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  • Laptop overheating issues

    I'm not sure what to do, for the last several weeks I've been experiencing serious overheating issues with my Aurora m9700. I purchased the system in August and played the hell out of it...up until recently that is. I started noticing problems while playing video games that used to run perfectly when I first bought the system. Intermittently, games would start running like slideshows then return to normal operation. These annoying symptoms occur ever 20-30 seconds. Checking the event viewer in windows revealed that at the same moments I was experiencing these slowdowns an error would appear stating that "The Acpi 2.0 _PCT object returned an invalid value of 7" the source was listed as "AMDK8", obviously referring to my processor. I called Alienware tech support, who were grossly incompetent and unable to help me. They merely conducted " memory tests" and had me run chkdsk. After several phone calls and a dozen tech support agents later, I finally decided to call AMD tech support hoping to get a straight answer. They confirmed that this error appears when the CPU gets to hot. I also confirmed this by running software to monitor the temperature while running a cpu stress test, which reproduced the error in the event viewer when the CPU reached approximately 90C.

    I hope anyone who has even bothered to read this far can forgive the long post, but I'm just frustrated beyond tolerance.

    Calling Alienware again with all my research has been futile, no one I have talked to seems to have any technical knowledge. It amazes me that a company with tech support agents who haven't even mastered the rudiments of troubleshooting, sell what is generally perceived as performance laptops and computers. Again sorry for the long post, but any advice or consolation would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Your CPU reached 90C??? It should never get that hot. I could see 60C, or maybe even as much as 70C under heavy load, but if it's hitting 90C then something is seriously wrong. If it won't void your warranty (and assuming your comfortable doing it), you could try disassembling your laptop and removing the heatsink from the CPU. Then clean the old thermal grease/pad off and apply some Arctic Silver or similar product to the CPU to try and bring down the temps. You might even just check to make sure none of the fans are simply clogged up with dust or such.

    One last method you could try with Alienware is tell them you want to be escalated to Level 2 tech support. The level 1 tech support knows how to read from a script, and that's about it. The vast majority of them have probably never seen the inside of a computer before. Level 2 is where you get the knowledgeable people. Those who have experience working on computers and can help you better.
    Last edited by Jito463; 16.01.2007, 03:14.


    • #3
      @jito: I can be wrong here - but iirc, the specs for mobile-CPU's are alot higher
      than those from desktops-CPU's
      (but - I can be wrong!)

      What concerns the high temperature, you said you purchased
      the system last year in august? Then shouldnt you be able to get help from Alienware? Everything else would be scandale,
      after only 6 month! A shame!

      Maybe we can be of any help here? They are "for gamers" and
      we are well-known by gamers, maybe point someone from them
      to this thread. It is for sure no good advertisement to be named
      as "unqualified" at a board that lots of gamers visit - millions
      of visitors each month


      • #4
        It's problably the heatsink that's the fan constantly running @ highspeed?
        Most mobile cpu's have a passive heatsink,and are cooled directly by the airflow,brought in by the inhaust fans,while the hot air is removed by the exhaust .....if there's a layer of dust on the heatsink,the cpu will get HOT,causing bluescreens or lag,and noisy fans.....
        I had to clean the heatsink of mine 2-3 times a year to prevent all this....


        • #5
          While laptops have confined spaces to deal with which can increase heat, the mobile processors are designed to run at lower voltages so they produce less heat. And from the specs I found online, he's running the AMD Turion processor, which is AMD's line specifically for the mobile market. But even if it was a desktop CPU in there, 90C is incredibly hot. My old 1400 Athlon - which was the hottest chip I've ever owned - didn't get any hotter than 65C under load. Even though that was a desktop system, not a laptop, it still gives an indication of what temps he should be running at.


          • #6
            @jito: yes, they run with low(er) voltage, however, I thought
            they can also run "hotter", as most of them can't be cooled
            like you usualy do in desktops. The "maximum temp" on the DIE
            is imho higher due to much worser cooling-capabilitys, but well,
            maybe I tell alot bullshit here. But what I know for sure:
            most use not simple heatsinks

            I doubt it is only passive heatsink - at least all my laptops
            have heatpipe-technology. And an alienware-laptop for sure
            have also not only "passive" heatsink (a simple metal-block),
            but instead some pipe-construction (filled with special fluid or
            even metal-powder), well, some kind of heatconductor.

            Maybe this part is damaged? (leaked?)

            After all: if this is still in warranty - I think you should definitley
            do what Jito suggested: ask level2 support and/or send the book
            back to them. Somehow I doubt that you can really do something against it.
            I can also not believe that the airflow is so blocked by dust
            from a 6 month old laptop, especially as more or less every-
            one knows that this devices shouldnt run in dust area and
            you have to check heatpipe from time to time.

