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6 Posts

01-07-2012

Denmark

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Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

2012-01-07, 22:35 PM

I want to update the BIOS in my T420s, hoping to see some improvements. It's running version 1.09 right now. However I'm running Linux, so this makes it a little bit tricky. Can I just boot the iso image from http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?&LegacyDocID=MIGR-77010 and update? Lenovo only lists windows as supported operating systems. But why does this matter if im booting from a cd? I've sucessfully booted the cd, but I just wanted to make sure I won't end up with "an expensive paperweight" before i press "2. Update system program"

 

Thanks.

 

Edit: Took my chances, and updated. I'm now on 1.31. Fan noise appears to be the same.

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8 Posts

08-19-2011

lonon

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  • Message 792 of 1217

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

2012-01-08, 3:10 AM

mine:

 

4174-P5G,  manu..Date: Sep/2011

 

bios 1.30, all updated!

 

 

AC power on

when temp>45C, fan 3800rpm

 

when temp<41C, fan 1950rpm

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I believe there will be no issue if Lenovo can lift the threshold up 5-10C, 

 

like this:


temp>65C 4500rpm

temp>55C, 3800rpm

temp<45C, 2000rpm

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105 Posts

06-28-2011

Italia

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Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

2012-01-08, 9:52 AM

@benzlin: You are lucky!

 

Mine does:

- Wait some minutes, then fan = 4000 RPM, \forall T > 0

 

In my case the fan is not being regulated as it should, and this won't be solved by increasing the thresholds by 10 degrees. However, I sympathise with your suggestion, which sounds a very reasonable thing to do for avoiding noise in the case that the fan is correctly being regulated.

 

 

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163 Posts

07-02-2011

USA

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  • Message 794 of 1217

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

2012-01-08, 17:19 PM

alexcriss: Yeah, this is the problem. There are a bunch of people on this thread who aren't actually having the stuck-4000RPM problem, and I think the Lenovo staff is having trouble sorting through the conflicting problem reports.

 

The most infuriating thing is that my fan isn't stuck at 4000RPM all the time. This problem occurs intermittently for me, like once every 10-20 hours, and there's no consistent sequence of steps that will reproduce it. Once it occurs, I need to go through a sleep/wake cycle to "reset" the fan back to its normal pattern. I know that JameZ is looking for volunteers, but if I ship my laptop, the problem probably won't recur in their lab, and it will come back with a report that it's "working as designed". It seems that JameZ is looking for a laptop with a fan that's stuck at 4000RPM all the time, but this is an intermittent problem.

 

I wish I had a lighter workload, because I honestly want to reverse-engineer the EC firmware and debug this myself. Does anyone remember the infamous "pulsing fan" problem on the T43? IBM *never* delivered a satisfactory firmware fix, and someone actually disassembled the embedded controller image and produced a custom BIOS that fixed the problem.

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22 Posts

12-17-2011

Germany

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  • Message 795 of 1217

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

2012-01-10, 21:27 PM

" There are a bunch of people on this thread who aren't actually having the stuck-4000RPM problem"

 

That's right, but still, those people (which includes me) need a fix too. Our fans may not be ultimately stuck at 4000rpm, but even the fact that it speeds up to 4000rpm with temperatures FAR below 50°C is not acceptable.

 

I suggest the engineers of Lenovo to just introduce some more (and smaller) steps in fan speed and additionally raise the thresholds a little bit. 

 

Probably this issue is connected to the power management of the Intel processors. Referring to the Lenovo Power Manager the full performance can only be achieved with setting higher fan speeds, which implies that maybe the fan controller does not solely respond to actual temperature rising but also to expected higher thermal load. It just takes the controller to long to realize that there aren't high temperatures it expected.

So if my assumptions are correct then it should be easy to fix. Just disjoin the controller from the processor or in other words: Take just the temp sensors as indicators for cooling needs.

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267 Posts

02-04-2008

Canada

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  • Message 796 of 1217

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

2012-01-11, 0:56 AM

Just out of curiosity, are you folks having these fan issues willy-nilly?

 

Are these 4170-CTO or pre-configured systems? HD3000/i5, HD3000/i7, Nvidia/i5, Nvidia/i7 ??

 

I've read through nearly the entire thread and only a handful of people mention their machine specs, build date, or any other pertinent info which may be used to trace down the problem (CPU turbo on/off, plugged-in, adapter used, etc)...

