Feb 3, 2014

Laptop Internal Cooling Fan Not Working : Tips To Solve

A laptop’s internal fan is a part of its cooling system that keep its CPU and GPU cool and protects it from overheating. A laptop’s internal cooling fan draws air from the air vents located on the bottom of the machine and throws out hot air from either side left or right. The fan may be located either on the left or right side of your machine. In this tutorial, I will teach you how to fix the laptop fan if it doesn’t spin on startup. If the fan stops rotating then the cooling system of your laptop shuts down, thereby increasing the CPU and motherboard temperature.

laptop internal cooling fan

If this problem is left unnoticed then this can damage the internal components of the laptop due to overheating. So I will tell you some possible cases in which the laptop fan doesn’t work, also I will tell the solutions of these cases.

Possible Cases Of Laptop Fan Not Working Or Spinning

1. Incorrect Positioning:

You should place your laptop on a firm level. Do not use it on your lap. A flat surface is highly recommended. In most cases a laptop fan will not work after you boot up the laptop. There is no reason why the fan stops suddenly after a boot up. In this case you should shut down the laptop and then start it again after 2-3 minutes. The fan will start working.

2. Heavy Dust Accumulation


Overtime the fan accumulates dust on its blades that reduces its efficiency to cool down the machine, the fan gets clogged due to dust. This might be a possible case in which the laptop’s fan stop spinning.

Solution:

You should clean the fan by disassembling the laptop and cleaning the fan blades to remove dust. You can take the help of any hardware engineer who is qualified at this job. The Fan should be thoroughly cleaned once in every 3 years and if it needs replacement then you should replace it with a new one.

dust in laptop fan

Note:

When laptop fan is removed for cleaning the CPU thermal paste needs to be re-applied. You can use arctic silver thermal grease.

3. Blowing Compressed Air Into Fan:

We can blow compressed air in laptop fan through its vent to remove dust. But compressed air can sometimes become a case in which the fan gets stuck. Actually the high pressure applied by the compressed air on the fan can leave it in a stuck state.

Solution:

Blow air from your mouth several times in the fan’s air vents located on left or right. After doing this several times, the fan will start working. High pressurised compressed air should not be used in the air vents.

4. Motherboard Faults:

Sometimes it happens when fan is in working condition but fails to operate due to minor motherboard faults like blown capacitors (bad capacitor). These capacitors provide the necessary power to fan to operate. The bad capacitor can be identified by visually inspecting it, the top of the bad capacitor always bulge outwards, therefore, indicating that it is open.

bad/blown capacitor

Solution:

Re-solder new capacitors on the motherboard. Only use capacitors with the same voltage, temperature and power ratings.

5. Low Battery:

When the laptop’s battery percentage reaches less than 20% then the internal fan will automatically stop due to low power and you won’t even get notified. This problem is rare but when it happens it can damage the motherboard and CPU due to overheating because the cooling system is stopped temporarily due to very low charge left in the battery. I have encountered this problem on my ASUS notebook and DELL Inspiron laptop.

My ASUS laptop was low on battery and percentage reached to less than 20% and ultimately it reached 9%. The internal laptop fan turned off automatically and I was not aware that the fan is not spinning. After one hour I realized that the laptop is overheating because I started feeling the heat on my fingers and palm. The touchpad was very hot. I checked the temperature with Speccy and found that the CPU temperature was 60 degrees as the fan was stopped.

Solution:

If this problem happens with you then immediately turn off the system. Remove the battery and re-install it. Plug in the charger into your laptop and switch it on. If you have a laptop cooler then immediately place the laptop on it, if you don’t have one then build yourself at home see here. Now start the laptop, this step is necessary because the fan will start removing the heat. Fully charge the battery and in future make sure to always plug in the charger when the battery level reaches 30%.

Warning:

Sometimes the laptop fan stops spinning. It may happen due to electric current fluctuations. This doesn't mean that the fan has failed completely. A quick reboot will fix the problem. Whenever the fan stops spinning your notebook's internal temperature may rise up to 65 degrees and the bottom of the notebook will heat up. If you notice this then immediately shut it down and start it again to remove the excess heat. When you start the notebook you will feel very hot air coming out from the fan with a burning smell. Always restart your portable computer if you come across this and never switch it off otherwise the heat will damage the motherboard parts.

