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  1. #1
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Computer Forums

    Anyone know of a good computer forum? My Dell 5160 BIOS control of my fan has gone all haywire.

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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Call Dell's support for that one.

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    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon
    Call Dell's support for that one.
    That would be great, except it happened at fifteen months of ownership instead of twelve. Dell won't even get me off of the automated line unless I give them money.

    Dell isn't impressing me on this one; I'm not planning on buying any more of their computers (I've bought three so far).

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    try xbitlabs.com/forum/

    small, but good.

    hope that helps.

  5. #5
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    You can buy new fans from Allied Electronics if you need one.

    What exactly is the fan doing? Specifics will help....it may the fan is the symptom, not the ailment.
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    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure it *isn't* the fan that's the problem. While I'm booting up, the fan works fine. When windows XP gets to running, it isn't fine. If I let the computer (I assume the BIOS) control the fan, it will only come on about once every five minutes - and then only for a couple of seconds - before the fan shuts itself off.

    I've downloaded an aftermarket fan controller from dieter.de - it can make the fan turn on, but the program doesn't support the 5160, and it constantly cycles the fan between slow/off/high. It cycles randomly and CONSTANTLY - slowoffhighoffslowhighslowoff.

    Any input is greatly appreciated...

  7. #7
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    By the way - another nail in the 'is it the fan' coffin - I have another (allegedly new) fan bought off of eBay, and it works in exactly the same manner.

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    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Interesting trend noticed - when I let it overheat, and reboot, the fan works fine - it's almost as if the BIOS is going into a 'safe' mode where the fan is always on.

  9. #9
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Can you update the BIOS?

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    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Already did. No change.

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    Kelly Drive Amateur Boogs's Avatar
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    Maybe you should power the fan externally for now. It'll cost you a few bucks, but that's better than risking overheat and frying something. When you have the problem solved, you can hook it up normally, and having an extra DC power supply around never hurts.

  12. #12
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Yeah, I say get a similarly specced fan or greater, that uses a 4-pin molex connector (preferable pass-thru variety) and hook that up instead.

    You will lose speed monitoring and control, but it will keep things cool.

    If the computer refuses to operate without the old fan, just put it somewhere inside the case where i won't do any harm. Tape it up a bit if you have to.

    edit: oh, and this sounds like a driver issue with windows...did you install something right before this started happening?
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    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Just so everyone knows - this is a laptop.

    I think this actually *did* start as a hardware problem - the fan was making some noise, similar to a bearing noise. It overheated, and then began my saga...

    But I cleaned out the fan, etcetera, and now both fans work the same way.

    Of course, in the ensuing work I did, I could've screwed up some driver.

  14. #14
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    OK, since this is a laptop....have you checked the contact between the heatspreader and the CPU? Is the heatpipe assy going from the heatspreader to the heatsink functioning properly?

    If there are any doubts on the heatpipe, if you can be sure you won't get any outside of the heatsink, you can put some arctic silver 3 (or 5 if you cannot find 3) in there in place of the generic thermal grease used. That will net you a HUGE gain in cooling efficiency if the cooler was as badly designed as the one in the Latitude CPxJ650GT I used to use....pretty much it turned that laptop into a fanless machine.

    The other thing to look at is if the heatspreader has thermal goop on top as well...if so, that means your keyboard is also a heatsink...in which case, you need to make sure the keyboard chassis screws are tightened properly.

    One last thing....look for any loose thermocouples. That could very well be the culprit if there is one.
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  15. #15
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElJamoquio
    That would be great, except it happened at fifteen months of ownership instead of twelve. Dell won't even get me off of the automated line unless I give them money.

    Dell isn't impressing me on this one; I'm not planning on buying any more of their computers (I've bought three so far).
    NEVAR buy a laptop with a one-year warranty.

  17. #17
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Reasons I did not reccmend hardforums:

    1) requires a non web-based email to join (they do remove posting privs if you try to use a free-mail acct. later on)

    2) Gross amounts of bad information being passed around...go look at the cooling subforum for good examples of this. Videocard forum is practically a bunch of ******** children on meth going off about how either ATI or Nvidia eats balls.