            For me it looks more (90°!) as if:
            a) cooler is down (leaked/damaged/doesnt fit to CPU anymore)

            b) something blocks the airflow and/or the radiator

            But I guess you surely checked option b - at least that is
            what I would do instantly.

            c) nothing overclocked/overvolted? (well, on desktops it is
            not so unusual but on notebooks? I have no experience with
            Alienware-notebooks, maybe?)

            Maybe you can describe something from the above "more


            • #7
              If Alienware is not able or willing to help you (which would REALLY be a shame, as Locutus wrote), you should first try to remove the dust out of the heatsink.
              But if not all parts of the heatsink are reachable without de-assembling the whole Notebook (as I know from some ASUS-Notebooks), you could use the "CPU RightMarkClock Utility" as little Workaround to lower your system's temperature.
              We use this tool at the Notebooks of some Customers, to whom their Notebook Fans are to noisy.
              The RM Clock Utilitiy allows to fine-adjust the CPU's voltage and frequency.
              Lots of modern Notebooks are way to fast, if they are only used with Office-Applications or to browse the Internet. So sometimes we can set the CPU to the half of it's full Frequency and (which reduces the temperature even more) let it operate a few thenth of a Volt lower as the defaults.
              This sometimes reduces the temperature 20 or more degrees, which causes the fan to run only slowly or even stop it.
              And a simple Office-User will not realize any lack of performance. Anyway, if you use the Notebook for Gaming only, this will not be a perfect solution to you.
              But perhaps you can try only to lower the voltage a bit with this tool and see how the temperature develops and if your games run still stable.
              (I apologize for my bad English...)


              • #8
                Thanks for the response guys, I have tried many of the suggestions here. I've tried applying some arctic silver, but it hasn't had any significant effect on the CPU temps. Opening the laptop revealed that there was little or no dust blocking the ventilation. The heat sink was so hot that I have a visible burn on my fingers. I've tried having tech support escalate me to someone higher, but instead I've been told that "we are doing everything we can, sir." Alienware's own forums are filled with people who have similar issues, but have been going back and fourth for months trying to get a resolution.

                As far as the RM clock utility goes, I have actually tried that already, and even with the processor running at 1.8 ghz (it's a 2.4) the computer overheats and shuts off.

                I'm buying a new laptop today, but not from Alienware!


                • #9
                  Contact MaximumPC if you've exhausted all your options with Alienware. They have a section called Watchdog that can help you resolve this conflict. If there's one thing big businesses hate, it's seeing their name trashed in popular media. And MaximumPC is pretty popular. They won't want to see a negative report about their service department published.


                  • #10
                    I've actually contacted the better business bureau, I wish I could post a link to their forums so you could see how many complaints there are, but they only allow access to customers. I appreciate the response guys.


                    • #11
                      well, when it overheats still underclocked, with normal voltage
                      and without something that blocks the airflow, it can only
                      one thing IMHO:

                      the heatpipe is broken/leaked.

                      When you run your laptop, is the heatpipe also hot at the end?
                      You can best check this when you turn on your laptop, the
                      heatpipe should transport heat to the outer gills immediately.
                      Of course that help you not one cent, as this must be fixed by
                      Alienware anyway - but you maybe can point them to the
                      right direction so you have your laptop back asap - at least
                      it is worth a try...


                      • #12
                        Originally Posted by LocutusofBorg View Post
                        well, when it overheats still underclocked, with normal voltage
                        and without something that blocks the airflow, it can only
                        one thing IMHO:
                        the heatpipe is broken/leaked.
                        When you run your laptop, is the heatpipe also hot at the end?
                        You can best check this when you turn on your laptop, the
                        heatpipe should transport heat to the outer gills immediately.
                        Of course that help you not one cent, as this must be fixed by
                        Alienware anyway - but you maybe can point them to the
                        right direction so you have your laptop back asap - at least
                        it is worth a try...
                        it's scalding hot, but it took a lot of phone calls to even get them to acknowledge that it was heat issue.


                        • #13
                          i know this thread is a few months old but just to add to this....

                          I had the exact same problems listed here and took the same measures. I did a lot of research to discover that the cpu was shutting down to decrease its temp. I talked to Alienware and they did not really know what the problem was.. even though so many customers are complaining about this issue.

                          I mailed my m9700 to the alienware factory and one month later I received it back with a newly inserted cpu (there could have been more replacements that I don't know about). Since then (about late December), I have not had any slowdowns. So I suggest calling Alienware and working out a repair ticket.
                          I've had nothing but problems with this laptop since I got it in August '06 and I don't think Alienware tested it enough before it was released. I don't plan on ever getting another gaming laptop anytime soon and I don't plan on buying Alienware computers until they get their shit together


                          • #14
                            i had the same prob and i solved it by replacing the thermal paste between the heatsink and the cpu. This of course voided my guarantee.....


                            • #15
                              crazy spike

                              what up that so crazy but -uck up at the same time