Investigating some more, I saw that the fan did spin up for a second at power-on, but never after that. I then tried experimenting with manually turning on the fan, as described in this thread on stackexchange: https://unix.stackexchange.com/question ... art-needed. I didn't use thinkfan, just wrote different level values to /proc/acpi/ibm/fan, as described in the first answer on that thread. Writing numeric levels like 1 or 5 worked fine: the fan came on and stayed on. But writing 'auto' to the level turned off the fan, and it never came on again.
So my question is: how does the BIOS know when to turn on the fan automatically? I'm assuming it uses a temperature sensor to decide. The ACPI CPU temperature sensor seems to be working OK, and I can see the temperature rising steadily in Linux as the machine warms up. Does the BIOS use some other sensor, and could that sensor somehow be failing? How can I debug this problem?
Maybe try clearing the BIOS settings, and unplug the CMOS battery to really reset everything?
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