HP Pavillion Laptop Fan Cycles On & Off & On & Off & On…

HP Pavillion dv6t fan cycles on & off endlessly

How I fixed my HP Pavillion dv6t CPU fan

I recently bought a HP Pavillion dv6t laptop, only to return it after a few days — I’d press the power button to turn it on & it would cycle off & on 10-15 times before eventually deciding to stay on for good. HP tech support took 6 solid hours on the phone to cheerfully wade through their pre-exchange process in a futile attempt to fix an obvious hardware power problem (doing things like a full-system virus scan) … but they finally accepted it back.

After another few weeks, I received my shiny new HP Pavillion dv6t, take two! I happily turned it on (and it stayed on), & almost immediately I noticed the cooling fan cycling:

Whiirrrrrrrr…. silence. Whirrrrrrrr…. silence. Whirrr….. silence.

The cooling fan would cycle on & off every ~30 seconds. It would turn on with a loud whir, then slowly decrease speed down to near-silent, then shut off for 10 seconds, & start the whole thing over. Pretty freaking annoying. Granted it was marginally better than the power cycling issue with my first Pavillion dv6t, but this was the CPU fan equivalent of Chinese water torture.

I checked the System Resource monitor, no CPU or disk usage spikes. Tried rebooting, no difference. Tried it plugged in & on battery … Changed power settings around … Cursed HP & threatened to exchange it yet again. Nothing. The only improvement was when the processor was under load — the fan stayed on a little longer between its spastic cycling.

I found a “Fan Always On” setting enabled in the BIOS (which clearly wasn’t working) & tried switching it to “Disabled”. It made the pause between the fan cycling only slightly longer. Someone at HP has an evil sense of humor.

At this point I got my CPU fan mace off the shelf & started practicing. As a last resort, I tried a BIOS update, although HP’s BIOS update changelog didn’t mention any cooling management improvements. But, it COMPLETELY FIXED the fan cycling problem.

Unfortunately I didn’t write down what BIOS version with apparently defective fan management I started out with, but regardless, the most recent BIOS update from the HP website fixed the issue.

Hope this helps someone else out there. I still have nightmares. Whirr… silence. Whirrr…

UPDATE: I’m sorry to report that the BIOS update only partially fixed the fan problem. It’s not occurring as frequently now as before the BIOS update, but still pretty annoying. Now the fan cycling happens occasionally for 5-10 minutes whenever I use the laptop on battery power. It’s not because the fan vent is blocked — I have the 9-cell battery that creates about an inch of space under the back edge.

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6 Responses to HP Pavillion Laptop Fan Cycles On & Off & On & Off & On…

  1. nel says:

    omg i have the same problem. i love this notebook but the fan is so annoying, its driving me nuts.. i updated the bios and still no difference. i wonder if there was a previous bio update :( helpppppppppppppp

  2. johnD says:

    I have the same issue, i hope you guys did find and anwser to this problem. I did update the bios but still no amelioration! I too wonder if there was another previous bio update.

    • Wick says:

      Sorry to report mine still has the cycling fan speed problem, & it’s still pretty annoying. Definitely a consideration next time I’m in the market for a new laptop… what a stupid way to lose repeat business, HP.

  3. johnD says:

    Ok guy… i think i got it… after updating the bios with the latest version available on HP website. I went in the bios by pressing F10 on startup, went into the option and deactivated the “fan always on” option and the “power saver ” option. I checking on HWMonitor to see if there is any impact on the temperature of my system and it look good, never above 55 degree and the fan seems to be working only when its appropriate. So im reconciling with my laptop. Hope this will help you… good luck

  4. BW says:

    I have the very same problem, seriously flippin annoying, I would rather scratch my nails on a chalk board. Have tried changing the BIOS settings and no success, next step is to update and try again…

    • Wick says:

      Yea I completely agree with the nails on a chalkboard thing. The cycling cooling fan problem is enough of an annoyance, that after 7 HP laptops in a row, I’m finally going to try a different brand.

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