Temperature problems after BIOS update

By cyberguy ยท 24 replies
Jul 25, 2006
  1. I just upgraded to the A32 BIOS for my 5100, and i am noticing one problem thus far, that it shuts down when my computer isn't even hot. Now i know that this upgrade was supposed to fix how hot this thing can get, because before the upgrade, when i had A04, you could cook an egg on the bottom of this thing before it shut down due to the heat. Now, it is getting 1/10th the heat it used to get, and it shuts down, and i lose everything i am doing. Before, i had it one for 10 mins before it shut down, and i lost a lot. Can this be fixed?
  2. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Posts: 420

    If you can still use the computer can you download and run speedfan and tell us what temperatures it reports and can you give us your full system specs?
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

  4. cyberguy

    cyberguy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Ok, i tired speedfan, and here's what i got: it says HD0: 36C, Temp1: 50CMy full system specs are as folows: Dell Inspiron 5100, 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 (does not have hyper-threading technology), 1 GB RAM, 16 MB video card, 24X CD-RW/DVD drive, 12 MHz battery. Let me know if you need more info.
  5. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Gotta love Dells :D

    Might want to try the max temp you can get. If 50C is the temp when you're not doing anything, you might be in trouble. Try running a CPU intensive program and see how high the temp goes.

    This is a weird problem for upgrading the BIOS.....

    Also, you might want to try opening up the case, and removing any dust around the heatsinks. Do not remove the heatsinks doing so, just get an aircan or something (no vacuums pls) and blow it straight onto the heatsink or something.
  6. cyberguy

    cyberguy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    I remember one day, i was running a few internet explorers after it had shut down, and i had it on for 10 mins before it shut down again, so i guess that isn't normal correct? You talk about the heatsinks, where are they located, and how can i get there? And another thing, this one guy on Dell Community Forums said that he turned this heat saving thing on his Inspiron 8000, i asked him what he did but he never responded, do you perhaps have any idea of how this is done?
  7. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    Heatsinks are aluminium blocks that got fins or spikes to help dissipate heat, and sometimes usualy coupled with a cooling device - fans, watercooler etc..

    Can you by any chance post us the rest of speedfans' temps readings? namely Temp2, since that refers to your CPU, since Temp1 is your ambient case temp...

    Need: Vaccum cleaner or a Can/source of compressed air, artist's brush is optional..

    How to clean your case:
    1. Turn off the power, unplugg the cables at the back (write them down if you forget what goes where)
    2. There are 2 screws on each sides from the back of the case. (facing the back) unscrew the right 2 screws and slide them off. [If your case is one of those that are continuous then you'll need to take all 4 screws off.] Slide the case open.
    3. Use the vaccume cleaner or can of CA to blow out all the dust inside the case, taking care not to damage anything while your at it. Pay special attention to the heatsinks, fan grills/filters and dust trappers. Put your finger gently ontop of the fan blades to stop them spinning furiously (and damage) while your cleaning..
    4. Hard to reach places, or just stubborn dust particles? Brush em' away ;)
    5. Clean up, Close up your case and plug in the cables back. Turn it on and report your new temps.
  8. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Don't use a vacuum, that creates static which destroys computers. Of course, this is theory, just as how you're supposed to use anti-static wristbands or something while tinkering inside your comp.

    But better be safe than sorry.

    If you're using an air can, clean the computer outside. Also, when messing with the insides, its usually good to turn the computer off first (no need to stop fan blades)

    Other than that, follow the instructions above.
  9. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    lol of course (step 1). But a can of air does create wind that cause the fans to move around. Fans can break if spun past its tolerance...
  10. cyberguy

    cyberguy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Ok, i downloaded Speedfan and i cleaned out everything i could unscrew and get to, including the heatsink, and i'm still getting these unexpected shut downs. Today, i had it on for 15 mins, i was converting a btch of images to a different format, in the middle, it shut down, and i lost everything, now it did this to me 3 times in a row today. I really don't know what else i can do here, i'm in a state of worry right now. Because i'm starting my senior year in high school and i will defiantely need this thing this year, and i can't have this doing this to me every single day. Can anymore light be shed on this?
  11. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    What are your new temps? I have a feeling that its shutting down to save the CPU from overheating but without your input i cannot confirm anything.

