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Question About Laptop Temperature And Frequency Of Fan Running


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#1 bloomcounty

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 08:54 PM

My "stats":
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I'm a little concerned again about the temperature of my laptop, as it *seems* hotter to me lately (but maybe I just never noticed). I've been using it all day today with Firefox, Word, Excel, and OE, and here are the readings from the newest version of SIW 1.69:

CPU Core 0 48 C (118 F)
ST9100825A 50 C (122 F)

And my laptop feels hot under my left hand (which is where, I'm guessing, the hard drive is?).

I'm also noticing a fan kicking on full-blast every five minutes or so at idle (for about 30 seconds to a minute) and more often if I'm doing stuff on Firefox (especially with multiple tabs open). It doesn't happen when I first start my laptop, but once I start "doing stuff", the fan will kick in, and the longer I'm on, the more often it will run. (Obviously, this makes sense to a degree... but I'm looking beyond just the norm... But maybe it's just a certain temperature that sets it off...?)

Sometimes it'll run for like 30 seconds or even a minute. Usually I have to do some kind of activity for it to start up, but on occasion it'll just run too... like just now, it just turned on again and stayed on for 45 seconds or so... but, then again, I guess there's stuff "running" in the various browser windows, like ads, etc. But even with *just* two Excel files open and nothing else, it will do this. And with me just typing in this window, and not doing anything else, it just turned on again for another 30-45 seconds...

(My power settings are for portable/laptop -- I used to have a fan frequency issue, but realized I had switched the setting to desktop by accident... That is not the case here...)

1. I'm told those temperatures are normal for a laptop. So is it normal for it laptop to feel so hot under my left hand?

2. My laptop would have two fans, right? How can I tell if they're both running/working properly?

3. I also noticed that when I inserted my memory stick into the USB port *while the fan was running*, the computer did not give me the message that it recognized it. I pulled it out and put it back in when the fan stopped, and it played the sound like normal. Does this imply that my computer is "too busy" while the fan is running to recognize the memory stick? And if so, what's it doing? UPDATE: I just tried it again when the fan was running, and it recognized it fine, so maybe this was just a glitch...?

4. Okay, this is weird. I've noticed this a few times now... After my computer's been on all day, where my forearms rest against the front edge of the laptop when I type (which is where the speakers meet the top, where my palms would rest), I can feel a "shock" sensation sometimes. I just tested it and kept my arm on that spot, and it actually started to hurt after about ten seconds! Wha--?! But it's not doing it now... Any idea what that could be...?

Any help/opinions/advice is appreciated! Hope everyone's having a fun 4th! Thanks! :thumbsup:

Edited by jgweed, 14 July 2007 - 11:12 AM.

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 09:31 PM

Due to their smaller and less open design, laptops tend to get hotter than their desktop counterparts. I have a laptop that sounds like a small jet after it has been on for more than an hour. Also, many laptops include fan designs that save power by turning on only at needed times, that may explain why they seem to turn on and off repeatedly. The bottom of a laptop can get painfully hot (which may explain why most people call laptops notebooks these days) but, this is normal. Short of opening the laptop, it is difficult to see if both fans are operating. Most computers come with auto-shutdown functions that occur if the temperature gets to high.

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#3 dc3

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 11:06 PM

You may need to do a little house cleaning, over time dust and pet fur can invade your computer which will reduce the circulation. You didn't mention what make or model you laptop is, but if you do there will be someone here that will be able to assist you in the proper way to clean it out.

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#4 bloomcounty

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 09:21 AM

Thanks for the replies, folks! :thumbsup:

I have a Compaq Presario V5310US

So any thoughts about #4 above...? Any idea what the deal is with the shock feeling I get as described above? At first, I was thinking that it was just my skin minutely getting "caught" in the spot where the speaker panel/cover on the front of the laptop goes over the top of the laptop (as that's where the feeling is coming from), but I'm pretty sure it's an electrical "shock" of some kind as described above.

Thanks!
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#5 dc3

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 11:44 AM

If the case is metal then there could be a short that you could feel, take a DC Voltmeter and place the black lead to a good ground source and see if you can detect and voltage in that location with the red lead.

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#6 bloomcounty

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 12:13 PM

If the case is metal then there could be a short that you could feel, take a DC Voltmeter and place the black lead to a good ground source and see if you can detect and voltage in that location with the red lead.


I will definitely try this out next chance I get (I think my work has a Voltmeter, but I won't be back there for a couple weeks... I will post back my results for further instruction! :thumbsup:

Concerning the laptop temperature, could the fact that I'm running a second monitor (my old lcd) as an extended desktop (though I only use it occasionally) have any bearing on how hot the computer runs...? That's probably a dumb question, but I thought I'd ask anyways...
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#7 dc3

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 12:21 PM

It shouldn't.

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#8 bloomcounty

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 03:09 PM

If the case is metal then there could be a short that you could feel, take a DC Voltmeter and place the black lead to a good ground source and see if you can detect and voltage in that location with the red lead.


