So here I was, happy with my Dell 9300 when it struck me that the HDD was nearing the end of its life. Rather than be faced with a crash, I decided to take the wise course and upgraded the HDD with a new one. I installed the original windows that i got with the lappy and as many drivers as I could find from the dell site (that were relevant for my laptop of course). The only other change that I did do was add some more RAM. Everything works great EXCEPT that the fans (heatsink and graphic processor) wont turn on at all. No matter how how it gets (and I can feel the heat - which certainly wasnt true prior to the HDD change). AFAIK , its supposed to be controlled by the BIOS - so it shouldnt have mattered that I changed the HDD and RAM at all. Is there any setting / software which can help me to keep them on / switch them on. You reckon theres someplace that I fiddled around in the BIOS (during the upgrade) that made the fans go off?
Any and all help shall be widely appreciated. As of now I am unable to run the laptop for more than 15 minutes at a time since it really heats up from then on and I am afraid of causing it permanent damage. Please advice.
I seem to be facing a similar siutation except I just reinstalled windows. The fan was likely flaky before that as well. So I am not sure whether the install killed it. The dell diagnostics gives an error code of 3700:011B.
I can see the video fan never turns on and that side of the inspiron 9300 is really hot.
Thanks for any help regarding this.
I also have a Dell Inspiron 9300 in my possession and it has the same problem. The GPU never turns on (even during boot-up) unless I use a third-party program in Windows. In other words, the fan itself works, it can be told to spin, but for some reason it won't spin on its own. Does anyone know what could cause this and how it may be fixed? I tried re-flashing the BIOS but that didn't help.
Do you still have the boot up diagnostics - you have to get into it using special set of key strokes (F2 or F11 do not remember which) . It is one of the choices right at the bottom of the screen.
After some initial tests, if they fail it gives you the option to run custom diagnostics using graphical mode - this is installed on a SEPARATE partition on the hard disk (separate from Windows). If you run custom tests on the fan, it will give you an answer whether the fan is functional or not. If you have changed the disk or reformatted it you have lost it - apparently one can download it and create a bootable CD/DVD - but I have not tried that.
If that shows the fan to be ok - then it is likely ok. The fan does not run most of the time. Apparently just runs when it is needed. That means you depend on the sensors to measure temperature but well well. I guess it keeps the noise level low - which is a big selling point.
Note that if you run an external software which reads the sensors and then start/stops the fan - basically you have forfeited the right to blame dell if the mother board components burn themselves out 😉 So use it with care. Or keep it running all the time and tolerate the noise unless you are in ND right now 😉
Forgot to mention above.
If you do a fresh install of windows - there are LOTS of drivers specific to 9300 which you need to install from dell site. It is not even a part of the CD/DVD dell gave you. I somehow did not seem to have one anyway. The generic XP install etc will not have all the required drivers - even basic things like the NVIDIA drivers. You need to install the dell version of it - otherwise the high resolution modes will not work. And because of this you cannot upgrade the driver from NVIDIA either and use some of their interesting utilities.
So to cut a long story short - check the dell site for ALL the drivers specific to the 9300 - and install them. Likely some power/fan management driver is missing. The GPU fan will turn on once in a while to flush out hot air 😉 You must have that functional - otherwise it overheats which will reduce the life span of the components. No it will not flame out - the chips have sensors and shut off by themselves if they exceed their own internal thresholds. Also, they will run slower - internal functional units are turned off to minimize heat generation when not used and have latency to get restarted. So everything will work but slower (transparent to you). Things actualyl run slower when hot! So if you are doing nothing that is cpu/gpu intensive - the fan will be off - but if you do - you do need the fan to cool things - or it will still run slow.
Thank you for your response. I forgot how to enter the diagnostics. It was on the boot menu, accessed by pressing F12. I am running the diagnostics now, and will post my results shortly. Also, I should have also mentioned that the GPU overheats, crashing the computer. So something is definitely wrong. I only used the third-party software to try to enable the fan (which it did) to protect the GPU since I couldn't find a solution anywhere else. It worked. However, I came this forum since that's more of a temporary fix than a solution. Again, I'll follow-up.
I should have also specified that I do not know whether Windows was recently installed on this computer. It is not mine. The owner asked me to try to fix it. I will look into the drivers.
The diagnostics reveal no problems. I tried the fan test for both the processor fan and video fan. But strangely, both tests tested only the processor fan. I know this because the processor fan spun according to the various speed tests whereas the video fan never moved. I really don't know what to make of this.
Hate to tell you this - likely the video fan or part of motherboard is bad -the gpu fan never runs and so the CPU fan over compensates for excess heat when needed. I think cpu fan is on the top left corner if you are facing the opened system and the GPU fan is on the right. gpu is a smaller fan.
sometimes, there may be issues in the motherboard and when the "system" wants GPU fan to turn on - it does not (control logic is broken). So the cpu fan tries to manage things.just blow out hot air so the system cools somewhat and the gpu fan does not need to run.
Install the nvidia driver and the dell power management related drivers. nvidia driver is important (I am assuming you have nvidia graphics chip - my system is like that - and the world is exactly like me ;-)) The sensor must be on the nvidia - the nvidia will utility give you the core temperature etc. So perhaps if the right driver is not around - that is not read and then gpu fan is never turned on.
but the build in diagnostics does not use any of that (so I was told). So if that fails - you are in bit of trouble here.
Did the "outside" utility actually run the gpu fan? you could feel it? the sensor may be bad (or the the driver is not right) and the utility just runs the fan which works.
Now there what did I hate to tell you? I needed to change my mother board to get this fixed 😉 in fact the excess heat made my microphone go bad -which forced my hand 😉 the audio subsystem is like a separate daughter board right below where the graphics fan is on right hand side. - likely got the brunt of the extra heat. in fact the right side was significantly hotter than the left side - slight difference will always be there since graphics is a busy chip (big display) + cpu fan is bigger. But if there is a very "significant" difference (cpu is warm but gpu is "very hot") in the 2 sides of the system - you will need to worry about it. And to make your day (as if you need more excitement) - dell apparently does not support systems over 5 years.
Yeah, the third-party utility made the fan run. I could feel it and hear it. So it seems that the fan itself isn't bad, and the control logic is at least sufficient such that this application can make it work. I just tried the diagnostics utility again. It appears I was wrong there: both fans actually spin for both tests. So it can control it. Now why the heck isn't it running when Windows boots, even when the card gets hot? It is an Nvidia card, and I will try those drivers you mention.