Not that I have a for sure answer either way but is he running Windows by itself via BootCamp or along with OS X in Parallels.
He may try this, along with zapping the PRAM first,
Note: Portable computers that have a battery you should not remove on your own include MacBook Pro (Early 2009) and later, all models of MacBook Air, and MacBook (Late 2009).
Shut down the computer.
Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.
On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
Press the power button to turn on the computer.
Note: The LED on the MagSafe power adapter may change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.
Seems the i7 models are noisy;https://discussions.apple.com/message/13297605?messageID=13297605 Google hits