zaterdag 12 maart 2011

Quiet down a Noisy Fan (Sony VAIO VPCEB1S1E model PCG-71211M) (OS independent)

This post will tell you how to solve a noisy fan problem. My notebook ran hot very quickly resulting in a fan that is going crazy. (This post won't be about ubuntu nor android but the solution worked so well that I thought I should share it anyway.)

First it is interesting to think about any possible reasons your PC is running hot. If you are doing very intensive tasks it might be normal that it's hot. But if your notebook or PC runs hot when doing normal stuff (e.g. searching in a large PDF document) then there might be a problem with the heath conduction within your notebook.

My Notebook worked fine before so I knew it wasn't a design flaw of my notebook itself. One very likely possibility is that there is dust in your computer which prevents a good internal air (and thus heat) flow. Since my warranty expired 2 weeks before being fed up with the noise there was only 1 budget friendly solution, so I searched for my screwdrivers.

Before opening up a notebook it can be wise to search for a service/repair manual of your notebook which describes how to open up your notebook. As I couldn't find any on my model (PCG-71211M) I decided to work without a map. Be warned that notebooks can be quite a pain to put together again (ordinary PC's are like 4 piece jigsaw puzzles compared to notebooks!). Luckily my Vaio didn't need a lot of disassembling for my goal.

Now I will describe how I opened up my notebook with some accompanying pictures (you can click on them to enlarge them). If you try this yourself, know that it is on your own responsibility! Lets start with a picture:

This is the backside of your notebook, you might already familiar with it. You can notice that there are quite a lot of screws. Since they may vary in size it is important to work neatly. HINT: It can be useful to work on a large table and put the screw upside down on the table in the same layout you took them out of your notebook. (This sounds lame but if you've got more than 20 screws you won't remember which one went where.)

Ok, first remove the battery. Slide the lock and pull the release button away and you can roll out the battery. Your notebook should look now like the picture below. As you can see there already 19 screws visible (don't worry we only need to remove 21 screws in total).

When you remove screws 16 and 17 you can remove the cover protecting your hard disk. You can raise the cover at the side that is nearest to you (nearest to the bottom of the picture). Then you can see screws 21 and 22. Apparently I forgot number 20 when photo shopping the pictures and I am to lazy to redo them :-).

Now that all the screws are located remove them all! And I mean all of them. Otherwise you can force the body at the places where it is still screwed together! When all screws are gone you can first remove your Hard Disk. When screws 16,17,21 & 22 are removed you can slide your Hard Drive as depicted below. You want to treat this hard disk with care since it contains all your precious data.

After removing your Hard disk you can remove your CD/DVD drive. When screws 6 and 9 are removed, you can just slide it out.

You can also remove the cover that is fixed by screw number 10. Behind this is your RAM memory. I removed the RAM memory also but I don't think it is necessary. (The cover must be removed however!)

Now you should be ready to open up the body! Maybe to be sure you can do a last check to see if all screws are removed. Then you can start lifting the side that is nearest to you and open up the body like it was a treasure chest (full of dust). Be careful however, there are little plastic hooks that hold the body together. So you might have to apply some light pressure at some points using a screw driver. Be gently however since you don't want to break of any of the hooks. It is not hard but the first time you might have to get used to it. When your notebook is opened up it should look like this:

At this moment you might be a bit disappointed as you might have thought that there would be much more dust. But don't worry! The picture above was taken before the cleanup of my notebook so it didn't look too bad either! But the cleaning helped a lot! Before you start cleaning: REMOVE THE POWER SUPPLY OF THE FAN!. This is circled in blue on the picture above.

Now the cleaning can begin. I cleaned it using a vacuum cleaner which can blow air. If you don't have a vacuum cleaner which can blow you might want to search for cans containing pressurized air (so called air dusters). I've heard that sucking air isn't a good idea (don't know if this is true but I'd rather play safe). The metal on the upper part (see picture) I have cleaned using a cloth (that was a bit wet). Then I dried the cloth and cleaned it again. Make sure everything is dry when you put your notebook back together! The other parts I have blown out using the vacuum cleaner. When cleaning the ventilator you should hold it still using one of your hands. Be sure to send a strong air flow through the ventilator shaft. (The metal block that goes to the side of your notebook on the right.) Since this is a place were dust can easily get trapped. (Again hold the ventilator).

When the cleaning is done you can put your notebook back together by performing the steps above in reverse order. THE FIRST STEP IS TO RECONNECT YOUR FAN. If you don't reconnect your fan you are blessed with a notebook that will be very silent (but silence can (and will) kill!). The re-closing of the body is the hardest part. First make sure the back sides (sides furthest away from you) fit together and than close the body. Then gently press the body together at the sides. You might hear little clicking sounds.

Next insert the hard drive and CD/DVD drive again. Just gently slide them back in. Remember that screws 16 and 17 are there to keep the cap fixed to the body so they should be screwed after placing the cover over the hard disk.

If everything is back at its place then you should boot up your notebook and enjoy the silence.

22 opmerkingen:

  1. Thank You man, You're great. My 1-year-old Vaio was driving my MADDD with it's noisy fan. Now it's quiet like new. THANKS !

  2. You're welcome. I myself was quite happy with the result!

  3. well i have tried what you describe here a long ago while i was in search of silence . this series makes a lot of noise for a laptop .
    i have cleanes it 3 times . the results are not good at all. i concern sending it back to sony for repair/change of this noisy fan.

