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Vaio - EXTREMELY loud fan - Options?


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#1 carissa_lee_

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 03:24 PM

Hello :thumbsup:

I have a Sony Vaio VGN-S360 with an irritatingly loud fan. Everywhere I've looked online it seems it is common or typical for Vaio's to have loud fans. I've tried suggestions I've found online, with no success. I believe mine is beyond "loud", though, and on the verge of "what the hell is wrong with that laptop?". The closest I can come to explain it is a grinding. I have seen other VAIO users report that theirs comes and goes with the temperature of the laptop, usually after prolonged use. This is non-stop, from power up to shutting it down. It doesn't increase as the laptop gets warmer. I actually don't even see any change from the time I turn it on until the time I turn it off - it's a constant noise at the same volume. It's almost as if the fan can only do the highest setting possible, like it's stuck in that one setting... not sure if that's possible, but that's the best I can do to explain it. I love my laptop, old as it might be, but the noise is starting to get very irritating.

Things I've tried (not necessarily in order):
- Undervolting - I read a lot of topics of undervolting the computer, which I tried, but it didn't seem to quiet the fan. I don't know if I was doing it wrong, or if it just wasn't a good solution for my problem.
- Cleaning - I disassembled my laptop completely and meticulously cleaned every speck of dust I could find, using mainly a can of compressed air, and Q-Tips where necessary. At first I was quite excited, since I found a lot of crap gunked up in the fan itself, I thought it MUST be the cause. Until I put my laptop back together to find it didn't make much of a difference in sound. Although it doesn't seem to get AS hot. The laptop gets quite hot to the touch after 10-15 minutes of use, so hot that touching the keyboard becomes a nuisance. I could put it on a table, or balance it on my two knees so it had as much circulation underneath it as possible, and it would still get so hot I couldn't even keep it balanced on my knees. So, I bought a laptop cooling pad that works quite well and I no longer have that problem. It keeps the computer very cool - the vent on the side still blows rather warm air, but everywhere else stays perfectly cool. The vent on the side went from quite warm to slightly warm after cleaning it, though. It was an improvement, but not in sound.
- Changing power management settings - Control Panel / Power Options / VAIO Power Management - I can change the settings to optimize battery life or optimize performance, or choose somewhere in the middle. Even when I switch everything to optimize battery life (CPU Control - Adaptive - CPU Fan Control - Level 1 [quiet]), it is still loud. It does quiet it down, though. It goes from so loud that I get tempted to pound on the laptop in hopes it will shut up, to just loud. However this also takes away from performance. I can't play games, watch videos, or listen to music. Webpages also load slower. Since this works, even slightly, it's more of a temporary solution. I would like a much more permanent solution.


Does anyone have an experience similar? And possibly a solution outside of what I've already tried that worked well that you're willing to suggest? I have considered replacing the fan, it seems that may be my last option. I am comfortable doing so. My only problem with that option is with the age of the computer, I wouldn't really know where to find the proper replacement part for it. I also don't know specifically how to replace the fan. I was able to completely take apart my laptop successfully and put it back together with no problems, but I am a little concerned with replacing parts, as I've never done that before I would just like to make sure I don't screw anything up by touching the wrong part, or something.

*edit* If it matters, I forgot to mention my CPU Usage shown in Task Manager is ~25%-30% as I type this, and when I am not typing or doing anything active it falls below 5%, usually 1-2%. The only time I 've seen my CPU at 100% is if something has frozen with IE, usually my fault from opening too many webpages before allowing the last to load properly. Keep in mind this is with the power settings I mentioned above set to keep it as quiet as possible.

Thank in advance! This forum is great...

Edited by carissa_lee_, 02 May 2010 - 03:31 PM.


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#2 AMD010

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 12:46 AM

WD-40? lol. if you say its making a grinding sound its probably a manufactures defect, i would send it in and hope its under warranty. although since you have already opened up your laptop i would say its voided. You could to replacing the whole fan unit.
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#3 the_patriot11

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 01:03 AM

if its still under warrant call sony. Otherwise find out what size fans you have and purchase newer quieter fans from someplace like newegg. fans are only like 2-4 bucks each normally. that is if u sure its just loud fans.

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#4 carissa_lee_

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 01:58 AM

Hi, I'm sorry to bring this thread up after a few months. I will be honest when I say I completely forgot that I had posted it. I usually create a shortcut to posts that I make on my desktop so I don't forget about them, I think I forgot to do that here.

No warranty, as it's a 2005 laptop. I don't think I would have had the guts to open it if it were covered under warranty, for fear of voiding any warranty. Besides, I would SO prefer to throw it at Sony and tell them they have to fix it under warranty. Things would be so much easier :-)

I am positive it's just a loud fan, I believe it's possible the fan has so much dust in it that it's making it hard to function. I used the compressed air and was able to blow a lot of dust "bunnies" out of it, however I didn't take the fan itself out of the laptop, I would have had to remove the heatsink (I think, it was a few months ago), but I didn't have any thermal grease to use as the tutorial I was reading suggested before replacing the heatsink. It's set up to remove the heatsink before I can pull out the fan to take it apart and clean it the way I would like to, and remove all traces of dust/dirt in there. The dust that's stuck in there is almost like melted on, if that makes sense. It's thick and kind of sticky, I assume due to the heat inside of it? I don't really know, I'm just making guesses here.

I will look into getting a new fan, thank you. I hadn't really looked into it, but I had the idea it would cost much more than that...more like $80-ish. I wanted an option that wouldn't cost me that much. But if it's a lot cheaper than that, I am all for it. I actually enjoyed taking it apart, I'd never disassembled/reassembled a laptop before. It was fun!

P.S. I love WD40...buuut I go all crazy overboard with it so I'm sure even if it were something I could use inside my laptop, I'd drown my laptop in it LOL. I doubt my laptop knows how to swim.


Thanks again :thumbsup:

#5 the_patriot11

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 12:37 PM

WD-40 might fix it if you were to remove the fan, and clean it out, and put a small amount of wd40 in the bearings only. I don't see why you would have to remove the heatsink, most heatsink fans Im used to screw onto the heatsink, just remove the fan from the heatsink. The difficult part is getting to it, laptops are notoriously hard to dissasemble, and you need to be careful to remember where everything goes and put it back just the way you found it-even down the specific screws. I put a hole in my laptop case cuz I put to long a screw into the wrong slot. That is why I don't do many customer repairs on laptops-its simply not cost effective. On my laptop i mess with stuff all the time lol.

On another note, being a laptop, fans arnt two expensive, just make sure its the right size of fan, you might want to take the old fan out and measure its dimensions before ordering a new one (if you decide to go that route) and the laptop fan may be hardwired into it, however, if you know how to splice wires thats a easy fix, theres usually only 2 wires, a red wire and a black wire (positive and negative) all you have to do is cut the connector off the new fan and cut the wires from the old one and match the wires up and splice them. If its not hardwired, then it should be as simple as plug and play.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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