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Does this make any sense?

Discussion in 'Notebooks' started by John Doue, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. John Doue

    John Doue Flightless Bird

    This is not exactly related to laptops, but the issue is not dependent
    on the type of machine.

    On an Acer mini-desktop (Acer L100), the issue of HD temperature is
    widely documented, even if to my knowledge, no-one claimed it caused a
    HD to fail. Writing this on one of those machine, HD Tune shows 56C,
    which is really border-line.

    Since I like those machine for the balance cost-performance-desk real
    estate-noise they offer, I ended up owning several of them.

    Now, the issue: alarmed by these HD temperatures, I initially thought,
    which made sense, that they were caused by insufficient ventilation. I
    tried running the machine without covers, no significant change (NSC)

    I then tried to run the same machine with the HD out of the box: NSC.

    Going one step further, I bought a 2.5 HD (the original is 3.5) of same
    capacity, loaded it, installed it, and what do you guess: NSC.

    And believe me, HD Tune is not making this up: I easily ascertained
    those temperatures were for real.

    Now, I also own an Acer L480. Same looks, same box, same power supply,
    but two fans instead of one. Same disk. And it runs cool!

    Given the above, I do not believe the two fans setup fully explains the
    difference.

    Is it conceivable that actually, the HD controller might be the culprit
    here?

    It sounds far fetched, but what do guys think?

    PS: Although I love those machines, the fact that, heat or not, their
    motherboards systematically fail after some months, and if you are
    lucky, some years, has not escaped me! I always have one or two machines
    ready to go!

    Of course, this is no match for Bill's inventory, but still ... !
    --
    John Doue
     
  2. BillW50

    BillW50 Flightless Bird

    In news:i4m82c$jr7$1@speranza.aioe.org,
    John Doue typed on Fri, 20 Aug 2010 18:47:25 +0300:
    > This is not exactly related to laptops, but the issue is not dependent
    > on the type of machine.
    >
    > On an Acer mini-desktop (Acer L100), the issue of HD temperature is
    > widely documented, even if to my knowledge, no-one claimed it caused a
    > HD to fail. Writing this on one of those machine, HD Tune shows 56C,
    > which is really border-line.
    >
    > Since I like those machine for the balance cost-performance-desk real
    > estate-noise they offer, I ended up owning several of them.
    >
    > Now, the issue: alarmed by these HD temperatures, I initially thought,
    > which made sense, that they were caused by insufficient ventilation. I
    > tried running the machine without covers, no significant change (NSC)
    >
    > I then tried to run the same machine with the HD out of the box: NSC.
    >
    > Going one step further, I bought a 2.5 HD (the original is 3.5) of
    > same capacity, loaded it, installed it, and what do you guess: NSC.
    >
    > And believe me, HD Tune is not making this up: I easily ascertained
    > those temperatures were for real.
    >
    > Now, I also own an Acer L480. Same looks, same box, same power supply,
    > but two fans instead of one. Same disk. And it runs cool!
    >
    > Given the above, I do not believe the two fans setup fully explains
    > the difference.
    >
    > Is it conceivable that actually, the HD controller might be the
    > culprit here?
    >
    > It sounds far fetched, but what do guys think?
    >
    > PS: Although I love those machines, the fact that, heat or not, their
    > motherboards systematically fail after some months, and if you are
    > lucky, some years, has not escaped me! I always have one or two
    > machines ready to go!
    >
    > Of course, this is no match for Bill's inventory, but still ... !


    Hi John! I would be very curious what the hot one reads when you first
    turn on the computer. Next I would throw it in standby mode and let it
    cool down say an hour or two. Then turn it on and check the temperature
    once again. And unlike the CPU, the hard drive doesn't heat up very
    quickly and takes a few minutes or more before it ever should get any
    amount of heat.

