Hot & Noisy Laptop
November 28, 2005 1:59 AM   Subscribe

My laptop is running hot lately with the fan going all the time regardless of processor load. Is there a windows XP setting that controls processor stepping?

I may have screwed my settings up using systweak and I see no options for untweaking.
posted by srboisvert to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Check your Power Settings. Always On covers the processor too...
posted by benzo8 at 2:00 AM on November 28, 2005

Response by poster: It's set on Portable/Laptop
posted by srboisvert at 2:11 AM on November 28, 2005

Response by poster: and I am saving System Restore for a last resort.
posted by srboisvert at 2:17 AM on November 28, 2005

My Vaio's air filters got clogged once and it did the exact same thing. It would get so hot it would shut it's self off.

It was only after a trip to Sony did the cause reveal itself.

Might be worth checking the air vents
posted by lemonfridge at 2:33 AM on November 28, 2005

Is there dust collection on the vents? I have to blast my computer periodically with the aerosol compressed air things for electronics or it'll run hot due to blockage.
posted by moift at 2:33 AM on November 28, 2005

On postview, if it's under warranty sending it in may be more advisable than blasting it with compressed air. Even then, I guess it's probably better to take the case apart so you know that the dust that isn't coming back out a vent isn't settling somewhere harmful.
posted by moift at 2:39 AM on November 28, 2005

My Inspiron 9100 has (or had, I haven't tried it recently) a bug where the fans go on full blast if I bring the laptop out of sleep *twice*. Therefore, I don't put my laptop to sleep.

I don't know that they ever fixed this issue.
posted by lowlife at 5:12 AM on November 28, 2005

There's more likely to be a BIOS setting for this than a setting in XP. Try rebooting and pressing whatever key it is to enter the setup screen (usually DEL, or F8)...
posted by twiggy at 7:41 AM on November 28, 2005

Best answer: you may want to look into this nifty program i used when i had a laptop:

blurb from the website:

"SpeedswitchXP is a small applet that sits in the system tray and allows dynamic switching of the frequencies of mobile Intel and mobile AMD CPUs under Windows XP."
posted by lohmannn at 8:01 AM on November 28, 2005

My aging Dell Inspiron laptop had the same issue. It was managing to turn itself through overheating 3 or 4 times a day. Eventually I turned it over, discovered that a single screw was all the separated me from pulling out the fan, cleaned it, put it back in, and no problems whatsoever since. Note: it was out of warranty by this point, so I wasn't concerned about voiding the warranty by opening it up. Actually, I'm not sure if that's even applicable anymore?
posted by planetthoughtful at 8:24 AM on November 28, 2005

I had a laptop with this problem for a long time.

Turns out there's a lot that can go wrong in laptops, being that they get jostled around all the time. If your software power settings are in order (and system restore yeilds no help), then it might be worth it to either open it up yourself and look around, or take it somewhere to be looked at. At worst you'll have the chance to make sure there's nothing blocking air circulation, and you may find a more substantial problem.

On mine, for example, the problem turned out to be that the processor had jiggled loose from the heatsink a little bit. That and the fact that some of the thermal paste had flaked off caused my overheating problem.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 2:28 PM on November 28, 2005

When you are ready, buy a laptop with a chip designed for laptops. I learned this lesson the hard way.
posted by INFOHAZARD at 5:29 PM on November 28, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks lohmannn. That is a nifty utility.

Thanks everyone else: My System is new with a Pentium M - only 6 months old and has little or no dust buildup. Doesn't seem to be anything loose or out of place (good tips though).

The issue seems to have been that after playing a CPU intensive game the CPU wouldn't step down until a reboot.
posted by srboisvert at 8:10 AM on November 29, 2005

glad its sorted. I was told by Sony it was probably a software problem, and to use the restore disks. But it kept over heating.

I ended up sitting outside on a freezing winters day restoring the system. *shudder*
posted by lemonfridge at 5:48 PM on November 29, 2005

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