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One Hot Laptop!

Farmtalk

Active member
Dec 25, 2012
42
Hi everybody, I don't know if we have any computer people on here, but I've noticed that even when it's not covered up, my laptop has been getting a lot warmer than normal and the fan kicks on much more frequently. I know its unhealthy for it to get hot and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what I could do to cool it down:cool:
 

dwsmith

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2012
1,673
Hi everybody, I don't know if we have any computer people on here, but I've noticed that even when it's not covered up, my laptop has been getting a lot warmer than normal and the fan kicks on much more frequently. I know its unhealthy for it to get hot and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what I could do to cool it down:cool:
(1)You could have dust, animal hair, or some debris inside the laptop. You can take it apart and clean all that out. Pay attention to the fan area which could be clogged with this stuff too. (2)Or it could be Windows if that is your OS. Add a linux OS and dual boot into that OS to see if it is Windows causing the excess running of the fan. (3)What is the performance setting on the computer? High performance sets the fan extremely active. You can keep high performance and adjust the fan settings.
 

Ackbach

Indicium Physicus
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,191
You can also get a laptop cooling pad, which is nice for whenever you have your laptop actually on your lap. There's a little free program for Windows called SpeedFan, which, in Windows, accesses the computer's internal temperature sensors and displays the data for you. I've used this program before, and did not find any viruses or anything in it. I found it useful for diagnostic purposes if for nothing else. I noticed that the internal temperatures were definitely lower when I used a laptop cooling pad.
 

Farmtalk

Active member
Dec 25, 2012
42
Thanks to the both of you! I have a lot of pets around so I'll open it up and take a look. I'll also give that program a look as well! Thanks again!!!:D
 

Evgeny.Makarov

Well-known member
MHB Math Scholar
Jan 30, 2012
2,492
Overheating can be caused if one one of the processes monopolizes the CPU and uses it 100%, or if it similarly uses the hard drive a lot. You can check the CPU usage in the Task Manager. In Windows Vista at least, press Ctrl-Alt-Del and select "Start Task Manager". Click the second tab, "Processes". You can add columns through View | Select Columns. Useful columns are "CPU usage", "I/O Read Bytes", "I/O Write Bytes". You can order processes by clicking the head of any column (clicking again switches the order). This way you can find the most CPU-intensive process and Google its name to find out what it does. Also, the task manager displays an indicator in the lower-right screen corner that shows the current overall CPU usage.

Another program to monitor processes is the Reliability and Performance Monitor (see more for Vista).

Also see this article about laptop overheating from a very useful site MakeUseOf.com.

Finally, I am not an expert, but I would also not be surprised if a computer started to overheat when the room temperature became above, say, 90°F.
 

Farmtalk

Active member
Dec 25, 2012
42
I really appreciate the input! I think I leave it running too long. I only turn my laptop off to restart every couple of days. I think if I turned it off more, then I wouldn't have a heating issue while posting here :D
 

dwsmith

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2012
1,673
I really appreciate the input! I think I leave it running too long. I only turn my laptop off to restart every couple of days. I think if I turned it off more, then I wouldn't have a heating issue while posting here :D
If you want to keep it running all the time, switch your OS to a linux OS.
 

Farmtalk

Active member
Dec 25, 2012
42
How difficult would that be?
 

Ackbach

Indicium Physicus
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,191
How difficult would that be?
It partly depends on the software environment you want. If you have some special legacy Windows software that doesn't run well in Wine, then you might have trouble. If, however, you use simple Office suite (Linux version would be LibreOffice) and a browser, and maybe $\LaTeX$, then there are perfectly good open-source alternatives.

It also depends on your hardware. If you have at least 2 GB of RAM (preferably 4 GB) and a decent processor, then you could put Ubuntu Linux on your machine. That's quite straight-forward: burn the Ubuntu 13.04 image to a DVD, and then boot up with the DVD in your drive. You might have to set your BIOS to boot first from a CD. I would recommend doing the live boot before actually installing. Then you can get Linux on the Internet before installing. I've found that to work better, because then the updates are easier. Then follow the instructions.
 

dwsmith

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2012
1,673
How difficult would that be?
Not that hard. You need to find a linux system that meets your needs, install it, and you are good to go. It is all free so no worries there.

You should first dual boot which means keep your current OS and the new one together. This will allow you get used to linux. If you don't like, you can get rid of it (this should be rare)!. You should love it. Once you feel comfortable, you can entirely remove your old OS.

You can check out Ubuntu, Xubuntu (if your system isnt as good), then there is Red Hat which may not be free not sure, and then there is this list https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_distributions
 
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Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,041
If your computer doesn't have enough RAM then it will resort to using a "swap" method to store temporary data. That means it will be constantly writing/reading data to your hard drive and that can make the machine hot very fast. I double the RAM in my laptop after a year or so and noticed a big difference. My Macbook Pro is horrible with any media files though - audio or video. Both seem to work the machine way too much. I'm hoping that SSD hard drives help a bit with this issue on my next computer.

There are many bootable-from-the-CD, free versions of Linux that are easy to use if you want to get a taste for it. Or you can just download one of the popular ones. I honestly don't think Linux is that impressive when you first use it because it takes a lot of knowledge to be able to use all of its capabilities and get a sense of what you can do with it. Definitely check it out, just don't be expecting to find something that Apple and Microsoft don't have to grab your eye.
 

Farmtalk

Active member
Dec 25, 2012
42
Thanks Jameson!:D:D I've only got 2gb of ram, so that might be the problem!
 

Ackbach

Indicium Physicus
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,191
Thanks Jameson!:D:D I've only got 2gb of ram, so that might be the problem!
I'm using Xubuntu (a bit lighter memory footprint than Ubuntu) with 2 GB of RAM, and it's running just fine. Xubuntu is almost as easy to use as Ubuntu - it just uses a different window manager (XFCE instead of Unity). You can try Xubuntu live, if you like.
 

dwsmith

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2012
1,673
@Jameson @Ackbach I made sure to note that Xubuntu is for machines that aren't way up to date in one of my posts.