    I never had problems with hard drive temperatures, just with CPU
    temperatures. And I have three Gateway MX6124 and one of them reads low.
    And at idle, it reads about 5°C too low. And if you heat up the CPU, it
    reads up to 20°C too low. Thus the fan never gets the signal to crank up
    the fan higher to cool it down some. I didn't worry too much about it
    until I burned out the CPU. Luckily it is easy to replace through a trap
    door.

    I also have two Asus EeePC 702 netbooks. And one of them will suddenly
    read 0°C and the fan will kick up on max. And it will continue to read
    0°C until you power down, disconnect the AC and remove the battery and
    reconnect it up once again. Now it will work fine until the next time it
    happens. There is an EeePC utility called eeectl that allows you to
    manually control the fan speed. So I use that to control the fan
    whenever it happens. There is very little chance of overheating since
    these are normally ran underclocked and it is almost impossible to
    overheat these things. Plus they cleverly use the keyboard as one huge
    heatsink. It is really overkill, but at least you don't have the extra
    weight of a real heatsink.

    In your case, I am thinking that it isn't really reading the temp
    correctly. And this isn't too uncommon since I have two makes right have
    that reads the temp incorrectly while the same other models works just
    fine. Another odd thing is I like using BattStat v0.98 a lot to read
    temps. and only on my four EeePCs, it reads the CPU totally differently
    than eeectl reads them. and the two doesn't read in sync either. As one
    could be going higher and one could be dropping. The only thing I can
    think of is that there are two sensors in Celeron CPUs. And BattStat
    reads one while eeectl reads the other one.

    --
    Bill
    Gateway MX6124 ('06 era) 1 of 3 - Windows XP SP2
     
  3. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Flightless Bird

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs John Doue wrote:
    > This is not exactly related to laptops, but the issue is not dependent
    > on the type of machine.
    >
    > On an Acer mini-desktop (Acer L100), the issue of HD temperature is
    > widely documented, even if to my knowledge, no-one claimed it caused a
    > HD to fail. Writing this on one of those machine, HD Tune shows 56C,
    > which is really border-line.


    I'd never heard of those until your post. I Googled... Oh dear!

    BTW, 56C isn't borderline for a 3.5" drive, it's outside of specs, at least
    specs that I've read for Seagates and WD models. (The specs I read both
    companies specified maximum operating temps up to 50C for their 3.5" drives
    and 60C for 2.5" units.)

    > Since I like those machine for the balance cost-performance-desk real
    > estate-noise they offer, I ended up owning several of them.
    >
    > Now, the issue: alarmed by these HD temperatures, I initially thought,
    > which made sense, that they were caused by insufficient ventilation. I
    > tried running the machine without covers, no significant change (NSC)


    So the drive was essentially in 'open air' at least on one side? I just read
    that some people run them with cover off and a big fan blowing stringly onto
    them.

    > I then tried to run the same machine with the HD out of the box: NSC.


    The HDD remote and fully in free air? (I take it there's a cable then..)

    > Going one step further, I bought a 2.5 HD (the original is 3.5) of
    > same capacity, loaded it, installed it, and what do you guess: NSC.


    During my brief foray into Googling these things I didn't se it. However I'm
    guessing they're SATA if you ran a 2.5" drive?

    > And believe me, HD Tune is not making this up: I easily ascertained
    > those temperatures were for real.


    I swear by Hard Disk Sentinel. You don't have to buy it (although I do), I
    believe it can be used with fewer features unregistered.

    > Now, I also own an Acer L480. Same looks, same box, same power supply,
    > but two fans instead of one. Same disk. And it runs cool!
    >
    > Given the above, I do not believe the two fans setup fully explains
    > the difference.
    >
    > Is it conceivable that actually, the HD controller might be the
    > culprit here?
    >
    > It sounds far fetched, but what do guys think?


    I guess it's remotely possible, if it's constantly read / write accessing
    the drive, although I don't know why it would. I'd be more thinking along
    the lines of them being over-volted. Have you a multi-meter? Perhaps check
    the voltage?

