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04-24-2014

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Thinkpad X220 fan error

2015-03-20, 14:17 PM

My Thinkpad X220 displays Fan Error at bootup and shuts down. I have taken it apart. Cleaned the fan. Applied new thermal paste on CPU. I still get Fan Error.

 

What I am confused about is that when I press the power button - I can see the fan blades spinning at a high speed and then stop. There does not seem to be any mechanical fault with the fan, otherwise it would not spin at all.

 

I have ordered a replacement fan. But I could only find one on eBay USA, so it is going to take time to reach me.

Is there anything else I can do to fix this Fan Error in the meanwhile? It does not seem to the actual fan that is faulty.

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Re: Thinkpad X220 fan error

2015-03-20, 16:33 PM

"Fan error" doesn't mean too hot; it means too slow. Thermal grease won't help.  There are 3 parts involved in the process. The fan, the sensor circuitry on the motherboard and a fuse that passes the current to the fan.. When you first press the power button, the fan is supposed to spin for 0.5 seconds at high speed so the RPM can be measured. Too slow gives you a fan error. The fact that your fan starts to spin means you are getting power so your fuse is OK. It might be the sensor circuitry, but it is much more likely that your fan is spinning slowly because the grease that lubricates the bearing surfaces is too old or has worn out, A new fan will probably fix your problem.


Rich


I do not respond to requests for private, one-on-one help. Your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where they may help others as well.

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7 Posts

04-24-2014

United Kingdom

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  • Posts: 7
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Re: Thinkpad X220 fan error

2015-03-21, 19:38 PM

The information was by richk was very useful. Thanks. The boot sequence, how it checks the speed of the fan and then gives the Fan Error message, made sense now.

 

I disassembled the laptop and then unscrewed the 3 tiny screws on the top of the fan. I took off the top to uncover the mechanism inside. I cleaned everything thoroughly with Isopropyl alcohol swabs. There was a lot of micro dust inside. I filled the tiny hole in the middle of the mechanism with 2 drops of sewing machine oil and then assembled everything back.

 

The laptop booted up without Fan error - and I was able to boot into Windows.

 

I am not sure how long this will last. I am awaiting a refurbished fan from eBay - in case this one fails again.

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