Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dell notebook fans

I was working with a Dell laptop (Inspiron 1150, to be specific) last week whose fan had stopped working. The computer was going into auto-shutdown in a matter of minutes, even with an Antec cooling pad (a very nice pad, by the way), because it happened to be a particularly hot day. I looked up the price of a new heatsink/fan assembly, and found it to be somewhat reasonable ($20-30 on ebay), and was getting ready to order a new one, and attempt to install it myself. I've never fully taken apart a notebook before, only minor disassembly for the purposes of removing dust or doing minor upgrades, like adding RAM.

Fortunately, it wasn't necessary to order the new fan, because I stumbled across a third-party Dell fan control utility, which allowed me to adjust the fan speed manually. I'm aware of SpeedFan, but it didn't seem to recognize the fan. The fan wouldn't run at any speed less than full anymore, so I had to use the utility to set the fan speed to max on startup, and just leave it at that. I guess the fan isn't dead, but maybe the internal fan controller is malfunctioning?

No comments: