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Fan Runs Very High (Vostro 200)


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Fan Runs Very High (Vostro 200)

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I have a Dell Vostro 200 and it seems lately, the fan revs very high, almost constantly. 

This always happens when I access iTunes or watch a video. 

The system is ventilated well enough and so I think there are no obvious problems. 

Is this just something with the Vostro models, where the fans run excessively high for some reason? 

I used to also get this problem when I would access Firefox and open multiple tabs, then for some reason, the browser would get stuck and my system fans would start revving up excessively to the point where I'd have to close the browser and sometimes restart the computer. 

Any input about why this system seems to be overworking on a regular basis would be appreciated! 

 <ADMIN NOTE: Email ID removed per TOU policy>

All Replies
  • Hi there,

    The behaviour you're experiencing can be caused by any number of problems e.g. a program hogging system resources, too many programs open at the same time causing a lack of available system resources or a potential hardware issue.

    I've got some steps and questions that may help identify the cause so if you can try these, it would be very much appreciated:

    1. How often does the problem happen? Also, does it happen as soon as you switch the system on or only after the system has been running for a while?
    2. Switch the system on and wait for the system to be fully boot. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and select the option to see the Task Manager. On the bottom left, you should see the number of running processes. Can you let us know how many processes are running after the system is fully booted?
    3. Please try updating the BIOS as this can have an effect on any fan issues. To do this, please download and run the following file:
    4. Please also try running the 32-bit diagnostics. To do this, please switch the system on and press F12 at the Dell Splash Screen to enter the Boot Menu. Here, select Utility Partition. Next, select Test System and then Extended Test. Allow this test to run to completion (it can take up to 2 hours) and make a note of any error codes you may receive.

     If you have any problems with the above, please get back in touch. Thanks!

    John C
    Dell | Social Outreach Services

    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • Hi John,

    Thanks for the detailed reply, it's much appreciated.

    To answer your questions:

    1. The problem of the fans and excessive running of the system happens periodically during the system's switching on, and usually after. It's most common when I'm running multiple programs, as you suggest, but also it always does this when I try to use multimedia, such as watching a tv show online, or movie. It seems the system works extremely hard and the fan is running full tilt whenever I watch online tv for some reason.

    This does also happen when I use iTunes fairly often as well.

    One other point I'll make is that I don't know that there are any such systems or processes going on in the background, but I do tend to work with a lot of open browser tabs, maybe 12 - 15 at one time, just as an FYI.

    2. When I boot the system and check on Task manager, it shows about 57 processes running after the system is fully booted. One other note, I noticed the following:

    RTVScan.exe uses by far the most memory usage of the processes list at 335,832k.

    3. I've done the BIOS update, though not sure if that accomplished anything yet as pertains to this problem; however, I can see the value in updating this object, though I don't fully understand what it's for.

    4. I just ran the 32-bit diag test, and though I did see a few errors, I was waiting to get some sort of log or errors list upon completion of the test, but nothing appeared. After the test, it just went back to the test menu screen and I ended up rebooting. So there's no real indication of what the test results were.

    However, there were a few error codes I wrote down, though they may not seem very relevant.

    Error Code 1100:012A, 022A, 032A, 042A

    The drive did not respond in a fixed time to an access attempt

    That's all I've got for now. I don't believe the issue is resolved, as it's kind of up and down right now, but hopefully this will be a good start. Thanks again for your time and effort to assist me and I look forward to your reply.


  • Hi Vinnie,

    Thanks for the detailed info, it's a great help.

    Firstly, the error codes that you received when running the 32-bit diagnostics are just due to the lack of a floppy disc drive in your system so these aren't important - it's good that the rest of the 32-bit diagnostics passed as this pretty much rules out a hardware issue causing this.

    I would imagine that there's a process that is either hogging the CPU or that there are too many processes running after the system has been used for a while that are competing for limited memory, causing the CPU to have to do more work moving things in memory. Just speculation at the moment but there's a few more questions I'd like to ask:

    1) You say that the issue happens mostly when you are using multimedia, streaming TV online, iTunes, etc... - can you recreate the problem a few times and each time the fan starts to overspin, go back into the Task Manager and check what process is using the most CPU and memory? We're looking for a common process causing this issue.

    2) Can you tell me what browser you use and do you leave your browser open all the time? 

    3) If you leave your browser open all the time, please close all the tabs and try using iTunes - do you get the same issue occurring?

