[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 :)

    14 vote(s)
    48.3%
  2. Nope T_T

    6 vote(s)
    20.7%
  3. Scared to try :c

    9 vote(s)
    31.0%
  1. maffle

    maffle Notebook Evangelist

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    @Aaron44126

    I can confirm the "self-signed" / bought certificate driver loads correctly even with secure boot on if you set

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CI\Policy]
    "UpgradedSystem"=dword:00000000

    The question then is if you need secure boot on anyway, if it is "pass by". Secure boot is false security anyway as I see it.

    The self signed driver is though just valid for 1 year?
     
  2. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Virtuoso

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    Thanks for that discovery.

    Secure boot is indeed a bit of a false sense of security. This setting change allows you to load (signed) kernel code into the system that isn't necessarily "trusted" by Microsoft (that is what the EV certificate is for). However, leaving secure boot on will still have the BIOS check the signature on the Windows bootloader and the bootloader will check the signature on the kernel, so, malware targeting those should still be thwarted. Driver files are signed so they can't be modified without being re-signed (and that means an attacker at the very least would have to pay for a certificate or compromise a CA). And indeed, this is how things worked prior to Windows 10 1607.

    It's sort of a trade-off, but in my case I plan to leave it in this configuration (allowing cross-signed drivers without requiring EV certificate), because if I want to load my own custom driver on my own computer, I should be allowed to do so.

    (I have another custom driver that I have recently produced for an old piece of USB audio input equipment that doesn't work on newer versions of Windows, and it will be subject to the same rules. I still haven't written driver code, this one involved copying/signing old Windows XP USB driver system files and packaging them up to work with Windows 10.)

    The driver is not self-signed, I did purchase a certificate from a CA so it is properly signed. (A terminology thing, "self-signed" refers to a certificate/signature that doesn't have any trust from a CA.) The certificate is valid for one year. This only means that once the year is up, I will not be able to use it to sign files anymore. Files already signed will still be trusted and continue to work, because they also contain a trusted signed timestamp. (That is the "countersignature" thing you may see if you look at the file properties in Explorer.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
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  3. MikeR_Va

    MikeR_Va Notebook Enthusiast

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    Gents:

    My apologies for not checking in to answer, but as it happens, I've been testing this morning. It my continuing role as the dedicated clueless user in the crowd, here's what I believe I have established.

    1. The initial problem I had with Aaron's 2nd beta (the one that fixed the missing *.dlls issue) was entirely my fault, as you'll see here in a sec.

    2. Suspecting my own foolishness, I restored the "stupid user" settings back to their standard set up -- in Speedfan's "options" tab, DO NOT uncheck the ISA communications box -- unchecking debug seems OK. And since whatever I did kicked Speedfan out of "Dell Mode," I rechecked that box. Further testing this AM clearly establishes that this allows Speedfan to see multiple additional sensors, so if Maffle is testing with Speedfan for diagnostic purposes, be sure to check that.

    3. Because Aaron was kind enough to immediately provide a "one fan" version, and because we wanted to use that diagnostically, I tried that first, starting Speedfan, then running the ec-disable command manually in an elevated prompt. Worked first time.

    4. Then came my trial. I now re-ran the second beta (the two fan version) to see if that would break Speedfan now that I had it back to standard configuration. Nope. Runs perfectly. Running it manually, it reports an error on the second fan (the 9360 only has one fan), but it still works perfectly. For now, I'm using the one fan version just to eliminate the additional variable, but both versions work perfectly.

    5. This morning I uninstalled Speedfan, cleared related registry values manually (just to be sure), and reinstalled. I did this because after my self-imposed Speedfan crash, Speedfan, which had always tracked perfectly with the HWInfo tool before, now suddenly started reporting temps that were low by about 15 C. This is for the individual cores reported by what appear to be Intel sensors. And I could now see (after re-checking the "Dell" box in options) SSD and a DIMM sensors, but SSD temp was also low by a what appeared to be a slightly greater margin.

    Upon reinstall, I got exactly the same result as that prior to the reinstall. But Speedfan has the ability to set offset temps under "configure" on the "advanced" tab, so I just fixed it that way. No idea why it's suddenly needing the correction, but once you make the adjustments, everything seems to work normally.

    6. I have set up and tested the first Task Aaron specified for Task Manager for the log-on case (that much I figured out for myself), and can confirm that it works perfectly. Still going to test the others, and will report back.

    7. As luck would have it, I was just testing modes before checking in here. I can confirm that the tool works in Windows "normal" state -- test signing off, etc. And, better yet, I just turned secure boot back on that that works too.

    8. At present the only remaining glitch on my hardware is the stupid backlight level bug. ClickMonDDC, reported as a workaround on the first couple of pages of the thread, is a nice little piece of work, and works -- for a while. Then it fails. Here's the whacky thing with that. When I figured out that you could use the GUI tool, then disable testsigning and warm reboot to normal mode without re-running the Dell Gui Tool, EVERYTHING worked.

    So I temporarily disabled the taskmanager task that runs Aaron's tool at log in, and warm rebooted -- just to check. And guess what -- that still works. F11/F12 now control fans, and though I'll continue testing, that control seems not to fade with time and sleep evolutions. So if you're willing to boot twice . . . which is ridiculous.

    Would love to help chase and squash this bug, but am enjoying watching you guys wrestle the 9570 to the ground, so I'm happy to wait. Looks like you've made a great deal of progress.

    Let me know if you need me to check anything else. Can check the 9560 when that makes sense, but as there seem to be plenty of dual fan machines about, I'm guessing that can wait.

    Will try to check this a tad more often so that I don't hold up progress.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
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  4. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Virtuoso

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    I have published the code at https://github.com/AaronKelley/DellFanCmd.
    There is a final release available, you can download the binary at GitHub under "Releases".

    A few changes:
    * An additional option to leave the fans alone (ec-disable-nofanchg, ec-disable-alt-nofanchg) — A warning will be printed instead
    * Attempt to clean up the driver after a failed load
    * Better error messages regarding driver load failure or second fan not present

    I'm going to make some setup directions and I will post those later in a new thread.
     
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  5. MikeR_Va

    MikeR_Va Notebook Enthusiast

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    So does that mean you and Maffle managed to beat the 9570 issues? Looked like you were close, at the very least. This is great work as is, but it's going to get more traction, particularly over time, if it works on Dell's latest.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  6. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Virtuoso

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  7. MikeR_Va

    MikeR_Va Notebook Enthusiast

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    Aaron: Nice work. Great to hear that it works for all concerned. Will test the production version when I get a sec.
     
  8. Simmytu

    Simmytu Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have a question, does this program require any dependencies (eg runtimes) for it to function?

    I'm currently interested in testing it for the Latitude E6540 running on Windows 10 1803. In addition, I've added the register key mentioned in the guide posted above and have disabled UEFI secured mode in the bios for the measure.
    The current observation is the following: When trying to launch it, using admin privileges ofcourse, it closes immediately. I have no clue what the cause might be.
     
  9. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Virtuoso

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    It is a command line app and you must run it from the command line (or you will not be able to see anything).
     
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  10. Simmytu

    Simmytu Notebook Enthusiast

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    Using separate cmd window to launch it (the DellFanCmd.exe), correct?
     
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