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Re: laptop overheating using F9

On Sat, May 02, 2009 at 10:56:59PM -0400, ADITYA KRISHNAN wrote:
> Hi All,
> I have a HP Pavillion dv2000 laptop running Fedora 9. I notice that running
> it for more than an hour causes my laptop to overheat. The temperature
> screenlet displays the CPU temperature to be 80C,  which I believe is pretty
> high and I do not run any heavy applications.
> I read on some previous thread that appending "acpi=on" on the kernel line
> of grub.conf solves this problem. But it has made no difference.
> Let me know is there any particular software i can download for preventing
> this overheating.
> Thanks.
> Aditya

Propping it up so it gets good airflow is a good idea or a cooling pad but really there are only a few likely possibilities. One you've got it on your lap and your blocking the exhaust. Two it has a hardware problem, got hit by a power surge, condensation on the internal components, faulty hardware, the list goes on. Three you have pets, are in a dusty environment, or have had it for several years without any sort of maintenance and there is a carpet growing on the heatsink.

The first possibility is unlikely I think because removing it from your lap and placing it on a flat surface should cause the temp to drop within a few minutes. Are the fans kicking in? They should be going like mad at that temp.

The second sounds very likely considering how hot its getting and given that certain laptop models are notorious for this sort of thing, you don't say if its shutting down or locking up on you, I would guess and hope that it is shutting down.

 The third possibility is also very common, I have taken apart more than a few laptops and removed built up pet hair and dust from the heatsink. It should be shutting itself down in this case. 
If it has a hardware problem its days are numbered and you should prepare a small service and let it make its peace with the great 01 or 10 on the net :^) because its going to the great bit bucket called /dev/null probably sooner than later at that temperature. Replacing laptop motherboards is expensive. 

If your not afraid of taking it apart then you should because if it does have dust and dander built up then its going to get worse as time passes and if you've caught it early enough then you can fix it and move on. I should note however that disassembling a laptop is not for the faint of heart, its far from the cakewalk of a desktop machine. In addition there is the distinct possibility, as with any electronic device, that you might damage the board if you aren't properly grounded.

There are a couple of other things that it could be but I consider them unlikely because if the sensors are lying ( a miscalibration )then simply touching it would tell you as at 80 C , about 170 F , you won't be able to keep your hand on it for long. Lastly this might(very unlikely in my opinon) be an acceptable operating temp for your laptop, if it is then its at the extreme end of acceptable that's for sure and it would have to be under a heavy load but you say this is not the case.

In any case I would avoid using it till you've figured out which it is because, if it isn't already permanently damaged it soon will be if you keep it running at that temperature. You could try pegging the cpu to its lowest speed with the cpu frequency scaling applet, this may help a bit.
"Any fool can know. The point is to understand" --Albert Einstein



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