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Lately my Dell Latitude D820 has been running very hot and loud. I tried to help it cool with various desk and lap positions, but things went from bad to worse. Google search confirmed my suspicion that dust has killed it’s cooling capabilities.

I could take it to repairs, but that’s no fun. And since times at Vidmar family are very stressful, what better way to take mind off troubles that some“screwdriver fun!?

First, I ran I8kfan GUI, a free tool to monitor temperature and change fan speed of Dell laptops. My CPU was hot, and speeding or slowing down didn’t do nothing to the temperature. Another proof, that dust is was in the way.

Getting to the fan is not easy, as one has to:

  • unscrew every screw you find on the bottom and back of the laptop,
  • remove battery,
  • remove keyboard,
  • remove hinge,
  • remove display.

Luckily Dell provides instructions, so it’s not that hard as it seems. Instructions also tell that you should also remove hard drive, wireless card and RAM, but it’s not true.

After opening my laptop, this is what I found.

IMG_4569

This is how it will look after you take your laptop apart (glasses optional).

IMG_4571

After cleaning laptop is running 15-20°C cooler than before.

One more piece of advice before doing what I just did – there are three kinds of screws. Black, fat and short for hard drive, silver for display and black and longer for everything else. Keep that in mind when putting machine back together.

Posted on Sunday, June 29, 2008 12:11 AM | Filed under: Software System Gadgets |

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# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 7/1/2008 3:27 AM Dan
haha, I have an Acer Aspire 5000 series. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why it would shut off intermittently and the fan would always run constantly. That is until I had it on my lap one day and was actually burned by it. After removing the back cover the heatsink for the cpu was completely clogged with dust. After I cleaned it up it worked like new. It's amazing something so simple is so easily overlooked at first. Congrats on the fix. Any other laptop owners should heed the advice.

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 7/28/2008 12:47 PM CaqKa
Jaz sem tudi na prestigiotu spucal pred nekaj mesci.. prej ga nisem odpiral ko še je bila garancija.

je tudi dosti bolj tišji sedaj.

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 11/11/2008 8:14 PM Repair laptop yourself
If the heat sink is not clogged as bad as it shown on the picture above, you can clean it with canned air or air compressor without taking the whole thing apart.
Buy a can of compressed air in a local home improvement store and spray it inside the air intake on the bottom of the laptop.
Doing it once a month will prevent dust built up and overheating.
Keep your laptop clean.

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 11/14/2008 10:41 PM Fix laptop yourself
If you disassembled the laptop, it could be a good idea to replace thermal compound between the heat sink and processor.
A good thermal compound (I believe Arctic Silver is a good brand) will help the processor to run cooler.
Here are instructions for replacing thermal compound in a laptop computer.

http://www.insidemylaptop.com/apply-thermal-grease-laptop-processor/



# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 11/20/2008 3:53 PM Matt M
My dell inspiron E1705 is doing the same thing- im going to take it apart today for a good cleaning!

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 4/15/2009 3:32 AM Andrew
Thanks for the tip! I have D820 also and after 3 years it was starting to run super hot. I opened it like you did and found the fan outtake was also blocked by fuzz. Hopefully cleaning that out will extend the life of the device - it seemed it was about to melt.

By the way I found the Dell instructions didn't explain how to take off the display. Its not too hard: disconnect the wires from the wireless card, disconnect the flat cable that plugs to the motherboard. Then it should be able to lift straight up, provided you have unscrewed all the screws at the bottom of the laptop. After that you can unclick and pull up the main plastic piece that includes the thumbpad. You also have to unplug two cables to the motherboard completely remove it. Finally the fan is full revealed with just two screws to remove.

Its a lot of work to get to the fan and scary with the risk of breaking something - I think in future I will use compressed air from time to time to try to avoid the problem as one of the previous comments suggests.

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 9/11/2009 12:09 AM Stacy Stevenson
How do I know if my fan is working. Because every time I check it's not on. I was just wondering if the computer will tell you when the fan isn't working.

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 9/29/2009 8:46 AM Scott
Cheers for that, my D531 was hitting temps of 82c. It seems ALL of the heatsink was clogged (no air escaping past heatsink). Back down to 35/38c now.

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 12/21/2009 3:29 AM David Sharp
Great notes... My vostro 1000 has just begun to shut itself off. No hint or indication it just goes dead. I'm using an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard. When it happens the laptop keyboard seems way to hot. The unit is a little over a year old and I have never heard the fan be real loud. In fact I'm wondering if the fan even works not that heat seems to be the problem... I'll disassemble unit tomorrow to clean it all out. I can't find a temp monitor software that will function. Does anyone know of another one that will work with the vostro 1000? thanks

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 12/29/2009 9:20 AM Bart
Same here, also using a vostro 1000 and the thing was shutting down without a warning. The fan was really loud, always on max speed. I opened it up yesterday, found a crapload of dust. After cleaning and reassembling the whole thing it feels just like new. Thanks for the info!

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 1/22/2010 11:58 PM Alen
The computer is not tellin u if the fan is not working.

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 1/26/2010 7:28 PM Paul Mathews
Alternative method:
1. Use compressed air blown through vent holes in both directions to blow out dust. Use short blasts, otherwise you can damage fan by causing it to overspeed.
2. If fan is noisy, likely cause is dry bearings. It can be difficult to lube them, but this method will work if you're persistent: disassemble computer enough so that fan motor is exposed. Spray some silicone lube as close to fan hub as possible. This is not likely to get the silicone to the motor bearings, so roll the computer around into various orientations, so that the silicon drips where it will, then, repeat #1 above. The compressed air will force the lube around, so that a tiny amount reaches the bearings.

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 2/2/2010 9:26 PM marko
Tahats true Alen

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 2/20/2010 1:02 AM Corinna
Thats true for real.

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 2/27/2010 1:35 AM Sabrina
What a truth.

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 3/9/2010 8:12 PM Sasi
Thats true.

# Sony Laptop Repair 4/2/2010 1:38 PM Robbie
Try seeing in your task manager to see what is taking up all your CPU. Just cancel the program or service and see if it helps.

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 4/30/2010 9:13 PM Terri G
My Dell laptop is NEW and I am having the fan running all the time problem. Very frustrating especially since I am a writer. Its hard to concentrate on what you are trying to write when th fan is running constantly and hot air is coming out of the side. I wish I had never bought a stupid Dell now. I've never had this problem before. My laptop is only 7 weeks old. Soooo frustrating.

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 7/11/2010 9:52 PM TheSmileyOne
My dell laptop (studio XPS) has the same issue. Its also fairly new (a year) and I have tried cleaning it. It runs hot really fast, and fan going at max speed. I then start experiencing performance degradatin (I assume the clock frequency is reduced to protect from overheating).

I regret buying this DELL laptop, allthough I have been very satisfied with my previous laptop.

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 1/31/2011 3:29 AM Amar Shah
Just cleaned out my heatsink and fan. There was a thick layer (nearly four years worth) of dust on the inside of the heatsink. The CPU would regularly hit 75C and the gpu 80C when playing games such as minecraft. I just ran stress tests and nothing went above 55C! However, I must have done something wrong reconnecting the display cable because my screen is light gray when it first turns on, with splotches of dark gray around the edge, and those splotches gradually expand. :( I hate how Dell made it so hard to get to the fan, I wish that I could just unscrew the outside grill to get to the fan.

# re: My Dell laptop is running loud, fan is almost always on full speed 4/12/2011 6:47 PM Aryan
My fan always is running at full speed so fast you can hear it all the time! even when im not doing anything with it

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