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8 Krypton

Cooling Fan - Excessive Speed

I have an Alienware R4 with Bios A11 which I recently upgraded from x64 Windows 8.1 to x64 Windows 10 Pro.


The Windows 10 upgrade went off without difficulty, and for several weeks all has been well - no problems or issues using a variety of programs. I added a printer last month which has also been working just fine. No further updates or changes for at least a week, with normal daily use.


HOWEVER, this morning when I turned on my computer, the cooling fans IMMEDIATELY went to high speed and stayed there. (The vents in the case are NOT flared open.) I went to the Alienware Command Center and it showed both the PCI fan and the Hard Drive fans were at 100%, and a little padlock icon was in the lower right of each panel indicating that they were locked at that speed.

I've had no prior symptoms of overheating . . . and the system SEEMS to be working OK, apart from the noise of the high speed fans. I ran the basic Dell diagnostic tests and the unit passed all of them.

Any suggestions?

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16 Replies
8 Krypton

RE: Cooling Fan - Excessive Speed

I have an Area-51 down-graded to W10 & an R4 waiting on the downgrade & no hands-on experience with the helter-skelter fans, just some ideas on a fix, mostly here:

Either you have W8 on its own drive or you can put it on its own drive & try your CmndCntr repairs there, with a likelihood they'll carry-over into 10 the next time you boot into 10. When in W8, check for normal fans, if ok reboot into 10. If helter-skelter, boot back into 8, launch CmndCntr.exe, clik repair, reboot / shutdown & boot into 10, check fans.

Since I don't have the fan issue yet I can't 'fix it' inside of 10 for myself then pass on the cure, so the idea here is to 'reset' the mio board in 8 & expect it to act normal again in 10. Before there was a such thing as 10, there are / were other methods we'd use on 7/8 to get back control of the fans. Try the W8 method above, and report back; if you need further possibilities I can whip up some things to try ...


In my W10 Install / Preview thread I created I consolidated information there, you can find the sections on troubleshooting through to Jumper Resetting at about mid-way in the post: there's basic information on typical CmndCntr fixes, any of which might bring some relief:

Random Ideas: for all Area-51 & Aurora R1-R3 running on CmndCntr 2.08.09, the last final CmndCntr is here & worth a try, but reqwires .net framework 3.5:

All versions of CmndCntr might ('might') benefit from .net framework 3.5; in W10 > 'turn windows features on/off' > highlight .net 3.5 & win updates will install it.

If your fans rev up after waking from sleep, if no fix cures this, to survive on win10 may mean not putting it to sleep, or hibernate.

1st line of defense is the power disspation reset: unplug machine, press top power button down for 1 minute to dissipate energy, plug in and restart.

You could try a jumper reset using windows 7/8 as your platform, followed by a repair of CC (launch CC.exe & clik repair'), jumper details / how-to discussed in my Vents Fix thread

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8 Krypton

RE: Cooling Fan - Excessive Speed

Thank you for your suggestions.  From another new thread, it would seem that others are having fan problems, too.

It appears that at least for a short time I can "roll back" to Win 8.1, but otherwise I don't have a dual boot machine, and I don't have another HD with Win8 on it.


I followed the Win 10 download and upgrade path direct from Microsoft, and for a couple of weeks under Win 10 the fans behaved normally - no issues. So initially at least, Win 10 did NOT screw up the fans at all. Why it suddenly started to malfunction is unknown to me. But because it happened this way, I'm not at all confident that a fix which involves rebooting in Win 8.1 and then moving to Win 10 would be a lasting fix.

I tried reinstalling Command Center v3.6.5.0 (A04) with no improvement. However, now when I bring up command center, I get a popup box that says "The value for column 'VID' in table 'Devices' is DBNull."

I fiddled with the venting controls and changed the flare speed to 60% from the default value of 70%, and had a slight improvement - the PCI and hard drive fans slowed to 55%, which is still fast, but the machine no longer sounds like it's going to take off. Further adjustments had no effect.

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8 Krypton

RE: Cooling Fan - Excessive Speed

My Area-51 was downgraded to W10 August 1st & has not been used at all since then & had no issues so in my instance I have not received any updates for 10, whereas yours started out fine & ostensibly did receive updates which makes your 10 different from mine; if I go online today & receive the latest updates I suspect I will have the new onset of fan issues. It is possible M$ issued a .net framework update that caused this, I can only speculate. I was telling a forum member in a private message that this is a digital world, & it is possible that W10 has caused the ic on the master i/o board at some level to revert from a one to a zero (in a simplistic view) & that a 'cure' is to 'repair' the mio / CmndCntr tandem inside of 7 or 8 1st, where the cure should carry-over into 10 the next time you boot into 10. I understand this is a nuisance & probably a good one, since it might incline Dell to release a w10 / CmndCntr fix ala a new Cmnd Cntr version, seeing as how the R4 is 'supported' & 'needs a fan fix' like right now. I have it on intuition the R4 or R4's in the Dell Alienware lab's experiencing this exact issue, they can't hide it for long & hopefully they're at work on it ...

