[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 :)

    15 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Nope T_T

    6 vote(s)
    20.0%
  3. Scared to try :c

    9 vote(s)
    30.0%
  1. HeadHunter

    HeadHunter Notebook Consultant

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    Hey guys can anybody share the CMD line version again? thx :)
     
  2. MikeR_Va

    MikeR_Va Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hello All:

    This thread has been very helpful. Thanks to all who have offered help. I'm trying to get Dell's Command | Configure Utility to allow fan control -- there's a command that seems meant to do so -- but experiments have been inconclusive so far.

    Thought I had it working once outside of test mode, but a reboot killed it. Will report back if I make progress.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  3. maffle

    maffle Notebook Evangelist

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    Anyone got this tool working on XPS 15 9570? I wanted to give it a test but I cant enable non signed driver support because secure boot is on. Can you even just disable secure boot after you installed Windows? Wouldnt you need to disable it and then reinstall Windows?

    Does anyone still have the tool @vilo76 made for turning EC fan control off at Windows start? The link to the tool is dead.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  4. custom90gt

    custom90gt Doc Mod Super Moderator

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    You can disable secure boot and still boot into your windows installation.
     
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  5. maffle

    maffle Notebook Evangelist

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    Ok took the risk, and tested it on the XPS 9570. It does not work correctly, at least not how I would like it to work. The fan speed overwrite works, so you can send a 0RPM to the fans, that works. But the Dell EC still overwrites it all the time again, for example for the dGPU trigger.

    EC fan control disabled, opened HwInfo (because the tool doesnt work), fans spin, I set manual 0RPM for both, works. I open Task manager/Edge, fans spin...
     
  6. MikeR_Va

    MikeR_Va Notebook Enthusiast

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    Well, I was just sure I had this dealt with yesterday, but it's a tad more difficult than I thought -- isn't it always?

    First, for Maffle, I have tried this with good success on both a 9360 and a 9560 (both fans), so you may want to try again. But sure you run the fan control utility with admin privileges, test the fans and exit (both worked for me on the first run). Run Speedfan as admin, but sure you check the Dell box in options, and read and follow the directions about the relationship between basic and advanced fan controls. You'll want to use the advanced profiles, but it takes a bit of reading and fiddling. But I'm pretty sure it can be done. You will need a separate control utility for the GPU fan once you get it under your control.

    OK, now my report. Yesterday, it occurred to me that although the Fan Control Utility runs only in test mode, that the Command Configure command line solution might require being OUT of test mode. Hmm. . . Starting from a session in which I already had Speedfan controlling fans, I reset to standard mode (TESTSIGNING OFF), warm rebooted, started the Dell Config Command line utility with admin privileges. I then entered the command:

    cctk --FanCtrlOvrd=Enabled . . . and got confirmation.Cool!

    Speedfan came up and the controls worked (you can test in the main interface by unchecking auto control and using the little arrows to set 100% fan). Right then and there I decided I was some sort of genius.

    Nope. I was being a clueless dope and I was about to be humbled. A cold reboot killed control, and I spent too much time sorting out the fact that I'd fooled myself.

    Here's what was actually happening:

    1. I was gaining control of the fans in the initial session with testmode on.

    2. I then warm rebooted -- and control of the fans survives a warm reboot. My command line work was pure Placebo (see how you can fool yourself there?).

    3. More careful experiments confirm that fan control does NOT survive a cold reboot or (apparently) an attempt to warm reboot and re-enable secure boot.

    What's interesting is that this evolution involved turning TESTSIGNING OFF before the warm reboot. So fan control WILL survive a warm reboot and come up just fine in standard mode. It will run there happily, and you'll have control of both fans and brightness keys, and that control will survive "modern" sleep. So if you're one of those gamers who needs to be out of test mode to run games, this might be your temporary workaround.

    Again, on my 9360 Speedfan has control, the brightness F11:F12 keys work, all is good. I'm encouraged that this is possible, and my reading in the Command Configure guide suggests that it's likely that we can use a *.cctk file or a complied exe to get across the finish line. But I'm not confident enough yet to execute commands that mess directly with the BIOS.

    Anybody out there have experience with the Command | Configure software? I will keep reading and see what I can find out, but this is a take it slow thing for me. Still, caution is warranted, I think.

    It does appear that this is doable. If you start the CCTK Gui (Wizard), and select Local Package, you'll see a lot of BIOS settings you'll recognize, and you'll see the FanCtrlOvrd switch -- and on my machine when I have taken fan control, that switch is enabled. You can export this as a cctk file or as an Exe. The Validation utility says it's available and compatible. So it SHOULD work. But if it doesn't -- well, that could be bad . . .