    3) Mods who ball-swing too much. We have one mod that is a bit heavy handed, but never threatens....about every last one of their mods likes threatening people publicly with being banned, plus they delete threads not based on content, but if they like the person who posted it or not.

    4) Keep in mind none of the true gurus post there anymore....it's for a reason. Refer to #2 to understand. It's also hard to find any solid advice that's beyond mainstream as a result....someone actually told me that it was impossible to use a laptop CD-ROM drive on a desktop....then 30 othes flamed me when I told him i can, even after I posted proof that it can be done.

    I'm not trying to bash them...I have not been banned, but after having numerous fully rule compliant threads removed by mods, and then denied, I decided that I have better places to spend my time.
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  18. #18
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon
    NEVAR buy a laptop with a one-year warranty.
    My advice to people is If you're going to buy a dell or a gateway or an HP get a 3 year warranty
    I had a Gateway and I had every single piece replaced by the time I was done. Great machine though. But **** happens.
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
    "Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
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  19. #19
    That darn Yankee TexasGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    Reasons I did not reccmend hardforums:
    I use very forums but I've honestly not seen alot of problems with hardforum. I mean you're targetting a group of kids who work at McDs and Burger King or Wendys who scrap a few bucks together to build a ****ty computer that they want to make fast. It's like going into the car free or cycling advocacy sub forums on BF You get what you expect
    Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
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    So many sayings, so little sig space.

  20. #20
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    OK, since this is a laptop....have you checked the contact between the heatspreader and the CPU? Is the heatpipe assy going from the heatspreader to the heatsink functioning properly?

    If there are any doubts on the heatpipe, if you can be sure you won't get any outside of the heatsink, you can put some arctic silver 3 (or 5 if you cannot find 3) in there in place of the generic thermal grease used. That will net you a HUGE gain in cooling efficiency if the cooler was as badly designed as the one in the Latitude CPxJ650GT I used to use....pretty much it turned that laptop into a fanless machine.

    The other thing to look at is if the heatspreader has thermal goop on top as well...if so, that means your keyboard is also a heatsink...in which case, you need to make sure the keyboard chassis screws are tightened properly.

    One last thing....look for any loose thermocouples. That could very well be the culprit if there is one.
    The temperature is reading fine; for some reason, it just isn't turning on the fan properly. The heat is getting out to the fins/fan OK, again, the fan just won't turn on. I haven't done anything other than put a decent amount of decent thermal grease on the fan when I installed it.

    The keyboard isn't part of the thermal management system. Again, it's just that the fan won't turn on.

    Thanks to everyone for your (continuing) help!

  21. #21
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Hmm....as an experiment....if you stop Windows from booting, will the fan throttle correctly over the course of a few hours?

    At this point it's just worth knowing the exact situation it occurs....I still think it's a software issue. BIOS should be firing up the fan without going into failsafe mode.
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  22. #22
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Oh, and I just found this through google...it's beta, but it might help: http://www.diefer.de/i8kfan/

    Seems (at least from my brief google search) there are TONS of complaints about the 51xx series overheating from fan issues...so I don't think you are alone on this.
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  23. #23
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Thanks. I already tried the diefer software; it doesn't support 5160.

    I overheated the computer again this morning; it rebooted into the 'safe' mode (through BIOS?) and the fan has been running continuously for several hours.

    At this point I'm almost ready to try to figure out which pins to jumper to get the fan to run continuously.

    I'll stop Windows from booting up later this evening... at this point I'm afraid to shut it down when the fan's working.

  24. #24
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    Sounds to me like a driver within the OS itself(XP)....not the BIOS. We have some servers that have drivers that control the fans....They are loud as hell until you get all the correct drivers loaded so they slow down. I did not know of any laptops that had this.

  25. #25
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Here's a monkey wrench into the works - I let the computer run, as catatonic suggested, without booting into windows. The fan did *not* turn on like it was supposed to - it turned on a couple of times, for a couple of seconds each time, but not for any real length of time. After about fifteen minutes it overheated and shut itself off.

    That would indicate a BIOS/hardware problem, correct?

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