Computer problems again!

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Well, after having some hickups about a month ago, my Dell Inspiron 5150 is back at it. Now, it take 2 tries to boot when it's cold and hasn't been running in a while. Occasionally it'll craap out after it's been running a while when it gets hot. I researched some more about this, having known that these laptops are basically total pieces of [censored], with SEVERE overheating problems. I learned that the overheating, coupled with the case flexing, will crack the motherboard and solder connections. Occasionally the crack is small enough that when the machine is cold, it shorts out, but after trying to boot, it gets warm enough to "re-connect" if you will. Makes sense to me. Have you experts ever heard of this? I'd like to hold out on buying a new machine until Windows 7 comes out. Hopefully my Dell will last that long, but I'm having my doubts.
 
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I have heard this, and I experienced it with my first notebook. I feel your pain. If you can hold out until June, supposedly there will be Windows 7 upgrade programs going on by then.
 
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How old is your laptop. It sounds like straight-up hardware failure and the explaination you gave unfortunetly makes sense. Still under warranty?
 

Drew99GT

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 Originally Posted By: jigen
Still under warranty?
Oh no, I've had this machine since about 2003 I think. It's OLD! The fact it's lasted as long as it has, given this models dismal history, is a miracle. I have to run it at half speed or it'll just get to 80C and shut off. Pentium 4M 3.2G with not near enough cooling capacity will do that!
 
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Blessing in disguise I say! PC Hardware has advanced so much that we are at a point where we are waiting for software to catch up with what's out -- which it's not. Get a new system when Windows 7 launches or just get a Vista system now if you need to. Intel's new CPU's are awesome and everything runs relatively cool these days. It's hard to get a underpowered system anymore. On top of all that new systems are cheaper today too. I bought a really nice desktop for just $440 and laptop for $500 -- just got to keep an eye out for deals.
 
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Those laptops with P4's on them all sucked when it comes to heat issues. Look for I8KfanGui program, it's for many dell models where you can manually monitor & control fan settings. I use it on my Inspiron 1720 with Vista 32, it keeps things MUCH cooler. Perhaps using this utility will help keep it cool enough to keep it running til the finish line...
 

Drew99GT

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Hey Mike, I have I8fangui along with speedswitch, to throttle the P4 back to 1.6Ghz. You should see the size of the heatsink on this thing. It's tiny. That, and the thermal grease they used sucks - it dries and cracks, leading to hardly any thermal transfer from the CPU. I don't even use I8fangui to control the fans - I have the latest BIOS revision that runs the fan all the time. It idles at about 35 and under full load will still get to 55 to 60. A far cry fro idling at 55 and then shutting off within minutes at 80+ when running at 3.2Ghz. Are most new laptops, especially with the Intel 2.16 Ghz dual cores, better at cooling?
 
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Oh yeah, MUCH better at cooling. With i8kfangui the core2duo in the 1720 runs in the low 30C's most of the time. The bottom is pleasantly cool to the touch. Likewise, mac laptops have SMC fan control. It too keeps things much cooler than the factory settings. I was at Target the other day & saw a laptop cooler thingy for $19.99 that blows cool air underneath the system. I have a similar one that blows air into the fan underneath my 1720, it keeps the laptop 8-10C cooler than if it wasn't there at all. I do run Vista 64 so this comes in handy as i8kfangui doesn't work in Vista 64 as of yet.... Perhaps having a box fan with a tube directly connected to the air intake on your system would help it keep cool? Sounds odd, but if you're trying to make this thing last until later this year, or until they start handing out free vouchers for Win7, it may be worth a shot.
 
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Yea new laptops are much cooler. 45nm processors are the norm now so the CPU's give off a lot less heat. My laptop is a little dated: 1.6ghz Pentium Core 2 Duo, but it never gets too hot even when I play some games on it. My newer desktop though has a 3ghz Pentium Core 2 Duo 6MB L2 cache, 45nm. I really love the thing. Idles at about 27c and never gets much hotter than 35c.
 
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The P9500/P9600 laptop CPU's are great, but pricey. They run at 25w. The T8600 is a cheaper option, based upon the 45nm process that jigen mentioned and run at 35w, better for cost savings.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Drew99GT
I don't even use I8fangui to control the fans - I have the latest BIOS revision that runs the fan all the time. It idles at about 35 and under full load will still get to 55 to 60. A far cry fro idling at 55 and then shutting off within minutes at 80+ when running at 3.2Ghz.
Did you try opening it up to clean the dust out of the heat sinks? I have an old Inspiron 1100 in which I installed a P4 2.6 GHz (it came with a 2.0 GHz Celeron initially). I end up having to open it up and blow the dust out about once a year. It really helps the air circulation and thus keep the temps in control. I also use a cooling pad underneath it. It idles at around 35C and doesn't go past 60C when at 100% load for extended periods of time. Still not the best, but at least it's within the CPU's normal operating range, so it doesn't cause it to throttle back. But all in all, I think it's time for you to get a new computer. There are much better things out there now. I only use mine for secondary duties (P2P, media server, etc.) It's annoyingly slow for other stuff by today's standards.
 

Drew99GT

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I haven't opened it up because that involves dismantling the entire thing (bad design). But I do blow the dust out monthly with compressed air.
 

OVERKILL

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 Originally Posted By: Drew99GT
I haven't opened it up because that involves dismantling the entire thing (bad design). But I do blow the dust out monthly with compressed air.
Air in can or 120psi? Because the latter works a LOT better......
 

OVERKILL

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 Originally Posted By: Drew99GT
Air in a can. 120psi would probably break the stupid thing!
No, it won't. Just don't over-spin the fan. Do you have an air compressor?
 
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