get during normal operation] - back under the fan and into the hub.



Also there is a chance that compressed air spins the fans and causes a back current into your machine. Risk is minimal but still present.
The easiest way to see if it is congestion or a fan about to go is to check your thermals. If your temps are through the roof, it is likely having trouble breathing. A fan going out may also cause slightly elevated thermals but not as drastic. Broken fans usually will also have either a grinding noise or a heavy vibration.
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DPete27
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Re: Cooling Fan problem

Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:59 pm

There seems to be a lot of advanced suggestions for an OP that is seemingly a beginner. I don't disagree with any of the suggestions, just that most of them are likely to above the ability of the OP to perform themselves. I've replaced a few laptop fans, and disassembly of a laptop can be a tricky endeavor (without breaking anything) and if you aren't comfortable, it's probably better to ask a friend who is, or to go to a professional.

@ OP, sorry if I'm giving you less credit than you deserve, your post was vague on details. Is your fan just spinning faster than normal, or is it making a clicking sound, or?

Anovoca wrote:
Also there is a chance that compressed air spins the fans and causes a back current into your machine. Risk is minimal but still present.

Also, you can exceed the rated RPM of the fan when doing this. When a fan can't be held stationary (I use a sewing needle/pin for laptops), short bursts of air with enough time between to allow the fan to come to a stop or to at least maintain a reasonable RPM are definitely recommended. Keeping the fan stationary is priority #1 if you can.
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Shobai
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Re: Cooling Fan problem

Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:02 pm

Aranarth wrote:
You forgot one:

DO NOT SMOKE.


Absolutely! I knew I'd forgotten to mention something, just not what it was.

DPete27 wrote:
There seems to be a lot of advanced suggestions for an OP that is seemingly a beginner


Heh, that's why my initial suggestion was to use headphones =P

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