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2 Bronze

Debilitating System Fan Issue

I'm going to try my best to describe an issue that started up yesterday, after two years of wonderful performance, that I'm unsure of the cause. 

My primary fan (over the radiator for the liquid cooling system) on my alienware aurora has been cycling on to maximum rpm (slightly over 4000rpm) and won't cycle off. However, all of the sensors indicate that its running at a cool 23 degrees celsius or so. And, when I place my hand behind the system fan to feel the air being blown out, it is pretty darn cool, as in no indication of overheating.

So, I'm lead to believe that for some reason I can ascertain, my fan is peaking without cause. (A cause thats readily apparent.)

It's working so hard, its pulling all the power from my power supply. For awhile, the issue was manageable. Then my frame rates started crashing, because power was being shunted away from my gpu. Obviously, I freaked out and stopped doing *anything* system intensive. Fan still blows. Eventually, the cycles on became longer and longer to the point that once it comes on, it just doesn't go off. After I started up my system, I have about 7 minutes or so before the fan comes on and runs constantly. It's pulling so much power, my system is shutting itself down.

Tried dusting my computer interior. And while it was dusty, it did absolutely nothing towards fixing the problem.

As per an IT friend's suggestion, I tried to find fan settings in my BIOS, but didn't see any. (I'm relatively green when dealing with BIOS.) I noticed my BIOS version was old (A04) and tried installing A11, and upon restart from what I thought was a successful completion, it read that I was running... BIOS A04. And sure enough, everything seemed to be identical.

So if this is a BIOS issue, I seem to be rather helpless. Could this be the symptom of a failing fan? I would think it would stop working, rather than work way, way more than is necessary. 

I would like to reiterate for the sake of clarity that there is *no* overheating going on, and aside from the systems fan going absolutely crazy, I can't find anything else wrong with the PC.

Any advice/suggestions would be appreciated. I'd like to be informed before I start buying random parts and replacing, hoping to find the right one. (If it's even a hardware issue.)

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18 Replies
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3 Silver

Re: Debilitating System Fan Issue

I had a similar issue with a T7500 a while back. Turned out that the Temp Sensor was going out. The fan kicking into high gear is basically a failsafe. the computer can't judge the temp correctly so it plays it safe and just blasts the fan on full. Now that I'm thinking about it tho, your fan may just have an old school short, considering it's pulling power. Try matching the fan size and speed first and go for the replacement. That would seem to be the less expensive fix for now. After that you can look into the temp sensors and all. One thing to help you is the diagnostics built into the system. Boot the system on, when you see the Alienware splash screen, press "F12". After that you'll see either diagnostics or ePSA or PSA+ in the menu, run that real quick and see if you get any blatant errors. BTW does any hate these stock Alienware keyboards as much as I do?

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7 Thorium

Re: Debilitating System Fan Issue

BTW does any hate these stock Alienware keyboards as much as I do?

 

I like the "low-travel" form factor, but the quality is very poor ... and not up to Dell standards. Mine only lasted a year (and yes, I kept it clean).

The Shift keys sometimes get stuck in the down position. I finally had to swap it out and stop using it because the internal BackSpace key contact went out. I would be typing and all of a sudden ... my text would start disappearing intermittently

I thought about trying one more ... but I see no way to buy one ... without going to eBay or surplus store ... which is just silly.


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7 Thorium

Re: Debilitating System Fan Issue

My primary fan (over the radiator for the liquid cooling system) on my alienware aurora has been cycling on to maximum rpm (slightly over 4000rpm) and won't cycle off. However, all of the sensors indicate that its running at a cool 23 degrees celsius or so. And, when I place my hand behind the system fan to feel the air being blown out, it is pretty darn cool, as in no indication of overheating.

 

So, I'm lead to believe that for some reason I can ascertain, my fan is peaking without cause. (A cause thats readily apparent.)

 

It's working so hard, its pulling all the power from my power supply. For awhile, the issue was manageable. Then my frame rates started crashing, because power was being shunted away from my gpu. Obviously, I freaked out and stopped doing *anything* system intensive. Fan still blows. Eventually, the cycles on became longer and longer to the point that once it comes on, it just doesn't go off. After I started up my system, I have about 7 minutes or so before the fan comes on and runs constantly. It's pulling so much power, my system is shutting itself down.

 

Run CPUID HW-Monitor and monitor your processor core temps. CoreTemp is another good one.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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2 Bronze

Re: Debilitating System Fan Issue

So, I installed a new system fan. The fan ran at 100% as soon as the system was completely booted up, I had about six minutes of time browsing the internet before the system shut down. Once again, completely cool system, none of the other fans were running high, just the system fan. So, while it cost me a bit of money to test this out, I can confirm its not a system fan issue.

Anyone else have any suggestions?

And while I appreciate the suggestions regarding overheating, the system isn't overheating. That's not the issue.

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2 Bronze

Re: Debilitating System Fan Issue

Could it potentially be a power supply issue? Could that somehow cause one of my three fans to run at maxed rpm for no apparent reason?

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3 Zinc

Re: Debilitating System Fan Issue

Maybe it is a MIO board issue for the fan control. Maybe Tesla knows how to rest the board if there is eben a option for that. But it sounds like the fan is getting a signal to run at max speed. Have you updated ACC lately? I wonder if that could be the issue. Or did you happen to use the resource disk to reinstall ACC? If you used the disk, could also be the culprit.

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3 Zinc

Re: Debilitating System Fan Issue

Maybe Tesla knows how to reset the board if there is an option for that. Sorry...typos on the above

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7 Thorium

Re: Debilitating System Fan Issue

Did you ever mention what model you have?

The new fan you installed ... was it an authentic Dell-AW OEM system/radiator fan?

It connects to the "top lighting board" (not MIO-Board). Do you have it connected to header "Sys_Fan" (Asetek Cooler - radiator or main system fan).

I'm pretty sure Dell Diags has an option to excercise the fans to make sure the control is working.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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7 Thorium

Re: Debilitating System Fan Issue

And while I appreciate the suggestions regarding overheating, the system isn't overheating. That's not the issue.

 

So, what are your temps?

Need your model and system config.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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