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I have Ubuntu 10.04 on my computer but am currently trying to install Elementary on it. As soon as I turn my computer on, it gets really loud trying to load the disc, which I assume is normal. Well, I get about half way through installing Elementary, then the computer suddenly gets quiet and the monitor goes black. All of the lights are still on, including the monitor, and the all of the fans are working.

A few months ago, I was having similar problems with the computer "freezing up" (except it wasn't going black, it would just not do anything. The picture would remain "frozen" on the monitor) because it was overheating, so, I changed the thermal compound in it and the problem was fixed. I opened so many applications up all at once to test and see if it would freeze up again. But it didn't.

Since then ^ I have never put the side back on the computer, which was a few months ago. I got distracted and left the computer dormant in the back room. But just a few days ago I decided to clean the dust out and put it back on so I could install Elementary. Before I installed it (or tried to) I turned the computer on to get some things off. As I was in the middle of it, for the first time, it went "blank" on me as I was describing above.

I'm just wondering what could cause this. Is it overheating again? When I did turn the computer on before trying to install Elementary, the temperature indicators at the top showed that the temps were okay. And it's currently sitting on the kitchen table with nothing blocking the fans. It just gets really loud while loading the disc, then "cuts off". Any ideas?

Oh, and when I took the disc out, it was very hot. I'm assuming that's normal considering it was loading. But I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything.

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Try a different ROM drive. – user3463 Aug 21 '12 at 0:44
Are you running a live session from an Ubuntu CD? Do these problems only occur during a live session? – terdon Aug 21 '12 at 2:16

You may want to check your BIOS settings and make sure your CPU doesn't "think" it's getting too hot. I can't say if that's even available in your BIOS since I don't know anything about your motherboard. But chances are pretty good that something is there which will at least let you see CPU temps. (I'd be concerned if CPU temps start getting into the 160-F range. But you're not likely going to see temps that hot from a BIOS settings screen since the CPU isn't hardly doing anything when you look.)

I suspect the real problem may instead be with your graphics adapter either actually getting too hot or maybe thinking it's too hot. Therefore, you really need to install some kind of power monitoring tools that will monitor GPU conditions including heat. Usually, that's just a matter of getting the right drivers for whatever adapter you have and also installing any tools that come along with it. I don't know where you might get any third party apps that do this but I do know they exist. I think there might even be one that comes with the XBMC package but don't quote me on that. I'm sure you can find something if you dig around the repositories - and assuming your graphics driver didn't include something.

I can't say if that's going to help or not since it might also be a matter of proper hardware support in the Linux kernel. This would be just one more reason to maybe consider upgrading to the latest Ubuntu release (12.04) or at least the latest Linux kernel. Then again, that may be the very problem where you may want to revert to an older kernel. I just can't say. But installing driver support would at least be my first step. (Look in the additional drivers app to get started.)

And as far as your CD/DVD getting too hot goes, you might want to relocate it. Spinning a disk should not make it get too hot. Not unless there's something rubbing somewhere or if there's another heat source nearby. Then again, some drives just get hot. So I can't say if what you have going on is even something to be concerned about. But I would suggest to maybe thinking about moving it if you're concerned.

You might also like to know that spreading heat sink compound with your finger will slightly decreases it's effectiveness since you're basically smearing in some of your skin oil into it which, in turn, basically acts like heat insulation - and that's not good when you're trying to dissipate heat. Hopefully, you don't do that and use a clean spatula or razor or something. Just saying...

Anyway, hope something I said helps. Good Luck.

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