Last reply by 01-21-2020 Unsolved
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Dell XPS 13 9380 fan problems solved

My new XPS 13 9380 would very often have the fans blowing when plugged in, even though not doing anything too intensive.

>> Solved by removing  Killer wireless software and driver (version and using the driver version automatically installed by Windows and updates (version )

For the first few days I put it down to windows updates, AV heuristics, and other imaginary teething problems but then I got sick of it and started to investigate. The result is that I have now fixed the issue and the laptop has been joyfully quiet - I hope it stays that way.

I believe the fan was on because one CPU core was pinned at 100%


The culprit was 'system' which when right clicked and go to propertied reveals it as ntoskrnl.exe

cpu-from ntoskrnl.png

I also noticed that while the fans were blowing, turning wireless on/off would stop the fans and reduce the cpu usage for a little bit but not permanently.

So putting 2 and 2 together I tried updating the Killer wireless drivers with both the Dell update utility and with the driver package from the Killer wireless site. Updating the driver to the latest version ( seemed to quieten the fans for a few mins, but then they'd start up again. I also tried removing the killer control panel management software too bu that didn't work either.

In the end, I solved it by:

  • Removing all Killer software (Add remove programs)
  • Ran the Killer uninstaller utility from the website
  • Uninstalling the killer wireless device (via Device Manager)
  • Rebooting

My laptop reverted back to Killer Wireless driver provided by microsoft version and was quiet!


A subsequent windows update for the WiFi card then brought it up to version and so far has been quiet for 4 days plugged in, on battery, charging/not charging.



There's definitely something screwy with this Killer wireless. at this stage, I don't quite know if it's just a complete removal of the Killer bandwidth management crapware or the driver itself. But I'm not going to update to the latest driver version until I have a need for a hairdryer.




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This worked for me as well. After doing this step by step the fan has not stopped, but significantly spin less.

Hi trentboyett,

Thanks for posting.  Apologies that your system is not performing as expected.

Here is information from the Dell knowledge base you may find helpful:

How to Troubleshoot Fan Issues

How to Fix Computer Fan Noise


Can’t believe this Dell not fixing this before delivering their products. I just bought this laptop. As mentioned above, following step by step helped me fix the issue.
2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Hi, it did not worked for me. Any aditional ideia how to stop the fan from being continuously spinnig? Should I return the laptop?

This worked for me to get the fan to stop spinning 24/7.  But I still get a bios test and "CPU Fan Failure" every time I boot my laptop.  This thing was already in for fan replacement on the video card.  Now it's just out of warranty.  This will be the last Dell product my company buys.  These things are unreliable junk.  We've switched to Thinkpads.  They're overpriced, but at least Lenovo doesn't ship defective hardware then act like they're fixing the issues. 

Maybe this is what it takes.  For the CEO to experience horrible service first-hand.  And then call IT to find we're spending tens of thousands of dollars doing Dell's job while they spend time cashing checks and sending links to useless procedures.

Bye bye Dell!


Hi Matthew_Barnickle,

Thanks for posting.  Apologies that your system is not performing as expected.

If you still require assistance and the system is under warranty, you may contact me privately. Be sure to include your personal information (name, address, telephone, email) and your computer's service tag number in your message. Thanks.


If there is no warranty, then you could contact our Out of Warranty team to get a quote for a paid service request. 



I bought my XPS13 9380 around the same time as you did.  It is now past the 30 days when I can return it.  Suddenly started getting dropped from our wifi multiple times throughout the day.  Tried rebooting, and that is when I got the "critical error message" that the processor fan failed to respond correctly.  I do remember thinking the fan was loud when I first started the computer out of the box.  Lately it has been quiet...and probably because the fan has died or is not working properly.  Just spent over an hour on the phone with tech support, and finally determined that the pc needs to be shipped back to Dell for repair.  My son is a techy, and he told me the wifi dropping issue was probably related to the computer overheating.  Just replaced a 4 year old MS Surface bc that had the screen overheating/warping issue, and I didn't want to send it back for repair and be without a computer for 10 days.  Looks like that is what I am doing anyway, and I am even more frustrated that the laptop is only 2 months old.  For this kind of money, I expect a lot better.


The Killer was killing my laptop too! Did the above step, and it seems to have worked perfectly! Totally back to normal. TANX!!!


Solution worked for a few hours, but the fan problem is back!

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