    What I can't quite sort yet is whether this utility sets a BIOS config that sticks, or whether this will have to be run each time either at boot or at logon. Still trying to figure that out. The documentation and much on the web is meant for sysadmin types and is largely about rolling custom BIOS mods out to 100 PCs at once. I need something a tad more elementary than that.

    Best,
    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  7. DoctorRzepa

    DoctorRzepa Notebook Guru

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    At CES Dell announced that new G5 and G7 laptops are coming with Alienware Command Center which allows for fan control. Do you think it will be compaitible with 7577 or older G5 and G7? I think we should keep an eye for that piece of software.
     
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  8. maffle

    maffle Notebook Evangelist

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    @MikeR_Va No it DOES NOT work with the 9570. Like I said. It works but the EC overwrites it always again for an initial kick in, for example if dGPU is polled.
     
  9. MikeR_Va

    MikeR_Va Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey Maffle:

    Not sure what you mean here, and of course it's possible that the 9570 BIOS differs from that in my 9560.

    Here's my understanding of the Fan Utility from up the thread. Forgive me if this is insulting your intelligence -- just making sure we're tracking. From memory, the steps I engaged in follow:

    1. Start an elevated cmd session (run as admin). Type bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING ON. Warm reboot. This should show you a test logo/win version flag in the lower right corner of your desktop.

    2. Now that you're in test mode, open the Dell Fan Utility -- again with admin privileges. Click the override option in the upper right corner, then click the disable EC control bar. The program will ask are you sure. Say yes.

    3. At this point on my 9360, I had total control of the only fan, and I've been running that way for several months with no interference from the default EC setup. The cpu fan slider worked, Speedfan can see the fan, and the fans behave just as I've set them to in Speedfan.

    On my 9560, I have done less -- modding that is on my list. But I did the same set of steps above just to test it. Both sliders in the utility worked, and I could run either fan from 0-100% independently (keep in mind this isn't PWM control -- you effectively have a fan with a couple of speeds -- just 0/50%/100% on my 9360, for example). That would seem to imply that you should be able to get to the same point.

    4. There are two problems I can still see:

    First, running in test mode all the time with Secure Boot off creates some risks, as unsigned drivers are allowed, etc. So we'd like to run in standard mode. Once I get control, I can do that by opening that elevated command prompt again, typing bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING OFF, confirming that the command succeeded (it'll tell you), then warm rebooting. The machine will come up normally now (no logo in the bottom right corner now), and you can start speedfan and it will have control. That's good - it means that we can control the fans in normal operation. But it still requires that Secure boot be off, which isn't ideal.

    Second, it's too fiddly in general. Who wants to boot twice all the time? What would help is a BIOS switch that allowed OS fan control -- that control may be hidden in the present BIOS -- the switch appears to be there, and folks here are trying to figure out how to get at it.

    OK. This doesn't mean that your 9570 will absolutely work. But if you'll run the steps again, maybe we can figure out why it doesn't, or confirm that there's something new and more restrictive in your BIOS. Though I suspect not, I'm wrong about these things all the time. See above.

    Good luck, and let us know how you make out.

    Best,
    Mike
     
  10. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Virtuoso

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    I just recently stumbled into this thread. I'm currently waiting for replacement fans to arrive for my M6700 and once they get here I might try this out.

    Has anyone tried this with a single-boot disable driver signature enforcement? It would save the trouble of having to turn test signing on and off all of the time and messing with secure boot.

    i.e. From the regular Windows desktop (secure boot on, test signing mode off) —
    * Go to Start, select Power, and hold the "Shift" key as you are selecting "Restart"
    * As the machine reboots, an options menu will pop up, choose the option for advanced startup settings
    * Reboot proceeds and eventually you are prompted with a numeric menu, select "Disable driver signature enforcement" (option 7 IIRC?)
    ** This isn't a permanent setting like test signing mode, it only applies to one boot
    * Wait for Windows to reboot, run the Dell fan utility, and disable the EC
    * Reboot once again and the EC should remain disabled (until you fully power off your system if I am understanding correctly)

    [Edit]
    The whole driver signing bit is required because kernel-mode (driver/.sys) code is required to send commands to the SMM. Windows for a while now has required that privileged kernel-mode code be signed (this has obvious security benefits). I found a GitHub repo from some guy who managed to pull this off in user mode (i.e. without a driver)... on Linux. If this can be replicated on Windows then it might be possible to disable fan control without a driver. I'll try to find some time to play with this. I don't understand the ioperm bit yet which appears to be the main Linux-specific thing in the code
    https://github.com/clopez/dellfan
    (Sourced from this message board post: http://lists.us.dell.com/pipermail/libsmbios-devel/2015-May/000568.html)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
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