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Old 05-07-2014, 07:43 AM   #1
aristocratic
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Best Linux distro for cooling a Laptop CPU and hard drive?


I just wiped XP off my old Compaq Presario laptop, and did a fresh load of Lubuntu 14.04. From the desktop, I clicked on Accessories, then Disks. Under "Assessment" on the internal hard drive, it reads "Disk is OK, 170 bad sectors (49C/120F)." I also noticed the fan on the laptop did not come on at all during 2+ hours of operation, and the temperature of the hard drive just kept climbing. So my question is two fold:

(1) Is this temperature OK? I have concerns that it might degrade the motherboard and/or the hard drive on an already old laptop.

(2) What is the best Linux distro for cooling the electronics on a laptop?
 
Old 05-07-2014, 11:08 AM   #2
JeremyBoden
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170 bad sectors is 170 hard error sectors - this is not like Windows and its software error sectors.
Take regular backups of your data.
If that 170 starts to increase, then get a new disk!

My disk temperature is 35C - but that is a desktop.
Laptops tend to run rather hot.
I would expect the temperature in the case to reach a limit fairly quickly (5 mins) and then just stay there.
So 49C is probably OK.

If you reach 60C I would switch it off though!!!

http://mobileoffice.about.com/gi/o.h...s-information/ gives a script near the end of the article on how to switch your laptop off if it reaches a preset temperature...

Last edited by JeremyBoden; 05-07-2014 at 11:19 AM.
 
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:26 AM   #3
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
170 bad sectors is 170 hard error sectors - this is not like Windows and its software error sectors.
Take regular backups of your data.
exactly, and start doing that soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
If that 170 starts to increase, then get a new disk!
I may be a critical user, but I would put that HDD out of service NOW. 170 bad sectors is a lot - it could mean that a slow-acting decay has been on its way for some time, and it may be continuing, maybe at an increasing pace. I wouldn't want to wait it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
My disk temperature is 35C - but that is a desktop.
Same here, approximately. Occasionally, I've seen it go up near 40C.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
Laptops tend to run rather hot.
Do they? I've never watched the HDD temp one mine, only the CPU temperature, which keeps swaying somewhere around 45..55C, sometimes close to 60C. About the same as my desktop's CPU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
So 49C is probably OK.
To me it sounds alarming, but I don't have a real reference.

[X] Doc CPU
 
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:47 AM   #4
haertig
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On our laptops, I set all of them elevated off of a hard surface. I use four plastic screw-lids from water bottles you buy at the grocery. Those raise the laptop about 3/4" above the desk. That does wonders for cooling. For the laptops that don't often get moved, I have spot-glued those little bottle caps to the bottom with contact cement. They stay in place, but can be peeled off easily if you need them off. My desktop temps are ridiculously cool. I have a good case with many large high qualilty cooling fans, and I suppose that makes a difference. The actual CPU cooler is a decent quality, but not high end heatsink/fan.
 
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:19 PM   #5
suicidaleggroll
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I have my servers configured to send out warning emails when the temperature of any drive exceeds 40C, and to shut themselves down if it exceeds 45C. I've found that beyond ~50C the hard drive's lifespan plummets. We had one day when the A/C in the server room went out and the drives got up to around 50-55C...we lost 4 hard drives. Luckily they were on separate machines and the RAID was able to recover.

49C is way too hot for a standard HDD in my opinion, I would work on cooling it down ASAP.

And to reiterate what was said above, 170 bad sectors is a lot (probably has something to do with running at 49C, either that or its age) and you should work on backing up and replacing that drive soon.
 
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:48 PM   #6
aristocratic
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Many thanks, fellas. This helps me out tremendously. I will implement backups immediately. Awesome and innovative method of keeping your laptops cool, haertig. I will have to try it.
 
Old 05-07-2014, 05:34 PM   #7
Doc CPU
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Hi there,

Quote:
Originally Posted by haertig View Post
My desktop temps are ridiculously cool. I have a good case with many large high qualilty cooling fans, and I suppose that makes a difference. The actual CPU cooler is a decent quality, but not high end heatsink/fan.
I rather prefer PSUs, CPUs and board designs that can work safely without a fan. My desktop PC featuring an AMD X2/260 is about the only one here that actually needs a fan. Two, to be precise - one on the CPU and one in the power supply. All my other machines are either completely fanless, or they do have a fan, but rarely need to turn it on.
Enjoy the silence. :-)

Your method of keeping laptops cooler than usual is unconventional, by the way, but I do believe it's effective.

[X] Doc CPU
 
Old 05-07-2014, 07:24 PM   #8
maples
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I use one of those USB-powered laptop cooling pads. The one I have is curved, so the bottom of the laptop is about a quarter inch off the pad in the middle, and it has a fan that takes air in from the back and blows it across the bottom of the laptop. It also angles the keyboard so it's a little easier on your wrists.
 
Old 05-07-2014, 08:30 PM   #9
TobiSGD
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While 49C are pretty hot for desktop disks, laptop disks work at an extended range.
To answer the original question, there is no real difference between the distros regarding how cool your machine runs.
There are some general things to consider:
1. Don't run unnecessary programs/daemons in the background to reduce CPU and disk load.
2. Make sure that power-saving for the CPU is installed and configured correctly.
3. Make sure that power-saving for the GPU is working properly. If you use open source drivers for your GPU you may need to upgrade to the latest kernel and add parameters to your kernel command-line.
4. Try to reduce disk load with using mount options like noatime, install laptopmodetools and configure it to shut down the disk after a reasonable amount of time.
 
  


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