    4) If you're using Chrome, please go to the Options > Under The Hood and uncheck the checkbox next to Background Apps. Repeat step 3 - again, do you get the same issue?

    Also, I've sent you a friend request, if you can reply to that to give me your system's service tag, it would be a great help. The reason I'm sending you a friend request is to ensure that your service tag details are kept private.

    Thanks again, hope to hear from you soon!

    John C
    Dell | Social Outreach Services

    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • Hi John,

    Thanks again for sharing your advice and insights.

    I've gone through the list you provided and will answer each point:

    1. i'm not sure what the normal output should be for something like Chrome or Skype, etc.for memory usage in the system processes, but I've made a note of some of the higher figures for your reference. This is when I had several Chrome tabs open at once and was accessing the multimedia such as iTunes. As follows:

    Chrome 36k

    Skype 39k

    Chrome 30k

    Winword.exe 60k

    Chrome 31k

    Magicjack 51k

    Chrome 94k

    Chrome 43k

    Chrome 75k

    Chrome 59k

    Chrome 65k

    There are several more entries for Chrome but the highest figure was 255k. So clearly Chrome figures prominently in this list.

    Also, there's something called RTVscan.exe 337k and Firefox 158k

    iTunes was 141k

    Google desktop was 22k

    2. I use Chrome because previously when I used Firefox there was some kind of issue where it would start the fan running wildly after a while to the point where the Firefox browser would just freeze up and become inactive. As soon as I closed the tabs, the fan slowed down and all was right again. I couldn't figure out what the problem was with Firefox, even after updating the latest version. I researched it found there may have been some glitch with the browser, but ultimately, I just changed to Chrome, which has worked better overall.

    I leave the browser and multiple tabs open all the time.

    3. I accessed iTunes by itself with no browser open and it was about 48k in mem usage in the processes list. There was no problem with the fan and the system was operating as normal. However, I did also see two extra things in the processes list that I hadn't noticed earlier: wuauclt.exe = 105k and Doscan.exe = 329k

    They are now currently in the list of processes all the time. Not sure what they are or what they mean, but look like they use a lot of memory.

    4. Tried this and doesn't seem to make much difference. What are these background apps that would be running when Chrome is not in use? Should I leave this unchecked all the time?

    Sorry this is a bit lengthy but wanted to be sure to give you the full details. Hopefully this will help yield some more clues.

    Thanks again in advance for your assistance!


  • Hi Vinnie,

    There's a lot of Chrome entries - this is normal as it's how Chrome works, I believe it opens a new process for every tab and every extension or app it runs. The problem is that it could be collectively using a lot of memory. As for WUAUCLT.EXE and DOSCAN.EXE, these are normal processes. WUAUCLT.EXE is a Windows Update process and DOSCAN.EXE is a Symantec anti-virus process.

    If iTunes was running correctly with the browser not running, it's looking like it is a memory usage problem. I've got some more steps if that's okay.

    1) Can you tell me how much free space you have on your hard drive?
    2) I'd also like you to recreate the problem again but before doing this, go back to the Task Manager. Recreate the problem by keeping Chrome and iTunes open and watch a streaming video. If you can, when the problem is recreated, go to the Task Manager and tell me what the Physical Memory % and CPU Usage % is showing - these are at the bottom of the Task Manager window.
    3) Please download and install SpeedFan from this link: - this program can monitor fan speeds and system temperature. It will run a little temperature icon in your taskbar. Recreate the problem and tell me what the temperature reading is showing.
    4) Lastly, please check the back of the system, is there any dust or debris clogging up any of the air vents? This can cause overheating which can cause the problem you're experiencing.

    Thanks again, Vinnie. Hope to hear from you soon.

    John C
    Dell | Social Outreach Services

    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • Hi John, 

    Yes, it definitely shows quite a lot in the list. I'll have to cut it back a little anyway. 

    Overall, for whatever reason, seems the fan has toned down a bit. It rushes a little here and there, but typically only briefly and then returns to normal. I haven't done anything differently to this point outside of updating the BIOS that you recommended earlier. But maybe that turned out to make a difference. 

    However, I resist saying the problem is solved as it does seem the fan is running almost consistently, though at a lower, quieter pace. 

    So to that end, I will provide answers to your question list, as follows: 

    1. Free space on HD is 151 gb

    2. Physical memory % (I don't see an actual percent figure, but rather total and available numbers)

    Total = 3,396,712
    Available = 1,486,268

    3. Speedfan's downloaded, though I'm a little concerned about the disclaimers I've read and potential harm to my system. Do you have an opinion about this or personal experience?

