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i have a 4 years old laptop which makes a lot of noise:
- hdd noise,
- cooler noise.

I need to detected which is my CPU temperature and also how to solve hdd noise. Do you have any idea? I just formatted that partition and installed Wimndoes XP on it? I'm thinking to detect HDD problems (if are any) and isolate/hide them. Do you know what tools can I use to solve my problems.

Also, do you think that a 3-4 years is "old" for a computer. I use that laptop for office work, nothing fancy but time can make a computer become slower?

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3 Answers

You can use Real Temp to check your CPU's temperature:

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First off on the XP system try chkdsk. For diagnostics testing I'd recommend the Ultimate boot CD. It comes with a number of tools for testing the peripherals on your system. If you have a Seagate drive, check out Seatools.

As for your computer becoming out of date, I think it's fine for the tasks you are doing. If you are looking for the latest and greatest, Moore's Law explains things pretty well - computing power for average end-user systems doubles approximately every 2 years. It likely hasn't gotten drastically slower, just your perception of it's speed from when you first got it has changed, but aged components can have performance problems.

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I'll try to adress your concerns one-by-one:

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CPU Monitoring:

You can try a tool that will run diagnostics on your whole system, thus enabling you to see if the CPU is any problem, or if it is just a side effect of bigger things. A good one to try is CheckIt Diagnostics from Smith Micro Software. You can google the download.

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HDD Noise (thanks to About.com):

Run free hard drive diagnostic software, already available on many PCs or available on the Internet. Additionally, more advanced diagnostic software is available for a cost from third party software developers.

Note: At best, diagnostic software will only mark the areas of the hard drive that are failing as "bad" and prevent the computer from using them in the future. It will not truly fix a hard drive that is physically failing.

If any corrections made by the diagnostics software do not temporarily resolve the hard drive noise, do a complete backup of your system and replace the hard drive immediately.

If the diagnostics software helps resolve the clicking, grinding or squealing noises keep in mind that this is only a temporary solution. Chances are, the hard drive will continue to fail until it is completely unusable.

The permanent solution is to do a complete backup of your system and replace the hard drive as soon as possible.

Tips:

Since there is no good way to repair a failing hard drive, protecting your data by performing regular backups is essential.

With an up-to-date backup, recovering from a hard drive failure is as simple as installing a new drive and restoring your data.

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Cooler Noise:

Run the diagnostics as outlined in the first tip and see what the CPU speed is listed as. If the speed is listed as the highest allowed, and if your laptop is equipped with anything like SpeedStep technology, try turning down the speed of your CPU. This is the case in the majority of constant fan usage.

If the fan is just making noise, but not running all of the time, you might see if the cooling fan can be replaced. Cooling fans, like all other components in a computer, wear down over time. If you can replace it (or it can be replaced in a computer repair shop), I would suggest doing it, and getting an "ultra quiet" performance fan.

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For quick and easy temperature monitoring I'd suggest HWMonitor. Doesn't need to be installed, you just download and run the exe.

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For monitoring your HDD(s) I'd recommend HDTune. It shows temperature and SMART data, although the later is a bit cryptic. Not the program's fault; SMART in general is a good idea, badly implemented.

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