Saturday, April 18, 2009

Thinkpad x301 Fan Noise - TPFanControl

Ever since I got my new Thinkpad x301 about 6 months ago, it has been making some terrible noise from the fan. I assumed it was probably just a defective fan, and I would eventually just need to get around to sending it in to Lenovo. I have a solid-state drive, plus it's not like I'm sitting here burning up the graphics chip with video games or anything - so I couldn't imagine what is causing this thing to run at full speed all the time!

But it finally got to the point that I could hear it over the TV, so I stopped what I was doing and went searching to see if other people were having this problem. I soon came to links for something called TPFanControl, which is a small program that runs in the background and takes complete control over the fan management for you. It can be configured in various modes, allowing you to have manual or automatic control, and to configure temperature thresholds.

After installing it, and with very little tweaking, I've had it running for weeks now and haven't ever had the fan get to a noticeable level since. I literally cannot hear my computer at all now.

Note that I just had a blue-screen today, but I'm not really sure it was even related to the fan - my temperature is still reasonably low, so I don't think I'm causing any excess burn. I suspect the blue screen was probably just due to typical Vista issues. When I turned it back on I had about 8 Windows Updates waiting in the queue, so that's probably it.

So thank you, developers of TPFanControl, your amazing little program has made my life easier!