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I've recently instaled ubuntu 12.10 on my notebook and noticed that it starts overheating after a few minutes of simple usage having only for example a browser opened or reading a pdf so nothing procesor intentsive.

I've tried also with xubuntu desctop thinking that it would be more lightweight, but with no success.

I have a core2duo intel porcesor and ati radeon 2600HD graphic card.

I've also tried to install the proprietary drivers for the graphic card but no success, when I install drivers and login the menu is gone in unity

Do I have any chanses to stop this overheating...any hints?

I'm pasting the sensors output :

Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +71.0°C  (crit = +105.0°C)
temp2:        +45.0°C  (crit = +105.0°C)
temp3:        +26.8°C  (crit = +105.0°C)
temp4:        +75.0°C  (crit = +110.0°C)
temp5:        +55.0°C  (crit = +256.0°C)
temp6:        +45.0°C  (crit = +105.0°C)

Adapter: ISA adapter
Core 0:       +49.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1:       +47.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

Adapter: PCI adapter
temp1:        +51.0°C  

the temp1 and temp4 are problematic, temp4 sometimes goes as far as 100%

Anyway how can I find out what temp1 and tem4 are refered to? Is that a graphic card chip or something else?

Just hit the 100°C

Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +75.0°C  (crit = +105.0°C)
temp2:        +46.0°C  (crit = +105.0°C)
temp3:        +27.0°C  (crit = +105.0°C)
temp4:       +100.0°C  (crit = +110.0°C)
temp5:        +55.0°C  (crit = +256.0°C)
temp6:        +45.0°C  (crit = +105.0°C)
Adapter: ISA adapter
Core 0:       +49.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1:       +47.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Adapter: PCI adapter
temp1:        +56.0°C  

Aditional info:

  • the fan is working on 100% when overheating occures

  • I've installed also WIN7 on the same notebook and there the problem is not occuring

  • the CPU is 99% idle when overheating occures so it is not the CPU

  • I've also updatet the BIOS to the latest image but does not help

share|improve this question
The cpu is quite idle when overheating occures, the notebokk is already clened from dust. So I asume that it is some other chip that overheats, probbably the grapics card, but I'm not certainn of that, I should also point out that I have dual boot and WIN7 installed as an alternate system and in WIN7 the notebook is not overheating. There everything below 70°C – simonC Jan 17 '13 at 16:35
Thanks for the updated information. I still stand by my earlier statement: A laptop with fans at full speed shall never overheat (100°C). In no circumstance, this should be possible. I've seen this happening on my old ThinkPad T61 too and it appeared to be way too much thermal grease on the GPU chip to the heatsink. Re-applying it with a more sensible amount fixed the issue for me (together with proper fan control in the kernel). – gertvdijk Jan 17 '13 at 17:31
@gertvdijk not sure that the new termal grase would my opinion is some driver problem because on win7 it is working ok with no overheating – simonC Jan 17 '13 at 17:56
In a similar question with the same laptop it was reported that driver version 11.2+ of the fglrx driver makes the laptop run a lot cooler. Still, a laptop should not reach 100°C at full power in normal conditions, no matter what kind of software/driver you use. – gertvdijk Jan 17 '13 at 18:22
thnx for the info I've found a partial solution lowering the power profile to low more info here ... but it is rely an ugly work around… – simonC Jan 17 '13 at 22:33

The most likely reason for the overheat is that the CPU is being driven at or close to 100% utilisation.

Fire up a copy of system monitor and look to see what your CPU utilisation is, if it's high as I suspect, then use the system monitor to look at running processes etc, see if you can determine which of those processes is the one most using the CPU.

If there's a clear leader then if possible terminate that process and see if your CPU cools down.

One thing to always remember about laptops is that most of them are passively cooled and / or only have relatively small fans, it may not be any software that your running thats causing it, it may just be the way your using it or sitting it on your knee for example.

I used to have a thinkpad that had a very small cooling aperture, and it only needed to be on my knee for less that a minute before the cooling system kicked into high gear due to getting too hot.

I don't know where in the world you are, but here in the UK we have a chain of shops called "poundland" who just recently have been selling USB laptop stands, these are a perspex stand about 1 inch high with a perforated deck and a fan in the middle with a USB plug on. Plugging the USB plug into your laptop USB port powers the fan and blows cool air across the bottom giving it extra ability to keep cool. There cheep and cheerful, but at £1 uk you can't go wrong.


After a little bit of research, it's also come to light that some model's of HP laptops have a problem with the BIOS, this problem prevents the BIOS from switching on the fans correctly using the power management facilities on the device, the good news is that a patch can be obtained from HP to rectify the issue, and like all patches can be downloaded from the HP site.


There also seems to be a general conscious that the copper piping inside this model is badly designed and not up-to the job of removing the amount of heat they need to.

share|improve this answer
"most likely reason for the overheat is that the CPU is being driven at or close to 100% utilisation" No it's not. coretemp temperatures are under 50°C. – gertvdijk Jan 16 '13 at 22:50
Temperatures under 50 degrees don't mean nothing... it's exactly what it says, a measure of Kinetic energy radiated into the outside atmosphere by Conductive means. What your saying by that comment is basically, for the CPU to be driven at 100% it has to be at 100 degrees C temperature, or 1% = 1 degree, which is I'm sorry to say an insane idea. I have a Raspberry Pi sat here on my desk, I can drive that at 10% utilisation, and hit 55 degrees. My laptop on the other hand, I can drive easily at 75% utilisation and yet maintain a steady 40 degrees. – shawty Jan 16 '13 at 23:24
That's not what I was trying to say. All I'm saying here is that it is very wrong to point at the CPU to be the cause for overheating. It's almost the coolest part of the laptop! Clearly, another part is 100°C+. – gertvdijk Jan 16 '13 at 23:30
ok fair enough, but if you read my comment again, you'll see that I'm mearly suggesting it as a possibility, I'm in no way saying this is your exact problem, and as is (or should be the way) on these stack exchange sites, other people should come along and put their own honest answers on too, and let the OP decide for his/her self which course of action to follow. I don't ever claim to be right on these boards, all I ever offer is the benefit of the experience I have. – shawty Jan 16 '13 at 23:44
If you have an alternative route that the OP should investigate, then instead of picking fault with my answer, why not compliment it and add your own answer and your own spin on possible causes to the issue, let the OP decide for themselves instead of waiting to be told. People like you or I that take time to answer on places like this have a duty to educate folks not just outright solve thier problems for them :-) Rant Over - Extends a hand to shake.... – shawty Jan 16 '13 at 23:46

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