    > PS: Although I love those machines, the fact that, heat or not, their
    > motherboards systematically fail after some months, and if you are
    > lucky, some years, has not escaped me! I always have one or two
    > machines ready to go!


    From what I just read they fail with great regularity and in 100% of cases.
    Then again, people who have machines that work fine don't post to the
    internet looking for solutions. ;-)

    > Of course, this is no match for Bill's inventory, but still ... !


    Heh! My inventory is climbing too. I now have three T60s (two 15" FlexViews
    [FV] and a 14" TN), a T43 15" FV, an R51 15" FV, a 14" R40, a 14" widescreen
    Acer Travelmate that fits nicely on my shelf solely for playing my music
    collection on random all day and a Compaq Presario 2200.

    Those are all working and all but one set up and ready to go at the push of
    a button (and the input of a BIOS lock code). I have several other laptops
    (including two more ThinkPads) in various states of disarray as well as a
    couple desktops. <g>

    I put them all on a table the other day, with as many of them running as was
    possible and took pics and uploaded them to a file sharing site as a
    precaution against needing proof if I even have to put in an insurance claim
    <fingers crossed>. I mean, what sane person would have that many machines?
    An insurance company might find it hard to believe otherwise, even though I
    also have a print-out with all model and serial numbers too and reciepts for
    those I didn't buy as not working or that I built up from parts.

    Anyway, I suggest testing voltage and try running HDS. Good luck.
    --
    Shaun.

    "Let food be thy medicine" Hippocrates.
     
  4. John Doue

    John Doue Flightless Bird

    On 8/21/2010 9:11 PM, BillW50 wrote:
    > In news:i4m82c$jr7$1@speranza.aioe.org,
    > John Doue typed on Fri, 20 Aug 2010 18:47:25 +0300:
    >> This is not exactly related to laptops, but the issue is not dependent
    >> on the type of machine.
    >>
    >> On an Acer mini-desktop (Acer L100), the issue of HD temperature is
    >> widely documented, even if to my knowledge, no-one claimed it caused a
    >> HD to fail. Writing this on one of those machine, HD Tune shows 56C,
    >> which is really border-line.
    >>
    >> Since I like those machine for the balance cost-performance-desk real
    >> estate-noise they offer, I ended up owning several of them.
    >>
    >> Now, the issue: alarmed by these HD temperatures, I initially thought,
    >> which made sense, that they were caused by insufficient ventilation. I
    >> tried running the machine without covers, no significant change (NSC)
    >>
    >> I then tried to run the same machine with the HD out of the box: NSC.
    >>
    >> Going one step further, I bought a 2.5 HD (the original is 3.5) of
    >> same capacity, loaded it, installed it, and what do you guess: NSC.
    >>
    >> And believe me, HD Tune is not making this up: I easily ascertained
    >> those temperatures were for real.
    >>
    >> Now, I also own an Acer L480. Same looks, same box, same power supply,
    >> but two fans instead of one. Same disk. And it runs cool!
    >>
    >> Given the above, I do not believe the two fans setup fully explains
    >> the difference.
    >>
    >> Is it conceivable that actually, the HD controller might be the
    >> culprit here?
    >>
    >> It sounds far fetched, but what do guys think?
    >>
    >> PS: Although I love those machines, the fact that, heat or not, their
    >> motherboards systematically fail after some months, and if you are
    >> lucky, some years, has not escaped me! I always have one or two
    >> machines ready to go!
    >>
    >> Of course, this is no match for Bill's inventory, but still ... !

