I've been away with work for a week and I left my laptop at home (used a work one instead :-( ). When I came back and turned my laptop, I discovered a problem. For some reason the fan speed was set to be full speed all the time. This seemed to happen strait from boot, no matter what I did to change it.
My first though was that the temperature was a problem, so I checked this and the laptop is running quite cool. The cores were running between 22 and 24 degrees C.
So after fiddling around for a while I though I'd update the bios to the latest version. To my surprise, this fixed it! I'd love to know what might have caused the problems, if anyone has any ideas. As of yet , I've not tracked down a change log for the BIOS update.
Updating the BIOS from Linux had it's own problems, so I though I'd detail what I did to fix it. First off make sure you have the dell Linux firmware tools and libsmbios installed.
These can be found in the OpenSUSE repos. http://linux.dell.com/repo/community/content/suse11.0-x86_64/
Next you need to download the bios update from the dell support website. This comes as a .exe file, so you will need to extract the .HDR file from the .exe. To do this I used the following command:
wine 1535_A05.EXE -writehdrfile -nopause
This uses wine to extract it to the current directory.
Next you need to update the bios, do so at your own risk. This worked for me, but you do so at your own risk. Use the following command:
dellBiosUpdate -u --hdr 1535_A05.hdr
Now reboot your system. When it reboots, it will install the new bios. Then it reboots itself again.
You should be able to see the new version number of the bios on the boot screen.
It's worth noting that the most useful information on updating the dell BIOS from Linux, I found here
Now back to having a nice quite laptop!