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Published: December 24, 2016

Lenovo ThinkServer: Fixing way too Loud Fans

Have you got a Lenovo ThinkServer with extremely loud fans? You are not alone. I had that problem too. I was quite disappointed when I found out that the "library quiet acoustics" Lenovo advertised with, didn’t seem to be true at all for my TD350. That thing fired like a jet engine.

A couple of people on the Internet seem to have this problem too. But the solutions that I found (after quite a bit of searching first) were much more complicated than what I had to do in order to fix this mess. I just had to reset ThinkServer System Manager (TSM). Here’s how:

Using BIOS Settings

The first way of doing this is in the BIOS settings. Just boot in there. Once you’re there, go to TSM Settings and change TSM Reset to Enabled.

Enabling TSM Reset
Enabling TSM Reset

Then, save and exit BIOS setup. The server will reboot now but before the OS boots, a notification appears: Waiting for TSM Reset

Waiting for TSM Reset
Waiting for TSM Reset

This step takes a couple of minutes during which the fan speeds of your server change rapidly. At one point, it even got way louder for a few seconds. But after that, the server boots the OS and actually really is very silent.

Using TSM

The same thing can also be done using ThinkServer System Manager. Open up the web interface, log in and select Factory Reset.

Selecting <i>Factory Reset</i>
Selecting Factory Reset

Then tick the confirmation box and hit Apply.

Confirming Factory Reset
Confirming Factory Reset

Done.

Conclusion

I really like the TD350 and can almost recommend it without any limitations. It exceeds my expectations in terms of quietness and is reliant and performant. However, I cannot imagine how the engineers could screw up that bad. How is it possible to ship servers with firmware which is so broken, one instantly notices it when just turning on the machine? My firmware version is up to date and I did not configure anything before. These are the defaults the server ships with. If you are fine with doing this reset once, you can get yourself this machine. But it does not shine a good light on Lenovo.