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Serial Port
Posts: 59
Registered: ‎05-26-2011
Location: Switzerland
Message 11 of 1,203 (18,759 Views)

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

Here I am again, 


@JameZ: You now got each our MTM, S/N, etc... So what are the next steps, how are you going to proceed with our issue?  What's the time frame for us to expect a solution? 

Is this an actual Support Forum or do we have to get in touch with the Lenovo helpdesk/Support hotline to find a solution? 


Thank you for advice. 

Former Administrator
Posts: 8,592
Registered: ‎11-19-2007
Location: US
Message 12 of 1,203 (18,730 Views)

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue



Jamez can escalate issues directly as he is a Lenovo employee.   Once he has enough information to define the problem clearly with steps to recreate and system specifics of model, OS, drivers, and BIOS level, he can either recreate himself or create / escalate the case.   


Our senior technical team will work the case and validate the symptoms and then pass to engineering and development as needed to obtain root cause and provide an update through drivers / bios as needed.


It is difficult to say exactly how long this process will take - can vary based on complexity of the issue, but typical the engineering cycle is around 4 weeks.  Sometimes faster, sometimes a bit longer.


Jamez often continues to collect information and receives updates from engineering .


Best regards,





Fanfold Paper
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎05-31-2011
Location: Switzerland
Message 13 of 1,203 (18,707 Views)

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

after one week with my T420s I consider sending the unit back because of:

  1.  fan has annoying whine noise above around 2000 rpm
  2.  fan is almost always on, above 2000 rpm, makes the whining noise

Can someone from Lenovo confirm both points and indicate a timeline for a solution

1. changing the fan to an appropriate model without whining noise

2. BIOS update which solves the fan behavoir


up to now I only bough consumer notebooks and this time I was willing to pay

the premium for a premium product - finally with a big dissapointment. lenovo

has to fix this very quick.



Former Employee
Posts: 3,823
Registered: ‎07-11-2010
Location: Malaysia
Message 14 of 1,203 (18,667 Views)

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue


Issue raised to engineering using ReneW's system information. I will update here once I receive any news from the team.

Fanfold Paper
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎05-31-2011
Location: Switzerland
Message 15 of 1,203 (18,589 Views)

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

[ Edited ]

Thank you JameZ


Please share the progress with us. I am short before returning the unit back for credit note.




Serial Port
Posts: 59
Registered: ‎05-26-2011
Location: Switzerland
Message 16 of 1,203 (18,473 Views)

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

Ladies and Gentlemen, I found a temporary fix for our hair dryer issue. 


There's a German guy who calls himself "troubadix" (the bard in Asterix) who developed an application to adjust the fan speed on ThinkPads. The application is called TPFancontrol. It's latest version is 0.62 and is set up for his T60. 


The latest version can be found at troubadix page from uni-marburg right here


Donations are welcome to him. 


Discussion threads are here and here


And below are the settings I use in the TPFancontrol.ini file to run my ThinkPad T420s quietly when on the go (passive until 50°C). 

When docked in the Advanced mini 3 plus docking station and using two external monitors (1920x1200 + 1050x1680) the discrete graphics kicks in and the CPU is always near the 60°C mark. With the settings below you should be able to keep the temps around 60°C with moderate office work. The fan spins between 2900 and 3700 RPM. 



