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My laptop's CPU fan is suddenly acting very bizarre, and I am at a loss for what to do so I am asking for some help.

Specifically, the fan is not even starting to spin until the CPU reaches 60 degrees Celsius (checked through HWmonitor). Once it is on, however, it properly stays on even when the CPU gets back to idle temps around 38 Celsius. Before, the fan was simply starting with the computer and staying on like normal.

I've checked this for consistency both by allowing cold boots to ramp up temperature to 60 Celsius (the slow climb also causing the laptop to become unreasonably warm near the heatsink), and also running Prime95 immediately to kickstart the fan (this works every time).

The fan seems to be stationary when turning the computer on from either sleep or shutdown. The fan will start at POST very briefly, and then stop completely. I've checked the BIOS for a SmartFan setting but haven't found any.

I've opened the case to check for dust or debris and have not found anything (I applied some canned air to the area just in case). The laptop is a Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E430 and the CPU is an Intel Core i5 3210m @ 2.5 GHz.

Any advice would really be appreciated.

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Was there possibly a BIOS update at some point? They may have just changed the behavior, I know I've seen other Thinkpads that do this. Also, just to be clear, is there actually a problem here (is the system actually overheating?) or are you just concerned by the change in behavior? – Shinrai Dec 3 '12 at 15:50
What operating system are you using? – terdon Dec 3 '12 at 15:53
Even if the behaviour has somehow changed, I cannot conclude the fans are 'not working properly'. Your description indicates there is nothing wrong with them, so I'm not sure what you intend to fix here. – Marcks Thomas Dec 3 '12 at 15:58
I have not yet applied any BIOS updates to the computer. The system gets extremely hot to touch when allowed to heat up without the fan spinning, so it's certainly an issue that I believe needs to be corrected. My concern mainly stems from the fact that the fan setting seems to have changed without any obvious prompt on my part. I am using Windows 7 Professional. – Smith Dec 3 '12 at 16:00

Seems you have the same problem i'm suffering from, I know how to fix it but not sure how to do it. You just need to find a method of speeding up your fan speed to run faster.

In my case it starts running at high speeds to late and obviously its at a stage of being VERY HOT, you may be able to use speedfan to correct this issue;

If you are lost on how to use it, here's a guide on youtube;

hope this helps, good luck.

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