I've been running Linux Mint 17 for the last half year with no fan problems, but last week the laptop fan turned on and hasn't stopped since. I hadn't messed around with bumblebee or nvidia drivers since I first installed Linux Mint 2 years ago, so what changed? I updated to Mint 17.1 hoping to fix the problem but the fan is still going.

I suspect the loud fan is from the graphics card no longer being managed correctly. I purged bumblebee and nvidia drivers then reinstalled bumblebee 3.2.1 and nvidia-331. Fan still going. I did the following check to see if the computer knew where the discrete and integrated graphics cards were and it was correct:

$ glxspheres64
Polygons in scene: 62464
Visual ID of window: 0x20
Context is Direct
OpenGL Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Ivybridge Mobile 
61.013470 frames/sec - 68.091032 Mpixels/sec

$ optirun glxspheres64
Polygons in scene: 62464
Visual ID of window: 0x20
Context is Direct
OpenGL Renderer: GeForce GT 620M/PCIe/SSE2
108.834153 frames/sec - 121.458915 Mpixels/sec

I'm stumped. What's causing the fan? What am I missing? Let me know if other system info would be helpful!

  • My old laptop would start making a sound like taking off when transferring large files over its GigEthernet connector (and eventually overheat). The problem was dust bunnies in the fan, making it operate less than optimal and hence continuously. Check the fan, vacuum it if necessary.
    – Anthon
    Apr 9, 2015 at 15:24
  • 1
    Actually I just uninstalled bumblebee and nvidia drivers and the fan stopped. This leads me to believe the problem has to do with broken or incorrectly installed drivers, but I don't know how to approach the problem beyond that.
    – kal
    Apr 9, 2015 at 18:40
  • A couple days later and the fan is mysteriously back on max. Help would be appreciated!
    – kal
    Apr 21, 2015 at 18:37

1 Answer 1


Ah, okay, after many horrid hours of installing and uninstalling drivers, I finally cleaned out my fans with sprays of canned air. Eight little dust bunnies came out and my computer fans now sound normal again. Try this quick fix if you're running into problems before sinking time into software fixes!

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