My laptop is a Dell Inspiron 15R 5520 and for a while I have noticed that when it is on AC power, its fans will temporarily run at max for several minutes before returning to normal operation, and then repeat this action at irregular intervals throughout the duration of the computer's battery charging time. Also, this only seems to happen when I begin to charge my battery when it is low. When I check for signs of overheating, my laptop's exhaust is blowing cool air, while cpu temperatures register in the upper 40s to low 50s (celsius).

Oddly, my fans will never overspeed like this when I am on battery power, and I tried using i8kutils to get the fans under control when the computer is on AC, but the program turned the fans off, completely. It would, however, turn the fans back on and run them at their max speed whenever I entered a command for i8k to automatically control their speed, but this only lasted a second before the fans shut off again, as if something was conflicting with i8k. I ended up uninstalling the program.

The only other times my fans will run at max for prolonged periods is when I am in my BIOS settings; when I sit at the GRUB menu for a while, or when I restart my computer rather than shutting it down completely.

I am using the latest BIOS.

Any ideas as to why my fans do this?

  • install proprietary drivers for your graphic card if you have one, because it must be that one
    – user433732
    Aug 13, 2015 at 22:57
  • Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, I don't have a dedicated card; I only have integrated graphics.
    – user311982
    Aug 18, 2015 at 2:27
  • I have just noticed something, though. When my laptop is charging, the bottom can get hot -- not burning hot, fortunately. But when this happens, the fan switches to max speed. Could this mean that my laptop is detecting this heat from the battery, confusing it for CPU heat, and speeding up the fans to compensate? And would a new battery remedy this issue?
    – user311982
    Sep 16, 2015 at 21:14
  • If the battery is getting your laptop hot. Then your CPU will catch heat too. So it's normal. Try not to put your laptop on a flat surface. That may help.
    – user433732
    Sep 16, 2015 at 21:26
  • Noted, and thanks for your reply. So having better heat transfer between battery and outside of laptop should help with this issue, then. However, I only have flat surfaces to work on, and at home I work mostly on my lap; perhaps I should rest my laptop on cooler surfaces (like a marble table) when charging, instead. Could that keep my laptop cool enough?
    – user311982
    Sep 16, 2015 at 22:25

1 Answer 1


If the battery is getting your laptop hot. Then your CPU will catch heat too. So it's normal. Try not to put your laptop on a flat surface. You can buy a cooling fan. That works as a table for your laptop. That should help a lot

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