Thinkfan can kill your system?

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Tullia
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Joined: 11/13/2012

I started installing Thinkfan though I was a bit anxious about settings (and not sure how to create the config file) and the README says
"thinkfan CAN kill your system and is thus disabled by default"

which is naturally somewhat anxiety-inducing.

Will it wear out my fans having them running all the time? They aren't that loud so it doesn't bother me, I'd rather have that than risk cooking anything.

Any advice?

miga
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Joined: 09/17/2011

My guess is that it means the opposite - being able to completely turn off the fan, causing the thing to overheat.

Tullia
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Joined: 11/13/2012

yes, that's what I meant, Miga. So I'm thinking it might be safer just to let them go.

malberts

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Joined: 04/19/2011

I've been using thinkfan for a year now. I started using it because my Thinkpad's fan was spinning at a near max speed all the time.

I was lucky that the (disabled) default values in the thinkfan configuration are for the same series as my laptop, except mine has a weaker passively cooled graphics chip. I played around with the the temperature points a bit until it felt comfortable to me.

In the summer I'll sometimes do a manual override of the speed level if it starts feeling too hot or if I'm doing something really intensive.

Some commands that might be useful:

sensors
It will tell you the temperature of various components and your fan speed.

cat /proc/acpi/ibm/fan
I'm not sure if the "ibm" part is different for non-IBM/Lenovo, but it shows you your fan speed and level.

sudo -s; echo "level X" > /proc/acpi/ibm/fan
Where X is a value listed by the previous command. This way you can override the fan speed temporarily.
(It won't run with just sudo, I have to switch to a root shell.)

My Thinkpad is a ~2007 model and it clearly hasn't been killed yet :).

Chris

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Joined: 04/23/2011

I'm surprised you've managed to hold onto it for so long!

You must not be abusing your systems like me (don't worry- just personal systems or test/sample models @ work; generally for testing hardware)

Tullia
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Joined: 11/13/2012

Thanks for that, Malberts. I'll give it a try, and keep an eye on temperatures. Mine is a Lenovo E420. Very basic machine, does the job.

5gon12eder
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Joined: 09/10/2012

I don't think you should be too afraid of overheating your chips. Even if you manage to turn off the fan when it really shouldn't, your CPU will still perform an emergency shutdown if it becomes too hot. My fan broke some weeks ago and I've `tested' that feature a couple of times. I don't think it is good for the hardware, but it doesn't instantly ruin it either.

Chris

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Joined: 04/23/2011

I think this is only true of newer systems. If you are on a system a few generations back this won't necessarily be the case.