    Navigate your way to C:\Windows\Minidump and zip up any new ones (5-6 of them) and post them up here.
  12. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I believe that its a heating issue, if its doing it in the middle of something CPU intensive.

    When you cleaned the insides, did you unscrew/unlock/loosen/remove and replace anything? If you did, you might need to re-apply thermal paste.... Besides, your system seems pretty old, I know thermal pastes dry up after awhile (shouldn't be the problem tho).

    For that, you'd need to buy yourself some thermal paste, and google for instructions. For which one, unless you're doing something really smart with your computer, such as overclocking, you don't need to bother with high end stuff (AS5 included).

    But lets take a look at your minidumps.
  13. cyberguy

    cyberguy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Ok, i had just turned this on, and have had it on for about 10 mins, and here are my readouts: HD0: 93 F, Temp 1: 168 F, CPU: 138 F. When i opened up the computer to get to the heatsink, all i had to do was take the kepboard and shield off, and that was held w/ a few screws, then i sprayed it out, and put it back, so i don't think that's a problem. Now i have 2 questions for you, what's overclocking and a minidump?
  14. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    75`C temp1 and 58`C cpu??

    Silly me.. its a laptop... makes it a bit trickier, but idea should be the same. You'll need to find out how to get to your CPU and deattach the heatsink+fan assembley, reapply new thermal grease like CMH says..

    Overclocking is a tweak that you do on your pc to make it run faster than its originaly designed to. Drawbacks of such is that you have to know what you're doing and have adequate cooling solutions, since its litteraly pushes the hardware to its limit...

    A minidump is a file generated by windows when your pc crash, most of the time created when you get a BSOD (blue screen of death). It shows what processes was running at the time and any other usefull troubleshootign info..
  15. cyberguy

    cyberguy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    I had just talked to Dell last night, and the guy said that i should replace the heatsink and the fan to be on the safe side. He also said that if this doesn't work, i should replace the motherboard. How much would each of these cost around, and would i be able to do it myself, or send it away to Dell? Or do you think it isn't worth it and just buy a new laptop?
  16. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Its a laptop? o.O

    Should have checked out the system first. Its assumed if you don't mention LAPTOP its a DESKTOP.

    Laptops are a whole different story. There are no aftermarket heatsinks to replace your current heatsink with for laptops. The Dell guy probably meant that you need to re-seat it, which would be a tricky process if your laptop was anything like one I opened up recently. I wouldn't recommend doing that.

    If you need to buy a new motherboard, it might be a good idea to look into a new laptop altogether. If its still under warranty, chase that up. Either way, there's probably nothing you can do if its a heating issue.

    Unless of course one of the fans malfunctioned, which you should check out. See if you can identify the fans around the laptop, and confirm that they are spinning. Check for blocked airways, may not be very apparent, so run the aircan through any ventilation hole you can identify.

    Might also be due to the new BIOS, you might have to access the new BIOS and see if the right settings are on. For example, there's a setting which determines at what temperature your laptop will shut itself down to prevent burning up. Reinstalling the BIOS may have reduced this to a rediculously low value, causing shutdown at low temps.

    To access BIOS, you'll have to restart the computer and press whatever it tells you to press. I'm not as familliar with laptops (never owned one) but I'd say its relatively the same as a compact PC. At least they have similar problems. Check your manuals for instructions on accessing BIOS, and look for the shutdown temps. Maybe N3051M can help with what temp to set it to, but I'd say around 60C is good.
  17. cyberguy

    cyberguy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    How can i access the BIOS config? The only options i have are press F2 or F12 when i get to the BIOS screen when i boot up. Should i press either of those tofind out where i should go? In your experience w/ desktops, how have you changed the heat shut down thing? I would rather do this thatn buy anything else for this thing.
  18. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    Look for something that says "Press __ to enter setup" or similar.. You can maybe disable the temperature shutdown command inside BIOS, but its not recomended.. (for one it can literaly blow up..) Maybe find out the max temp your CPU chip can handle, then set it 10-15 below its max inside the bios shutdown.. and dont use it ontop of your lap, but on a desk with one of those fanned laptop rests or a desktop fan :hot:

    One way to find out is to use everest home, SIW, or CPU-z to see what version P4 CPU you have (Prescott, Northwood..) or check the specs with dell and see what temps they recommend...

