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I just got back from a month and a half vacation away from home and computers, and arrived back to find that my laptop seems to feel a lot hotter on the bottom than it usually does. Granted, it's been almost two months and maybe I just forgot how it normally feels, but especially when it is plugged in it gets quite hot to the touch, and this is a Pentium M processor and a laptop that I think is normally very cool.
As far as I can tell, fans are running and everything is working correctly otherwise. Are there any diagnostics I can run or checks I can do to see if something isn't as it should be?
I'd start by getting a can of air and blowing into all of the air vents around the bottom and sides of the laptop. Over two months, it's possible that the system collected some dust on heatsinks and the like.
Also, you can use lm-sensors to check your processor's core temperature.
I thought I should be good and do my research before I ask questions, so I've done so and I'll be a little more specific. I couldn't find much, except something saying Im-sensors code has been known to corrupt EEPROM on Thinkpads. I also use apm, not acpi. Is there an easier way to check cpu temperature I'm not seeing, or even is there a way to do it easily under Windows (I'm dual booting).
I'm not sure how to check the temps for laptop's using APM's in linux, check the downloads section on the thinkpad website, they may have a utility for windows to check your temps. Newer laptops keep quite warm, if your laptop is working properly then its more than likely not overheating.
I have a toshiba 3.3ghz and I had overheating problems, the laptop would suddenly shut off if I was doing something that put the cpu under high load, I had to take it apart and blew out quite a bit of dust and animal hair from the inside of the heatsink, there was no way I could have gotten the dust balls out externally.
If you have the laptop on your lap be sure not to block any fan intake or exaust ports, try to keep it on a hard surface as much as possible, also you may want to invest in a cooling pad, they run about 30 bucks and hook up to your usb port, they def help things keep cooler.