    Here are the Speedfan entries:

    Fan 1 = 2027 RPM
    Fan 3 = 1940 RPM
    Fans 2, 4, 5 show 0 RPM

    Temp 1 = 49C
    Temp 2 = 41C
    Temp 3 = -12C
    HD0 = 45C
    Temp 1 = 40C
    Core 0 = 48C
    Core 1 = 46C
    *Note: CPU usage fluctuates between 7% and 17%

    I realize this is more than you asked for but I figured maybe these details would help.

    4. I've checked the vents and they are free of dust.

    Thanks again John, I appreciate your time and effort, and it's been a good learning experience for me as well.



  • Hi Vinnie,

    Hope you had a good weekend!

    I would say that none of the readings you have given me would signify anything out of the ordinary - the system isn't overheating, the fans are spinning okay, there's plenty of hard drive space and free memory. No airflow problems as well. Every now and again, the system will raise the fan speed up if it senses that the system is getting too hot.

    What I would say is not to worry too much about SpeedFan's disclaimers. You can use SpeedFan to control the fan speeds but this isn't what we are doing. We're just using it to monitor a few temperature probes and fan speed probes.

    I think the best thing to do would be to use the system as normal for the time being. If the fans start to spin up, check the CPU temperatures and fan speeds again. Also, note what you are doing at the time when it speeds up e.g. are you watching a video or playing a game etc...

    It might be the case that the BIOS update has resolved the problem. The BIOS controls the fan speeds based on the temperature that the system senses so updating this may have sorted out any of these issues on your system.

    Thanks again for the update and please keep in touch!

    John C
    Dell | Social Outreach Services

    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • Hi John,

    Thanks, and you too.

    I appreciate all the help and the time you've put into it, great job!

    I'll just let things sit now and see what takes place. But so far so good.

    Sorry, I'll get a little off topic here for a moment and throw one more question your way, in case you may have an idea about this as well. And thanks in advance for giving it a look.

    I wrote separately on the forum about a problem I have with the system's on/off button. It works fine to turn the system on, but seemingly never to turn off, or put to sleep, etc. And the power management set up is useless. I don't think that's ever worked since I bought the computer -- i.e. turning off display screen after 10 minutes, system to sleep after 20, etc.

    I tried this approach and nothing really happened:

    Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.

    At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

    powercfg /RestoreDefaultPolicies

    Now finally I've been advised to try this:

    Sometimes a fresh installation of the operating system is the only way to fix this sort of thing. If you've had your system for three years, it would help this problem and also clean out all the detritus, thus making your system run better.

    It probably makes sense, but I've never done that before and worry a little about the repercussions of doing so and what I may lose from the current system set up.

    Again, I appreciate your time and assistance, and if you've got any input on the above, please let me know.



  • Hi Vinnie,

    Sorry for the delay in getting back in touch as I've been off on vacation for the past few days.

    Regarding your sleep/hibernate issues and reinstalling the operating system, I would imagine that reinstallation of the OS would sort out this problem unless there is a specific hardware issue causing this. Of course, doing this would completely remove all data from the hard drive that the current operating system is on. If you only have one hard drive in your system, this presents some problems.

    What you should do before installing the operating system is the following:

    1) Copy over all your photos, music, movies and any other important documents or data that you wish to keep onto CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives or external hard drives.
    2) Make sure you have the operating system reinstallation CD or DVD.
    3) Make sure you have the installation CDs or DVDs for all your programs e.g. Microsoft Office, printer software, etc...
    4) Go to and select the Drivers and Downloads section. Follow the on-screen instructions and select your operating system. Next, download the following drivers and burn them to a CD or DVD:

    a) Desktop System Software
    b) Chipset Drivers
    c) Realtek Audio Drivers
    d) Network Drivers
    e) Video Drivers

    Please note that the drivers you need depend on what you have installed in your Vostro. If you need any assistance with this part, please let me know.

    5) Lastly, make sure you know all applicable settings that you need to bring over to your new operating system installation, for example, any wireless internet settings.

    With the above steps, you should have everything you need to reinstall your operating system. If you've never done this before, this link can help you: 

    I hope this helps but if there's anything you're not sure about, please get back in touch!

    John C
    Dell | Social Outreach Services

    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)