I recently updated from Linux Mint 16 to Linux Mint 17 on my Dell Inspiron 5420 with NVIDIA graphics card. After upgrading, the laptop is overheating seriously with temperature going above 90.

Previously, I had bumblebee installed on Linux Mint 16 and the temperature was fine. I have installed Bumblebee but the problem is not solved. Here are the fixes I have tried and it hasn't helped me:

  • Installed bumblee
  • Installed thermald
  • Installed tlp

I have also installed i8kutils and checked the fans. Here's the output:

>> i8kctl fan
-1 2

It seems the left fan is not working. I tried to change the fan speed but it remains constant:

>> i8kctl fan 1 1
-1 2

Edit: I have found that my fan is not running. Can this be an issue with driver rather than the hardware?

  • Have you taken a look at your configuration such as the settings in i8kbuttons and i8kmon as explained for example here. On Arch Linux website, even though it is not your distro, there is an indication of some issues and another tip on automatic monitoring etc. I'm uncertain if these apply but maybe you should check it out. – user44370 Jun 12 '14 at 13:20

i8k driver loaded? actually i8kctl should need /proc/i8k but check anyway

lsmod | grep i8k

If no output try

sudo modprobe -v i8k


modprobe -v i8k

if you're root

If that fails, you probably don't have i8k driver installed (not a dependency of i8kutils). If the modprobe worked, retry i8kctl-commands.

For the case i8k was loaded from the beginning, i would open the laptop case and check the fan for a hardware-defect. If the Fan is working, try a fresh install of Mint 17.

To your Edit-Question: Fan not running could be an issue with driver as well as a hardware-defect


Thanks everyone for the suggestions. It was actually a hardware problem. The fan wasn't working due to some dust.

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