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HP dv 9000 series - overheating but fan works sometimes

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I have been working at a campus tech support department in texas for several years and i have been presented with a unique problem I have never seen before. I have an HP pavillion dv9000 series laptop (out of warranty) in our office that is overheating. Like most laptops i figured it would be a blocked heat sink. After taking the machine apart, i find that the heat sink is really clean and that the fan is not obstructed like i thought it would be. I have monitored the temperature and the GPU is running at 60 degrees C yet the fan will not spin up. The fan works and spins up at random times but it does not spin up when the temperature is really hot. I have run a desk fan to get air to pass through the intake and that is enough to keep the GPU from going higher than 40 degrees C. The computer sometimes shuts down i think because of the temperature.

I would normally recommend that the customer get a laptop cooler stand with a built in fan, however there are none out there that i could find that had a fan in the upper left corner and that is where i really need it. I dont think it would be enough to keep the laptop cool and i dont want her to buy one and then have it not work right.

I have narrowed it down to a few problems and wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions:
- It may be the motherboard not telling the fan to spin up. If thats the case i think it would be cost prohibitive to have the customer get a new motherboard.
- The fan may be bad
-The temperature sensors are not working properly (probably a motherboard, again replacement is probably cost prohibitive)

Has anyone had this same problem or have any software tools that can help us narrow down the problem? I have used speed fan software to get temperature readings. Are there any other tools out there that could help me figure out the problem?

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Neil Jones

Neil Jones

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Bearings on the fan in question have probably gone or are going, therefore it'll only spin fast enough when its got enough momentum to keep going.
Possible the sensor's gone but more likely the fan's going.
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