    In all respects, workings inside of a laptop are nearly exactly the same as that in a desktop, except for some differences in hardware configurations to make it more mobile (2.5" hdd instead of the 3.5" hdd, "streamlined" motherboard/keyboard/mouse etc)
  19. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    If I'm right, there's very few things you can do with your keyboard/mouse that will cause hardware problems to your computer (physically smashing the comp, or switching off auto shutdown are main ways).

    So its generally safe to "mess around" the comp a little.

    Like I said, 65C should be safe enough. Or set it to a value somewhere in the middle (its usually a drop down box, and select a number). You will need to experiment a little, just don't set it too high. What too high is would depend on your processor itself, and I believe 65 is the max you should set, you can try something lower first.
  20. cyberguy

    cyberguy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    What i have done, is press F2 to enter setup, and i did that, and there are no options for temperature readings for the A32 BIOS.
    I have pressed F8 before, and i have tried pressing Disable this one feature, i forget exactly what it was, but it said something along the lines of "emergency shut down," so i tried it, and the computer surprisingly stayed on for over 3.5 hours. I looked at the temp readings, it was wierd, they all stayed at a constant temp once the each read: 135, 167, 168. So i thought that the sensors themselves were shot, but they aren't because they're reading different ones now.
    Ok, i tried CPU-z, and here's the info i got: Intel Pentium 4, code Northwood. So hope that helps there.
  21. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    hmm.. so its stable now? does the keyboard feel hot at all? I guess you may have a sensor problem if its giving you the wrong temps, and causing the false positives.. but all in all, since you've got it running exercise a bit of caution.. like having it on a desk instead of the lap, and using a external keyboard/mouse if it starts too feel oddly warm (or turn it off..)

    I cant recall or find any max allowable temps (before meltdown) for the northwood, but seeing that the Prescotts max is about 80`C, then the Northwood should be about the 60-70 range, so i think you're in the clear if you dont stress too much of the cpu all the time... try and configure speedfan to run on startup and minimised (in your taskbar) and you'll have a more or less real-time reading on your current temps...
  22. cyberguy

    cyberguy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Ok, so i guees i'll just have to watch how long i have it on for correct? Because it hasn't shown its stability yet. Yes, the keyboard it always hot. Is there a way to configure speedfan to tell the BIOS what the max temp for shutdown is? Because u have said to try to change this temp in the BIOS setup, but there are no ways to access these temps if what ur saying is true.
  23. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    There should be a way.

    Northwoods run pretty cool, I'd suggest 60C as a max. If you can find someway to set it. My Northwood PC is now registering 25C, and thats after overclocking. I have a pic up on techspot gallery with a screenie showing a 18C idle temp.

    I'm really thinking that you have a heatsink blocked or something. Its hard to see if its blocked, I remember mis-diagnosing a blocked heatsink before, and even missed the fact that it was blocked when I specifically checked it. Not sure how you'd check for sure, but I know that I solved it when I blew the heatsink again with an aircan, a hell lot of dust came gushing out, solving the problem.

    I'd still look for that max temp shutdown.
  24. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    I'm afraid every bios is slightly different, especialy for OEM builds, where its customised in some way, so what its called may be different to "Shutdown temp: __`C", or "alarm at __" and some may not even have one you can alter its values..

    If you're brave enough to pull apart the laptop then you can try to examine the heatsink to see if there is any blockages or not as CMH has suggested..

    Regarding Speedfan, as far as i've delved into it, you can set the fan speeds and such on compatible motherboards, but thats as far as i've used it (and temperature monitoring of course), and having a breif look through just now, it doesnt seem to have anything else it can change apart from that, so temperature controls would have to be an attribute in BIOS somewhere..
  25. cyberguy

    cyberguy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Ok, i'll keep looking for it. Are there any other places i could look to change the max temp that you could think of? About the heatsink, when i blew it out w/ an air can, there was hardly any dust in there at all, it was wierd for having it for 4 years.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...