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Fan Speed/ Cooling

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
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Renz
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Fan Speed/ Cooling

#1 Post by Renz » Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:13 pm

Hi there

I have a T410 i7 2.67Ghz with Nvidia graphics.

It seems like when the CPU is working hard, the temperature rises dramatically causing the system to shut down.

I have noticed that the fan runs at a constant speed no matter what power plan and never goes above 4500RPM.

On nay other laptop you would hear the fan speeding up sometimes... this one stays silent.

Any advice welcome.

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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#2 Post by lembang » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:55 am

have u tried to replace the thermal paste. Will recommend you to use glide gc extreme.
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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#3 Post by axur-delmeria » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:12 am

Don't forget to remove all traces of dust and dirt inside the heatsink. Dust builds up inside, blocking the cooling fins of the heatsink. You need to separate the fan from the rest of the heatsink in order to properly clean it.
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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#4 Post by Renz » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:34 am

I have just done that, as a just in case safety measure.

But can you try to explain why having new thermal paste would make the fan to kick in, I don't understand your theory...

Thanks for answering.

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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#5 Post by Renz » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:36 am

axur-delmeria wrote:Don't forget to remove all traces of dust and dirt inside the heatsink. Dust builds up inside, blocking the cooling fins of the heatsink. You need to separate the fan from the rest of the heatsink in order to properly clean it.
I Took the whole assembly inside out, not a trace of any contaminant anymore in any of the cooling parts.

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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#6 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:47 am

Old(er) thermal paste (especially if still original ex-factory), has the tendency to dry out after a while, losing its 'heat transfer' capacity.
(your machine is about 5 years old)
Also, fans tend to clog up over time, or can build up a hair 'wall' inside the fan housing, if you have pets.
The CPU and/or GPU do not get enough cooling, hence the always-on of the fan.

But if the thermal paste does its job (especially if you use the much liked AS5), and the fan is kept clean and free of dust bunnies, such a fan should only increase speed as heat rises through a higher program 'load', then slow down again when the 'load' diminishes.
Same principle as in a car, where the thermostat functions similar to thermal paste.

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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#7 Post by Renz » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:17 pm

Hi and thanks for your responses.

I have been using/building/troubleshooting windows based machines since 1992. I know all that.

But thanks for trying your best to explain, you were not supposed to know my background as I did not explain much in the question.

So at this stage, if you take out the bunnies and the cars I am still left with a fan that wont rev up when CPU needs more intense cooling. The heat sensors works as HWiNFO indicates high levels of heat, up to 100+ Celsius.

What happens on your thinkpad (I had mine since not too long ago) when the CPU is demanding cooling. Do you hear your fan reving up? >> I don't. It stays below 4500RPM.

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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#8 Post by jdrou » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:14 pm

Have you tried running tpfancontrol? Should be able to manually set fan speed with that.
Based on ThinkWiki 4500rpm is probably the maximum 'normal' speed and 5400rpm would be the maximum 'emergency' speed.

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/How_to_control_fan_speed
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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#9 Post by jaspen-meyer » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:23 pm

Renz wrote:Hi there

I have a T410 i7 2.67Ghz with Nvidia graphics.

It seems like when the CPU is working hard, the temperature rises dramatically causing the system to shut down.

I have noticed that the fan runs at a constant speed no matter what power plan and never goes above 4500RPM.

On nay other laptop you would hear the fan speeding up sometimes... this one stays silent.

Any advice welcome.
Constant speed...never above 4500 rpm...stays silent. Have you intentionally written this as a riddle?
Is your fan running or not? If so, at how many rmp's?
What OS are you running?
Have you replaced the termal paste?

You wrote the 'temperature rises dramatically'.

Sounds like the cooling system isn't working.
The thermal paste could be dry or the contact between the heat sink and the cpu could be bad or the fan isn't running at all.
T420 i7 3612QM seabios; T420 i7 3630QM; T400 Q9100 seabios; T61 P9600; T60 libreboot; x62; x60s libreboot, led; x24 xiphmont led

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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#10 Post by Renz » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:58 am

jaspen-meyer wrote:
Renz wrote:Hi there

I have a T410 i7 2.67Ghz with Nvidia graphics.

It seems like when the CPU is working hard, the temperature rises dramatically causing the system to shut down.

