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I know I could disassemble my laptop to find this information, but I was curious if I could find it in the /dev or /proc directory, or from a shell command. There was no fan information in /proc/acpi and lshw returned nothing useful. Any ideas?

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You'd be more likely to find that information in the repair manual for that laptop model. If you give the make and model, We could point you to the repair manual. – Dan D. May 2 '12 at 5:25
There are three different fans available for the model. – kunwoo32 May 3 '12 at 22:24
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You cannot identify the fan model via software

A fan is typically connected through a 3 pin cable, and reports back only the fan speed to the motherboard

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Without knowing the Linux version I can't know for sure but you might try dmidecode -t 27 if you're running Debian.

In short, this says: "give me information about my cooling device" (27 is code for cooling decide for dmidecode). However, I should mention that I'm making an assumption that you want information on the CPU cooling decide and not some other tertiary fan information. Here is a good link describing dmidecode a little more in detail.

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It appears that there is an "OEM-specific Information" field returned for dmidecode -t 27 but it always (or at least in every example I've seen) is 0x00000000. I tried! – user1028435 May 2 '12 at 5:51

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