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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently did a fresh reformat on my Gateway T-1620 from Windows Vista to XP. I got all of my drivers just fine and the system seems to run fine, but the only problem is that now my CPU fan seems to kick into high gear almost immediately after turning on the unit. I had to actually remove the plastic piece from underneath the laptop because it would continually overheat and shutdown after about 5-10 minutes of use, even idle use.

I know that when I got my drivers I did get some northbridge drivers that seemed to work fine with the new XP install, but I didn't do anything for my BIOS. I don't know if that would be the problem or not, but do I need to do a BIOS update to fix something like this?
 

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Umm, it might not be a problem that your CPU fan is full-on; it might be that your CPU is pegged at 100% for some reason, and the fan is only doing it's job.

Hit control+ald+del, launch Task Manager and see if your CPU is running at 100%. If it is, report the process that is using up all the CPU cycles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I would understand if the thing was starting to really go if I was authoring a DVD, rendering 10 filters in Photoshop, and running a PS2 emulator, but it will start to heat up as soon as I turn on the computer, with nothing running. CPU process is at around 14% normally, and it will just start going for no apparent reason.

I have tried shutting it down and letting it sit for a while, then turning it back on when the CPU is cooled down, but after 10-15 minutes the same effect occurs.
 

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Alright, well another theory is that your Thermal Compound (between the CPU and the Heast Sink Fan) has failed, and that the temps justify the fan being full-on.

What is your CPU temp at idle ? At full load ?
 

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There's a wide variety of skill level here, and everyone here is learning something from someone.

Download & install SpeedFan and run the graphs showing vcore voltage, and CPU temp over the period of about 15 minutes or so. You can test CPU temp at idle, and if you download & install Prime 95 you can run the test with your CPU running at 100%.

Running Prime95 is more difficult if you have a dual-core processor, because you have to figure out howto get two instances of P95 to run at the same time; one for each core.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just turned on the computer, and at it's idle state the temp reads at 66C. After opening Firefox and iTunes the temp jumped up and down to 67, 68, 69, and finally ended on 69C. After that I went and opened Adobe Photoshop, and the temp jumped up to 73C, which I expected. When I closed it the temp dropped down to 71C, and that's what it's staying at right now.

I'm going to close the laptop lid and let the computer sit for 15 minutes, then check back and see if the temp has risen on it's own with no other activity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Seems as though the CPU temp has gone up to 73-74C, but hasn't gone any higher than that and that's what it's stable at right now. I'm not sure if this is too hot for basic usage, but it feels really hot.
 

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Unless you have a Pentium 4, those temperatures are DANGEROUSLY high. I think they are only "high" for P4's, but if you have an AMD processor, I think you are causing permanent damage to it.

You have an issue with your heat sink. It is either not getting any air-flow (too dirty), the HSF is too poor in quality to adequately cool the CPU, the thermal compound has failed or the HSF is mounted improperly on the CPU, or some combination of all of the above.

Crack that HSF off the CPU and take a look. Blow-out/vacuum off the dust, apply Arctic Silver 5, and make certain when you put it back that it is installed correctly. Some heat sinks have a "ledge", and if you put it in 180 degrees backwards, the heat sink doesn't mate flatly against the CPU die.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Damn, I knew it was getting too hot.... alright I don't think I have any of that compound to put the HSF back on, can I just buy that at like Best Buy or something?

And also I don't think the HSF is too poor quality to cool it, because this problem just started happening about 2 months ago. Before that, the thing never overheated and barely ever felt too hot and shut itself down... that's why I figured it may be a mobo issue. But I will try looking at the heatsink/heatsink fan and see what's goin on.
 

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Call around various computer shops and ask if they have Arctic Silver 5 in stock. There's at least one other brand out there that is considered "superior", so someone may say they've got something that is just as good.

Is your CPU a P4 ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I went to radioshack and grabbed something that says "Thermaltake - Thermal Compound #AS (Arctic Silver 5)". I think that's what I want, hopefully anyways...

And no, my CPU is an AMD Turion 64 Dual-core. And also, how should I remove the HSF properly without damaging the CPU or anything else near it?
 

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If you Google around, there are various "How To" guides posted. There might even be one here at TSF. It's not that big of a deal. Pull the HSF and clean it well with alcohol, the pull the CPU, and clean it with alcohol and Q-tips. You could probably clean the CPU without even removing it. \

Put a small, BB-sized dab of AS5, if you have an exposed die, a thin layer across the whole CPU if it has an IHS (Internal Heat Sink, i.e. metal cover) over the CPU.

