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I checked this post on AskUbuntu, but like the OP my BIOS does not have a setting for 'smart fan'. My BIOS though has something similar called 'Thermal Performance' wherein it's already set to maximum performance.

But using Hardware Sensors Indicator my fan speed barely reaches 3000 RPM (it's usually stuck around 2600 to 2700 RPM) compared to the indicated RPM of my laptop which is 5400 RPM.

There is a fan control setup for 10.04 specifically for Thinkpad here but I don't want to risk it since it's meant for a rather outdated distro already.

Is there a way change the fan speed if I can't access it through BIOS?

I'm using ThinkPad R61i 12.04 64-bit, 160 GB HDD, Intel T5870, 4 GB RAM.

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Where did you get the info about the 5400 RPM? –  Mitch Aug 20 '12 at 13:45
    
I googled the laptop's specs laptopspec.net/2009/08/… –  onvas Aug 21 '12 at 1:45
    
The 5400 RPM refers to the Hard Drive speed, and not the fan speed. –  Mitch Aug 21 '12 at 5:47
    
Ah, I'm sorry for that. I read that as the fan speed. But based on the link provided below (thinkwiki.org/wiki/How_to_control_fan_speed), the ThinkPad R61 speed can be increased ie., (ThinkPad R61i (fan levels RPM: 0 = off, 1 = 2689, 2 = 2729, 3 = 3059, 4 = 3047, 5 = 3051, 6 = 3515, 7 = 3468, full-speed/disengaged = 4119~4200)mod.#7650-D7G@+/-2yr.used) although I'm hopeless on how to do the adjustment. –  onvas Aug 21 '12 at 6:28
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You can download the ThinkPad-Fan-Control –  Mitch Aug 21 '12 at 6:32
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3 Answers 3

If you want direct control via the ThinkPad driver then the following wiki page is very helpful:

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/How_to_control_fan_speed

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Thank you for this, but unfortunately I'm clueless on how to do the steps since they will be terminal-based. Is there somewhere I can get a step by step for this? Also, are the steps offered still applicable to 12.04? –  onvas Aug 21 '12 at 3:38
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I had a similar issue myself. I found a guide (written in German) to set up thinkfan, which allows you to control the fan speed. thinkfan is included in the standard ubuntu repositories.

I wrote an easy-to-follow guide based on the German one:

http://staff.science.uva.nl/~kholshei/thinkfan_guide/

Hope that helps...

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While this may theoretically answer the question, it's better to include the essential parts of the answer here, and give the link for reference. Also, please avoid posting the same answer in 2 places. When tempted to do so, this usually means that either: (1) the answer should be customized to account for what is different about the different questions, or (2) one question should be flagged for closure as a duplicate of another question. (You can flag posts, since you have over 15 reputation here on AU.) –  Eliah Kagan Jan 30 '13 at 15:54
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The link above has a perfect solution to the issue. I'm reproducing the link here:

http://staff.science.uva.nl/~kholshei/thinkfan_guide/

Follow all the instructions in the guide of the above link. Then in the /etc/thinkfan.conf file, make the following entry at the end:

(5, 0, 40)

(7, 38, 45)

(64, 44, 60)

Only the above three statements in the matrix are enough. Delete or comment the previous matrix entry. Reboot, and now the fan runs at full speed when temperature rises to 45C and drops to the previous speed at 44C. You may change the values slightly to suit your PC.

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