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How Often Should The Fan On Your Laptop Turn On And Off?


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#1 bloomcounty

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 04:36 PM

Not sure if this is the right board, but...

I have a Compaq v5310us laptop, and the fan turns on and off very often. Like every 30 seconds to a minute or so, stays on for about 20-30 seconds, then turns off. I was told that the fan can run often because stuff is so close together inside, but this seems like a lot. Is this normal?

It's happening under idle. I checked the CPU usage, and nothing but system idle is using the CPU and it is happening. I only have Firefox and Outlook Express open.

Also, how often should the hard drive be running? Mine seems to go on and off constantly. I can also feel a slight vibration all the time under my left hand where it rests when typing. Normal?

Thanks!

Edited by bloomcounty, 21 February 2007 - 05:01 PM.

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#2 bloomcounty

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 10:53 AM

UPDATE:

So the fan seems to operate normal for the first few minutes, then my guess is that the laptop is reaching a certain temperature (?) and then it's kicking on and going off, on and off -- off for about 42 seconds, on for about 23, over and over and over again. It happens even under idle when the CPU is like at 96 for system idle. I am getting REALLY worried about this... :thumbsup:

I have done some XviD converstions with AutoGK, and that runs the processor fairly hard (I think?), so the fan ended up running on high for a few hours or more while that's going on. I did that a few times. I assumed the computer is supposed to be able to handle that, as people do it all the time. But could that be the cause of my fan problem now?

I've also turned some things off in msconfig (like auto HP updates and crap that I checked and made sure didn't need to run on startup), so I don't see how that could have an effect either...

HP tech support (yeah, right) said to update the BIOS and that would take care of it. Except I don't see how, seeing that here's the link to the update (scroll down to BIOS):

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwar...product=3330047

Then look at the past versions link in the versions column next to the newest one in this link above and look at each of those... none of them say anything about the fan turning on and off. The most current BIOS update version references "Updates the BIOS to support the new Quick Launch Button (QLB) Application (Version 6.10.D1)" -- yet on the update page linked above, the the quick launch buttons update is version 5.20 H. Maybe they're two different things, but I don't now... One of the earlier versions of the BIOS update was for Windows Media Center... which my laptop doesn't even have, so why would a past version of the bios be an update for that? And, again, no mention of the fan.

And why would HP tell me updating the BIOS is going to take care of the problem? I wonder if they're just giving me a blanket text book answer that actually makes no sense. Thoughts?

Any help is appreciated -- thank you!

Edited by bloomcounty, 22 February 2007 - 11:10 AM.

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#3 bloomcounty

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 01:18 PM

MAJOR UPDATE:

I have two logons on my computer, one for me and one for my wife. The fan thing is ONLY happening on MINE! What the heck? When I log in under her, it doesn't happen AT ALL. The fan will turn on if I open, say, Word on her logon, but only for a couple seconds, then turns off. As soon I logon under MY ACCOUNT, the fan starts up and does it as described above. If I'm logged in as me, then SWITCH to her account (without logging out of mine), when I'm on her account it STILL DOESN'T do it. Some more info:

1. I have my Windows XP "look" set up differently than hers.

1a. I also have my own personal start-up, shut-down, and error sounds that I use. Hers are the standard. I don’t think that would matter?

1b. I “tweaked” my settings on my XP look by using this guide:
http://www.tweakguides.com/TGTC.html
...but I don't think any of the settings I changed would cause the fan thing (I only changed things that you can do by selecting or unselecting something in a menu, I did not manually change any registry keys or anything). However, I'm going to go through the entire list and make a list of the things I did change and post that here once I have it.

1c. I have a password for my logon. She does not. But both accounts are Administrator (because certain older programs won't work right if they're not, like Photoshop version I have).

2. I have installed a number of free programs having to do with dvd burning, ripping, shrinking, and XviD conversion. I researched to make sure all programs were spyware free. These programs are: AutoGK, DVD Decrypter, DVD Shrink, ImgBurn, pgcedit, RipIt4Me, and VobBlanker. Some of these show up in the "Show All Programs" menu on her logon, and some don't (see #3 below for more details). I also downloaded MPEG4Modifer and DVDFabDecripter, but never installed them.

