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I have an HP Pavillion dv4-2165dx that has the following specs:

  • 2.13 Intel Core i3-330M Processor
  • 4GB RAM Intel HD Graphics
  • Intel 80GB SSD (Newly installed)

Ever since I got the laptop, even before I upgraded my hard drive when I play games my volume controls go out of whack.

They will jump up and down randomly and uncontrollably until I quit the game, and usually I have to force quit the game because the volume changing will make the game lose focus and just make it hard to do anything. It makes ALL games unplayable.

What is weird is this only happens for games. It doesn't happen when I am on my desktop which does the desktop effects by default, and I thought since it's using the graphics card for rendering it would do that, but maybe desktop effects doesn't use the same graphics libraries that games use? I don't know.

If anyone has any insight to how to solve this problem, it would be greatly appreciated! Everything else works great with the laptop, but this is a show stopper for me.

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2 Answers 2

It sounds like you have this combination of problems:

  • Your GPU overheats your computer very quickly.
  • You have those heat-sensitive touch controls for volume HP enjoys so much to use.

If the heat produced by the GPU is enough to activate volume controls, they will receive quasi random commands and your volume will annoyingly jitter up and down.

IF this is the case, the solution is improving heat dissipation for your laptop.

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Hmm I never thought of that being the issue, but it makes sense. The laptop has a 12-cell battery so it is constantly raised and has pretty good airflow. Is there a utility on Ubuntu I can use to see the GPU temperature? –  Doug Barrett Oct 11 '10 at 0:11
    
@Doug, I envy you. :) I installed the sensors-applet for that; there probably are easier ways though. –  badp Oct 11 '10 at 8:10

I also had this issue with such applications as Boxee, Minecraft, and Bastion. Originally thought it had to do with full screen apps or mouse prioritization. But I did recognize that it is mostly games - all graphically intense. This makes so much sense but I doubt there's a great way for me to dissipate heat more efficiently. If anyone can prove me wrong, please do. :D

Edit: I tested the temp and during rest it is about 44C. I tried running Bastion and it peaked at 56C then bounced back down and plateaued at 52C. Is that a big enough difference to cause the volume slider to flip out? After closing Bastion and waiting a few seconds, my volume controls and temp go back to normal. I also tested Amnesia and had a peak of 60C without any issues at all.

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Welcome to AskUbuntu! This post would be more suitable as a comment on the question, please make sure to move it once you have the required reputation. –  Oyibo Sep 30 '12 at 9:23

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