Cooling fan problem

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Jose_Lisbon, Nov 12, 2010.

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  1. Jose_Lisbon

    Jose_Lisbon Registered Member

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    Hi all.

    I have a two years old Compaq Presario cq60 155ep With Vista HP, SP2, 32-bit.
    Since the last two or three months the cooling fan will start buzzing like mad for no apparent reason. It happens when the CPU is only at 20/30% and sometimes even when it's idle. It's not dust because I keep it clean. I thought it could be a software problem but after two OS reinstalls the issue persists.
    Any ideas?

    Regards,
    Jose.
     
  2. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Bearings most likely. You have two types of bearings usually. The ball bearings are usually preferred, although I don't think it makes much difference.

    Bearings going out are usually more pronounced when they are cold and get better after being warmed up. You see this when you turn the computer on, the fan 'growls' and then after a minute or so, it stops. When things really start to get bad, it will growl and then stop at random times.

    I would replace it either way unless you can prove it to be the blades hitting the shroud or something like that.

    It 'could' be PWM as well. Some fans not made for PWM explicitly will have noise due to commuter thrashing. Laymans terms, the power is being applied only 20% of the time at a lower rpm to maintain that rpm. The internals of the fan might not like 'starting and stopping' so much and make noise, even though the fan doesn't actually stop rotating.

    HTH.

    Sul.
     
  3. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Well, there are cheap ball bearing fans, but no doubt, the best fans use precision ball bearings. Sleeve bearings, even the best made do not compete in terms of longevity, or quietness.

    While noisy when cold is certainly a common symptom, worn bearings can rumble (and seize) at any time.
     
  4. Fiat_Lux

    Fiat_Lux Registered Member

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    If the cooling fan "buzzing" you write about is comming from the "cooling fan" itself then put on a new high quality cooling fan/cooler.
    (one can, if skilled, take apart the fan itself, then clean it and oil it with really "thin" oil and then put it together again, but it is seldom worth the bother as the fan most often will start to make noise again rather quickly despite ones effort.)

    If the cooling fan "buzzing" you write about is supposed to be interpreted as you write about it as comming from the speaker then you got either a BIOS problem or some sort of hardware problem.
     
  5. Jose_Lisbon

    Jose_Lisbon Registered Member

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    First: thank you all for your answers.

    I'm not sure of the right expressions when considering this issue (buzzing and so on...) To resume, the fan swirls when it shouldn't. The CPU is running low and the fan swirls; the CPU is running high and the fan swirls. There used to be a relation between the fan speed and the demand on the machine (as it should be). Know the bloody fan just buzzes away at its own will.

    If it is a BIOS problem I'm not confortable with updating/changing settings (very sensitive thing).
    If it is a hardware problem, it probably is the heat controler (is this how you call it?).
    I'm not tech saviour enough to open my machine (laptop) and it just came out of warranty.

    So... I have a problem on my hands, don't I?

    Is there a "safe" way to diagnose this?

    Again, thank you all for your time,
    Jose.
     
  6. Fiat_Lux

    Fiat_Lux Registered Member

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    Since you computer is a Laptop I think that the problem might be more difficult as Laptops tend to behave a little different from desktops and they are defenitely much more difficult to work with.
    I would not recommend you to open the thing to fiddle with the cooling fan yourself (not before that you are ready to throw it away anyway).

    I looked in the "Setup Utility - Windows Vista and Windows 7" PDF manual for your computer (see other files here and notice links down to the right) and all that the utility allows is to set if the cooling fan should be "alway on" or not (please see page 6). (please check your present BIOS settings)

    I also found the following help pages for you :

    Reducing Heat and Fan Noise by Cleaning Air Vents Compaq Presario CQ60-155EP Notebook PC

    Fan Runs Constantly, the PC Operates Slower than Expected and Generates Heat Compaq Presario CQ60-155EP Notebook PC

    If nothing else helps you might wanna see if you can get someone to help you update the BIOS for you (please follow manufactures instructions).
    As far as I can see they uses a "WinFlash" program, in that case if updating the BIOS from Windows then please turn off all types of software protection programs before flashing the BIOS - trust me you do not want anything to interfer with your BIOS updating if you choose to try to update BIOS. (to do so is done solely at your own responsebility !!!).
    If it is a BIOS problem then sometimes updating the BIOS can help even if just to refresh. Done forget to set your BIOS after flashing by using the "Setup Utility - Windows Vista and Windows 7".