    >
    > Hi John! I would be very curious what the hot one reads when you first
    > turn on the computer. Next I would throw it in standby mode and let it
    > cool down say an hour or two. Then turn it on and check the temperature
    > once again. And unlike the CPU, the hard drive doesn't heat up very
    > quickly and takes a few minutes or more before it ever should get any
    > amount of heat.
    >
    > I never had problems with hard drive temperatures, just with CPU
    > temperatures. And I have three Gateway MX6124 and one of them reads low.
    > And at idle, it reads about 5°C too low. And if you heat up the CPU, it
    > reads up to 20°C too low. Thus the fan never gets the signal to crank up
    > the fan higher to cool it down some. I didn't worry too much about it
    > until I burned out the CPU. Luckily it is easy to replace through a trap
    > door.
    >
    > I also have two Asus EeePC 702 netbooks. And one of them will suddenly
    > read 0°C and the fan will kick up on max. And it will continue to read
    > 0°C until you power down, disconnect the AC and remove the battery and
    > reconnect it up once again. Now it will work fine until the next time it
    > happens. There is an EeePC utility called eeectl that allows you to
    > manually control the fan speed. So I use that to control the fan
    > whenever it happens. There is very little chance of overheating since
    > these are normally ran underclocked and it is almost impossible to
    > overheat these things. Plus they cleverly use the keyboard as one huge
    > heatsink. It is really overkill, but at least you don't have the extra
    > weight of a real heatsink.
    >
    > In your case, I am thinking that it isn't really reading the temp
    > correctly. And this isn't too uncommon since I have two makes right have
    > that reads the temp incorrectly while the same other models works just
    > fine. Another odd thing is I like using BattStat v0.98 a lot to read
    > temps. and only on my four EeePCs, it reads the CPU totally differently
    > than eeectl reads them. and the two doesn't read in sync either. As one
    > could be going higher and one could be dropping. The only thing I can
    > think of is that there are two sensors in Celeron CPUs. And BattStat
    > reads one while eeectl reads the other one.
    >

    Bill,

    As Shaun posts demonstrated, the problem is not in my imagination and
    the temps I read are quite real and consistent with use. They drop to
    room temp when in stand-by.

    Access light does not show anything wrong, and when there is no need for
    some activity, none takes place, as far as you can tell from the light.

    Yes, the HD is SATA.

    No, I do not have any specialized equipment beyond your average ohm-volt
    meter.

    And yes, as Shaun found, they do fail with almost garanteed probability.
    What I found is that in most case, some discrete basic 5cts component
    fail but Acer does not seem to have bothered acting on its suppliers.

    A pity, those machines are the perfect compromise for me ...

    Regards

    --
    John Doue
     
  5. John Doue

    John Doue Flightless Bird

    On 8/22/2010 3:38 AM, ~misfit~ wrote:

    snip
    > The HDD remote and fully in free air? (I take it there's a cable then..)


    Snip.

    Yes, and yes, of course!


    --
    John Doue
     
  6. John Doue

    John Doue Flightless Bird

    On 8/22/2010 3:38 AM, ~misfit~ wrote:
    snip
    > Heh! My inventory is climbing too. I now have three T60s (two 15" FlexViews
    > [FV] and a 14" TN), a T43 15" FV, an R51 15" FV, a 14" R40, a 14" widescreen
    > Acer Travelmate that fits nicely on my shelf solely for playing my music
    > collection on random all day and a Compaq Presario 2200.


    snip

    I been looking at your inventory and I am impressed. If Australia was
    part of the EU (Fat chance!), I might be interested in one of them
    machines! But customs duties would probably make any transaction not
    worse the trouble.

    The thing about those ACERs is, AFAIK, nobody ever complained about a HD
    failing, although the temperature does go beyond what is normally
    admissible, and I have not heard either that the MB failure when
    temperature related. I just had one of my machine, the only one which
    runs cool (Acer L480), fail on me, but that happened after a very severe
    storm that kept me 10 days without power and I had forgotten to
    disconnect it from the ADSL, so the failure might not be the usual one.

    Anyway, given this, I guess I will eventually need to identify a
    competing machine with the same qualities, but more reliable ... Not
    easy ...

    Best regards
    --
    John Doue
     

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