////  >>>>  Celsius / Fahrenheit: temperatures in °C (active) / °F  <<<<
// !!! Temp of lowest Level > 79 -> switch to Fahrenheit !!! see below
// ATTENTION: example temp values are for my T61, especially// BluetoothEDR=1,  SensorName5=no5, IgnoreSensors=no5 too // temp levels 10 degrees centgrade higher than in T4x, R5x,// change for your purposes.// Achtung: die eingetragenen Temperaturwerte benutze ich beim T61,// speziell hier: BluetoothEDR=1, SensorName5=no5, IgnoreSensors=no5// Für T4x, R5x können die Temps 10 Grad niedriger eingetragen werden.// Bitte alles für die eigenen Zwecke anpassen.
// advice for programmers: TPFanControl must acquire mutex named// "Access_Thinkpad_EC" to get access to embedded controller// Hinweis für Programmierer: TPFanControl muss den Mutex // "Access_Thinkpad_EC" aquirieren können um Zugang zum embbeded // controller zu bekommen.
// with Active=3 & ManFanSpeed=0 & ManModeExit=78 you can have a nice// quiet time until temps reaches 78 deg. centigrade  :-))// mit Active=3 & ManFanSpeed=0 & ManModeExit=78 kann man nach dem // "Kaltstart eine schöne ruhige Zeit haben, bis die Temps 78 °C // erreichen und das Programm auf smart mode schaltet.
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// -----------------------------------------------------------------// "Active=0" program just reads config. // "Active=1" allow program to modify fan.// "Active=2" program will come up in smart mode.// "Active=3" program will come up in manual mode.// bei "Active=0" wird nur die Konfiguration ausgelesen. // bei "Active=1" die Veränderung des Lüfterverhaltens ist aktiviert.// bei "Active=2" startet das Programm im "Smart"-Modus. // bei "Active=3" startet das Programm im "Manual"-Modus. 
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// manual fan speed at program start// Lüfterstufe beim Programmstart
ManFanSpeed=7  // -----------------------------------------------------------------// Program exits manual mode and switches to smart mode with last chosen// profile, if this temp (degrees Centigrade or Fahrenheit) is achieved.// default= 80 degrees Centigrade / 176 degrees Fahrenheit.// Das Program verlässt den manual mode und schaltet auf smart mode mit // letztem gewähltem Profil, wenn diese Temperatur erreicht ist.// default= 80 Grad Celsius / 176 Grad Fahrenheit.
ManModeExit=78     //ManModeExit=172   // with Fahrenheit
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// Window stays on Top if StayOnTop=1, normal behavior =0// Programmfenster bleibt im Vordergrund bei StayOnTop=1, ansonsten =0
StayOnTop=0// -----------------------------------------------------------------// Set to 1 for slim widget// Schmales Programmfenster bei SlimDialog=1, ansonsten =0 
SlimDialog=1    // -----------------------------------------------------------------// set to 1 for bluetooth with enhanced data rate (i.e. T61,// X61  for T4x, R5x set BluetoothEDR=0 )// BluetoothEDR=1 für bluetooth mit enhanced data rate (EDR, z.B. T61,// X61  für T4x, R5x BluetoothEDR=0 setzen)
BluetoothEDR=1 // -----------------------------------------------------------------// Windows Priority of Process (0-5, normal=2), increase if fancontrol has // big delays in response while other processes consume performance.// Windows-Priorität des Processes (0-5, normal=2), ggf. erhöhen, falls // Reaktion des Programms zu träge wegen Resourcenverbrauch durch andere// Anwendungen
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// Show no icon ballons: NoBallons=1, show icon ballons: NoBallons=0// Icon Sprechblasen anzeigen mit NoBallons=0, keine bei NoBallons=1
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// check temperatures every x seconds (default 5)// Überprüft die Temperaturen alle x Sekunden (Standard ist 5).
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// For Thinkpads A2x,T2x,X2x set NoExtSensor=1 to exclude reading // of extended sensors to prevent program errors. Attention 570(E) // is NOT compatible. Fan speed is not available on all models.// Bei Thinkpads A2x,T2x,X2x NoExtSensor=1 setzen: die Sensoren 9-12// werden nicht ausgelesen und dadurch Fehlermeldungen vermieden. // Funktioniert NICHT bei 570(E), Fanspeed nicht immer verfügbar.
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// Minimize to systray immediately when starting// Minimiert das Programm schon beim Start in die Taskleiste.
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// check icon of tpfcicon.exe (optional) every x seconds (default 1)// Überprüft das Icon von tpfcicon.exe alle x Sekunden (Standard =1).
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// Show new icon with max. temperature / sensor name// Zeige neues Icon mit Max. Temperatur / Sensorbezeichnung
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// Save the icon by a start delay of the program/service of // "SecStartDelay" (sec.) within "SecWinUptime" (sec.) after (re)boot// Delete slashes '//' at next 3 parameters.// Das Problem der nicht erscheinenden Icons wird durch eine // Startverzögerung um SecStartDelay (Sekunden) innerhalb einer Zeit von// SecWinUptime (Sekunden) verhindert. Kommentarstriche "//" entfernen.////SecWinUptime=120//"SecWinUptime" (sec.) after (re)boot//SecStartDelay=60//start delay of the program (sec.)//NoWaitMessage=0//set to 1 to avoid sleep message//ReIcCycle=600//rebuild TempIcon every xxx secs.
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// Temperature thresholds for turning the taskbar icon// yellow orange red (Smart and Manual mode only and// only together with MinimizeToTray=1)// Temperaturgrenzwerte, die das Symbol in der Taskbar gelb,// orange bzw. rot färben. (Nur im "Smart"- und "Manual"-Modus // in Kombination mit "MinimizeToTray=1" verfügbar.) 
IconLevels=65 75 80    // Fahrenheit: IconLevels=122 140 158
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// Beep frequency and duration (in ms) for successful// fan state changes. (Set either or both to zero to // disable)// Frequenz und Dauer des Piep-Signals (in ms), das eine erfolgreiche// Änderung des Lüfterzustands ankündigt. (Um den Piepton abzuschalten,// setzen Sie entweder einen oder beide Werte auf 0.)
FanBeep=3 2
// --------------------------------------------------------// If this max number of consecutive EC read errors occur// program will switch fan back to bios mode and exit// Sobald die maximale Anzahl aufeinanderfolgender EC-Lesefehler// erreicht ist, schaltet das Programm auf den BIOS-Modus um // und wird beendet.
MaxReadErrors= 10
// --------------------------------------------------------// Log2File=1 enables, Log2File=0 disables writing to TPFanControl.log// Start program with admin rights.// Log2File=1 aktiviert, Log2File=0 deaktiviert// Schreiben nach TPFanControl.log, Programm benötigt Admin-Rechte.
// --------------------------------------------------------// Log2csv=1 enables, Log2csv=0 disables // writing to TPFanControl_csv.txt renamed to // TPFanControl_last_csv.txt after restart of TPFanControl// rename to *.csv for use with excel// Start program with admin rights.// Log2csv=1 aktiviert Schreiben nach TPFanControl_csv.txt// Programm benötigt Admin-Rechte. Datei wird umbenannt in // TPFanControl_last_csv.txt nach erneutem Start von TPFanControl// In *.csv umbenennen für anschliessende Bearbeitung mit excel
// --------------------------------------------------------// List (separated by comma) of sensors to ignore when// determining the max. temperature.  (Use lower case,// e.g "IgnoreSensors=pci,aps")// Liste der Sensoren, getrennt durch Kommata, die bei der// Ermittlung der Maximaltemperatur ignoriert werden. (Verwenden// Sie kleine Buchstaben, z.B. "IgnoreSensors=pci,aps".)
// ---------------------------------------------------------// List of new 3 letter sensor names, delete leading // slashes to aktivat. Don't use capital letters for readability // of temp icon.// Liste von neuen Sensorname (jeweils 3 Buchstaben), zum// Aktivieren die Schrägstriche löschen. Kleine Buschstaben // wg. der Lesbarkeit im TempIcon gebrauchen.
// ---------------------------------------------------------// calculating Highest Temp with: // temperature of sensor no. = real temp minus SensorOffsetno.// Default SensorOffset1-12=0 , Capital O in SensorOffset,// to activate delete slashes '//',// Negative SensorOffsetno. values increase temperature values.// Berechnung von Highest Temp mit: // Temperatur des Sensor Nr. = reale Temp minus SensorOffsetnr.// Default: SensorOffset1-12=0 , Grosses O in SensorOffsetnr.// zum Aktivieren Schrägstriche '//' löschen,// Negative SensorOffsetnr-Werte erhöhen den Temperaturwert.
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// set to 1 to show calculated temps for sensors// =1 gesetzt zeigt die Temperaturen mit Offsetkorrektur an
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// Show all/active sensors at start up. all=1 only active=0// Zeige alle/aktive Sensoren an: alle=1, nur aktive =0
// --------------------------------------------------------// temperature levels 'Level=' with associated fan levels// (for the fan to come back, temperature must fall// down to previous level).  There may be more or// less levels in this list.  The first one should// have a fan speed of zero and is the "turn off"// temperature.// Fan speed of 64 is extreme and may be an *unsupported*// and *damaging* mode.  A fan speed of 128 setting is// not really a fan speed in itself but will instead switch// fan control to BIOS mode (0x80).  The idea of this// is to let the program get out of the way and let the// BIOS handle extremes.(and then switch back to smart if// the temperature is okay again)//// Im Folgenden sind die Temperaturpegel samt den jeweils// zugeordeten Lüfterstufen aufgelistet. (Sobald die Temperatur in// den Bereich eines niedrigeren bzw. höheren Pegels wechselt, wird// die Lüfterstufe automatisch angepasst und folglich verringert bzw.// erhöht sich die Geschwindigkeit des Lüfters.) Diese Liste kann// weniger oder auch mehr Stufen beinhalten. Sinngemäß sollte die// erste Stufe die gewünschte Temperatur definieren, bei der sich// der Lüfter ausschaltet (Lüftergeschwindigkeit 0)// Die Lüftergeschwindigkeit 64 ist ein Extremwert und könnte somit// eine von IBM nicht unterstützte und sogar schädigende Betriebsart// darstellen.  Die Lüftergeschwindigkeit 128 ist an sich keine eigene// Geschwindigkeitsstufe, sondern gibt stattdessen die Kontrolle// des Lüfters an das BIOS (BIOS mode, 0x80) zurück. Der Hintergrund// dieser Einstellung ist die Möglichkeit, das Programm auszuschließen,// um Extemfälle wieder vom BIOS steuern zu lassen. (Sobald sich die// Temperatur wieder im Normbereich befindet, wird erneut der Smart// Modus aktiviert.)//// Temp of lowest Level (commonly set to fan speed zero) of profile // "Smart Mode 1" will switch from Celsius to Fahrenheit if set higher // than 79 degrees. Temps of higher levels have no influence on F/C. //// profile "Smart Mode 1"// change values and number of items for your needs// Celsius:         // Fahrenheit: 
MenuLabelSM1=Smart Mode 1/  Label for Icon Menu, must be terminated by '/'
Level=45 1// Level=140 0Level=50 2// Level=150 1Level=55 2              // Level=165 3Level=60 3// Level=175 7Level=65 4// Level=195 64Level=70 5Level=75 7Level=90 128

