Does this make any sense?

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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

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

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

Re: Does this make any sense?

John Doue typed on Fri, 20 Aug 2010 18:47:25 +0300:
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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 5C too low. And if you heat up the CPU, it
reads up to 20C 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

I also have two Asus EeePC 702 netbooks. And one of them will suddenly
read 0C and the fan will kick up on max. And it will continue to read
0C 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.

Gateway MX6124 ('06 era) 1 of 3 - Windows XP SP2

Re: Does this make any sense?

On 8/21/2010 9:11 PM, BillW50 wrote:
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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

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 ...


John Doue

Re: Does this make any sense?

Somewhere on teh intarwebs John Doue wrote:
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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.)

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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

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

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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. ;-)

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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.

"Let food be thy medicine" Hippocrates.

Re: Does this make any sense?

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

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Yes, and yes, of course!

John Doue

Re: Does this make any sense?

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