07-14-2013 03:01 PM
I have owned several ThinkPads over the years and recently purchased two T430 laptops - one for travelling and one for my girlfriend for school. I was aware there has been a fan issue as it has been documented all over the web, but I purchased anyway to see how the dice would land. Well the dice have landed and I have one silent computer and one noisy one. I am not too surprised by this because I have read in forums that some owners do not know what others are complaining about.
I believe this is a hardware problem and not firmware. The BIOS updates will only change the fan speed at given temperatures and are not able to reduce noise at a given fan speed. The quiet T430 is running with the 2.09 BIOS (10/19/2012). The other T430 has been updated twice and is currently running 2.54 BIOS (4/22/2013) and is just as noisy as before. Both T430's have the same fan speed at idle, just one is much noisier.
It is not very common to own two T430's to be able to directly compare noise levels, especially nearly identical configurations, but I do:
#1: T430 with i5-3320M, integrated graphics, 1366x768 LCD, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, W7 Pro, Finger Print Reader.
#2: T430 with i5-3320M, integrated graphics, 1600x900 LCD, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, W7 Pro.
#1 is noisy, #2 is silent.
I also own a W500, T410, and W530 and have had them all running next to each other at once to compare them. The T430's are the loudest at idle (including the "silent" one) and have the most air flowing through them, but the T410 is close behind. The fan noise is pretty quiet and acceptable for the T430 #2 and the T410. The W500 is extra quiet and the W530 is so silent it requires close inspection to determine if the fan is even on. Anyways, I have two very different performing fans in two nearly identical T430's. BIOS updates do not affect the sound - it must be hardware.
I am going to call technical support and request a new fan assembly for the noisy T430. This post is meant to get the attention of Lenovo and all the unfortunate noisy T430 owners. A quiet T430 does exist and I am going to attempt to make a noisy T430 be quiet. I will update this post through the replacement of the fan to let everyone know how it goes. I have read people have replaced their fans as many times as twice with no improvements - I will inspect the chassis and neighboring components during replacement to see if there is anything causing a good fan to be noisy. I am optimistic that I will be able to fix this.
If you have had success repairing a noisy T430 fan, please share how you repaired it. Otherwise, stay tuned as I attempt the repair and provide updates on my progress. Thank you.
Solved! Go to Solution.
08-09-2013 11:28 AM - last edited on 08-09-2013 11:36 AM by NateS
I would love to hear the answer. If this work, then let me know. My email is xxxxx
It is just a waste of time to try to search to search the solution. I had a T400 and the fan is so quiet (I really love it). However, it got the problme of boot up real slow. I tried everything in the forum but no success. Once the machine boots up, it runs like a charm. so good. finally, I give up searching a solution (exactly like this thread's arthur felt, some T400 has no problem and some has problem.) Too bad that the dice falls on the wrong side for my T400.
I believed that the boot up problem is also random like the T430 fan problem. It is so bad that Lenovo could not make their product reliable. It is so frustrating that problem could not be resoloved. I am about to consider to buy the T430 but with fan problems would not be fixed. I will hesitate. This is worst than slow boot up (At least, I could keep rebooting it a few time to solve the problem). This Fan problem will keep annoyin gyou through the whole day of using the computer. If you could solve this problem, please really let me know.
Moderator comment: Email address(es) removed to defeat spambots.
08-09-2013 09:46 PM
>> I believe this is a hardware problem and not firmware.
I posted a few months ago about this "T430 fan noise" problem and pointed out that it is a hardware issue which is related directly to the fan itself -- duh!
I was lining up some T430's used by my colleagues at work and putting them through their paces. Sure enough, they did not behave the same, noise-wise.
Lenovo uses 3 suppliers for the fan assembly, and the T430 FRU list show 3 different part numbers for the fan assembly. I don't know exactly which part number corresponds to the quiet fan. Lenovo may send you a new part (or send someone to replace the fan at your place), but you're going to throw the dice again.
08-09-2013 10:27 PM
Why there is a need to throw the dice? If we could figure it out that this is the hardware problem. Why not Lenovo just solve it by replacing the fan? It does not make sense that Lenovo does not do so (Some customer sent their laptop for a fix but still does not work). I believed that Lenovo does not really know where the problem lies. This fan noise problem has been happening in T420 as some of the thread mentioned. It just too sad that Lenovo (IBM) does not seriously take into consideration of the problem.
As I mentioned, Boot up slow in T400 is really annoying but not as bad as the fan problem. I can't work around this problem.
08-11-2013 02:33 PM
I called Lenovo Support after starting the thread and learned that they do not send out parts like fans or motherboards for warranty claims. Instead, I had to sent my computer into Lenovo for repair. It took me a couple weeks to find time to wipe the machine to remove any personal data, but I finally called support and had them send me a box to ship it back to them. The box was overnighted and arrived the next morning. I dropped it off at a local UPS store Monday morning and my computer was shipped back and delivered two days later on Wednesday afternoon. Much faster than 7 business days they quoted.
The T430 was finally unboxed today and I started setting it back up. The fan assembly was replaced and they also replaced the cracked power port. I am happy to report that the dice landed in my favor, and this fan is just as quiet as my other T430.
I am a little disappointed that I wasn't allowed to replace it myself, but I can't really complain... Sending it back to Lenovo to get repaired under warranty fixed my fan within 3 days. There is a chance this might not work for everyone since this seems to be a intermittent hardware issue, potentially from one of many suppliers of the fan, but you can probably keep sending it back to Lenovo until it comes back quiet.
I would like to mention that the little fan noise that my quiet T430's make is a little odd sounding. The first stage fan speed is the one that sounds the most odd (the sound of air rushing out at higher speeds muffle this subtle sound): With my ear 1 inch away from the exhaust of the fan on the left side of the machine, the fan sounds like it is rubbing on something, producing a noise similar to noisy brushes on a DC motor or "white noise." (it is hard to describe). But the really interesting part is when the machine has been idle and the fan kicks off, the rubbing sound suddenly drops off, as if there was a brake on the fan. My W530 and W500 produce a "normal" fan sound that gradually changes as the fan speed changes. This rubbing sound in the T430 is a little concerning and I am not 100% confident that these T430's will stay quiet over time. Luckily I have 3-year warranty on these T430's, so I won't get stuck with a loud fan should they become loud.
I hope this helps some of you out there. I am sorry I wasn't able to look for the root cause of the noise issue (didn't want to void my warranty), but Lenovo will attempt to repair a fan noise issue by replacing the fan assembly and they do it in a timely manner.
08-11-2013 08:34 PM
Congratulations! You are having a great machine.
Perhaps, this is the only options that you could do. Just keep sending the machine back and till it dice rolls on your side. If more customer gives the same feedback, I would believed that lenovo does know what is the problem.
08-12-2013 01:13 PM
08-12-2013 09:26 PM
Good! Just keep sending the machine to Lenovo.
My T400 boot up slow could not be solved.
I just keep restarts it. Once it starts up, it works like a charm.