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I'm having issues with successfully installing linux (both on my PC and my laptop). The issue seems to be overheating in both cases. It's not so much a crippling problem with the desktop, it handles the heat pretty well (but I can tell it's running hot). However on the laptop, it gets so hot that it just shuts itself off after 10-15 minutes. The fans on both machines seem to be running full blast constantly. I'm experiencing the same problem with Ubuntu and openSUSE.

I'm confused by this problem because it seems to be machine and OS independent. What could cause this overheating? If this sounds familiar to anybody, a solution or even suggestion on where to start would be great.

Edit

Let's focus on the laptop to simplify things. It's a low-end Gateway Windows 7 model.
New OS - openSUSE 13.1
CPU - AMD A-Series A6-4400M (2.70GHz)
Video - AMD Radeon HD 7520G
RAM/HD - 4GB Memory 500GB HDD

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Besides installing Ubuntu or OpenSuse, what have you installed besides the standard install (including 3rd party drivers)? What hardware are you running on? This is definitely not a common problem, so please include more information on your configuration on both laptop and desktop (both software and hardware). –  Jakke Jul 1 at 23:04
    
This is almost always a hardware problem. –  David Schwartz Jul 1 at 23:07
    
@DavidSchwartz Sounds likely if you have this problem on a single computer, but on 2 completely unrelated computers with different hardware, sounds bizarre! @Andy if you could, also post the output of htop (preferably) or top –  Jakke Jul 1 at 23:13
    
@Jakke, here's the output of htop about 5 seconds before my laptop blinked off. I posted my laptop's specs in the question above. Also, the install is pretty bare-bones. I've got flash, jdk, eclipse, weka, that's about it. –  Andy Jul 1 at 23:33
    
@Jakke There is no "this problem". One computer shuts down, the other doesn't. The shutting down is the problem. –  David Schwartz Jul 1 at 23:39

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