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Toshiba laptop ventilator constantly going on and off


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#1
00edd

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hi
a few weeks ago I bought a new Toshiba Satellite laptop, and about 3 weeks after I bought it, it started to literally every few seconds switching the ventilator on, and then off again after a few seconds. given that the ventilator is quite loud, it is very annoying. I wouldn't mind so much if it would be always on, it's the constant on and off which drives me mad.
it's as if the temperature setting doesn't have a buffer zone at all, it gets a little bit warm, vent goes on, cools it down below a certain temperature right away and goes off again, only to be repeated a few seconds later. at least that's what I suspect...
is there anything I can do about this? any help would be greatly welcome!
thanks!
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#2
makai

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is there anything I can do about this?

While this is not a difficult question to answer, the answer entails quite a few considerations... to include a possible hardware problem. Yes... even on a new laptop. However, we won't go there yet.

The fan is meant to turn on when the CPU gets hot. I know you realize this. That said, there are several considerations about how the laptop is being utilized. If you notice the fan constantly recycling when you're not doing anything at all on the laptop, then it might just be your Power Scheme settings. Open Display Properties> ScreenSaver>Power... what Power Scheme are you using?

If you're on AC or on Battery, that too can make a difference. On AC, a lot of laptops run at full speed... meaning the CPU runs at the highest frequency, thus, more heat = fan must turn on more often. If this is happening on battery also, then again, it could be the power scheme.

If you're noticing the fan is doing this more so when you're watching Youtube videos, then it's not uncommon as some youtube vids are CPU intensive and will run your CPU at high freq resulting in the fan needing to turn on more frequently. Basically, it depends on how you're using your laptop which will determine how often your fan turns on.

Is there a remedy. Yes, and no. You first need to identify what Power Scheme you're running.

Also, in my signature is a link to Mobile Meter. Among other things, this little app can help identify the temperature of your CPU. It would help to know how hot it's actually getting.

Edited by makai, 04 January 2009 - 08:12 PM.

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#3
lurky

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I'd recommend checking Toshiba's website for a firmware update. I've run into a few newer model Toshiba laptops that require DMI updates.
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#4
00edd

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Thanks!!

I'd recommend checking Toshiba's website for a firmware update. I've run into a few newer model Toshiba laptops that require DMI updates.

I've checked, but couldn't find anything.


is there anything I can do about this?

While this is not a difficult question to answer, the answer entails quite a few considerations... to include a possible hardware problem. Yes... even on a new laptop. However, we won't go there yet.

The fan is meant to turn on when the CPU gets hot. I know you realize this. That said, there are several considerations about how the laptop is being utilized. If you notice the fan constantly recycling when you're not doing anything at all on the laptop, then it might just be your Power Scheme settings. Open Display Properties> ScreenSaver>Power... what Power Scheme are you using?

If you're on AC or on Battery, that too can make a difference. On AC, a lot of laptops run at full speed... meaning the CPU runs at the highest frequency, thus, more heat = fan must turn on more often. If this is happening on battery also, then again, it could be the power scheme.

If you're noticing the fan is doing this more so when you're watching Youtube videos, then it's not uncommon as some youtube vids are CPU intensive and will run your CPU at high freq resulting in the fan needing to turn on more frequently. Basically, it depends on how you're using your laptop which will determine how often your fan turns on.

Is there a remedy. Yes, and no. You first need to identify what Power Scheme you're running.

Also, in my signature is a link to Mobile Meter. Among other things, this little app can help identify the temperature of your CPU. It would help to know how hot it's actually getting.


there are just two settings for the cooling method, 'battery optimized' and 'maximum performance'. it was set to maximum. Mobile Meter doesn't seem to work with Vista, but RMClock does, and when it was set to maximum, the fan would kick in when the core temp is 41C, bring it down to 35C, go off and repeat the process. I've now set it to battery optimized, and it doesn't seem much better. now it kicks in at 53C, and goes off high power at 48C, brings it down to around 45-46C on lower power, and again, repeats the process. in terms of frequency of on/off there doesn't seem to be a difference. this happens even when I do nothing heavy, just browsing around the net, no youtube, just forums, newssites, etc...

any ideas?
thanks!
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#5
makai

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I'm guessing this must be at least a Coredual or similar as you're running Vista. What's the model number of your laptop? I don't know if I can find anything, but I'll search around. However, the temp range doesn't seem to be abnormal. The only thing I can think of is... how quickly are the temps changing? Does it take long to get hot or does it get hot right away and thus the fan comes on more often? You mentioned this started about 3 weeks after you bought it, so... this is something new that didn't happen before?
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#6
00edd

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I'm guessing this must be at least a Coredual or similar as you're running Vista. What's the model number of your laptop? I don't know if I can find anything, but I'll search around. However, the temp range doesn't seem to be abnormal. The only thing I can think of is... how quickly are the temps changing? Does it take long to get hot or does it get hot right away and thus the fan comes on more often? You mentioned this started about 3 weeks after you bought it, so... this is something new that didn't happen before?

that's right, at the beginning it was quiet pretty much all the time. I guess the vent was simply running constantly on a low power, so kept it cool at a certain temperature (I guess, I might be wrong, but that seems to me the most logical thing to do). then it started going into maximum power, therefor being very loud, and going on and off. I just don't understand why it'd need to do that when it could just run all the time at a low power.
it takes around 10 seconds to go from 35C to 41C, sometimes less, sometimes more, depending on what I'm doing. the 10s is when I just browse the net without any fancy stuff. and it's a Toshiba Satellite L300D with an AMD Athlon 64 x2 dual-core processor TK-57 1.90 GHz
thanks again for you help!
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#7
makai

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Laptops typically have 5 to 7 (or more) temperature sensors placed around the motherboard. Any one of these sensors may trigger the cooling fan (what you call " the vent") to turn on. Typically, all temperatures around the motherboard should be lower than the CPU temperature (with the exception of perhaps the PCM temp (power supply circuit)), and this is why the heatsink/fan assy sits on the CPU.

It doesn't take much time for the CPU to heat up if the heatsink/fan assy has separated from the CPU itself. If the thermal paste that sits between the CPU and heatsink/fan assembly is poorly applied, then the CPU will heat up and thus the fan will start up to try to cool it down.

If you are just browsing around, and the fan goes on and off every 10 seconds, then something is possibly wrong hardware wise. If this is the case, then my guess would be that the heatsink/fan assy has separated from the CPU, or, the themal paste has been poorly applied. HOWEVER, as I stated, if you are on AC power, then it's likely your laptop is running at the highest CPU speed and that may be the actual cause of such short times between on and off times of the fan. Full CPU speed will definitely heat the CPU and cause the fan to run more often.

You say you just purchased this laptop a few weeks ago. I don't know where you bought it, but if it was at a brick/motar store like BestBuy or something like that, then I would take it in as it should be under some kind of warranty. The least they can do is compare it to another laptop of the same model to see if there is a difference between the two. I don't recommend you taking the laptop apart as it will surely void your warranty. This really sounds like a hardware problem to me, as even though the temps you posted appear normal, the regularity of the fan coming on, does not. Take the laptop back to the store if possible, or call Toshiba and talk to them about it. Since your laptop is new, I cannot recommend any other action.
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#8
00edd

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thanks! will do that.
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