I have the HP Pavilon g7 (part HP Pavilon g series) and lately it's been getting hot really quickly. I have a cooling fan plate with a USB input for it and that keeps it cool, but it doesn't always work. I also sometimes get the following error when I boot or reboot the machine:

The system has detected that a cooling fan is not operating correctly.

Continued operation is not recommended and may cause unpredictable behavior that could result in random shutdown, data loss, or possible system damage. The system will shut down in 15 seconds. To prevent shutdown and continue operation, press the Enter key now.

System Fan (90B)

My concern and curiosity lies here:

Let's say I'm watching a video and a guy is saying "Life after death." Sometimes, it'll freeze and keep repeating "Life after" x10. That is, until I force shutdown by holding down the power button. I don't know, but that part doesn't sound like it can be a cooling fan issue or an overheating issue, correct?

On Windows, there would be a thermal shutdown sequence instead of that -- but I'm on Linux and most Linux distributions I've used have thermal shutdown disabled or inactive, so instead of it shutting down as often, that freezing and audio stuttering begins. Now, the computer DOES do a thermal shutdown but not nearly as often, so maybe thermal shutdown is active, maybe it's just that the specific distribution doesn't hog memory so it happens less often.

Before I take it to my local repairman, I just want to know if the cooling fan is the only potential issue here. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

My two cents:

I'm not sure why, but I suspect that it's the cooling fan as well as the graphics card. Why? I remember the first time it was on Windows, Windows 7 would randomly just dim until it went black and I'd get no display (just a black screen).

  • I suspect you're getting this error? I coaxed my old HP Pavilion dv6z-3000 to generate this message by jamming the fan with a foreign object at startup, so I'd recommend that you get the laptop fixed as it appears the fan has failed. I've taken the liberty to edit the full error message into the post.
    – bwDraco
    Dec 29, 2015 at 5:08
  • Relevant HP support page: support.hp.com/us-en/document/c03620929
    – bwDraco
    Dec 29, 2015 at 5:16

2 Answers 2


The freezing video and stuttering, repeating audio clip combination is characteristic of a graphics processor problem. The HP Pavilion g7-1075dx Notebook has an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 Graphics processor. The AMD ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 is an onboard (shared memory) graphics chip in the RS880M chipset. The graphics chip may be faulty due to a lot of hard use or it may be malfunctioning due to overheating because the laptop is overheating very quickly.

Taking it in to the repairman is a good idea because the laptop's overheating could be caused by:

  1. Dust and debris blocking the openings between the fins of the aluminum heat sink on the CPU.

  2. A worn out fan.

  3. Cracked or otherwise worn out thermal paste between the CPU and the aluminum heat sink on the CPU.

When the repairman opens the computer to clean the dust out of the fins of the heat sink, he can easily check all three of these possibilities.

If the CPU fan needs to be replaced, it may make sense to replace the CPU fan together with the aluminum cooling block as a single assembled unit, if the two parts are sold together as a single assembled unit, and solve all three problems at the same time.

While you're waiting to decide what to do about your laptop's overheating problem, you should install the Psensor graphical temperature monitor application from your Linux distribution's repositories in order to provide real-time information about your laptop's CPU and GPU temperatures. The Psensor icon is located in the desktop's notification area. The Psensor icon looks like a little thermometer which you can click to show the fan speeds and the CPU & GPU temperatures. If the speed of a fan is slower than normal and that fan is spinning all the time, this is a good indication that the fan is starting to wear out due to friction on the bearings.

XSensors is another graphical temperature monitor application that may be in your Linux distribution's repositories. XSensors is similar to Psensor, but it has additional features and a more elaborate graphical user interface.


The cooling system is not the only possibility, but it is the most likely - and its almost certainly the cooling system if the problem only occurs when the system is getting hot.

Its probable that as the CPU throttles down to generate less heat (they are designed to do this) there is jerking and (I surmise) timing issues with the codec which is then trying to reread/repeat the same bit of code - or possibly its terminating a loop with an error and retrying.

I expect the problem is that the cooling fan attached to the CPU is failing, which is why you are getting errors like "The cooling fan is not working properly" - the tachometer built into the fan in conjunction with the sensors are telling you as much.

In most (all?) Laptops I've looked at the CPU and GPU are cooled off the same fan, using a funny shaped copper heatsink covering both parts. If the heat dissipation is not working, both the GPU and CPU can be affected.

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