    Good luck.
     
  7. Jose_Lisbon

    Jose_Lisbon Registered Member

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    Thanks Fiat Lux for a very thorough explanation.
    It seems I'll be busy for the next few days.

    Regards,
    Jose.
     
  8. Jose_Lisbon

    Jose_Lisbon Registered Member

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    oops... after all I've tried the issue is still here and it seems to be getting worse.
    Considering it's a laptop and it's out of warranty would it be worth to buy a new one? (Not that I have the money, just a hypothetical question).

    Because I think it is a hardware problem. The heath controller (whatever you call it) must be reading wrongly. And I just don't trust the "technicians" at the corner shops.

    This is very upsetting.

    Regards,
    Jose.
     
  9. Fiat_Lux

    Fiat_Lux Registered Member

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    Jose ,

    Very difficult to diagnose exactly , some of these Laptops have "heat pipe" cooling plate transportation of the heat , so if your Laptop got such a "heatpipe" cooling system then potentially it could also be that the heatpipe metal cooling plate is "broken" and does no longer transport heat away form your CPU as it should. Don't know if they can be "partially broken" so that the CPU don't shut down but just keeps the fan running at high revolutions instead....
    Very hard for me to try to diagnose for you this way....
    Sorry !!! (Would like to be of more help to you !!!)
     
  10. Kees1958

    Kees1958 Registered Member

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    Go to a PC repair shop, a diagnosis would set you back max 40 bucks. Ask them to check the cooler when opening the case. Most probable causes are (after the checks you made):
    - cooling paste has dried out
    - unsufficient cooling paste applied
    - heat pipes malfunction (when your model has them, that is)

    Ask them to phone, and leave it open. changing cooling paste will cost max 10 bucks extra, changing cooler will cost more (50 bucks), but less than a new laptop.



    Regards Kees
     
  11. Jose_Lisbon

    Jose_Lisbon Registered Member

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    Fiat and Kees, thank you so much for your help and time.

    Best regards,
    Jose.
     
  12. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    The CPU fan should always spin. It may slow down when the CPU is not hot to a point where you cannot hear it, then speed up when the CPU gets warmer.

    That said, one of the major faults with ALL notebooks, besides inadequate cooling capability, is user access for thorough cleaning of heat trapping dust and dirt. You can keep the vents, ports, and bay cavities clean, but most users are not able to thoroughly clean a notebook. So I agree with the advice above to take it to a reputable shop for a professional cleaning. They have the necessary tools and experience in opening these little puzzle boxes. And if something goes wrong, they are liable.

    Note that a properly applied layer of TIM (thermal interface material) between a properly attached heat sink fan assembly and the CPU does not go bad on its own if the cured bond is not broken. If the bond is not broken, the TIM can last for 10 years or longer without degrading. So if you have not removed the fan, or dropped or otherwise roughly handled the notebook breaking the cured bond, the TIM does not need to be replaced.

    And sorry, but heat pipes don't malfunction either! They can be physically damaged by [severe] direct-contact abuse but that is not likely unless you have been digging around in there. They are metal, typically copper or aluminum tubes, part of the heat sink assembly that is not typically touched by "normal" users.

    So my guess is, again, heat trapping dust and dirt. But, it could also be a fan speed controller issue (which is part of the chipset/motherboard) caused by hardware failure, or perhaps a BIOS issue, in which case, a BIOS flash, might, if lucky, help. Since the fan does spin, the fan works.
     
  13. NICK ADSL UK

    NICK ADSL UK Administrator

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    Posts removed. Can we please stay on topic and keep away from any personal remarks being made.

    thank you
     
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