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ThinkPad W541 weird noise

2015-03-29, 1:06 AM

My Thinkpad W541 is really new, just received it two weeks ago. So far so good, but there's just one little annoying bit. Whenever it is on, I can hear weird noises, it sounded a bit like two rotating metal cylinders scraping against each other, a little like drizzling sound.. It isnt really loud, but loud enough for me to pick it up when the room is quiet. I am not sure which part/ component is causing the noise, but I suspect it to come from the fan louvers though i am not sure at all. I also noticed one interesting thing about this problem, the sound is the loudest whenever I am on my desktop or when i switch to the start screen. For instance, if i suddenly open file explorer, the sound intensity gets lesser but when i minimize everything to show the desktop or the start screen, the sound intensity gets back up. 

Is this a problem I need to worry about? I've invested a lot of money into this machine, so if there's some hardware glitch i really want to get it fixed ASAP before it damages other system components. Thanks in advance guys. 

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03-15-2014

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Re: ThinkPad W541 weird noise

2015-03-31, 11:08 AM

Hi ThinkPadUserX,


Welcome to Lenovo Community!

 

It is not a major issue; I think the fan is getting rubbed to the metal cover which will be along with the Heat-sink and the Fan.

 

I suggest you to visit nearby authorized Lenovo service center and get it checked once.

 

Please click here to visit the link where you can get the list of support contact numbers, select the respective region give a call.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Best regards,

Hemanth Kumar



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Re: ThinkPad W541 weird noise

2015-04-06, 3:51 AM

Hey there. Thanks for the reply. I already lodged a service request online. Currently waiting for a response. 

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Re: ThinkPad W541 weird noise

2015-04-06, 11:24 AM

Hi ThinkPadUserX,

 

Ok, please keep us updated after the engineer visit, this will help the rest of the Community with similar issues identify the verified solution and benefit from it.

 

Best regards,

Hemanth Kumar



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Re: ThinkPad W541 weird noise

2015-04-18, 3:42 AM

Hi, the engineer visisted an replaced my current fan with a brand new cooling fan. But it doenst seem to solve the problem. When I turn the computer on, the same problem persists. Which can mean either two things, one , the general design of lenovo's cooling fan is flawed or two, the problem isn't with the cooling fan. But i really don't understand, if it's not the cooling fan then what could it be? I mean mine comes with an SSD, the only moving parts in the whole machine is the cooling fan? Or not? I am clearly not the expert here. 

 

And to be frank, I really don't understand the problem at all. The buzzing sound is only the loudest when i switch to the start screen and desktop, but when I am on other windows, like if i open a browser or a notepad on top, the buzzing sound intensity just drops to almost unhearable. I tried changing the desktop wallpaper into different colors shcemes and see if it makes a difference, but it doesnt. After the fan replacement, i've updated the computer's BIOS from the website, and the update doesn't seem to make any difference. I also did more testing, i changed the setting to do nothing when i close the laptop lid at the power options so that when I close the lid only the display turns off while the computer is still running. So i tried switching to the start screen (where the buzzing is loudest) and try closing the laptop lid to turn off the display and leave the laptop running, then i tried listening for the buzzing sound. It turns out that the buzzing sound disappears when I turn off the display. This led me to think that perhaps this has something to do with the display stuff?Or the cooling fan's control system is programmed according to the display? I dont know. 

 

To summarize, here are the facts that I have tested over and over again:

1) The buzzing sound is the loudest when I switch to desktop, app list , start screen. 

2) When the display is turned off (laptop lid closed) the sound disappears (the laptop is still running)

3) The problem persists after the cooling fan is replaced with a brand new one.

4) The BIOS is updated to the latest version

5) There are no other issues with the laptop other than this annoying bit.

 

Some advice on my next step would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

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  • Message 6 of 14

Re: ThinkPad W541 weird noise

2015-04-18, 5:20 AM

occasionally, coils and ceramic capacitors can make noise.  If that is the case, the bad parts would likely be in a part of the motherboard related to the section dealing with the LCD backlight.  If it were mine, however, I would try unplugging the speaker cable and see what happens.  If that makes the problem go away, check to see if the speaker cable is run correctly, especially near the LCD cable.


Rich


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Re: ThinkPad W541 weird noise

2015-04-19, 15:31 PM
Does the sound go away if you mute the speakers or if you plug in a pair of headphones?

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  • Message 8 of 14

Re: ThinkPad W541 weird noise

2015-04-20, 0:54 AM

Hi. I tried muting the speakers and muting the microphone, the buzzing sound doesn't go away.  In fact i tried to turn off the wireless, dimming the brightness to minimum still the sound is still there, and no, even with headphones plugged in the sound is still there. 

The only thing that did make the sound go away is when I close the lid of the laptop and hence turn off the display (without letting the laptop sleep of course). 

 

I am pretty worked up over this because I don't know if it's the fan that's really causing the problem since replacing with a new fan left the problem unsolved. Obviously I'm no expert, I don't really know if the CPU or GPU will actually cause any noises, but just for your info mine is a i7 4810 MQ and Quadro K2100M. I tried to reorientate the laptop while listening if the sound changes in some way but no, the sound appears to be independent on the physical orientation of the laptop. The only way to make the sound change its intensity is by altering the stuff displayed on the screen. The sound is present as long as there are some stuff displayed on the screen, and the least intense when i have programs or windows opened on top of the desktop, gets louder when i switch to the desktop, and gets even louder when i switched to the app list and start screen. Turning the display off completely make the sound disappear.

 

On the other hand, I also tried taking out one of my old external laptop coolers and found out that it also produced a sound quite similar in a CONSISTENT manner ( a consistent buzzing or rattling like sound) whereas the sound on my W541 although simillar is not consistent and comes in quick pulses. Perhaps the sound really does come from fans, and the pulses are due to the fan controllers constantly altering the fan speed? But Im not sure how it would explain the fact that the sound disappears when i turn off the display unless the fan controller somehow takes display into account for the fan speed control. 

 

I appreciate it for taking your time out on this post. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Message 9 of 14

Re: ThinkPad W541 weird noise

2015-04-20, 11:42 AM

Hi ThinkPadUserX,

 

Is the buzzing sound coming from the same place where the FAN is located?

Did you check by removing the AC adapter? Does the same buzzing sound comes with battery also?

 

Best regards,

Hemanth Kumar



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13 Posts

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  • Message 10 of 14

Re: ThinkPad W541 weird noise

2015-04-20, 13:10 PM
Hi. Im pretty sure that the sound comes from the area near the fan louvers. But then again things are quite packed there, it could be from other things, I'm not hundred percent sure.
Yeah, it doesn;t make much difference whether it's on the ac adapter, sound still there.
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