I have noticed that the fan runs at a constant speed no matter what power plan and never goes above 4500RPM.

On nay other laptop you would hear the fan speeding up sometimes... this one stays silent.

Any advice welcome.
Constant speed...never above 4500 rpm...stays silent. Have you intentionally written this as a riddle?
Is your fan running or not? If so, at how many rmp's?
What OS are you running?
Have you replaced the termal paste?

You wrote the 'temperature rises dramatically'.

Sounds like the cooling system isn't working.
The thermal paste could be dry or the contact between the heat sink and the cpu could be bad or the fan isn't running at all.
The fan is *running* at 4500RPM... meaning that the fins are rotating around the axis, at that speed (RPM means rounds per minute) I had visual confirmation.

I am under Win7 and the over-processing problem was caused by wuauserv and is now fixed.

However, the fan still should have speeded up when temperature would have raised.

The cooling system IS working however not the way it is supposed to or is it? (this is my first thinkpad)

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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#11 Post by TPFanatic » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:41 am

I have found that without TPFancontrol installed, Thinkpads do not increase the fan speed at extreme temperatures. The fan tests itself at boot, then is either off at room temperature to turn on later, or on to begin with, but at a single speed.

TPFancontrol is a program that allows you to set the Thinkpad's fan speeds at different temperature levels. You can set it to run off at idle and run as fast as possible.

Your Thinkpad overheats simply by the CPU working despite fan usage, I think this indicates improper thermal transfer between the CPU and the heatsink. I know on 2008 laptops Lenovo used cheap paste that is well dried by now.

To solve this you'd first need replacement thermal paste. Then take apart your laptop and take off the heatsink, remove the dried up Lenovopaste and apply a "ricegrain" amount of good thermal paste to the CPU. I don't know if the Nvidia chip on T410 uses paste as well or some transfer pad, you'll find out if it needs new paste in the same procedure as with the CPU.
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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#12 Post by jaspen-meyer » Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:32 am

Here is the 'Hardware Maintaince Manual' for your T410:
http://www.thinkpads.com/support/hmm/hm ... 535_06.pdf

It depicts how to take your machine apart.

Your fan should typically spin at approx. 1800 rpm. RPM's should steadily increase as temperature increases.

Does Renz need to install a fan driver into Win7?

('Rounds Per Minuet', cool. In Am. English we say Revolutions Per minuet)
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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#13 Post by Renz » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:57 pm

TPFanatic wrote:I have found that without TPFancontrol installed, Thinkpads do not increase the fan speed at extreme temperatures. The fan tests itself at boot, then is either off at room temperature to turn on later, or on to begin with, but at a single speed.

TPFancontrol is a program that allows you to set the Thinkpad's fan speeds at different temperature levels. You can set it to run off at idle and run as fast as possible.

Your Thinkpad overheats simply by the CPU working despite fan usage, I think this indicates improper thermal transfer between the CPU and the heatsink. I know on 2008 laptops Lenovo used cheap paste that is well dried by now.

To solve this you'd first need replacement thermal paste. Then take apart your laptop and take off the heatsink, remove the dried up Lenovopaste and apply a "ricegrain" amount of good thermal paste to the CPU. I don't know if the Nvidia chip on T410 uses paste as well or some transfer pad, you'll find out if it needs new paste in the same procedure as with the CPU.
1/ TPFancontrol is a very cheap type software and would not run on manual. The dot keeps jumping back onto auto.

2/ I have replaced the thermal paste, it's the first thing I did. Old paste was still in good shape. Now do you reckon if I have applied too much of it that would be a problem.

3/ I have heard people complaining about the noise of the fan on these models, that leads me to think that my fan is not speeding up the way it should as it actually remains completely silent. My experience with previous brands of laptop has provided me with the knowledge in notifying that the fan is speeding up by hearing the noise produced.

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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#14 Post by turomini » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:14 pm

Renz wrote: 1/ TPFancontrol is a very cheap type software and would not run on manual. The dot keeps jumping back onto auto.

2/ I have replaced the thermal paste, it's the first thing I did. Old paste was still in good shape. Now do you reckon if I have applied too much of it that would be a problem.

