DellFanManagement & DellFanKeepAlive – Tools for managing the fan speed in Dell laptops

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Aaron44126, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. ptrkhh

    ptrkhh Notebook Consultant

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    Is there a way to apply the profile every 5 minutes or something? That might be a decent enough solution lol. I don't mind Dell's fan profile if it didnt spin the fan for no reason.

    Good point, its probably higher than what I need, but in such emergency situation, I wouldnt really mind.

    I will checkout SpeedFan and hwinfo64, thank you for your suggestions :)
     
  2. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

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    Yes, just use Task Scheduler to fire off a job on the schedule of your choosing. You can either have it disable and then enable the EC fan control, or switch to a different thermal profile and then back to the original. Either one would have the "reset" behavior and both can be done with the tools posted above.
     
  3. amorsh

    amorsh Newbie

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    Hi!

    Thanks for providing the tools DellFanCmd and DellFanKeepAlive!

    They've been proving useful to troubleshooting my issue with my M6800 not kicking on fans. I'm not sure exactly for the reason why, but it seems like something is preventing the fans from kicking on properly.

    The attached screenshot is of the DellFanCmd test results for my Dell Precision M6800 and specs for my laptop.

    Strangely - when using your DellFanKeepAlive program - the fans drop to 0 speed, and don't even kick on at all even with parameters i've set. Everything is being run in administrator mode.

    Once I can figure out how to get DellFanKeepAlive running and controlling my fans - i'd love to automate it somehow and run automatically in the background. SpeedFan seems to be working well and configuration of it seems to be the way to go for now. Keep up the great work.

    m6800gtx980m.PNG specs.PNG
     

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  4. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

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    DellFanKeepAlive largely relies on the EC to control the fans. Its main job is to prevent the EC from turning the fans off and otherwise let it exercise its normal control, which is more granular than the two speeds allowed with a manual control solution like SpeedFan (there are like five different fan speed levels instead of just two). The program disables the EC fan control to prevent the fans from turning off when certain conditions are met. If the EC never turns the fans on, though, it won't work.

    The only stories that I've heard about the M6800 not kicking the fans on are when a newer, unsupported AMD GPU is installed. But it looks like you have an NVIDIA GPU in your system... So I don't know what's going on there. If the EC won't behave then a manual/programmable solution like SpeedFan or HWiNFO64 is the best you're going to get.
     
  5. jbuildit

    jbuildit Notebook Enthusiast

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    So I have been dissecting the original bin of this tool (the app by 424778940z) and I still don't get how the .sys file interacts with the BIOS. Does it simply override the fan controller or does it rewrite a portion of the BIOS? Or is the fan controller overridden? I spent about 2 hours or so picking over the schematic I have on a M4700 and the fan controller seems to interact with the MEC5055 internal controller, does the .sys override this controller? I know you guys didn't create the original dell_fan_utility package but I am curious if you know how it works?

    Thanks for the assistance.
     
  6. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

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    It doesn't overwrite anything in the BIOS, it basically just sends commands to the EC. There are undocumented commands that can be issued to perform the options that you see in DellFanCmd. Dell tools will also use these (for instance, when you are upgrading the BIOS, there is a portion towards the end where it will halt the normal EC fan control and crank the fans to max).

    The .sys file is necessary because, in Windows, only kernel-mode code has the privilege to interact with the system in this way. Other tools like Open Network Monitor and HWiNFO64 work similarly, pairing a .sys/driver file with the program in order to allow the app to do the low-level system stuff that it needs.

    There is a less restricted WMI interface that does not require a separate driver that is used by the "Dell Power Manager" app, but it's basically the same; an interface to send commands to the BIOS or EC to tell it to do something. I have been successful in using it to send commands to change the thermal mode ("quiet", "ultra performance", etc.) but I was not successful in using it to actually get the EC to give up fan control. It might be possible, and I just don't know what I'm doing... my work on this has basically been stringing together stuff done by other people.
     
  7. jbuildit

    jbuildit Notebook Enthusiast

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  8. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

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    Hmm, I have never seen this before, but I will take a look. At a glance it looks like you can use it to change some of the options in the BIOS, or some of the options in Dell Power Manager (there is overlap between the two), but nothing deeper than that.
     

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