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Vostro 3500 heat issue and fan noise


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Vostro 3500 heat issue and fan noise

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Vostro 3500, i5, 6GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, GeForce 310M, Ubuntu 10.04 (kernel 2.6.32-27-generic)

The temperature often rises and my laptop shutdown itself. Of course it is an extremely annoying issue as I often lose recent work.

After auto-shutdown, I checked the log. There is an extremely clear message:

Jan 11 21:27:48 red kernel: [26482.802144] Critical temperature reached (100 C), shutting down.

I regulary check temperature with sensors command, but get only one sensors:

$ sensors
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:       +68.5°C  (crit = +100.0°C)

With the fix provided by "prod f" I successfuly see other sensors with these commands:

cd /tmp
wget http://khali.linux-fr.org/devel/misc/coretemp/coretemp.c
wget http://khali.linux-fr.org/devel/misc/coretemp/Makefile
sudo insmod ./coretemp.ko

So now I see:

$ sensors
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:       +69.5°C  (crit = +100.0°C)                 

Adapter: ISA adapter
Core 0:      +73.0°C  (high = +95.0°C, crit = +105.0°C) 

Adapter: ISA adapter
Core 2:      +71.0°C  (high = +95.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)

It seems very hot for a idling computer. Obviously the fan is running full speed and is noisy.  I am cloning my system to be able to install Windows 7 64 bits and upgrade the BIOS to latest version. I'll report here if there is any improvement but don't have much hope...

All Replies
  • So after many unrelated troubles I ended up with a clean Windows 7 32 bits install (all Windows Updates done). I also installed the latest drivers from DELL support page. For reference this is the list of drivers successfully installed (in that order):

    1. 3500_A10.EXE (BIOS A10, previously was A02)
    2. R253422.exe
    3. R253425.exe
    4. R253444.exe
    5. R253705.exe
    6. R287485.exe
    7. R270595.exe
    8. R287481.exe
    9. R289121.exe
    10. R292833.exe

    For monitoring I use CPUID Hardware and AIDA64. I also tried SpeedFan, but it doesn't show any fan info. I believe I do not have Optimus or HybridPower because there is no such thing in "Power Options".

    Today I worked for a while, then closed all applications, wait a bit for the computer to "cool down" and launched AIDA64 to check current status. This is what I saw:

    4560 RPM for a fan on a idle computer is way too fast and noisy. Temperatures also seem quite high, especially PCH though I don't what it is.

    So I can confirm what many people said before me: the BIOS update did not solve the issue.

    I'll try to run Dell Hardware Diagnostic tool out of curiosity. Any other suggestions I may try ?


    I'll keep cross-posting any further steps...

  • pch => http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_P55

    just near cpu

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/Vos3500/en/SM/Heatsink.htm is the bad component.

    all report view pch temperature higher than all other. So if heatsink don't touch pch, sensors tell that fan should turn hight.




  • Thanks for the information Prod F. What you say about heatsink not touching PCH, make sense (at least to me).

    Oh, I forgot to mention that in my previous test the laptop was elevated by 5-7 centimeters. The surface in contact were incredibly small, so let's just the suppose the laptop was flying in the air.

    Right now the laptop is on the desk as usual and after a while of browsing the web, these are the alarming numbers I get:

    It is roughly 10° hotter than before and 5160 RPM !

    So yesterday I called DELL support and they told a tech guy would come tomorrow to replace the heatsink and maybe the motherboard... crossing my fingers right now !

  • So the DELL guy came this morning and change the motherboard and heatsink, all at once. A quick check with "System stability Test" from AIDA64 looked promising, the fan was very low on startup went up during stress test and then got quiet again.

    After the guy left, I updated the BIOS from A09 to A10. I also a ran another test:

    play two 1080 youtube movies, one on external screen
    play one MKV h.264 1080 movie over a samba share
    run some heavy unit testings in ruby within a virtual machine (Virtual Box + Ubuntu)
    run "System stability Test" from AIDA64

    Everything at the same time for a while. Obviously temperatures rose, but not higher than what I used to have during normal work (see previous post):

    By the time I wrote this message (a few minutes) temperatures dropped and the fan got a bit more quiet:

    I expect it to get even quieter, hopefully ~3000 RPM, in a few more minutes...

    On a side note, the DELL guy told me that holding 'D' key while powering up the machine starts a Display test and 'Fn' key while powering up is supposed to start diagnostic tools (for some model at least, but not the Vostro 3500 apparently).

