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I have Lenovo ThinkPad W500. I have Ubuntu 12.10 installed. Its fan was not running at full speed, so I installed ThinkPad Fan Control software (tpfc0.5). I launch it by executing in terminal and entering my password. Here's a screenshot of the program:

When I try to set the fan speed by either Automatic Control or Manual Control, the fan goes to full speed for about 5 seconds, and then it goes back to slow speed. Is there something that I'm missing? Please help me so that the fan remains at full speed all the time until I set it down to a low speed. Thanks.

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I'm owner of Thinkpad W500 too, running Ubuntu 14.10

Use terminal to create or modify file /etc/thinkfan.conf with:

sudo nano /etc/thinkfan.conf

My file contains:

sensor /proc/acpi/ibm/thermal (0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0)

(0, 0 , 51) 
(1, 50, 52)
(2, 51, 55)
(3, 54, 58)
(4, 56, 66)
(5, 64, 70)
(6, 68, 80)
(7, 79, 86)
(127, 84, 32767)

and /etc/modprobe.d/thinkpad_acpi.conf should contain:

options thinkpad_acpi fan_control=1

If you didnt load kernel module you should run this command:

sudo modprobe thinkpad_acpi

when done start to play with GUI interface -if needed (heard about it but I don’t use it).

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