Recommend a freeware program to check the internal temperatures of my laptop
January 21, 2004 4:55 AM   Subscribe

My laptop has taken to switching itself off at random intervals, but only at my parents or in-laws houses. The general consensus is that these houses are hotter than my own and it may be just enough to upset my system.

Can anyone recommend a good freeware (pref OpenSource) program to check up on the internal temperatures of the system? I'm running WinXP.
posted by twine42 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Is it intel-based or amd-based? Intel have good processor and motherboard communication, so should just be a matter of downloading the motherboard drivers for your laptop. If it's amd, it may be much trickier.
posted by BigCalm at 5:02 AM on January 21, 2004

Also, most laptops don't have the kind of sophisticated cooling devices that a normal PC have - in order to stop the processor frying there's normally a brake on the clock speed - if the processor is too warm, the PC will slow down to stop the processor melting its way through the case. If you can get motherboard drivers/probe, it might just be a matter of changing a setting there.
posted by BigCalm at 5:07 AM on January 21, 2004

There's some rudimentary monitoring in CPUIdle and similar software. The overclocker's standard is Motherboard Monitor, but that's overkill for your needs. Neither is free software or open source, I'm afraid, although I don't think MBM costs anything (though I could be wrong -- it's been a couple of years since I looked at it).
posted by majick at 5:12 AM on January 21, 2004

Unless it's a Dell, in which case none of that stuff will work because Dell wants to be different. If it's a Dell -- of just about any stripe -- get i8kfangui. Don't let the name fool you, it works for more than Inspiron 8000s, and it does monitoring as well as fan control.
posted by majick at 5:15 AM on January 21, 2004

If it's really a cooling issue, you can help by putting a taller rubber dot on each bottom corner to lift it up a lttle more and get more air circulating underneath. Check out where the fan vent is, and make sure it's clear.
posted by theora55 at 6:27 AM on January 21, 2004

Response by poster: Okay...

It's an AMD 2400+ chip.

Its air intake is on the side with a blast out the back (confused the hell out of me that one).

While it occasionally slows down when the battery is over full (?!?) it never slows down before dying.

Thanks for your suggestions.
posted by twine42 at 6:35 AM on January 21, 2004

The SysStats docklet for ObjectDock may offer what you want.
posted by rushmc at 8:47 AM on January 21, 2004

I had a similar problem with a 15" PowerBook. I thought it was the heat -- but that was a red herring. The problem only develped while I was at my girlfriend's house, or out in the living room of my place (which is a bunch warmer than my office).

Turns out that there was a short in the case, such that, if I wasn't sitting at my desk, and instead resting the machine on my lap, I would press on the case at just the right spot to make the computer spontaneously sleep.

It was a bitch to figure this out. And Apple makes you take a $50 "bet" that a given problem is hardware related, so I was intent on making sure it was not some weird sleep setting or OS problem and instead a hardware problem. My short was on the part of the case that makes up the left wrist rest (by the control and function and open apple keys). I'd just put the machine into a couple of different orientations to see if the *position* matters more than the *location.*
posted by zpousman at 4:55 PM on January 21, 2004

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