 

 

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31 Posts

04-27-2011

San Francisco, CA

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  • Message 797 of 1217

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

2012-01-11, 3:12 AM

Here is an error that pops up around the time the fan goes into overdrive. Might be worth sharing with engineering.

 

Link to picture

 

Moderator note; picture(s) totalling >50K converted to link(s) Forum Rules

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267 Posts

02-04-2008

Canada

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  • Message 798 of 1217

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

2012-01-11, 7:07 AM

Just as an aside...

 

Read in this thread that the X1 exhibited similar problems regarding the crazy fan speeds. Opened up the X1 thread on the topic and found that the folks reporting problems with uncontrollable fan speeds no longer exprience these symptoms (following a BIOS update) and that the users now have the option of turning off "Turbo Boost".

 

Intrigued, a bit more research revealed this thread:

http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/W-Series-ThinkPad-Laptops/Turbo-boost-the-mess-of-mis-inforamtion/td-p/475527

 

Clearly, W520 users face similar problems with uncontrollable fan speed at low CPU temps when the "Lenovo Turbo Boost +" is enabled. However, all fan symptoms seem to magically disappear by simply disabling the feature in the Power Manager. Only problem is the option of de-selecting the "Lenovo Turbo Boost +" is not permanent and it turns on automatically on system restart (static option on restart).

 

To all the people here with the fan problem:

1) - is there any means of turning off Turbo Boost in the BIOS. If so, does that have any effect on fan speed during regular operation?

2) - is the option to turn off "Lenovo Turbo Boost +" in Power Manager available and if so, does that affect fan behaviour?

 

Perhaps worthwhile checking into this "Turbo" "feature" and any correlation to fan speed issues.

 

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22 Posts

12-17-2011

Germany

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  • Message 799 of 1217

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

2012-01-11, 9:21 AM

Even though it is probably connected to the TurboBoost-Feature and disabling would "fix" it, I don't understand why one should pay more than 1k € for not having the full performance without a noisy fan.

 

I think what I suggested a few posts earlier could be a possible solution.

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105 Posts

06-28-2011

Italia

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Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

2012-01-11, 14:48 PM

Hi everybody: Yesterday evening I re-installed Windows on my laptop before sending it to tech-support today. With much surprise, it appears that my fan works as it should on Windows and not on Linux (this wasn't the case some time ago, I think before 1.30).

 

I only had time for a quick test, since i had to send it today.

 

What I'd noticed is:

- Fan spins down on Windows no matter if I have the Lenovo Power Manger installed or not

- Fan does not spin down while the laptop sits at the BIOS (that is, open the laptop, press F1, leave the BIOS idle and watch the fan ramps up)

- Fan does not spin down using Linux

 

I assume that the fan is directly regulated by the EC, and that Windows only touches power settings such as CPU speed, GPU usage, etc. In such a case it might be possible that neither the BIOS or Linux are touching some settings that Windows is changing (it might very well be Turbo Boost).

 

@JameZ, could you please pass some questions to the engineering group? Please please please pass them along the entire message :smileyhappy:. Here they are:

 

1) Does Windows directly regulates the fan behaviour (where by directly I mean that Windows tells the EC to set a particular speed), or the speed is entirely decided by the EC?

1-a) In the latter case, which parameters are used for deciding a particular speed? It might be that Windows is changing one of them and hence the EC does the right thing (tm). Knowing which parameters count and exactly how they count may help getting a nice behaviour under different OSs.

2) Could you please ask to the engineering group if they see the fan stuck at 4000 RPM when leaving the laptop at the BIOS main screen? This is the case for me.

3) Could you please ask to the engineering group if they see the fan stuck at 4000 RPM when using Linux? For such a test they simply need to download a live CD of any distribution and stick it into the optical disk. It would be very appreciated!

4) Any hints on what setting, if it is a setting, might impact the fan behaviour such that it stays fixed at 4000 RPM? A list of highly likely candidates would be wonderful!

5) Is it possible for them to debug my system using a "remote desktop" application, since I am not U.S. based? I'll do whatever possible to help fixing this issue.

 

Furthermore, is somebody using Windows still seeing his fan permanently stuck at 4000 RPM, and by permanently I mean that it doesn't spin down ever? I am wondering if only us Linux users are experiencing it lately.

Conversely, is there any Linux user who has access to Windows for checking if the fan works better using Microsoft's OS?

 

Cheers,

Ale

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