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my Lenovo Laptop is overheating since I installed Ubuntu 11.10.

Does anyone know of a fix/cause for this problem?

Thanks!

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My t61 is running the fan a lot, but the running "sensors" in the terminal displays a low temp. The fan gets noisy at 3300 rpm. Is your fan running a lot or is it shutting down from overheating? –  user33045 Nov 9 '11 at 16:19
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Does it have the rubber feet/whatchamathingers under it? My T61p's never fell off... But I know that if those fall off, the fans under your laptop can't blow right, and it'll overheat. Granted, this is probably not your problem, but I found it oddly amusing how those rubber feet are an incredibly important part of your computer. –  Daniel Nov 11 '11 at 5:01
    
The nvidia card on my T61 has just died after about a month with Ubuntu 11.10. I have never checked my temperatures, but it died during a couple of days of rapid freeze-ups. I was using nvidia's own official driver. I'm putting this information in this thread so that other people may comment if they have experienced the same. Otherwise I will just conclude that my graphics card is dead and it has nothing to do with any faulty kernel modules or nvidia drivers. –  benjaoming Dec 29 '11 at 15:11
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2 Answers

There are several factors in a laptop overheating. Here is what I did for my Lenovo T410 when it was having this shutdown problem. The steps are generic enough for any laptop.

Configure your bios to be more battery/power friendly

Restart and boot to your Bios (you press some function key or, in Lenovo, the "ThinkVantage" button) and go to the power options and choose more performance friendly ones. Here are the settings I changed in my Lenovo's BIOS. Don't worry if your BIOS settings are different, just hunt around for what sounds Power related and make sure it's not set to maximize performance type options. My laptop's example BIOS settings:

  • Speed Step Technology set to "Enabled" (I still have a need for speed). But "Mode for AC" and "Mode for Battery" both set to to "Maximum Battery" (NOT "Maximum Performance").
  • Adaptive Thermal Management "Enabled". "Scheme for AC" and "Scheme for Battery" both set to "Balanced" ( NOT "Maximize Performance").
  • CPU power Management, PCI Power Management and PCI Express Management to "Automatic" (NOT "Disabled")

Don't forget to save the bios settings before exiting.

Update your BIOS

Sometimes the way the laptop talks to its parts (like the fan) changes in later BIOS versions. If you get the latest BIOS installed, there's a chance that if there was some issue in the BIOS that was causing the overheat, it might have been fixed.

Warning!!! Back up your data before updating your BIOS!

It's usually safe to update but there's a chance things could go wrong.

Lenovo, in your case, makes it easy to update by having a bootable cd. You can google it like this: Lenovo T410 "Bios Update" "Bootable CD" (insert your model number instead of T410). You burn the .iso image and boot off of it and follow the on screen instructions to update the BIOS.

Cut down on heavy graphics effects in your Desktop

Go into your Display settings and make sure that you don't overdo it with effects. If you're running beryl or some other effects engine, consider limiting the number of effects.

Make sure the fan isn't stuck

If you want to maintain it and feel brave, remove the keyboard (typically unscrewing a few screws and gently prying it from the hinges under the bottom keys) and look at the fan and make sure there's no dust blocking it so that it can spin easily.

Monitor the Temperature

On unity there is:

sudo apt-get install indicator-power 

For the command line, there is powertop

sudo apt-get install indicator-power 

Run it from unity and check the boxes for monitoring the fan and all the cores.

More great tips here.

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I think that this bug report on Launchpad can be related to your problem; check it out and, if you're sure that it is related, tell in the comments that the problem can affect also Ubuntu 11.10. This is the bug report:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/751689

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