[Guide] How to control fans on Dell Laptops under Windows

Discussion in 'Dell' started by valuxin, May 27, 2017.

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Does this solution work for you?

  1. Yep :)

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. Nope T_T

    1 vote(s)
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  3. Scared to try :c

    1 vote(s)
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  1. valuxin

    valuxin Notebook Evangelist

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    Part I: Introduction

    Hi there!

    I was curios about fan control problem on Dell laptops for some time. The thing is, that Dell on most of their laptops don't allow controlling fans via Embedded Controller (EC) as Notebook Fan Control utility do. The only way to control fans is over SMM. HWinfo64 and SpeedFan have such an option, but in most cases setting up custom fan speed resulting in fight between EC and the program - EC sets its own values for fan prior to program values. The only way to be able to control fans with software is to turn EC thermal management (tm) feature off. Back in times, on Dell Precision M6500 and older there was a keys combination that could bring up EC menu where you could turn thermal management off. But this menu was removed from newer laptops, so taking control over the fans was not an easy task. Lucky Linux users found out some time ago a method to disable EC tm via i8k driver and SMM commands and control the fans with i8kutils.

    Googling a lot for Windows solution showed no usable results until I found someone (424778940z) on GitHub who developed a Dell SMM I/O driver. Looking through his repos I was kindly surprised also to find Dell Fan Utility which is using this driver. That's pretty amazing. But the problem is - there is no compiled binaries, only source code. First thing I did, found his email in contribution log and asked him to share final binaries, because I'm not kind of man who is into compiling under Windows. After day of waiting, I've decided to compile it by myself and yeah, I spent reasonable amount of time till I got final "product" - but it's totally worth it. A bit time later, the Dev contacted with me and kindly shared his precompiled binaries. But overall, there are all binaries on my hands and they are working perfectly on my Precision M4600. And since I have AMD GPU on it, my laptop can't adjust fan speeds based on it's temps - EC is basically reads temps from Intel GPU chip instead of AMD (and most interesting part is that Intel GPU turned off). This solution really helped me a lot:)

    Part II: Practical

    Let's do some magic and take control over the fans and shut this damn EC thermal management down. But before that you need to turn off driver signature check or enable testsigning mode with the following command under CMD with administrative privileges:

    Code:
    bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING ON
    After successfully setting testsigning mode you should reboot.

    !!!Warning!!! This method has been tested only on several machines. Use it on your own risk!

    [​IMG]
    Here is the GUI of the utility. Basically, it can monitor/set your fans speeds and disable EC control. The utility designed to run on Windows 10 x64 and x86 systems so it might not work on older versions of Windows.

    If you are accepting all the risks, click "Disable EC Control" button and try to adjust fan speeds within the app. If setting custom speeds works - my congrats, you've just taken control over the fans. Now, to make you life more sweet, you might willing to use something more powerful and flexible in terms of thermal control such as HWinfo64 or SpeedFan utilities. First one is good for novice users and is easier to setup. 2nd utility is more complex and if you gonna to give it a try - enable Dell laptop support in Options menu and restart the app.

    A bit later I'm going to upload some configurations for both utilities.

    Thank you for reading! Good luck and have fun!
    -------------------------
    Downloads:
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
    TOAA, Rippchen and TheReciever like this.
  2. valuxin

    valuxin Notebook Evangelist

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    Reserved
     
  3. TheReciever

    TheReciever Notebook Evangelist

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    Wow thanks for sharing!

    Im grilling out school right now but ill give this a try tomorrow when I wake up. (pretty late here in Korea)
     
  4. darkydark

    darkydark Notebook Evangelist

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    Gonna test it on M6800 during sunday.

    Does the bios reset also resets EC?

    Sent from my Moto G Play using Tapatalk
     
  5. valuxin

    valuxin Notebook Evangelist

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    Honestly, can't tell you anything about that right now, coz I'm not at home place and have tested this solution remotely. But Dev said, that complete shutdown then power on should work.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  6. Soulsaber

    Soulsaber Notebook Evangelist

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    I can't get testsigning mode enabled... for some reason it won't let me disable secure boot even though it says I disabled it in bios.
     
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