Question Alienware 15 R3 Laptop CPU Fan Issue

May 28, 2022
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Over the last month or so my CPU fan has been making a noise I am not used to, and this occurs even when the laptop is not warm-hot and the CPU is at 0% according to task manager. I even downloaded HWInfo to check temperatures for an overheating problem, but they all read within a normal range for everything (highest was 80C or so while gaming, but normally 37-60C outside of that). I have used a can of air through the vents, as well as taking the bottom off to clean the CPU and GPU fan blades to the best of my ability with cotton swabs.

I was able to record the sound through the build in laptop mic, but do be warned it's a little loud due to the close proximity:

https://www.mboxdrive.com/CPUFanStutterRattleProblem-1.mp3
https://www.mboxdrive.com/CPUFanStutterRattleProblem-2.mp3

Audio 1 is a calmer version of how the fan typically sounds throughout the day, and then audio 2 is how it will randomly kick up anywhere from 2 seconds to 45 minutes, and there are times where the fan is totally quiet and normal. I honestly have no idea what this sound means, and I'm pretty positive it is directly from the CPU fan due to the location of the noise. Another thing I want to note is it occurs while the computer is static and not caused by moving the laptop around or carrying it.

Other possibly necessary info:
  • Alienware 15 R3
    • Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7700HQ CPU @ 2.80GHz 2.80 GHz
    • RAM 16.0 GB (15.9 GB usable)
    • 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor
    • Windows 10 Home, Version 21H2
  • Laptop sits on a 2-fan cooling pad that I use most days
  • Laptop is 4-5 yrs old but still runs great outside of this physical issue
 
Last edited:

Etrius vanRandr

Upstanding
May 11, 2022
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Over the last month or so my CPU fan has been making a noise I am not used to,
Bad fan bearings. Needs replacement. Oiling will not help. My desktop does the same thing when it is cold and the oil in the bearings is more solid, but yours sounds like it's missing a ball or two.

If the laptop is under warranty, file an RMA with Dell/Alienware.

If not, bring it to a proper community/mom and pop repair shop (NOT BEST BUY FOR THE LOVE OF WHATEVER YOU HOLD HOLY).

You can also buy replacement on eBay and install it yourself if you feel comfortable doing so.
 
May 28, 2022
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If not, bring it to a proper community/mom and pop repair shop (NOT BEST BUY FOR THE LOVE OF WHATEVER YOU HOLD HOLY).
I have purchased a replacement online and am waiting for it to ship/arrive. I have never taken a computer to a repair shop before and would need to look into local places, but what is the issue with Best Buy's Geek Squad if you don't mind me asking?
 

Etrius vanRandr

Upstanding
May 11, 2022
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Best Buy's Geek Squad i
They don't repair your PC 90% of the time and most employees don't know a damn thing about PC repair.

 
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