[ubuntu] Laptop fan bugging me crazy

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http://ubuntuforums.org – I know that this is not a topic that relates to the Ubuntu operating system, but I request your reply to this thread if you have knowledge that can help. I have completely installed Ubuntu on a Dell Inspiron 1000 laptop computer. I have replaced the crashed HD with a new 80 gig Hitachi HD within the past 2 weeks. I have replaced the dead battery [was dead for probably 3 years or more] with a new battery. I now have, what I think is the fan, that is acting up and bugging me crazy as of now [in real time tonight in the last 60 minutes]. The fan sounds normal then speeds up and speeds down in such a way that the sound of the fan rapidly firing up to maximum cool speed then very quickly firing back is bugging me nuts. I know I could Google how to replace the fan, and that would probably fix it [if I just replaced the fan]. But I would like the nice folks in this forum to tell me their opinion, especially if they have experience with hardware that could cause abnormal fan speed if the fan might actually not be going bad. If folks here think it is just the fan that needs to be replaced that's great. But tell me straight up if some other hardware problem inside the laptop could be causing the fan to zip around (high speed to low speed to normal speed). Perhaps there is some other hardware problem inside the computer, like hardware that governs the fan, that could be the cause and the fan may not be bad. Thanks to everyone that reads this and replies to this post. I know your time is precious. (Hardware)