How To Know If Laptop Fan Working Or Not

You can use Speccy a hardware monitor application for Microsoft Windows. It tells the temperature of laptop’s hardware according to its usage. Today most laptops have Intel Core processors including i3, i5 and i7. So the idle temperature of these CPUs is 40 degrees. So if Speccy shows 40 degrees then this means the fan is working properly. Other processors like Intel Core 2 Duo has an idle temperature range of 28-40 degrees.
Another way is that put your ear close to the air vent located either on left or right side. You will listen an air blowing sound and feel air coming out of the vent. If you neither feel any air and nor hear any blowing sound then don’t worry because the laptop fan runs at different speeds. At lowest speed your ears cannot detect its working. Run a game that can increase the CPU usage. When the game starts the fan will start to rotate at high speed and blow out hot air which can be even felt with hands. If the laptop fan is not spinning then the laptop's bottom (or where the CPU is situated) will become hot, this can be easily felt by touching the laptop's body.

Real-Time Laptop CPU Temperature Monitoring

The laptop fan may stop working anytime due to electric current fluctuations like whenever your laptop's battery is very low or depleted and you connect the charger. Monitoring the laptop cpu temperature in Windows system tray will help you keep track of the temperature. Basically the normal temperature does not go above 50 degrees. If the temperature is unexpectedly high at normal usage then the fan may have stopped working. You can use speccy to monitor it in real-time.
  • Download speccy.
  • Go to 'View>Options'.
  • In 'General' tab select 'Metric' in 'Temperature'.

  • Click the 'System Tray' tab.
  • Check all options here.

  • In 'Output' select 'CPU'.
  • In 'Sensor' select 'CPU 0-Average Temperature'.
  • Refresh Every '1' sec.
  • Click 'OK' and minimize it. The temperature will be visible in 'System Tray'.

realtime laptop temperature monitor

If none of the above-listed solutions work then its time to replace the fan for the optimal working of your laptop.

Now you have successfully fixed a laptop fan that is not working and has stopped rotating. Now read this article. If you are experiencing weird problems about your notebook's fan then leave your comments here, we will help.


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44 comments:

  1. can this have a direct impact while using windows

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well if fan stops working and you are not aware of this, then this will damage the laptop motherboard in the long run. Damage will be due to more heat generated. The fans doesn't stop automatically unless it encounter an impact or too much dust accumulation. Dust and Heat are the worst enemies of desktops and laptops.

      Delete
  2. I am using a core 2 duo processor...I see a 48C to 50C on speccy

    Pleaseadivse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the same temperature for core i3 while normal computing. If your core 2 duo shows 50 degrees then you may need to clean your laptop. But don't worry unless the CPU temperature goes beyond 70 degrees at full load. You can load test your CPU and see the temperature at 100% cpu usage.

      Delete
  3. i think that's the really great idea from you.thank you very much

    ReplyDelete
  4. My son knocked my laptop.off my bed and now the fan not working do i need to replace it. Also i did try to get to the fan but i can't so i blew on it and used a clean blush brush and cleaned it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fan might have got stuck. So, without opening the laptop we can't know what the problem is. You should not open it up, if you don't know how to fix it. Hire a professional to fix the laptop, but everything should be in front of you, don't submit your laptop to anybody.

      Which laptop model you are using? If its an HP then HP laptops are easy to open because they give specialized access to the fan and you don't need to open the whole laptop.

      Delete
  5. I have ~60C no dust nothing
    CPU and GPU thermal paste re-applied.

    ReplyDelete
  6. hey my acer aspire 4520 laptop fan stops running after a minute or so..what could be the problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It could be due to heavy dust accumulation. I am assuming that your laptop doesn't have any power or motherboard problems.