3/ I have heard people complaining about the noise of the fan on these models, that leads me to think that my fan is not speeding up the way it should as it actually remains completely silent. My experience with previous brands of laptop has provided me with the knowledge in notifying that the fan is speeding up by hearing the noise produced.
1.TPFancontrol switchs out of manual automatically if the temp is too high. Its a safety measure in case someone left the fan on too low of a setting. The tempurature that TFC switches to auto mode can be adjusted in the settings file.

2. too much thermal paste is also bad. There should only be a very thin coating between the heatsink and the cpu. The idea is to fill any little gaps between the cpu and heatsink, so there is more contact area. thermal paste doesn't conduct heat as well as the heatsink, so its better to use less thermal paste.

3. I have the T420s, not the T420, and my fan is quiet. I also had mine replaced under warranty about a year ago also. Even at full speed, the fan isn't that bad.

There isn't much to laptop cooling systems. Something is probably being missed.
If you removed the dust from the cooling fins by the fan, did you also make sure the fan itself is clean, and the air ways into the laptop? On an HP, well 2 of them (both DV7s), a lot of dust collected between the fan and the cooling fins, to the point they over heated.
Do you feel air flow from the fan when its spinning?
Maybe the heat tubes (the tubes that run from the heatsink, to the cooling fins) are somehow broken? (sorry, I know thats not the correct name, but I'm in a rush)
Otherwise, I can only think that the fan is bad, or the heatsink isn't making good contact with the cpu. Otherwise, maybe there is something else going on here, maybe a different part of the motherboard is getting too hot (which I don't think is likely).

From what I heard, my T420s should do worse than your T420 for heat, but I have the same CPU and graphics as you. right now, 80F room, my cpu is 53C. My fan speed is 3575 RPM (I use the Bios control for TPFC since it keeps my laptop cooler than the smart mode, but I like being able to see all the temps and have control over the fan if i need it). My CPU never gets over 90, even when I max it out. I used Arctic Silver Céramique 2 for my thermal paste, which isn't much worse than AC5, but doesn't any any possibility of conducting electricity.

Also, my max fan speed (mode 7) is 5486 RPM.

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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#15 Post by TPFanatic » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:32 am

It is an issue of TPFanControl that, by default, it switches to BIOS mode "128" when the computer is too hot - which is the problem to begin with, since the TPad's stock fan system is insufficient anyway. The default program is designed for people who want to turn their fans off, not on. With some modification of the .ini.exe, however, and following of the instructions inside, or the instructions I will proceed to provide, one can make the program useful for actually cooling off the system.

After installing TPFanControl:
Look for the "edit TPFanControl.ini" link or go to Program Files\TPFanControl and open TPFanControl.ini.

Image
Image

Look for the line "MenuLabelSM1=Smart mode 1/ Label for Icon Menu, etc.."

Image

Replace all instances of 128 (useless setting) with 7, the maximum "supported" speed, or 64 (may be damaging). This fixes TPFanControl's default tendency to switch to a useless setting; rather it will run the fan at a usable speed. I'm not sure what setting is used to disable the automatic switching from manual, but if the program is automatically switching to a good speed then it's not to be worried about.

This is how to use TPFanControl to cool your computer.


- Now, I have no experience with any T410 or their fans. I've found TPFanControl to be useful for my T42p, T500, and W500 systems with dedicated graphics. These machines are prone to graphics failure due to overheating under 3D design programs, Youtube, or gaming. Using the higher fan speed settings prevents overheating and, I believe, will preserve the life of my machines.
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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#16 Post by Renz » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:15 pm

turomini wrote:
Renz wrote: 1.TPFancontrol switchs out of manual automatically if the temp is too high. Its a safety measure in case someone left the fan on too low of a setting. The tempurature that TFC switches to auto mode can be adjusted in the settings file.

2. too much thermal paste is also bad. There should only be a very thin coating between the heatsink and the cpu. The idea is to fill any little gaps between the cpu and heatsink, so there is more contact area. thermal paste doesn't conduct heat as well as the heatsink, so its better to use less thermal paste.

3. I have the T420s, not the T420, and my fan is quiet. I also had mine replaced under warranty about a year ago also. Even at full speed, the fan isn't that bad.

