Its almost like no one else is seeing the problem of the temps being high in normal mode and not in safe mode. The Prime95 test has nothing to do with drivers (that I'm aware of). It just loads your cpu up for testing. There's no reason I can think of why the temps should be higher in normal mode than when in safe mode.
A simple way to verify the temperature thing. Its kind of backwards thinking but it should work. Get yourself an old style mercury-bulb thermometer, if you can find one (or any kind of good thermometer should work) and put the temp sensor right at the cooling vent exit on your laptop. Make sure the air in the room isn't moving around too (ie. ceiling fans and such need to be off). Let the thermometer lay on the desk to adjust to room temp first. Boot up in safe mode and do the Prime95 test again for a half hour (since you say it shuts down in normal mode in 20 minutes). Get the highest temperature reading on the thermometer for that time. Then, do the same thing in normal mode. If you're seeing a spike in temp by a factor of 2 (80C normal mode vs 40C safe mode), you should see the same or close to it on the thermometer. That will at least verify if the temp is actually that high.Just for the record, I'm betting that you'll see a spike in the temp for normal mode showing that the actual temperature is being reported by the system.
The next thing to check would be the system processes. Is there any kind of process running that might be causing this glitch? (I have no idea what it might be either, but maybe with your next post put a list of all the processes running in normal mode. Maybe somebody will be able to see something in that).
I hate problems like this. Just trying to give you some way to verify what the system is telling you about the temp thing though. If the thermometer trick proves the temp is actually higher in normal mode, it would probably be best to follow the OldGrumpyBastard's advice and get it cleaned first. Then, get a cooling pad for it and hopefully that will help.
Edited by possumbarnes, 10 May 2009 - 09:42 PM.