Fan on regularly
Thread poster: Olly Pekelharing

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:39
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
Dec 2, 2013

Although my laptop (Dell vostro) still performs perfectly, I've noticed of late that the fan is on a lot and that the computer is getting quite warm. This computer is only just over 2 years old but I use it intensively everyday for my work. Do I need to worry about all this heat leading to a major problem in the short term or can I expect the computer to purr a way happily for a while yet? (And yes, I have backups of all important data).

Thanks,


Olly


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Maybe.... Dec 2, 2013

Deleted (website glitch caused me to post twice)

[Edited at 2013-12-02 10:48 GMT]


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Valery Shapovalenko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 23:39
English to Russian
+ ...
Clean the dust Dec 2, 2013

... from inside the computer. That's the most obvious reason for heating . Bring it to the service center and let them do the dirrty work for you...

And Tom-From-London is also right - the more work your computer does (often hard drive accessing, e.g. for replacing and cleaning the clusters), the more heat it produces.

[Edited at 2013-12-02 11:03 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Could be serious Dec 2, 2013

Olly Pekelharing wrote:

Although my laptop (Dell vostro) still performs perfectly, I've noticed of late that the fan is on a lot and that the computer is getting quite warm. This computer is only just over 2 years old but I use it intensively everyday for my work. Do I need to worry about all this heat leading to a major problem in the short term or can I expect the computer to purr a way happily for a while yet? (And yes, I have backups of all important data).

Thanks,


Olly



Maybe it's getting tired of seeing the increasingly common mistake of using "everyday" (an adjective meaning "commonplace" or "quotidian") instead of "every day"

Seriously though: make sure your computer is well ventilated all round, expecially on the bottom. Never put it on a soft surface. And although it's called a "laptop" you should avoid running it on your lap, or it will overheat.

If it still gets too hot (fans running) your hard drive may be too full and about to crash. At least 20% of your hard drive should always be free space so that the computer can do its work of shifting things around on the drive. Check your free space and if you have less than 20%, trash a lot of stuff until you do have at least 20%. Do this soon, because you do NOT want your hard drive to crash.

[Edited at 2013-12-02 10:49 GMT]


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Endre Both  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:39
Member (2002)
English to German
Check CPU load in idle Dec 2, 2013

It's quite normal for the fan to be on while you're working. But if it is more preceptible than it used to be, there might be background processes keeping your CPU under load. Fire up Windows task manager by pressing Ctrl-Shift-Esc (assuming you use Windows; it would be top or htop in Linux), sort the processes by CPU load and see how high idle load is and what processes cause it.

Particularly for Dell computers, attaching external monitor(s) also cranks up the fan (because the GPU generates more heat).

In any case, frequent fan use should not be a longevity problem; in my experience it's more likely that worn bearings make the fan unbearably loud (or irritating because of a constant rattling sound) long before it gives up the ghost altogether.


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Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:39
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
TOPIC STARTER
A clean... Dec 2, 2013

Thanks all,

It looks like my best bet would be to give it a clean. I do indeed have an external usb screen hooked up, but I disconnected it a good half hour a go and the fan is still humming away. The fan doesn't make excessive noise (for a fan), it is just on a lot...

Olly


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:39
Member (2008)
French to English
Clean CPU heat sink Dec 2, 2013

Valery Shapovalenko wrote:

Clean the dust... from inside the computer. That's the most obvious reason for heating .


From a computer parts supply store you can buy a can of compressed air, specially desiccated for use in computers, to blow off the CPU heat sink and fan blades. Just don't touch anything inside the cover, static electricity can fry things. If you're uncertain, get a skilled person to do it.

You can also install a simple maintenance program that will tell you what the CPU temperature is and whether it's higher than normal.

Be aware, though, that if the fan is getting noisy its days are probably numbered and you can anticipate either replacing it or the whole computer in the not-too-distant future.


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
some laptops just like (or need) to run their fan a lot Dec 2, 2013

Another possibility is that you just have a laptop that likes to run its fans. I've been reading up on laptops lately because I'm in the market for a new one, and remember seeing something about certain Dells always having the fan running. Not really loudly, just permanently on. You might want to see if there is a detailed review over on notebookcheck.net. Something like this one, e.g.: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Dell-Vostro-3360-Notebook.76737.0.html

Michael


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Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:39
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
TOPIC STARTER
@Michael Dec 2, 2013

I'd be interested in hearing the results of your research as I may have to get a new one too.

Olly


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
@Olly: Dec 2, 2013

I'll let you know what I decide on!

My main work computer is a (massive, powerful) Windows desktop, but I'm looking for a laptop to have as a backup, and for times when I might want or need to do some work when I'm out of the house (which is very rarely). I decided go for a second hand or refurbished one, as I don't have much cash to spare at the moment and the laptop is really only to be used as a backup. I'm looking to spend no more than €500.

So far, I think I might get a ThinkPad (with the original keyboard) or a Dell Latitude or Precision. I am very particular about keyboards, and so this is one of the main things I look at in a laptop. There are certain keys that absolutely have to be in the right place;) For example the arrow keys need to have space around them, and the home/page up/page down/end, etc. keys need to be well-positioned. I also hate having to use a function key (fn), but this is a hard one to avoid on laptops. These, and a few other things. It also has to have an SSD, for example. And then there is noise. I hate noise and am easily distracted, so I am also looking for one that is as quiet as possible.

Michael


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Dell Warranty? Dec 2, 2013

Are you not under warranty? A lot of their machines have 2 or 3 year on-site warranties thrown in. The main reason I use Dell is because of their excellent warranty service, which means if I have a glitch (hardware or software) they will try and fix it remotely, otherwise a technician will be over the next day to fix it. I have a 7 year old and 3 year old machine both going strong.

Your problem isn't necessarily that catastrophic. I also have a rather noisy Sony, the fan is almost always on. It does tend to be marginally better after I perform a good clean up, defrag etc. It might be worth doing the same.


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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:39
Finnish to French
Thinkpad with original keyboard cost more than €500 Dec 2, 2013

Michael Beijer wrote:
I'm looking to spend no more than €500. So far, I think I might get a ThinkPad (with the original keyboard)

First of all, you will have a hard time finding a ThinkPad with the original ("legendary") keyboard, at least if you want to buy it new. Secondly, assuming you can find one (eg. T420), it will probably cost more than €500.

Sub-€500 Lenovo laptops (even those that carry the ThinkPad brand name) now all have the new chiclet keyboard.

If you settle for a second-hand / refurbished model, you may very well find one in your price range.


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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:39
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
BIOS update needed? Dec 2, 2013

Excessive temperature and resultant fan use can be an indication of a faulty BIOS. Check the (computer/motherboard) manufacturer's site to see if an updated BIOS is available. I've seen re-flashing the BIOS with later, fixed version solve excessive fan usage issues on a couple of machines.

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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
2nd hand/refurbished Dec 2, 2013

Dominique Pivard wrote:

Michael Beijer wrote:
I decided go for a second hand or refurbished one, as I don't have much cash to spare at the moment and the laptop is really only to be used as a backup. I'm looking to spend no more than €500. So far, I think I might get a ThinkPad (with the original keyboard)

First of all, you will have a hard time finding a ThinkPad with the original ("legendary") keyboard, at least if you want to buy it new. Secondly, assuming you can find one (eg. T420), it will probably cost more than €500.

Sub-€500 Lenovo laptops (even those that carry the ThinkPad brand name) now all have the new chiclet keyboard.

If you settle for a second-hand / refurbished model, you may very well find one in your price range.


I know. I am not looking for a new one.

Michael


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