I've experienced some strange noisy sound in my laptop. I can't definitely tell it's from the fan, but I think so because hdd failure sounds are different.

The laptop is Dell latitude e6410, its hard disk and its cooling fan is next to each other so I can't distinguish where the sound comes from.

Here is the sound: https://youtu.be/3ud-5u_jJnk, sometimes it runs continuously.

It's not overheating. I've checked the temperature and it's around 50 - 60 celsius. It's maximum degree is around 100, so it is not the cause of heat.

I also tried disassembling the fan but it has two plastic weldings which I can't open. I tried using blower and using a brush to clean out dust but the sound continues.

Is it definitely the fan? then should I replace it or can I try something else?

Thank you in advance!

  • 1
    Is it possible for you to disconnect the harddisk and power on the machine without the disk? – kasperd Dec 2 '18 at 22:39
  • Generally speaking, if your hard disk drive is making loud noises it hadn't made before, it's in the last stages of dying, and you'll notice other effects than just the noise (like, the laptop not booting). ;-) – DevSolar Dec 3 '18 at 9:43
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    @kasperd loading a live disk off USB should be enough to have the PC running with no disk access - or even just enter the bios - though if it's only evident at higher fan RPMs it might not cause enough heating to produce the issue. a OS will allow the CPU (and thus fans) to be stressed. The HDD can also then be mounted and accessed, to see if that causes the sounds to begin. – Baldrickk Dec 3 '18 at 11:38
  • 1
    100 degrees Celsius on a CPU is quite hot. While you're in there fixing/replacing the fan you should really consider getting new thermal past on the CPU and presumably GPU. – MonkeyZeus Dec 3 '18 at 16:03
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    If the HD were wobbling, I would expect there to be a rather conspicuous symptom of, at best, files being corrupted, and at worst your computer going boom. – Acccumulation Dec 3 '18 at 22:42

I have the exact same laptop model and the exact same issue. It is the fan blades rubbing against the fan's housing. I was able to open up the fan assembly and pull out the fan by the blades, as it was on a spindle. I used a needle to put some mineral oil into the shaft to lube it. I noticed when removing the needle, there was dirt that stuck to the needle. This was just enough to push the fan's spindle out of alignment to cause it to rub. Once I buttoned everything up, it worked. It has also worked perfectly, running 24/7 for several years, as a media center laptop connected to the TV in my bedroom.

Im assuming the plastic welds are over the screw holes. There was a another SU post about a similar problem, who showed pictures of his laptop. The fan assembly was the same as mine, except there was plastic blobs where the screw holes were. Since the fan is not working right, there is no reason not to try to remove the plastic welds. There may or may not be screws under them. If the welds go into the screw holes, you might have to use some glue to put the cover back in place. But cleaning the shaft and using some oil should solve the issue.

  • 1
    BTW, when I had this issue, before I did any troubleshooting I called Dell to ask what a replacement fan assembly would cost. They said $30. Nope, Ill try to fix it myself. – Keltari Dec 3 '18 at 0:27
  • 11
    $30 is remarkably cheap for a replacement of a fairly specialised component (though presumably not including labour). – Bob Dec 3 '18 at 0:33
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    @Bob $30 is remarkably expensive, when you can fix the problem in literally a couple minutes with two items you can find in your home. – Keltari Dec 3 '18 at 0:36
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    @Bob you can find the fan on eBay or Newegg for less than $10. – DrZoo Dec 3 '18 at 3:19

That would be your fan lol. It’s making that sound because the fans bearing has gone bad. Just replace the entire fan and you’ll be good to go.


Can always use the CHKDSK tool on Windows or smartctl on linux to check the disk health. There are some tools to slow or speed up the fan as well which could help further to narrow it down.

  • 2
    can you mention some of these fan tools? – Gamal Othman Dec 3 '18 at 11:41
  • 1
    On Windows I use speedfan and on linux I use lm_sensors which is very configurable. Hopefully you will find these useful. – jpsaunders Dec 3 '18 at 18:26
  • Rather than CHKDSK, check disk health (or at least SMART status) with something like Crystal Disk Info. There are ways to test using only builtins (e.g. Powershell commands on Win8.1 and newer) but the output isn't likely to be useful to most people. If a drive is already on the edge of failure, CHKDSK may push it over or may make recovery less possible by attempting cleanup. – fencepost Dec 3 '18 at 20:29

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