There isn't much to laptop cooling systems. Something is probably being missed.
If you removed the dust from the cooling fins by the fan, did you also make sure the fan itself is clean, and the air ways into the laptop? On an HP, well 2 of them (both DV7s), a lot of dust collected between the fan and the cooling fins, to the point they over heated.
Do you feel air flow from the fan when its spinning?
Maybe the heat tubes (the tubes that run from the heatsink, to the cooling fins) are somehow broken? (sorry, I know thats not the correct name, but I'm in a rush)
Otherwise, I can only think that the fan is bad, or the heatsink isn't making good contact with the cpu. Otherwise, maybe there is something else going on here, maybe a different part of the motherboard is getting too hot (which I don't think is likely).

From what I heard, my T420s should do worse than your T420 for heat, but I have the same CPU and graphics as you. right now, 80F room, my cpu is 53C. My fan speed is 3575 RPM (I use the Bios control for TPFC since it keeps my laptop cooler than the smart mode, but I like being able to see all the temps and have control over the fan if i need it). My CPU never gets over 90, even when I max it out. I used Arctic Silver Céramique 2 for my thermal paste, which isn't much worse than AC5, but doesn't any any possibility of conducting electricity.

Also, my max fan speed (mode 7) is 5486 RPM.
Lucky you. My system is being overwhelmed by wuauserv service and the fan should exhaust all that heat caused by cpu activity. One problem at the time trying to solve this. Calling TP helpdesk in a minute. I have ordered some http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/the ... 16-19.html that paste at the top of the chart.

My cooling system is squeaky clean and is perfect condition otherwise I would not be in here in the first place. Please make sure you read a thread thoroughly before posting new questions.

Thanks to the other fellow who is trying to help work out that cheap software workaround.

Will be back in here once I have done all that.

Thanks again for your time.

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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#17 Post by Renz » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:43 pm

Okay guys here is the follow up to my conversation with the very helpful Lenovo customer support:

1/ The fan max speed is indeed about 4400RPM therefore the fan is doing its job

2/ I ran some diagnostics and the fan test option is unavailable, no idea why. Anyhow I ran a CPU test and it went fine. Then I ran a video card test and the motherboard shut itself down during the test. So this is telling me that there is indeed a problem with possibly how the heat is being exhausted. I take it that I should remove all the excess paste and start fresh to see if it makes a difference. I had noticed that when I removed the cooling system out, there was a lot of excess paste around the parts this is why I tried to imitate what was there. However it makes me think that possibly someone had done the job badly before I bought the machine, I might get in touch with the guy I bought it off to get some insight on that.

I will see what that new paste + appropriate rice grain amount does.

Will be back.

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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#18 Post by turomini » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:19 pm

Renz wrote: Lucky you. My system is being overwhelmed by wuauserv service and the fan should exhaust all that heat caused by cpu activity. One problem at the time trying to solve this. Calling TP helpdesk in a minute. I have ordered some http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/the ... 16-19.html that paste at the top of the chart.

My cooling system is squeaky clean and is perfect condition otherwise I would not be in here in the first place. Please make sure you read a thread thoroughly before posting new questions.

Thanks to the other fellow who is trying to help work out that cheap software workaround.

Will be back in here once I have done all that.

Thanks again for your time.
I do think you missed my point. I was listening pretty much ever possible problem that could cause a problem. And yes I did read everything before posting an answer, but with such a simple system, there is only so much that can be wrong, and if it has been going on this long, something was missed. (sorry if this seems like I'm being mean, I'm not trying to be, just trying to point something out).

On the HPs I worked on, the dust/hair collected between the fan and the fins. The only way to see this is to separate the fan from the cooling fins, which is typically not done, I think they are replaced as a unit, but they come apart when done carefully (Have done this to dells, HPs, toshibas, x60s, x220t, t420s). So far only the hps had that problem, but you would never know about it without really checking. Trust me, I was surprised to find that must dust between the fan and fins on the HPs. They came from an especially clean home, light use, and they were less than 2 years old. I also did blow the fan and fins out, but the dust collection was so bad, that didn't affect it.

Also, a new fan and heatsink is only around $25 on ebay (US price, not sure how it will be outside the US). It might not be a bad idea just to change it, that way both the fan and heatsink are brand new. Just don't get a cheap one since those will be clones, you want to get a legit Lenovo part.