  4. For me it worked. I'm curious whether they are going to change your fan. Good luck.

  5. well , here i am again .
    i didn't send it to sony cause i am worried if they will accept the noisy fan as a faulty one by the time the laptop has been open 4 times already.
    they could say that I did something wrong and that i caused the problem . in this case there is no way i can proove that it had the fan was noisy "by default" .
    i also managed to change the thermal paste on the gpu and cpu but nothing happened .as a last option i oiled the fan in order to gain less decibels coming from the fan . i didn't work either .
    My laptop is dealling with tempratures . although in idle state (just skype and firefox opened) i have 51 C (according to speedfan 4.42) , and if i open skype and video call someone it goes up to 60-70(!) driving the fan MAD !
    what is your tempratures under these circumstances?
    now i will clean it once again .

  6. Hi,

    I think a temperature of about 50 Celsius is alright but 60-70 is rather high. How long where you video calling? I haven't got Skype running but I did a different test on my notebook. (note: tests where done on Ubuntu and not Windows). For about 10 minutes I had 9 tabs in Google chrome. One tab was playing a Youtube movie. I also had Firefox running which was also playing a Youtube movie simultaneously. Furthermore I opened a webcam application and was showing the webcam video stream. When I checked the temperature of my CPU in the end, it was 53-54 degrees Celsius.

    I thought the youtube movies would generate a high load but apparently you tube playback is recently improved resulting in an much lower CPU load. In screenshot at this link you can see that load stays for all CPUs below 50 %. I don't know how high your load was during your skype call of course.

  7. How to disassembling Keyboard?
    Maybe you also know?
    I put some liquid inside and need to open both sides to drying:-(((
    Thank you beforehand!

  8. I'm sorry but I haven't disassembled the keyboard. I also don't now how to do it. Hopefully you'll succeed.

  9. I´ve been looking for such a detailed howto for half a year now. Thanks a lot!

  10. Thanks a lot! It's more quiet than in the beginning. Maybe it was pre-dusted. And the other problem is the very intensive task I run all the time: W7.

  11. I can recommend a switch to Mint :-). An Ubuntu derivative which I like a lot.

  12. First of all, big thanks for your guide! I've have a different modell, to be precise VPCEA2S1E but it's close enough. I took it a little bit further and disassembled the CPU/GPU cooler and cleaned both CPU and GPU with acetone and then put on some high quality thermal paste. The combination of those two things lowered the temperature by almost 30 degrees celcius.

  13. As I didn't have and still don't have thermal paste I didn't want to mess with CPU and graphics. Once I removed and re-added a processor in an old computer without adding termal paste between the processor and the cooling block. After a while the processor was glued to the cooling block :-). I think this was due too not using thermal paste, so nowadays I am more careful. I should get some one of these days. Thanks for the tip!

  14. Thanks a lot!

    Great guide, and absolute good point.

    Just for the story, my Vaio was running extremely noisy and HOT ( cpu temp 100 degC).
    The performance was poor, cpu usage stucked at 1.16GHz all the time.
    After the clean up (used just vacuum) it is WAY WAY better. Cooler,quiter, and FASTER.
    Just a tip, there is also a loy of dust on the case that you remove. This is also should be cleaned.

    Thanks again.

  15. Great guide. I have a EB1S1E/BJ and it already went to sony as it was still on warranty because of the crazy noise and over heat. They changed the fan and now, some time later, and without warranty it started to do the same. As they will probably charge me a lot to do the same, I tried this but without big success. After my clean (do you dismount the fan or you just clean it mounted?)it is still noisy and with temperatures of 80ºc when just streaming and using chrome...


  16. I don't think you have to dismount the fan perse. If you don't dismount it I would advise to make sure that you hold the fan still while blowing air through it because otherwise it creates a current on the connector.

    It is also important to clean the heatsinks. Because if a nice airflow through these is not possible then your notebook will become hot quite easily and the fan will rotate faster again.

    If you use a vacuum cleaner that can also blow the air I would advise to clean it this way. For me it works better then trying the suction of the vacuum cleaner.

  17. This post lacks some important detail. Firstly, access to the processor - do not forget there is a screw that will losen the processor and allow you to take it out IN CASE it is stuck to the heatsink. Once you removed it and cleaned it (be careful, best to use is medical spirit) then put it back it, and turn the screw so that the processor attached itself to the board. Also, VERY IMPORTANT, is to remove old thermal compound off the processor and the video card (medical spirit) and to apply new! I used ARCTIC SILVER CERAMIC 2. Follow their instructions how to apply the thermal compound on ARCTIC SILVER website. If you haven't done that, chances are your laptop is overheating not because the fan is dusty but because there is no more thermal compound left on the processor.

  18. For me it was each time sufficient to just remove the dust from the heatsink and the open components.

    I think removing the heatsinks is overkill in most cases because normally dust won't go between your heatsink and the CPU.

    If it does then it is indeed very important to use some kind of thermal paste otherwise you do more harm than good.

    But I agree that I should have mentioned it in the post.

  19. thanks for a great detailed guide, my cpu usage goes 100% after 30 minute of using and fan is loud like a farm tractor, i read somewhere to goto power settings and in processor management reduce the 100% to 90% and it actually worked,
    for now at least, but if it goes loud again im buying some compressed air :)

  20. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

    Sony Laptop Service in Anna Nagar

  21. Finally got around to trying this after my vaio fan sounded like a jet engine for ages. Worked like a charm. Cheers