Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

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optimize me
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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by optimize me »

ThePicker wrote:I want to start out by saying that I love this distro - it works almost perfectly, hassle-free, and with grace on my desktop. But it's unfortunate how laptop issues persist, just like with the Ubuntu kernel it's built on, considering how much more important the secure Linux environment is for laptops in wi-fi world.

Here below is an all-too typical response to another respondent's similar problem last year (mine differs in that the fan doesn't run at all)
By the way, I'm another Ubuntu-Linux user with that laptop-burning problem. I am new to Linux Mint, but have tried a few distros in the past year - Mandriva, Fedora, Mepis, DreamLinux, PCLinux, Ubuntu.

[...]

Now, it's another distro release since the above post, and my laptop just got so hot I could smell the plastic burning, and I'm impressed that I was able to power it up again (safe from a literal meltdown, but not happy, in Windows). Obviously the problem with Ubuntu and laptops isn't that rare, as I was able to find and install Powernow earlier this week. It seemed to work for the remaining session after it was installed, but it's just now I found out that more settings must be tweaked before I can expect it to run at startup (lol). So, PLEASE try and fix this problem with the next release - is it really too much to include a fix like Powernow working whenever Mint does? How could it not be better than sending users away? Until Mint takes care of this, maybe there could be a Powernow or other-solutions tutorial for this problem in the sticky zone.

Thanks for your consideration.
You see it as an ongoing problem, though it's the first I've ever heard of it. I have Ubuntu (for the last three years) and (presently) Mint running on two laptops side by side and never saw this happen. Not once.

Here's what I see: Another rant against a bug that is present for some users, that provides no information whatsoever as to specific OS version install, specific hardware, log outputs, or any other relevant information that might help a capable person know where to start looking for the source of the problem.

You're standing in the dark, screaming at the wind.
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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by MarcoB »

Are you talking about the hard disk overheat problem?

That is a well know bug, yes.

Basically the hard disk spins too much due to the "agressive" linux and it overheats.
But there are a few fixes out there.

IF you are talking about the hard disk :roll:

Else I've never heard of any other heating laptop problems either.
Except this one that is pretty serious.

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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by optimize me »

All that typing and still no information provided.
:roll:
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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by mcash454 »

optimize me wrote: You're standing in the dark, screaming at the wind.
ThePicker wrote: That much is apparent, but I'm not a blowhard!
The Picker, I think what optimize me was trying to say is explained in more detail here.

Basically, it is much easier for the experienced / advanced users to try to identify the source of a problem if they know more about your set-up, so it is very helpful to post your output to the lspci command.
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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by Husse »

ThePicker thanks for your input
It always helps to know the hardware and software involved to appreciate the situation - it helps to establish if it is a bug as you imply (and of course there are bugs - nod doubt about that) or if it is a problem with a specific computer or both
Of course a laptop can overheat but the problem posted many times in this forum is that the fans do not spin down so there's a lot of noise - the opposite of your problem
And there are quite a few reports of "speed-throttling" not working so that the battery time is decreased
And the problem with how the Ubuntu kernel treats laptop hard disks has a topic of it's own - a long one (of course I don't find it now when I want to link to it, the topic has not been active for some time)
But frankly I have not until now seen a report of such serious overheating (as far as I can remember) but as this is a safety concern (it may catch fire) it has to be dealt with seriously
This topic confuses me a bit - do you still have the problem or was it solved by powernowd?
I'll report this as a bug in the bug section of the forum - the proper place is really launchpad ....
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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by DrHu »

ThePicker wrote:1. I am talking about tech guys like YOU, who's join date is more recent than I have been using Linux, but take it on themselves to assert his distro's chronology of perfection, no matter how many users who he has either not interacted with or ignored otherwise.
This is a problem of perception, yours I think
--I don't think you will find anyone in these or any other forums, which are basically about problems or complaints with a very few Kudos to the development teams, that are not of that type (people with OS or application problems)

Now the fact that you are not specifying, except to say powernow should be fixed (how? for what purposes), you don't say

no matter how many users..
Your opinion that you are one of that perceived multitude of users with that problem, which if you were clear about the issue(s) might be answerable; otherwise it comes off as a general rant

Frustrations have been part of every OS that has been produced from the beginning of the computer age (immediately after WWII), when mathematicians & scientists worked on machines with limited hardware and limited resources (read as memory and storage) using bare metal language (machine language) to today's fastest processors with their complicated OS and applications..
ThePicker wrote:I have asked you take into account the setup of this software which is unlikely to harm anyone's computer, BEFORE the lack of it results in a fried laptop, and possibly a fire.
--maybe a poll might help,
  • First: how many people have the melting notebook problem
  • Second: was it a battery problem
The only burning/exploding/melting notebooks (laptops) issues I have heard about has been to do with battery problems
--some more recently and with various brands no matter which OS was installed; we don't blame windows or Apple OS-X for that even if their OS is installed on those notebooks..

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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by richyrich »

Hi, you may want to consider this . .