Also, since your fan speed is 1,000 rpm less than mine, that may be your issue. Right now, I'm in an 80F room, with my laptop mostly just being used for music, web stuff, so low load, and my fan speed is 4,020 rpm, which is just 400 rpm less than your max. My fan is also like a year old now since I had it replaced under warranty, so I do trust mine right now. My fan, when set to speed 64 (turbo mode or something, potential damage), my fan quickly approaches 6,000 rpm, but I didn't let stay in that setting for more than 2 seconds.
If your fan isn't able to achieve the max speed that it should its possible the motor is getting too weak and its not performing the same way it should. Just having your fan max be 1,000 rpm under where it should be (I also did a quick search, and other people said their fan gets into the 5k range) that is enough reason to replace it, and if you are doing the thermal pasta anyway, it already is coming out.

The T420s I also have, only has very small vent holes for the fan to pull air into the laptop with, and not even a lot of those. If the fan isn't able to get the full flow of air, it will also have more resistance to turning, slowing it down. I actually see its time to clean mine since I just checked.


TPFanControl is actually a very nice program. It is basic, but with many advanced settings. It also behaves the way you would expect, and it near seems to cause any problems. It was designed to actually keep the laptop warmer, so the fan runs slower and less often, thereby reducing noise, but it can be changed to keep the computer cooler than the factory setting.
You only have a problem with TPFanControl because you have a different issue. TPFanControl is seeing that your computer is too hot, and it switches to a safer setting. Manual mode is not safe, it is too easy to leave the fan speed too low, walk away, or look away, and then your computer warms up beyond the capability of the setting you chose. What you are calling a problem is actually a fail-safe setting, which is very smart of the programmer, and probably why it can't be disabled, or I never found a way to yet. In theory, this fail-safe should never be triggered, but it is there just in case. The proper way to design code, or design anything for that matter.


Also, if you just got the computer, and it is being over run by wuauserv, you may want to do a fresh reinstall of windows. My windows 7 computers run at 10% or less cpu usage unless I am doing something more intensive. Really, it should be almost 0% unless you are doing something. I just say 10% since right now I have probably 75 tabs open in facebook, some youtube, pandora for music, etc. and that put me around 10 to 15% average. (Yes 75 tabs is way too much, and kills my firefox performance and ram usage). With firefox closed, I get 1% to 2% CPU usage, with messengers open, excel and task manager. Anything over that is a sign of something being wrong, or you potentially have too many programs starting with windows.
Well maybe slightly higher than that, I never got around to installing an anti virus program yet, very very bad of myself, especially when it was the first thing I did after I put a fresh copy of windows 10 on my moms laptop after I got everything working.

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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#19 Post by bit_twiddler » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:11 pm

You may have thermal pads in your model between the heat sink
and other chips than the CPU on the mobo that need to be replaced.
In particular, the nvidia chip and chipset might not contact the heat
sink except through an intermediary thermal pad.
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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#20 Post by turomini » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:19 pm

This reminds me, when I removed the thermal pads from my T420s with nvida graphics, I had to bend the heat sink to adjust for the missing thickness of the pads. It didn't take long, but I made sure to get just enough contact on whatever the pad was touching.
If I remember correctly, for the T420s, it only made contact with the cpu (easy, since its screwed on), and the graphics chip (which I don't think had any fastener to hold it down).

I don't know if the T420 (non s) would be different in this respect though.

Looking at the T420 heat sink, it appears to be a very simple ones, so I doubt it covers anything else.

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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#21 Post by bit_twiddler » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:14 pm

On my W510, the pads on the chipset had completely deteriorated.
The most difficult part was figuring out what the thickness of the
thermal pads was supposed to be.

If you get a new Lenovo fan, you probably get new pads, that
would make things a lot easier.
Daily Drivers: W520 i7-2760QM | W520 i7-2860QM | T420 FHD IPS i7-2640m | W701
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Re: Fan Speed/ Cooling

#22 Post by yankeesamurai » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:35 pm

THE TEMP SENSOR IS CALLED A THERMISTOR, IT MAY SIMPLY BE BAD...
YOU SHOULD RESET YOUR BIOS TO DEFAULT SETTINGS.. REBOOT..
RETEST.. IF STILL BAD.. REINSTALL THE LENOVO POWER MGMT DRIVER FOR YOUR UNIT.. THERE ARE SOME THINKPADS
THAT REQUIRE A PATCH FOR THE DRIVER IF YOU HAVE CHANGED OS TYPE.. LIKE GOING FROM 7 TO 8 OR 10

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