      Delete
  7. Hi guys. I have toshiba satellite L640 i5, laptop for 5 yrs and few months back the fan use to spin with a high speed and 2 weeks back the fan stop spinning and the laptop get over hitted and hank every after 20 / 30 min so i blew with a pipe but no change.after a week it comes back like normal for 2 hrs and now it stop spining again. What should i do ? Plz help...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your Toshiba satellite L640 needs cleaning. A laptop should be cleaned once 3-4 years. Heavy dust accumulation clogs the fan then it stops spinnings. Just clean the fan, reapply thermal paste on CPU (arctic silver 5) and everything would be back to normal again.

      Delete
  8. Could a fan failure cause the laptop to shut down quickly. When I boot up, it loads Windows but the fan doesn't run and it just powers down within 2-5 minutes depending on the heat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Windows will automatically shut down when the CPU temperature rises to a critical level. I suggest you get the fan cleaned or it may need replacement.

      Delete
    2. I would also say that your motherboard has a problem if the CPU temperature rises that fast. I suggest taking it to a specialist and getting it checked up.

      Delete
  9. Thanks for a good article. Let me try to follow your instruction. Am using dell inspiron 14z-5423, it was over heated and gave me beeping alert after restarting it, after leaving it off certain time and restart it a fan starting making noisy i try to press and hold over the keyboard to stop noises there is where fan stop spinning. Let me try your solution then i'll come back to you for an output.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When the laptop fan starts making noise then its time to clean it. Heavy dust accumulation reduces the fan performance.

      Delete
  10. I gave my laptop for cleaning .. after it came back,when i play a game and it crashed,fan stopped working .. i gave it back,they opened it and said that a cable was not properly connected .. after another game crash,fan stopped again .. any ideas ?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi
    I didn't open my laptop but instead I used an vacuum cleaner to clean the dust and when I restart it the cooler stop working. After I read your article I blow some air into the cooler with a spray but still not working. Any other thoughts? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blowing air doesn't always work. Keep rebooting your laptop. How do you know that your laptop fan isn't spinning. I suggest you to first download CPUID hardware monitor or CPUZ to check whether your laptop fan is listed and reporting the rpm readings that is actually fan speed.

      Delete
  12. Please help..
    A piece of paper is inside near cooling fan thats why it is not moving how to take it out please tell me please

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't see any option rather than opening the laptop and cleaning the fan completely. Don't use any object or compressed air.

      Delete
  13. Hello, i have a Acer aspire 5737z. When i turn on laptop fan spin about 5 seconds then stops and after aprox 1-2 minutes it shut down. It is posible fan to be broken or bad capacitors?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mostly the problem starts because of heavy dust accumulation. I can't say anything without opening the laptop. Well if the laptop is over 3 years old and was not maintained properly then it requires cleaning from inside. Seek help from a laptop hardware expert.

      Delete
  14. hi guys my laptop is acer aspire4752 and when i open my laptop it works for 45min to 1hr and it suddenly shutdown what is the actual problem do i have to change my fan........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think there's a problem with the battery. I suggest you to follow the steps below. You will be needing a desktop UPS for power backup.

      Note: Never touch the exposed battery pins behind the laptop when it is powered ON, otherwise it may lead to short circuit or an electric shock.

      1. Remove the laptop's battery.
      2. Connect the adapter to laptop charging port.
      3. Connect the adapter to UPS and power it ON.
      4. Start the laptop and see for how long it runs.
      5. If laptop is running 2-3 hours continuously on this setup then your laptop's battery has failed.

      Delete
  15. Hi, i just bought this new laptop dell 7566 windows 10..while running on battery on idle the both fan not moving (maybe the temperature still low). while running with high load the fan starting to function. suddenly one of the fan stop moving while the other one at high speed moving..
    this situation continuosly happen every time i give the high load..at first both fan running normally and a few minute after that the one of the fan suddenly stop running. the temperature is going up. last night i test the GPU up to 66 degree celcius..
    please advise me..tq
    ps: the manufacturer said i need to change my table..hahahaha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are two fans in Dell 7566, one for GPU and other one for CPU. So these fans run with varying speeds. When there is no load on the CPU and GPU then the fan runs at very low speed that you can't even notice it. I am seeing that there are two air vents below each fan.