  • I wonder that you could achieve a replace of motherboard and heatsink. In Russia it is impossible. I sent my laptop to the service center with the same issue. After 2 weeks of testing I've got an answer: "It is ok till it switch off accidentely. We didn't get accidental switch off, so it is ok". But after it is burned it is "not a warranty case". So I'm stuck with this product which is obviously has an issue with cooling system. No way to change it, no way to refund my money. Working in EMC, I have never thought that Dell would not give an official answer to this issue. I'm giving up.

  • It's been about two weeks since the motherboard+heatsink replacement. I am slightly disappointed as my computer is still pretty hot. Luckily the fan works better, getting faster when needed and then slowing down. But the fan rarely go lower than 4000 RPM and the motherboard "squeals" from time to time. It reminds me of my very first DELL laptop which had memory issue.

    Anyway I reinstalled Ubuntu 10.10 (maverick) yesterday and will test it in the next few days... if it shutdown by itself again I'll call DELL for another replacement. At least temperatures look roughly 20° less than before. Hopefully it will stay stable...


    $ sensors
    Adapter: Virtual device
    temp1:       +48.5°C  (crit = +100.0°C)                  

    Adapter: ISA adapter
    Core 0:      +49.0°C  (high = +95.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)  

    Adapter: ISA adapter
    Core 2:      +47.0°C  (high = +95.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)  

  • I upgraded the BIOS on Windows and there wasn't any notable difference, but when Dell came to replace the motherboard and fan with refurbished components the heating problem disappeared for me but the fan does run quite a lot....

    Also when they replace the components you have to upgrade the drivers for your graphics card otherwise the computer won’t recognise it.

  • A few months later and what I feared happened: the overheat issue started all over again. I am now using Ubuntu 11.10 (with Gnome 3 instead of Unity), and symptoms are exactly the same as what I had at the beginning. I guess the heatsink got "old" (moved or thermal paste dried, whatever). The point is my computer over-heated and thus restarted 8 times in less than two weeks !

    $ grep -h "Critical temperature" syslog* | sort Nov 11 17:02:33 red kernel: [248187.464244] Critical temperature reached (100 C), shutting down. Nov 14 10:18:38 red kernel: [234516.792707] Critical temperature reached (100 C), shutting down. Nov 14 12:13:56 red kernel: [ 6874.221844] Critical temperature reached (100 C), shutting down. Nov 14 13:52:24 red kernel: [ 4961.388717] Critical temperature reached (100 C), shutting down. Nov 15 10:21:12 red kernel: [ 1175.045486] Critical temperature reached (100 C), shutting down. Nov 15 18:43:17 red kernel: [27955.311812] Critical temperature reached (100 C), shutting down. Nov 17 13:50:14 red kernel: [154479.790758] Critical temperature reached (100 C), shutting down. Nov 17 14:04:03 red kernel: [ 599.073599] Critical temperature reached (100 C), shutting down. 

    The thing is I am now out of warranty. So I guess it's up to me to fix things up...

    Anyway, whatever the outcome of this sad story is, it marks the point of no return for me: Never buy Dell ever again. And don't recommend it to anybody.

    I'll try my luck with Samsung next time...

  • This really is getting ridiculous. I own a Vostro 3500 and a XPS Studio. We have to use ice pack underneath both laptops to prevent overheating. I wish I was kidding.

    I could not recommend more to avoid any DELL purchase.

  • I have the same problem here, my vostro 3500 shutdown when get 100C... My warranty is over and it´s impossible work with this notebook shutting down everytime! Any solutions for this??? I never recommend DELL to anyone

  • Either open it and try to fix it by yourself (clean it + thermopaste), or buy another computer. I bought a Samsung NT900X4B-A78 one month ago which is extremely silent. I couldn't be happier.

  • I have the exact same problem. Yesterday i was on my dell vostro 3500 and after one hour it was very hot and so was the desk it was on and then it just shut down. I lost work and i am annoyed. This laptop is not good and i would not recommend any dell product to anyone. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Unfortunately I don't have any solution for you. 

    I still own the Samsung NT900X4B-A78 that I use daily for my job and leisure. It's almost two years old and still rocks. It is extremely silent, and powerful enough for pretty much anything I ever tried (I don't play much though, but do a lot of software development).

    The only recommendation I could make is what you suggested yourself: don't buy Dell.