To help you determine your cpu & hd temps & fan speeds you can download lm-sensors from Synaptic, then run sudo sensors-detect from the terminal, which will take you through the detection process with a bunch of questions (y/n). reboot.
Since I have the kde version of Mint7, I had to add a Plasmoid to the desktop to view my sensors.
In Gnome it may be Screenlets or even Conky. (panel applets available too!)
I have Conky showing my old IBM A31p's temps (avg's low 40's C) & fans (turns on at about 50) on my Mint7 Xfce laptop.

. . or you may not . . just a suggestion. :)

richy

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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by emorrp1 »

Ok, so I have a similar issue, about a year ago, my laptop suddenly began overheating, it would actually cause a hard shutdown after a while, and would certainly burn your lap before then if it wasn't on a desk. I still haven't solved this problem (mostly because I don't like hardware troubleshooting) but I have a workaround in that I just prop up the back of my laptop on a piece of wood to increase the airflow.

Now, you say you've included all the info you think is relevant, i.e. CPU and Hard-Disk, but the problem is rarely as simple as that, as it could be your graphics card (it has been suggested to me that maybe my thermal paste is not so good). So I'm sure what optimize me meant to say was please can you post the output of "inxi -F" which will give us a much more complete view of your hardware.

I installed powernowd, since you mentioned it had benefits immediately, but haven't noticed any improvement, so you see the solution is not that simple. If we included powernowd, then we'd still have people posting about this issue complaining their laptop is still overheating and demanding action and probably still not providing enough info to diagnose. When someone has a problem that the devs cannot reproduce on their own machines, you have to provide much more info, as seemingly irrelevant details can be important. There's many a time I've been trying to solve something for someone, they've tried my possible solution, it didn't work, and then mentioning something much later that they didn't think was important but that enables me to post a complete solution.

With some more investigation into powernowd (since you mention it doesn't start immediately on boot) I came across this: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour ... bug/153186 Apparently, powernowd should be used "on demand", so doesn't run automatically. Since you say it's not coming on until it's much too hot, please follow richyrich's advise to install lm-sensors. This will tell you what temperature Mint thinks your CPU etc. are, and if they're wildly inaccurate (mine always claim 10 degrees) then we can be sure that there's something wrong with the sensors, and there may be a way to tweak powernowd's settings to account for it.
If you have a question that has been answered and solved, then please edit your original post and put a [SOLVED] at the end of your subject header
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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by mcash454 »

richyrich wrote:To help you determine your cpu & hd temps & fan speeds you can download lm-sensors from Synaptic, then run sudo sensors-detect from the terminal, which will take you through the detection process with a bunch of questions (y/n). reboot.
Also, one thing you may want to do just to put your mind at rest a bit with the fire issue, and also to hopefully prevent hardware damage, is to lower the temperature threshold that initiates shutdown in your BIOS settings. It will probably be under something like 'PC Health Status'. At least both my machines have it. If you monitor the temperature like richyrich says, and you see that if the temperature goes up to, say 65 degrees, that it is in 'overheat mode' and on its way to dangerous temperatures, just shutdown at 70. (I'm completely fabricating the numbers, but I hope you understand what I'm suggesting.)

Obviously this doesn't fix the overheating, but it could protect your computer's hardware while using the computer in the midst of finding time to address this problem correctly.
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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by richyrich »

This is where I got mine set up from . . I had to do a little tweaking, but once I found what I needed, all I had to do was add one line to my conkyrc file.
http://conky.linux-hardcore.com/?page_id=393
(there are more scripts, etc. under the Welcome menu, and in the gallery.)
Also the Ubuntu forum has a whole bunch of conky files to check out!

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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by optimize me »

Have you seen this yet: http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Ubuntu_Edgy ... sensors.29

It's kind of old, but may still be relevant.
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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by emorrp1 »

Thanks ThePicker, can you also post the output of these commands:

Code: Select all

sensors
sudo powernowd -v
Normal temperature is c. 40 degrees C
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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by DrHu »

OK, what about that powernow selection, ?
http://archpub20.cs.ccu.edu.tw/cgi-bin/ ... owernowd/1
  • The name is somewhat misleading, as any processor supported by the ker-
    nel cpufreq driver will work, not just processors supporting AMD's Pow-
    erNow! technology. This daemon works best with processors that support
    more then 2 frequency steps, like those with AMD's PowerNow!, and
    Intel's Pentium M family.
--which apparently your T3400 is (Pentium M type)
  • Mode 1, AGGRESSIVE, changes frequency by a sawtooth function.
    Immediately jumps
    to the highest frequency whenever CPU usage goes over
    80%, and decreases by "step" Hz as usage drops below 20%. This is the
    default behavior.
  • Just in general, sawtooth wave is sharp/jumpy, sine wave is smooth
What is the status of cpufreqd
http://www.go2linux.org/how-to-configure-cpufreqd

The simplest solution for notebooks that are too hot in normal operation..
The simple solution is to use a notebook cooler, despite any value in software control of cooling..
http://www.asiannet.com/companies/2937/ ... olers.html
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2085040/n ... ooler_pad/

passive heatsinks..
http://www.superwarehouse.com/Targus_Po ... /p/1504138
http://www.uxsight.com/product/41912/la ... k-pad.html
active (fans) ..
http://www.uxsight.com/product/20279/us ... -fans.html

Many of these notebooks run hot, there are many complaints on that level; and this is due to the small packaging used and the lack of air ports for hot air (cooling fan circulation to escape
usually it is the keyboard or the base of the unit that hot air is expelled; neither are ideal, and probably best is to use specific vents on back or side, like Thinkpads: however the cooler devices, either passive (heatsink ) style or active, fan controlled style can be both fairly cheap and effective.