// optional 2nd profile "Smart Mode 2", switched by icon menue// change values and number of items for your needs// to deactivate, insert leading '//' into following lines
MenuLabelSM2=Smart Mode 2/  Label for Icon Menu, must be terminated by '/'
Level2=22 0// Level2=70 0Level2=33 1// Level2=90 1Level2=38 2// Level2=100 2Level2=44 3// Level2=110 3Level2=55 7// Level2=130 7Level2=66 64// Level2=150 64Level2=77 128// Level2=170 128
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// IconColorFan=1 digital Icon will turn green while fan is running. // IconColorFan=1 Digitales Icon wird grün während der Lüfter läuft.
// -----------------------------------------------------------------// Lev64Norm=1 : Fan level 64 acts as normal level with hysteresis, // fan will run till next lower temp step is reached (no pulsing fan). // If set to zero fan level 64 acts as emergency level without hysteresis,// fan will run till level64 temp is reached again (pulsing fan can happen).// Lev64Norm=1 : Fan level 64 arbeitet mit Hysterese, Lüfter läuft, // bis nächst tieferer level erreicht wird. Lüfter pulsiert nicht.// Falls Lev64Norm=0 gesetzt, arbeitet level 64 als Notfallkühlung oberhalb// der Temperatur von level 64. Ein Pulsieren des Lüfters ist möglich.


