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I've been running Ubuntu on my 1 y/o Dell Lattitude laptop.

Today I installed Debian squeeze and xen-4.0 on it and was surprised to see it cut out. When I rebooted a bios message told me it had previously overheated. It felt pretty hot to touch when I removed it from the docking station.

I've booted back into Ubuntu Lucid to avoid damaging the laptop. I would like to work out what caused it to overheat as I'm pretty excited having Xen on my workstation.

Any ideas on how I can track down the source of the overheating? Could it have been the fact that I was booting from esata? Does Ubuntu differ from Debian in power management?

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migrated from serverfault.com Mar 21 '11 at 13:28

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Wow, interesting. Did it cut out immediately, or did it run for a while? And if it ran, did you hear the CPU fan at any point? –  Satanicpuppy Mar 21 '11 at 13:37
    
It ran for a couple of hours and I didn't hear the fan get noisy. –  Mike Bailey Mar 21 '11 at 14:05
    
The cooling fans are usually run by the BIOS, not the operating system. You might want to check your BIOS and make sure everything looks right. –  Jared Harley Mar 21 '11 at 14:32
    
Is it possible to check the BIOS from linux these days or does it still require a reboot? –  Mike Bailey Mar 21 '11 at 14:46
    
Get the hoover out and give the fans a good vacumn. Your computer - being a notebook - needs this done from time to time and it is worth giving a try. –  ʍǝɥʇɐɯ May 15 '11 at 1:58

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