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Laptop fan running all the time

Posted on 2016-10-18
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Last Modified: 2016-10-23
Hello,
I have a client whose computer, seemingly out of the blue, fan started running all the time. I had her run MBAM, SAS and CCleaner. We rebooted and viola! that resolved the issue.

It's been about 3 weeks and it has started again. She did the above as I did but the fan continues to run.

Any ideas of my next step?
Thanks,
Magas
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Question by:MagsMcKinley14
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21 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41848804
Put Process Explorer (Microsoft System Internals) install it and look at what is chewing up CPU. Look particularly for strange (alphanumeric) processes in the Explorer tree.
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 41848805
What is the Power setting of the laptop set to?  Some laptops will do so if you use the "High Power" setting. Try switching to "Balanced"
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Author Comment

by:MagsMcKinley14
ID: 41848809
Great guys...I will check as soon as her computer is available and be back with you.
Mags
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Assisted Solution

by:dlethe
dlethe earned 251 total points
ID: 41848812
this is typically because the laptop is full of dust, hair, lint, etc, which lowers efficiency.  Remind client not to use laptop on top of bed, blankets, anything else that isn't a hard clean surface.     You can probably just visually inspect with flashlight and if you see dust sticking to the fan then you're going to have to open it up and clean it out.

(It is sexist, but also true, women tend to have more crud on the inside of the laptop, while men tend to have it on the outside).
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Expert Comment

by:Glenn Madine
ID: 41848814
I would first check the CPU utilization when the fan is running to determine what process has the highest CPU Utilization.
We have discovered that Google Chrome, Microsoft IE, and Edge (if it is Windows 10 system)  web browsers can jack up CPU utilization depending on what websites they  are at.
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Author Comment

by:MagsMcKinley14
ID: 41849056
John - I am assuming you want me to run Autoruns...correct? Attached is the file.

Neilsr - Power settings are balanced - she had not made any changes to those.

Dlethe - Client reports her computer seems free of dust and lint...using it on a desk.

Glenn - Maybe I'm not looking in the right place but I did a ctrl/alt/del and under processes I found - 92 processes running CPU usage 25% and Physical Memory at 62%.

I hope this helps...this is definitely not my area of expertise.
LORI-PC.arn
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Accepted Solution

by:
dlethe earned 251 total points
ID: 41849071
Have client boot the laptop just to the BIOS and let it sit there.    If it runs hot and fans stay on then you know it must be the hardware (i.e, heat and restricted airflow) and has nothing to do with windows or what it is running.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41849262
Run Process Explorer as it is better for this than Autoruns. PE is from Microsoft. You need to determine what is chewing up CPU. It could be a virus especially if the machine is physically clean.

On a good machine, CPU should run <5% more than 95% of the time.
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Author Comment

by:MagsMcKinley14
ID: 41849285
Thanks...she just got home and restarted her computer in BIOS...I will keep you posted.

Will run Process Explorer next.
Mags
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Assisted Solution

by:Dr. Klahn
Dr. Klahn earned 83 total points
ID: 41849307
Agree with dlethe.  The fact that the vents at the outside of the case appear clear does not mean that the internal fans are and heatsinks are clear.  It is not unusual to open up an apparently clean laptop and find that the heatsinks and fans are caked in dust and lint.
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Author Comment

by:MagsMcKinley14
ID: 41849311
Thanks Dr Klahn!
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Assisted Solution

by:Dr. Klahn
Dr. Klahn earned 83 total points
ID: 41849317
Side note:  Using canned air from the outside of the case generally has no effect (it can't remove lint because it's blowing from the upstream side of the plug), or It makes things worse by jamming the lint plug in hard.
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LVL 93

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 83 total points
ID: 41849334
I use a small vacuum to pull dirt out. Works vastly better.
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Author Comment

by:MagsMcKinley14
ID: 41849394
The fan was still running high when booted into BIOS. Suggested she bring me her computer.
Thanks...I'll keep you posted or shall I close this session?
Mags
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LVL 92

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 83 total points
ID: 41849506
i suggest to reboot any pc on a regular basis - dayly, or weekly.
for cleaning a laptop, for most models you need to disassemble it nearly completely to do it properly
and if the cpu or gpu cooler has to be removed, don't forget to renew the heat paste
sometimes a bios update can help also
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Author Closing Comment

by:MagsMcKinley14
ID: 41855443
Thanks guys...I am closing since I can't get my client's computer for a while.

Cleaning out my husband's computer worked for his running fan and getting hot...don't know why I didn't think of that myself!

Mags
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 41855478
On a personal note .. You not only clean out your husband's computer, but have the skills and desire to do so??

Wow.   He's a lucky man.
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Author Comment

by:MagsMcKinley14
ID: 41855552
That he is...as am I! Thanks!

Help and personal notes are always appreciated!!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41855764
you both see to agree well - you could marry?
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Author Comment

by:MagsMcKinley14
ID: 41856027
Hey there nobus...always good to hear from you. Your assistance has always been valuable.

However noted...I'm already married. ;-)

Just having fun, we may now close this question.

I'll be back if I still have issues with her computer and with my inevitable next request for help!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 41856043
>>  However noted...I'm already married. ;-)     <<  NOWADAYS _ THAT'S NO PROBLEM
all the best Mags!
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