I hope this helps. I wish you a great sunday. 

Fanfold Paper
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎06-08-2011
Location: Germany
Message 17 of 1,203 (18,301 Views)

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue



some update from Lenovo? I've just got my T420 this week and I also find the fan really annoying... I am convinced that it is a hardware problem - a bad fan. I wouldn't even mind if it was a bit louder or constantly spinning...what gets on my nerves is the  high-pitched noise.. like someone said, it is best compared to a hair dryer and it also makes me ponder returning it for a refund. In my opinion, a BIOS/driver "fix" would just delay the noise a bit (and shorten the life-span of the machine?), a better quality fan is what's needed. I guess the warranty would become void if one attempted to replace the fan himself?






Former Employee
Posts: 3,823
Registered: ‎07-11-2010
Location: Malaysia
Message 18 of 1,203 (18,278 Views)

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue


We are still investigating this issue. Also if you have an extra HDD, try replacing the HDD and see if the noise is coming from the HDD and not the fan.

Fanfold Paper
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎06-08-2011
Location: Germany
Message 19 of 1,203 (18,276 Views)

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue



ok, looking forward to a solution.


The noise clearly comes from the fan - it changes with the load of the machine and I tried it also with SSD only, no HDD or anything else that could make the noise (afaik). Perhaps one more note, I do *not* have the optimus version, mine is Intel HD Graphics only.




Fanfold Paper
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎05-31-2011
Location: Switzerland
Message 20 of 1,203 (18,273 Views)

Re: T420s Fan noise Issue

It is a hardware issue. The fan noise drives everybody nuts and I think

I am not the only one here who will return the unit because of this bad



Please come across with a straight forwards solution for your customers.

(replacing the fan & bios update for better fan control).


...I think we are waiting now to long.

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