That's incredibly hot for an AMD processor that isn't overclocked. Has someone been messing with the BIOS voltages ? If not, I would wonder if your CPU fan is intermittantly failing.

Once you've got the AS5 applied and the HSF reassembled and the computer running again, install Speed Fan, get a graph running of the CPU fan speed and see if it stops running occasionally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the tips, I'm gonna go try that and see how it goes. If I clean the fan and the CPU and throw it back together and it's still getting upwards of 75C and 76C, is there a way to test for HSF failure?
 

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More accurately described as "CPU fan failure". The Heat Sink is a dumb piece of metal, and the only way it can "fail" is if it is so clogged with **** that it can't radiate heat.

The Speedfan suggestion is how to test for CPU fan failure. You should see it spinning at all times, so that's the first step. Second is Speedfan, to see if it stops or slows when you aren't looking at it. That is called "intermittant failure".

Again your temps are dangerously high, particularly for an AMD CPU, which should never get much higher than say 40C at full CPU usage. Your temps (if accurate) mean that permanent damage is being done. Be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the small explanation.

I went through and removed the CPU fan, and underneath it is the ventalation where all the hot air goes out. All stuck up along the side of it was a ton of gunk and crap, probably a quarter of an inch thick. I removed it with some q-tips, and also cleaned the fan itself like you suggested. I put it all back together and everything seems to be running fine now, but I'm not down to 40C...

Since the fan used to be running at 77-80C, It now runs at about 60C on average which is a HUGE improvement. The fan never really needs to start going any faster than how it is when I first turn on the comp, but is 60C still too hot?

EDIT:
I did check with SpeedFan and my fan is not intermittently stopping, so I think the fan is fine. I know that the reason it was getting to 80C was because of the crap stuck to the exhaust pipe, but it's staying solid at around 60C, 62C...
 

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Yes, 60 C is too hot. Dangerously too hot still, I think. But not as bad as it was.

How clean did you get it ? REAL clean, or just "sort of" clean ?

Did you use the AS5 ? Did the CPU have an exposed die, or an IHS ? Did you use the right amount of AS5 ? How clean did you get the area between the CPU and the HSF ? That's the most critical area. It should have been absolutely, perfectly clean. And foreign debris in there will prevent the proper exchange of heat, and cause the CPU to overheat.

It's possible that Speedfan is not reporting your temps accurately, so you might try to find a temp reporting utility at the motherboard manufacturer's web-site. They are more likely to give you an accurate temp, given that they know exactly what's on the m/b.

Is this 60C temp with the case buttoned-up, or wide open ?

If it's buttoned up, take the side off the case, and let a house fan blow into the case for a while, and check the temp. If it falls back down to a normal level, you need to think about improving your case cooling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I had the bottom of the case off the laptop, and I was running it like that before. Once I cleaned out all of the gunk from underneath the fan, I screwed the case back on.

I did not actually need to remove the entire fan, or maybe I did but I didn't do it when I cleaned out the inside of it. I just unscrewed the the fan and lifted it up, and then I swabbed the exhaust area with a q-tip to remove all of the crap caught up in front of the exhaust. Then after that I wiped the fan, and closed the fan and screwed it back in. My fan had some sort of hinge it was on, so I could just lift it up and keep everything still in-tact, so I didn't need to actually remove it. However I do still think that the laptop feels a little hot, so I will go in again and remove the whole fan from the laptop, check around the CPU and see what's going on.

And also, what do you mean by "exposed die or IHS"?
 

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I just realized this is a laptop. If I had known that, I wouldn't have advocated that you open it up. I do computer repair, and I'm scared to open them, and hire someone else to do it.

http://images.google.com/images?um=1&q=CPU&btnG=Search+Images

If you look at the various pictures, you'll notice that some CPU's have a metal cover over the whole CPU, while others have a small rectangle in the middle. That is actually the CPU, otherwise known as the "die". The metal covers are called "Internal Heat Sinks" (IHS), and look the same underneat the metal cover.

As a side note, extreme overclockers remove those IHS's, in order to get a better "mate" between the die and the HSF. The smoother the surfaces, the tighter the pressure between them and the better the thermal compound, the better, faster the heat transfers from the die to the HSF.

Again, I apologise. This is kinda high-risk. I wouldn't have advocated doing it had I known it was a laptop.

Let me know how it goes, & be careful.

Note: Leftover parts is a BAD thing. :grin:
 
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