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Default Is my CPU fan dead?

May 7th, 2012, 15:35
Hi all, been a while since I visited the forum here, but when my laptop started having troubles this was my first thought.

Background info: I have a Dell Studio 1555. It's a nice enough laptop, got it two years ago and have been using it ever since. It's not really for gaming (though I have the model with the separate ATI graphics card), but it served my needs - good (enough) sound, good battery and most of all, very quiet. In fact, for the first 6-8 months of use I don't think I restarted it more than 10 times, it was just so quiet there was no need. This year, it got progressively louder and louder until I couldn't take it any more and I decided to clean it with some compressed air. Tried opening it, but it's really complicated to get to the fan so I just blew out the air from the side-grates, which seemed to help. Temperatures returned to ~50 (from, oh, ~70) during normal use and I was happy.

Unfortunately, a few days ago it seems that the CPU fan died. I definitely do not hear it working anymore and the laptop gets very hot (and then the CPU downclocks I guess and then I can't even watch a video, which is very annoying). To be fair, the laptop is still usable without a fan, which is quite a surprise for me (temps ~60 for normal web surfing and such, but any Flash or video kills it quite quickly). Anyway, I'm not sure how it happened - could've been because I blew the compressed air too much, could be because I left it on some very hot cloth-type stuff by accident or just because of normal use. My question is: is there some way to salvage the situation? I'm not very hopeful, but perhaps it is some sort of software/BIOS problem which could be fixed.

I normally use Linux (which is why I thought it might be a software problem - it wouldn't be the first time Linux did something stupid with my hardware), but I also have Windows installed and can use it for debugging. I installed SpeedFan (which seems to be the software of choice for this nowadays), and it reports that I have a "GPU Fan" - it seems at somewhere between 10 - 600 RPM usually (strikes me as kinda low?). SpeedFan also exposes a control for the GPU fan (as a percentage), but changing it doesn't seem to make any change in the reported speeds and definitely didn't turn on the fan "full power". I'm also comfortable with doing stuff on Linux, but I'm not very familiar with these things in particular.

Any help is appreciated!

EDIT: I also just checked my warranty; apparently, I'm still under the "Partly Only" warranty, would this include a replacement CPU fan if required? It appears that the Dell in my country (Czech Republic — bought the laptop in Serbia) only offers support to large companies; the warranty is for "Europe, Middle East & Africa" and I checked it on the www.dell.com website.
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VPeric

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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Serbia
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