2a. I also downloaded and installed Firefox, AVG Free, and ZoneAlarm Free.

2b. I have FireFTP on my Firefox, but not on hers.

3. Our "Show All Programs" menu has slightly different stuff on it. But I think that's because I probably deleted some stuff off of hers and added some stuff to mine. I had some weird issues when trying to delete stuff or add stuff to this menu. Sometimes it would add a folder to the top where Windows Update is at, even though I dropped it down below. And sometimes when I'd delete something from hers, it would say it would affect all users, and sometimes it didn't say that (which may be why I ended up leaving some stuff on hers I'd normally take out, like the DVD ripping stuff).

4. Early on, I had an issue where I had my logon on and switched to hers and had hers on, with a program open on each, and when I tried to switch back to mine, it kind of froze. It went extremely slow, was hanging on a black screen, and I waited like 5 minutes and nothing was happening. But the hard drive light was going on and off during that time. I eventually just held down the power button long enough to shut the whole thing down. Now, if the hard drive light happened to have been on when it actually shut down, I'm not sure. And I'm not sure if this could have caused some kind of problem...

5. Something else weird, on my logon, when I right-click and get properties, and go to the settings tab and then choose advance, when I click either okay or cancel, and also when I click okay or cancel to close the main properties window, I can HEAR a little "sfftt" noise coming from the computer if I put my ear close. When I do this on her logon, I do not hear this noise. (???)

So any thoughts so far as to why this would only be doing this on my logon? Could I have some kind of spyware or infection only on my logon? I'm not sure how I would have gotten that, as I don't think I went to any site that would download that, nor have I got any emails from people I don't know that I opened (and emails from someone with a virus, etc.).

MORE:

When I startup fresh and log in as me, I had 32 process running in Task Manager at first, then it goes down to 31. The one that goes away is userinit.exe -- and that's after a few seconds or so. With my wife's logon, she had 33 process at first, the two that went away were userinit.exe and imapi.exe, and that was after a few seconds, to go down to 31. And I believe each of our 31 processes are the same. I am attaching images of the Task Manager for each (the 32 and the 31 processes for mine and the 33 and the 31 process for hers). I've blacked out the usernames (not sure if that's sensitive info, probably not), so the ones with the black boxes are the process that have our user names next to them.

Also, when I go to Control Panel > System > System Properties > Advanced > User Profiles - Settings -- Both our profiles show up. Mine says it's 3.02GB, her's says 400MB. Could this be something telling?

I am in the process of compiling the list of tweaks I did in XP and I will post those soon. But, again, I don't think I really changed anything major...

Edited by bloomcounty, 22 February 2007 - 03:56 PM.

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#4 bloomcounty

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 06:53 PM

PROBLEM SOLVED:

This makes no sense, but:

I had changed my Power Scheme from Portable/Laptop to Home/Office Desk. And that's what did it. Huh?! I figured this out because I logged on as my wife, and was going over the things I changed with the tweaks guide, and this was one of them, so I changed hers, then suddenly the fan started turning on and off.

The default settings for Portable/Laptop are:

Plugged in: Turn off monitors after 10 minutes, Turn off hard disks after 30 minutes, System Standby after 25 minutes.

Battery: Turn off monitor after 5 minutes, Turn off hard discs after 3 minutes, System Standby after 10 minutes

The default settings for Home/Office Desk are:

Plugged in: Turn off monitors after 20 minutes, Turn off hard disks never, System Standby never.

Battery: Turn off monitor after 5 minutes, Turn off hard discs after 10 minutes, System Standby after 5 minutes

So how could this possibly make a difference for the fan to start running on and off, especially since it starts right away and not when it reaches one of the time limits where something would happen as described above.

Is there some "hidden" thing in the Home/Office Desk setting that you can't see that's pushing your CPU harder or something?
My stats: Windows XP Home SP2; Firefox 3.0.14 w/ Ad-Block Plus; IE 6.0 (used only for monthly Windows Critical Updates); ZoneAlarm 6.1.744.001 Free; AVG 8.5 A/V Free; SuperAntispyware Free 4.28.1010




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