Dell Inspiron 1564 – How to Debug Overheating Problem


I have a problem with my Laptop (Dell Inspiron 1564 Core i5 4GB Ram VGA ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4300 running Ubuntu 10.10 32bit). It shuts down abruptly without even a lag in the application I am working with before shutdown. I think it's overheating problem. Actually the laptop is hot all the time when I am running Ubuntu. When I switch back to windows, even with intense load it won't shutdown or show any problem as long as I keep proper ventilation (when the air openings are blocked it does the same).

Actually on Ubuntu i don't usually do things that need much CPU power, usually surfing internet, coding web pages and sometimes playing with python and ruby. I am not enabling desktop effects so no GPU load except the normal GNOME gui.

Now as I am writing the Processor load in the panel monitor applet is 0%, Memory 11% by programs, 22% by cache. And i have CPU Frequency monitor for each of the 4 cores set to 1.20 Ghz (the lowest possible value, i am not sure if this applet does really limit CPU usage). Running sensors in terminal gave me

temp1:       +26.8°C  (crit = +100.0°C)                  
temp2:        +0.0°C  (crit = +100.0°C) 

hddtemp /dev/sda at the terminal gave me

/dev/sda: WDC WD3200BEVT-75ZCT2: 46°C

All that fine but the laptop is Really hot i can feel it in the keyboard, mouse pad is painful to touch, and the fan is always spinning. I am also placing 2 small fans running on USB under the laptop right now and the laptop is lifted over the fans so it's well ventilated.

When I am running windows it doesn't get that hot except when there is a really big load on the CPU and this is keeping me away from using Linux for everyday tasks.

Actually I don't care much for speed as I can deal with low speed it's not going to shutdown abruptly.

So please if you can help me and tell me what are the possible causes, where should I start ?

Best Answer

There seems to be quite a few fan/heating issues with dell laptops. My first port of call would be to upgrade the bios.

I have had systems before that over heat and the bios update usually sorts the problem. UnFortunately it depends on dells support, please check the link below.

Hope this helps some what.

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