I see W10 as too glitchy right now I won't be downgrading my R4 to it for another few months, so I have no useful info to bring people short of what I already have which are based on past experience & intuitions, even if it is imperfect at the moment, I too have a watchful eye out for someone, anyone to jump in with a basic cure. yadda yadda. I was experimenting recently and I too got the 'VID' in table 'Devices' is DBNull." error. What I did was this, and it may or may not work on yours like it did mine:

themes.JPG

I didn't know I would have to repeat this info to someone, so from the best of my memory I believe I went to My Docs > AlienFx Themes > right-clicked (or double-clicked) on 'Alienware' which launched CmndCntr; I believe it went straight to AlienFx, I clicked on Thermals, went back to AlienFx and the error disappeared and hasn't returned. This wasn't on 10 & I was in the middle of an experiment so this may not help relieve the error on your system ...

if you would like to 'repair' your install, launch CmndCntr.exe & clik 'repair'; it will reinstall itself & might cure that error. Might.

I would urge you & everyone else to invest in a separate hard drive and W7/8 reinstall media in order to attempt repairs there looking for a fix until such time as Dell addresses this issue which everyone appears they will have sooner or later, due to the fact 10 is changing and is not the same OS it was on July 29th when Dell initially approved this upgrade for R4.

yadda yadda John. May the Force be with us.

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8 Krypton

RE: Cooling Fan - Excessive Speed

Hey John,

Unfortunately I'm not sure what we can do. If you have an R4 I would keep pushing dell to release a CC fix but if your using a unsupported Alienware system like me I'm at a loss. Like you, my machine worked fine for a few weeks until the fans went crazy. In the past With windows 7 I would just reboot and all is well. For now the only temporary fix is to boot to an old image and do a repair or reinstall of CC. Like you said this only buys some time before the next event. I'm really hoping that either Dell or Microsoft acknowledge and resolve this issue but the current workaround may be our only way to use windows 10 moving forward.

Area-51 1kw PSU

Bios A09

CC 2.8.09.0

Windows 10

Nvidia GTX 970 SLI

Realtek HD onboard Audio

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8 Krypton

RE: Cooling Fan - Excessive Speed

I won't be using W10 for weeks or months so I encourage anyone with fan problems to experiment with a W10 setting called fast startup, & I ask you disable it as a test, if it works or doesn't, report back.

Desperate times call for desperate measures so on a hunch, I'm about to spam the forum with this fan testing nugget which has a very low probability of fixing anything on Auroras:


edit: posted by JasperY

The problem with Command Center (Thermal Controller and Alien FX) is that windows 10 disables the service that helps detecting hardware monitoring. You need to reactivate it in the "Services". Go to Services, and set "Windows Sensor Monitoring Service" to active, and startup mode to "Automatic". It should fix it".

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marcvv
6 Indium

RE: Cooling Fan - Excessive Speed

Started my Windows 10 system this morning and fans running 100%.  I hope Dell fixes this one asap.  I can't figure out how to repair command center.  Running CmndCntr.exe from command line says it's not recognized.

This is a windows 10 pro bug introduced in the last few days. I was okay friday and saturday.

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8 Krypton

RE: Cooling Fan - Excessive Speed

Looks like things are getting worse - today I turned on my R4, and sure enough, it sounds like it's about to take off.


But when I look at the thermal settings, ambient sensors 1 and 2 show 0c, sensor 3 says 65c. All of them read the correct 29c-30c yesterday.

System fan 396 rpm,  cpu pump "running", PCI fan 447 (22%) and HD fan 466 (21%) . . .

SO WHY DOES MY SYSTEM SOUND LIKE IT'S GOING TO TAKE OFF?!?!

I decided to just switch back to Win 8.1 - I almost did it yesterday, but decided to put if off until today.

BUT I CAN'T BECAUSE IT NOW TELLS ME IT'S OVER 1 MONTH AND THE <expletive> SOFTWARE DELETED THE FILES NEEDED TO RESTORE 8.1!!!  [8o|] <long string of expletives>

I am not a happy camper.

marcvv
6 Indium

RE: Cooling Fan - Excessive Speed

I noticed in NOtifications it says "Thermal Controller shutting down" right after the computer boots (according to the timestamp).   This might be the problem. Thermal controller quitting and fans go full tilt

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8 Krypton

RE: Cooling Fan - Excessive Speed

OK, things are back to the "normal" high speed fans - by switching between "Auto (Alien Control)" and "Manual" in the Alienware Command Center, I'm now getting valid numbers on the ambient sensors, and the PCI and HD fans are down to 55%; system fan is 1182 RPM. Still fast, still noisy, but usable.

At least this time.


Hmmm . . . I wonder if one of the more recent Microsoft updates to Windows 10 is what caused these problems? If we don't get some response from Dell, maybe later this week I'll just try progressively removing each recent MS update and trying a reboot to see if things clear up. (BUT . . . if I need to have Win 8.1 to set the MIO board, I'm out of luck anyway.)

Alienware computers aren't cheap . . . we should be able to expect a better response from Dell when these issues come up.


* * * * *


Oh, and Cass-Ole - I tried turning off "fast startup" and rebooting; no joy, problems are unchanged.