My Inspiron 300m is making a loud noise and I think it's coming from the fan. Is there a way to confirm or verify where the noise is coming from?
The most common source of laptop noise are misaligned fans. If the laptop is often overheating the fans have to work harder and can/will eventually collapse.
Depending on the type of sound it may also be a vibration from a loose hard drive or CD/DVD-ROM drive housing. Normally this sound is a slighter hum than the sound of an unbalanced fan.
Turn the laptop around and press lightly in different places until the noise varies. If it does, identify the spot and try to see if there is anything loose. It could be a screw covering the hard disk, a battery or some other component.
Run Prime95 and see if the noise speeds up -- if so then it is certainly the fan.
It can't hurt to shoot some compressed air in there, and see if that helps clean anything out.