Notebooks run hot..
http://apcmag.com/nvidia_sued_chips_and ... un_hot.htm

http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=159542
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/29287-35-laptops
http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/archi ... 78077.html

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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by Henry »

I just wanted to say I have installed Mint as primary OS on a Compaq Presario V6000. For the previous three years it has run Windows. In those three years the laptop was hot, one could never use it on their lap, the fan would be on constantly. Now it whispers and even the power supply is cooler... just an observation that Mint is not a laptop toaster.
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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by AK Dave »

ThePicker wrote:I did not post to ask for help with my specific problem of the moment, but to ask the Mint/Ubuntu community to be more attentive to this known, and chronic issue.
You don't want help with a specific problem, then you must be here to rant generically. What a profound waste of effort.

The reality of these heat and power issues, especially with laptops, is that they are complicated multi-factoral problems. There is not one simple solution to a simple problem. There are lots of factors, and depending on your hardware they may need to be addressed in different ways. One size, most certainly, does not fit all.

A huge factor in a lot of overheat problems has to do with the end user: what you do with your computer. I can get my laptop very hot, but not dangerously so, with Flash video. But not with AVI video. Youtube, for example, pegs the thermostat.

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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by DrHu »

ThePicker wrote:Uh-oh. I installed cpufreqd, successfully, I think - here is the output for the install process:
Nope that listing shows that nothing was installed

Code: Select all

No packages will be installed, upgraded, or removed.
0 packages upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 15 not upgraded.
Need to get 0B of archives. After unpacking 0B will be used.
Anyway you can check if it is installed simply by typing into a terminal
cpufregd
--and checking the message
ThePicker wrote:I did not post to ask for help with my specific problem of the moment, but to ask the Mint/Ubuntu community to be more attentive to this known, and chronic issue.
I had forgotten that was your original message, except to advice you that Linux doesn't toast notebooks any more than Windows or Apple does

To echo AK Dave comment
  • "A huge factor in a lot of overheat problems has to do with the end user: what you do with your computer."
You are way off about Linux toasting notebooks

And that it probably was a waste of time & effort.

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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by catilley »

I've been running Mint for about a month now, and I've noticed no unusual heat or burning odor. And my laptop is notorious for overheating (Dell Latitude C640). In fact, it gets hotter running XP Pro. The only time that my laptop has come close to overheating was when converting ISO downloads into bootable live CD's or when installing a new OS. Then it gets hot and even slows down. Just my opinion, but I don't think it's Mint. Do you have two laptops to prove this on? I have Mint on two (the other one is a Dell Latitude D610) laptops with no troubles. And I spend 3 to 5 hours at a time on them every night. If you have a second laptop, install and try it on that. Also, I have Ubuntu, and no troubles with that, either. All laptops get a little hot when you have used it a while. I've never had one that didn't.

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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by emorrp1 »

please note that the OP said this *doesn't* happen in Fedora, or other RPM-based distros, which means it should somehow be possible to port that over (this won't help my case, I tested fedora last night, and didn't do a thing)
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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by ageeb »

ThePicker wrote: Here below is an all-too typical response to another respondent's similar problem last year (mine differs in that the fan doesn't run at all)
And your BIOS doesn't bark at you for having your CPU fan down? Can you adjust it to be fixed speed rather than by temperature in BIOS? Do you have BIOS updates available to you? I realize you're not looking for a solution, but i'm just curious on a personal level.

As far as not looking for a solution and just trying to make dev's, etc aware of the problem, i suspect NOT bringing them detailed info won't allow them to replicate the problem and therefore fix the problem.

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Re: Mint burns laptops, please don't leave it to another distr

Post by RonP »

This sounds like a hardware issue. You did not specify the brand of PC, but the OS is not responsible for fan operation in PCs I repair. We replace failing fans, motherboards and CPUs for this issue constantly. It is not limited to laptops but effects desktops as well.

Another cause can be dust accumulation blocking the airflow. I have corrected minor overheating in hundreds of machines by cleaning the dust from the cooling channels (including my own). Electronic systems attract and hold dust. Try a shot of canned air. If the problem persists, particularly no fan operation (overheats) or a runaway fan (obnoxious), contact the manufacturer for service.

Oh, and one other thing, I have had customers complaining of overheating and found the unit sitting on a pillow because it was more comfortable. The pillow (or any soft surface) can block proper ventilation and cause overheating.

RonP

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