My laptop overheated with ZorinOS, need help diagnosing

I'm new & have been using Zorin for a few hours. I didnt expect it, but had a lot of stuff running on Zorin & it unexpectedly shut off, probably due to SSD, CPU or RAM overheating failsafe.

My laptop did this in the past too when I was running windows 7 & when I ran a lot of stuff at the same time.
So here is what I think are good ideas to do & what i need help with:
1.) I need to keep a log or be able to find a log that logs my CPU activity, RAM activity,
(how much they are being used). I'd like to see what they looked like when my laptop/Zorin shutoff, & if thats not available, I need to for future use, if possible.

2.) I need to review the logs of my SSD temps, RAM & CPU temps at the time when my laptop shutoff. And if not possible, i need to set this up for the future.

3.) I need a program that will throttle these things automatically or give me a warning before it shuts off. But before we do any of this last part, we need to figure out which component is triggering the overheating failsafe shutdown, so just ignore this last part.

-Thanks! I really need help :slight_smile:

Usually laptop overheating is because of dust. Buy a can of air and blow your system clean.

Thank you, well the grill looks clean, (see photo)
Perhaps there is dust inside it? There is a small fan on the underbelly too, and a small vent for that, (intake?) but
it looks pretty clean. I've never cleaned the ventilation system, its about 9 years old. Probably would be a good idea to take a look inside, but I still need to monitor the temps & component activity anyways.

Nine years? Better crack that laptop open :wink:

You can install Monitorets from the store and configure it.

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On several of mine, the outside looked clean - the inside did not.
That aside, however - after 9 years, it is your thermal paste I would not trust.

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My wife had a Compaq computer that did the same, no matter how clean we kept the heat pipe fins... turns out the heat pipe had failed. It happens sometimes.

First, make sure your fan is working ok... it should be clean and easily able to spin. If you spin it by hand really close to your ear and you hear any bearing 'roughness', get a new fan. If you can push on one side of the fan and notice any 'wiggle', the bearings are going, get a new one. If you've ever heard it 'squawk' even once, definitely get a new one.

Second, vacuum it with a soft brush, and use pipe-cleaners on the heat pipe fins.

Third, if nothing else works, source a new heat pipe assembly. This can be a used part, as heat pipes rarely fail, but I've had two of them fail on me over the years. If all else fails and you're handy, you can build your own heat pipes... the advantage of that is that you can customize the boiling temperature of the liquid you use to tweak the final CPU temperature. Just be sure not to make the boiling point so low that it can't recondense.

Fourth, it may not be your CPU... if could be your GPU. If it's got a fan, check it, too. It most likely has a heat pipe, check it (take it apart, dip the heat sink into hot water, you should almost immediately feel heat at the fins... if you don't, the heat pipe is (going) bad).

Some laptops have a combined heat pipe setup for CPU and GPU that a single fan serves. It's especially important to get a good fan in this case... no bushings. If you must use ball bearings, use ceramic bearings. Try to find a fan that uses magnetic bearings.


@Aravisian , @Storm , @Mr_Magoo , Thank you all for the advice. I never even knew about thermal paste. I wrote that down & will take a look as soon as possible. In regards to Monitorets app, I need to tell it to monitor the temperature & activity of CPU,GPU, SSD & RAM? Which options should i choose in this photo? And it doesnt appear that this app keep logs?

If your notebook computer is a Dell, I would just enable them all. That way, you will see any high temperature that spikes on the scale.

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Check CPU usage in the system monitor. If it is inefficient for your PC usage, it can't help that the heat removal can't keep up.

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@Aravisian ,thank you for your help. Problem is that I dont know how to read them in my screenshot above, i dont know what the names mean, & max temperatures differ for each component, for example, I've been told to keep my SSD below 50 celsius at all times. But my CPU shouldnt get higher than 100 celsius. Also, Its not easy to watch the desktop gauge/widget 24/7. So finding a program that keeps logs that i can look at if it overheats & shuts off is important.

@Hackgets , Thank you for the advice. How do I do that? should I benchmark test my CPU?

Zorin Core can launch the System Monitor from the menu by right-clicking on the taskbar.

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oof... You must have a very tough cpu. I wouldn't want mine going over 60...

Ok in your screenshot: GPU is labeled. No worries there.
acpitz is part of CPU
Ambient and SODIMM are a surprise to see on there... But those are Screen hardware and RAM.

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@Hackgets , thank you, i understand how to do that now, but that is only an activity monitor bar & I dont know what it should look like, compared to what it does look like now. I have an Intel Core i5-2430M Sandy Bridge. Perhaps I should google how to test CPU efficiency.

(EDIT: I will say this, so u dont think i'm a naive idiot, haha, I'm starting to understand this better & 32% CPU capacity at 90 celsius doesnt sound right, haha so thank you for the advice @Hackgets)

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Dell_simm-CPU is your overall Processor temperature.
Dell_simm-GPU is your overall Video Processor temperature.
Dell_simm-SODIMM is your RAMs temperature (collective or average, depending on the software).
Coretemp-Core 0 is the temp of this core (this is a dual core Processor).
Coretemp-Core 1 is the temp of this core.
@Aravisian pointed out that Dell_simm- Ambient is your screen temperature.

All of this is dependent on what sensors your computer has (not all computers have physical sensors).

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@337harvey , thank you, very helpful, now i understand it better.

@Aravisian , here is why I say 100 celsius, LINK
It says: "Max. Temperature: 100 °C"

Apparently it shouldnt be getting that hot though. I'm still learning about this stuff. Sometimes my CPU has gone over 100 celsius & doesnt even shutoff. I've yet to record it shutting off & log the temps when that happens, so I dont know what has triggered the temp shutoffs, which of the overheated components triggers it, on my windows 7 & ZorinOS. I now have CoreTemp programmed to tell me after reboot on the Windows 7, but it hasnt shutoff since then. I need to find a program to log my component temps in Zorin.

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I would not gauge your safe temps by whether it shuts off.

Some CPU's do indeed work at higher temps. But the fine print also needs careful reading... For example, what duration of time can the CPU run at the max temp it advises?

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In regards to thermal paste, I always use diamond paste... diamonds have incredibly high heat transfer capacity. It's the diamonds and not the paste that's doing the energy transfer from chip to heat sink, the paste is just a carrier to make it easier to spread it on the chip and heatsink and get it to stick there. So even if the paste dries out, it won't matter much.

Make the layer of paste just as thin as you can make it... you're just covering the asperities in the chip and heat sink surfaces. Ideally, if you've got a lapping block and ultra-fine lapping compound, you can lap the top of your chip and the bottom of the heat sink so the thermal paste layer is so thin it's see-through. That'll give you maximum heat transfer.

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Thank you. :slight_smile: Whats a lapping block & ultra fine lapping compound?