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Medion notebook overheating


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#1
Metallica

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Hi,

I'm trying to rescue my wifes notebook. I already backed up all important data.

The machine has been having problems for a few months now, gradually getting worse.
It usually stops working unannounced. Most of the time it is really hot when it does, so I'm thinking the cooling may not be working like it used to.

I'm trying to complete a Scandisk surface scan and some bad clusters came up (all in the first part of the drive), but it crashes at about 85% before the scan can finish.

The notebook is almost 5 years old and I already replaced the smart Li-Ion cell about a year ago.

Basically my questions are:
- Is there anyway I can establish if the failures are really due to overheating? (nothing shows up in the system logs)
- Is it worth the trouble to try and make repairs or will I be cheaper off buying a new one?

The machine:

Promedion D470W
Intel 2.4 GHz 256 MB DDR333
harddrive 40GB 4200rpm

OS: Windows XP pro

I'm pretty good with computers, but not as good with hardware as I'd like to be.
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#2
happyrock

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good laptop cleaning guide here

Bad computer memory is one of the three main reasons for random system crashing..hanging...BSOD.. the other two are heat (usually caused by fans or heatsinks being blocked with dust) or power issues...
first...

lets make sure its not your memory going bad...get memtest + here....
the lowdown is here...

if you have a floppy drive you can get the 6th one down ...set the bios to boot from the floppy drive A: first...then the cd drive then the Hard drive C:
or you can get the 2nd one down and burn the ISO file to a cd and then boot it from the cd drive...let memtest run for at least 2 hours...if it starts showing any errors during that time then you will have to replace the RAM...no errors after 2 hours just press Esc to end the tests and we will try some other tests

go here and get everest home...install and launch it...click the + by computer...click on sensor...get a screenshot and post it so I can check your temps and voltages...

NOTE...if you have any problems running memtest... Windows Memory Diagnostic may run the tests....you can get it here..

Edited by happyrck, 16 March 2008 - 09:21 AM.

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#3
Metallica

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Not nearly as much information showing, but here goes the Everest screen shot.

mediontemps.png

I did some cleaning and managed to finish the surface scan which reported no significant problems.

Going for the memtest now.
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#4
Metallica

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Going for the memtest now.


Pass 2, no errors.
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#5
hfcg

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Here Are some nice instructions on how to clean the laptop cooling system.
I am pretty good with laptops so feel free to ask questions.
The fans can become clogged, just like a desktop, and restrict the cooling airflow.
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#6
Metallica

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Thanks guys. :)

I'll have to get some compressed air and try if that was really causing all this.
Looks like we ruled out quite a few other options already.
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#7
hfcg

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Please use a cotton swab, or toothpick, to hold the fan.
You do not want to hyper spin the fan as it could fail if spun too fast.
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#8
Metallica

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I'll be super-careful. You can count on that. :)
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#9
happyrock

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I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's probably not malware related ... :)
not much info from everest ...we could try speedfan but
I 'm not sure it would give us any more info as they probably don't have the necessary sensors installed
if you got 2 hours of runtime with memtest and no errors ..probably not that either...
that leave a heat issue and /or to many things running at the same time
-

Is there anyway I can establish if the failures are really due to overheating?

you could try leaving everest (speedfan will do this too) open but minimized and then periodically..check the temps while doing what ever seems to make it crash..

also check the device manager and make sure there aren't any yellow ! marks there..

also noticed you only have 256 M of ram...512 should be considered the minimum for xp...it will run with 256 but your going to get a severe performance hit because of all the hard drive activity (swapping)..the more things running the worse it will be....check her startup tab to see if you can uncheck some of those

Edited by happyrck, 17 March 2008 - 07:39 AM.

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#10
Metallica

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I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's probably not malware related ... :)

I'd have to file for divorce. :)

also check the device manager and make sure there aren't any yellow ! marks there..

None. One of the first things I checked.

also noticed you only have 256 M of ram...512 should be considered the minimum for xp...it will run with 256 but your going to get a severe performance hit because of all the hard drive activity (swapping)..the more things running the worse it will be....check her startup tab to see if you can uncheck some of those

She doesn't use any heavy programs. Usually just Firefox and Incredimail. AV = Nod and Firewall = Kerio
The rest is all set to run "on demand"
It never gave her any problems before or I would have added some RAM.

I'll have her check the temps regularly and gave her a glass plate to put the notebook on, so it doesn't "sink" in the tablecloth.
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#11
happyrock

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let us know how it goes...
I have a client whose laptop kept over heating and CPU throttling back because he had it on his bed...
workaround was to put it in a short sided aluminum pan so the fans were not blocked and the aluminum wicked away the heat...

Edited by happyrck, 17 March 2008 - 08:23 AM.

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#12
Metallica

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I think this one can be considered solved.
After cleaning and keeping the notebook on a glass plate it hasn't crashed for a week.

Thanks gents. :)
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#13
happyrock

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that means your a hero to the wife...and you should be treated as such.. :)
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#14
Metallica

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Don't worry. :)
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