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Windows 7: Fan-like whoosh noise coming from laptop hard drive, NOT from fan

1 Week Ago   #1
catalogue

7 Pro 64
 
 
Fan-like whoosh noise coming from laptop hard drive, NOT from fan

Is there anything wrong with my laptop if it is making a constant noise that sounds like a fan but positively 100% definitely ABSOLUTELY is not the fan? Details:

- Thinkpad T520 with a new 1 Tb Western Digital HD installed 6 months ago. However the noise began a year before that with the *original* HD and the new HD has the same noise. Very strange. I thought it must be the fan, due to accumulated dust, but it's not - see below.

- The noise happens the entire time the computer is on and is constant and unchanging. It does not vary, such as louder/quieter or higher/lower. It is 100% perfectly continuous.

- It sounds a little like a laptop fan but definitely louder and 'rougher'. My fan itself has a very very quiet smooth whisper, almost a hum, that barely sounds at all like air moving, whereas this noise is much more of a whoosh, almost like the sound of a fan on a big heavy-duty desktop computer.

- We know it's not the fan, and that the fan is working fine, because I can lift up the keyboard and see when the fan is or isn't running. Mostly it's not moving at all; then if I make the CPU go to 50 or 100%, for example by playing four HD movies at once (as a test), it will turn on. Then when I close the movies the CPU goes down to its resting rate around 0 to 2% and the fan turns off. Meanwhile the noise I'm talking about remains constant the whole time.

- It is not the normal "stuttering" HD read/write sound. I know what that sounds like and I can hear it from the HD as is normal when reading/writing; meanwhile the whoosh remains continuous. The read/write sound is very faint and hard to hear below the whoosh but it is there.

- It is definitely coming from the area of the HD and processor.

- It only started a year or so ago, with the original HD, but also happens with the brand new HD with a new Windows installation, which is very strange.

- I absolutely can not feel any unusual heat at all on the bottom where the HD is.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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1 Week Ago   #2
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Same noise on old and new HDD? I would say that it's the CPU fan. Does the laptop has a GPU? If so, does it has a dedicated fan?

Just to check, take out the HDD and boot the laptop, Enter BIOS and see if the noise persists.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
6 Days Ago   #3
catalogue

7 Pro 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Same noise on old and new HDD? I would say that it's the CPU fan. Does the laptop has a GPU? If so, does it has a dedicated fan?
You'll have to check the hardware maintenance manual yourself to know if it has any fans besides the main obvious one because I have been unable to find any evidence of them - I checked every appearance of the words "fan" and "thermal" and all the diagrams in the manual, and disassembled the whole laptop except for taking out the motherboard. Is it possible for a computer to have a fan(s) that isn't mentioned in the hardware maintenance manual?

Manual is here: Hardware Maintenance Manual - US

I don't know what a GPU is.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Just to check, take out the HDD and boot the laptop, Enter BIOS and see if the noise persists.
I don't understand how that's possible. How can a computer turn on without an OS? Do I just turn it on, see if the noise is there and then turn it off? The only experience I have with BIOS is, on two or three occasions I needed to boot from a CD or USB by pressing F8 or F12 or something at startup. Possibly I once updated the BIOS if there was a new version at the Lenovo site.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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6 Days Ago   #4
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by catalogue View Post
- We know it's not the fan, and that the fan is working fine, because I can lift up the keyboard and see when the fan is or isn't running. Mostly it's not moving at all
There are no intel i5 laptops or desktops made that have a cpu fan that is ever not moving (aside from high end exotic cooling, which lenovo does not sell). The fan you are seeing must be a secondary fan that turns on when the cpu is under load because when the cpu is under load the whole machine will get hot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
6 Days Ago   #5
catalogue

7 Pro 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Same noise on old and new HDD? I would say that it's the CPU fan.
What do you mean by 'CPU fan'? Is that one I can see when take off the keyboard? It's not making the noise! Like I said you can lift up the keyboard and see right there, when the computer is on the fan is not turning but the noise is going the whole time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
6 Days Ago   #6
catalogue

7 Pro 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johnhoh View Post
There are no intel i5 laptops or desktops made that have a cpu fan that is ever not moving (aside from high end exotic cooling, which lenovo does not sell). The fan you are seeing must be a secondary fan that turns on when the cpu is under load because when the cpu is under load the whole machine will get hot
OK this would mean that there are indeed two (or more) fans:

Fan #1: You are calling this the secondary one; the only fan I have been able to find, the one that seems to only run when CPU usage is very high. Visible when you take off the keyboard; shown in photo and labeled "5" in diagram; CPU is circled in red.

Fan #2: You are calling this the CPU fan; I have been unable to find it. Would make the most sense that this is running all the time and you would think the noise is due to dust but that's just my hunch.


Attached Thumbnails
Fan-like whoosh noise coming from laptop hard drive, NOT from fan-fan-1.jpg  
Attached Images
Fan-like whoosh noise coming from laptop hard drive, NOT from fan-fan2b.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
6 Days Ago   #7
Banyarola

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

I once had a wire that when I closed my pc case it would slightly rub against a fan.
It drove me crazy because when I took off the case side the wire would not rub on the fan...

It may not help but may be worth checking anyway..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
6 Days Ago   #8
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

Item #5 in your pic is indeed the cpu fan and its connected to the cpu by the curved copper heatpipe. So now I think your noise must be the hard drive. You can test this by setting a HDD idle time in Power Options Advanced power settings, or this or another utility may be able to spin down the HDD on demand so you can see if the noise stops

Download HDDScan for Windows - MajorGeeks


Attached Images
Fan-like whoosh noise coming from laptop hard drive, NOT from fan-s-l1600.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
6 Days Ago   #9
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

The computer doesn't need a HDD with a OS to boot.
You can take out the HDD and boot into BIOS, or even better, to a Linux from a USB flash disk. Is just to check if the noise comes out from the HDD.

The fan on the image is the CPU fan.

CPU = Central Processing Unit
GPU = Graphics Processing Unit
My System SpecsSystem Spec
6 Days Ago   #10
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

From the manual, some T520 models come with a cpu-integrated gpu and some come with a separate nvidia gpu, but in each case they connect to the heatpipe and use just the one main fan you are seeing. I'm now thinking its the only fan, and my earlier comment that the fan never turns off is incorrect.


Attached Thumbnails
Fan-like whoosh noise coming from laptop hard drive, NOT from fan-clipboard01.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Fan-like whoosh noise coming from laptop hard drive, NOT from fan




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