Why is my laptop's fan so noisy?
When I use my laptop for an extended period of time, the fan makes a lot of noise. How can I help alleviate the problem?
The slimmer version of the bulkier ThinkPad T420. The T420s is notable for its lower battery life and noisier fan compared to the original T420 laptop.
Your laptop may be running too many programs at the same time which will cause it to overheat. Make sure it is running on a flat surface so the computer has room to circulate air to keep it cool. Your fan may also be dirty and you can clean it or you can replace it using the replacement guide for the device. You can find a replacement guide here.
@ Brian Piltin "On battery they seem to be relatively quiet..."
If so, an adaption of the energy profile by setting it to "balanced" or "battery optimized" (turning Turboboost off), see also in the BIOS, should harmonize the problem. Of course also all drivers and Windows update components should work optimal to enable the best possible performance flow - as well the entire Windows 7 program size should be as small as possible (=most tiny OS).
By the way are you aware of this tool from Thinkpad enthusiasts?
I have had a couple of these machines and both of them had the fan running most of the time, at least when plugged in. It seems that once they reach a certain temperature the fan just stays running at about 3500 rpm until they cool down significantly for an extended period of time. I'm not sure if this is true of all T420s but for the two I've owned it appears to be true. I also replaced the heatsink/fan and applied Artic Silver on one of them to see if that mattered but it didn't. On battery they seem to be relatively quiet but I think it depends on how much of the discrete (nVidia) GPU they are utilizing at the time. I guess you could consider it a design flaw or limitation based on the limited cooling capacity of the machine. I hope that helps!
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