      Here is my suggestion: The bottom of your laptop has 4 rubber stoppers. Your one has only two like horizontal rubber lines. These rubber stoppers help the laptop to stay at a place so it can’t move here and there while using. You can put a tiny cardboard square (L x B x H = 2 inches x 2 inches x 0.5 inch) below these stoppers to lift your laptop a little bit which will help more air to pass through the bottom of the laptop. More fresh air helps in maintaining optimal temperature.

      If you lift your laptop then it will get more air and the CPU/GPU will run cooler.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your suggestion..its very helpful..my laptop already repaired by replacing the fan..

      Delete
  16. It's very helpful! THank you so much for your article!

    ReplyDelete
  17. The fan on my Asus laptop stopped working and my laptop was continually running quite hot to the touch. After reading your article all I did was pick up my laptop and blow 3 times into the side vent and Voila! the fan started working immediatley, cooling down the laptop. I couldnt believe it; just a few strong puffs into the side vent and the fan came roaring back to life. At first I imagined I'd have to order a set of computer screwdrivers; then try to learn how to take the laptop apart; then either clean the fans or order new ones (if possible); or just let my laptop continually run very hot. Instead, (and I still can't believe it) just a few strong puffs of breath into the side vent and my laptop is all fixed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great. Its good to see that this article helped you.

      Delete
  18. i have deel studio i5 amd hd 5000 series my fan stops whn i use heavy performance my ram is 4gb and grapgic card is 2 gb my fan run normal whn nt using anything bt whn playing heavy games or application sumtimes it work properly sumtimes it dont nd whn the fan working my ram still get very hot what to do ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fan requires cleaning. Dust around the fan's blades will prevent it from spinning correctly. If the heat sink is clogged then the fan has no use because it has to work harder. I suggest get your laptop's fan checked once because sometimes it only requires cleaning which fixes all fan related problem. Your laptop may not be requiring a fan replacement, but first, make sure it is not clogged with dust.

      Delete
  19. I took apart my Toshiba Satellite to clean the fans because they were making a bunch of noise due to dusk accumulation. Now my machine is super quiet and I cannot tell if they are working! You indicate you need to add CPU thermal paste after cleaning - I did not do this. There did not seem to be any indication there was a paste applied prior....

    ReplyDelete
  20. hey, I have a simple question...The fan in my laptop runs for sometime and then stops after sometime and starts all over agian,what must one do if he is it to open the laptop to clean the fan?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing can be said without inspecting your laptop. But few cases are possible like heavy dust accumulation, loose fan wire or fan rotor becoming rotationless. In most cases cleaning the dust will fix the problem otherwise fan replacement is the only option. I also suggest you to check your BIOS settings. Most BIOS settings let you control your fan profile like optimal or heavy loading computing. Most of the time you will feel like that your laptop's fan isn't working but it actually works at a very slow speed depending on the CPU usage. If the CPU is cool then the fan runs very slowly that you can't even notice.

      To anytime check the fan working either use a fan monitoring software or use a heavy application which makes heavy cpu usage. And it is also true that the fan stops completely when the cpu no longer needs cooling which means that your CPU is already cool and doesn't need further cooling via fan. This situation is controlled by the thermal sensor. The laptop fan has a varying speed which varies with increasing cpu temperature.

      Delete
  21. what must one do if he is to open the laptop for cleaning it? I have a HP pavilion
    laptop

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to be very careful. I suggest you to watch some videos on YouTube on how to open the HP pavillion. You can get videos with exact HP laptop models also. Do take care of wires and cable. Wear rubber gloves before opening the laptop. Remove the battery very first.

      Use a soft 1 inch brush to clean the dust. You can also use a compressed air can to remove the dust from the fan. Use arctic silver 5 thermal paste for applying on cpu.

      Opening a laptop and cleaning is not an easy task. You can learn by watching videos. But if you can't do it then seek a professional. Laptops need fan cleaning and thermal paste upgrade once in every 3-4 years to counterbalance excessive heat.

      Delete

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