Okay, I borrowed some kind of meter (BG Instruments GMT-12A) from my landlord. It's got a dial on the front that you can turn to set it to different settings. There are some settings for DCmA (.5, 50, 250), OHM (x1K), and DC V (10, 50, 250, 500). There are two wires coming out of it with metal tips at the end. One is apparently +positive and the other is -negative. Both wires are read (there is no black wire).

Is this the right thing to use?

What setting should I put it on and which wire should touch where?

And if one needs to touch "ground", what would be considered grounded that I could touch it to?

Lastly, using this thing can't fry my computer, right? (It looks like it has a battery in it...)

Sorry for my stupid questions, but I don't know much about this stuff...

Thanks for the help -- looking forward to hearing back! :thumbsup:

Edited by bloomcounty, 06 July 2007 - 03:09 PM.

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#9 Sneakycyber

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 05:46 PM

To use the voltmeter. You touch the black lead to anything metal on the back of the computer like the outside of the VGA connector and touch the red lead to the area where your getting a poke from. Start at a setting of 50 DC ma which is 50 DC Milli amps. If the meeter pegs up the selector to 10 DC v which is 10 volts DC. Ideally you shouldn't get ANYTHING. You could be getting a shock from the speaker from moisture or sweat coming from your arms.
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#10 bloomcounty

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 05:52 PM

To use the voltmeter. You touch the black lead to anything metal on the back of the computer like the outside of the VGA connector and touch the red lead to the area where your getting a poke from. Start at a setting of 50 DC ma which is 50 DC Milli amps. If the meeter pegs up the selector to 10 DC v which is 10 volts DC. Ideally you shouldn't get ANYTHING. You could be getting a shock from the speaker from moisture or sweat coming from your arms.


No black lead... Two red wires with metal points at the end. One is marked positive where it comes out of the meter, the other is marked negative.

Which goes where?

Thanks!
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#11 garmanma

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 06:55 PM

negative is ground. put that on the chassis
Mark

Edited by garmanma, 06 July 2007 - 06:57 PM.

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#12 bloomcounty

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 10:35 AM

I don't even know if this thing works...

What can I test it on to make sure it does?

Also, with terms like negative, black lead, chassis, etc. -- and me being dumb enough not to figure out the direct correlation, let's start at the beginning.

One positive wire
One negative wire
The part of my computer where I seem to feel electricity sometimes
A metal port on my computer (or something else that would be "grounded"? like what?)

Using those terms, what goes where and when?

It's tricky to try too, because I think I'd only get a reading when it's actually happening, and that's not all the time (and not for a very long time).

Note: It's not a one-shot static shock kind of thing -- when it happens, it's a constant pain that's felt that builds the longer I keep contact with it (but it seem to only happen sometimes).

Also, my set-up isn't ideal, so I don't know if that could be a factor. Now, I realize this isn't ideal, but how I have this set up, because where my laptop sits is so far from the outlet (and I can't find a power strip/supply thing with a chord that's 10'), I have an old "circuit protected" splitter thing that's plugged into the outlet near my TV/dvd-player that has six plugs. The green light is lit that says it's "circuit protected". All of outlets on it are filled (TV, lamp, dvd players, and a 6' chord to a power strip). That power strip has another power strip plugged into it with a 6' chord. That second power strip sits near my computer and has my laptop, second monitor, and printer plugged into it. I *never* run all the stuff at the same time. I know this isn't a great set-up, but I'm not sure what else to do. Could this be a part of the problem? Or would that not matter?

(Maybe I can buy a circuit protected thing for another outlet that's about 15' away and get a single extension chord for my laptop and plug it into that one, so it's on its own thing? But is it okay to have your laptop plugged into an extension chord? I guess I'm already doing that with the two power strips in a sense...) Thoughts?

Thanks! :thumbsup:
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#13 garmanma

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 11:28 AM

The way I would do it is to take the negative probe and place it on the building's (house) ground circuit, say the ground portion of a receptacle.
l l
o <- ground

and the positive probe on the part of the case the you feel the tingle
Mark

Edited by garmanma, 07 July 2007 - 11:31 AM.

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#14 bloomcounty

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 09:42 AM

Okay, so I've been trying to do this, but no results so far. Since it only does it sometimes, it's hard to time it right to get a result. (And I'm still not sure I'm doing it right...) I've been told it's very hard to track down a short in anything. I will keep trying.

I'm wondering if it is a short, could that have something to do with my laptop feeling hotter lately and the fan running more? (Though that all still just might be normal...)

Also, if it is a short, could that prove harmful to my laptop and/or hard drive, or just an annoyance to me using it? (I may just place a towel across the bottom of the laptop where my arms lay on it...)

Thanks!
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#15 garmanma

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 10:37 AM

You are correct in assuming shorts are hard to find. Excessive heat could be the cause or the result of the short. Over a period of time it possibly could damage something, or something might just quit working. Even taking it apart and looking for problems might not get you anywhere. sorry to be of no help
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