Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Acer 7720-6569 - Overheating Problems

One of the laptops that I work on from time-to-time is a friend's Acer 7720-6569. It's got an absolutely beautiful 17" display, nice sound, and overall the specs are very nice, especially for the money. It's a bit big, and there are some things which don't work quite right. One of them is the fan: I've been lead to believe (by this page) that Acer (among others) uses ACPI to control the fan instead of native fan control. Whether it is true or not, I've noticed two things:
  1. the Acer's fan never seems to go very fast
  2. when really being worked, sometimes the laptop just shuts off.
Whenever the machine shuts off, a quick reboot often shows elevated temperatures, and I never hear the fan exceed it's minimum speed, which leads to believe that the fan control simply doesn't work well. Furthermore, there are no entries in /proc/acpi/fan/. I even booted the KDE4 LiveCD for openSUSE 11.0RC1 (which is 2.6.24 at least and *does* have the acer-wmi kernel module) and still - no fan. I acquired the output of dmidecode and hwinfo --all and will be trying to find out what I can do to get the fan to work with this machine, given that summer is rapidly approaching. The following kernel bug report looked useful: Bug 9167. I'll try to see if using a much later kernel, a 32 bit kernel, and/or if "ec_intr=0" helps.


Anonymous said...

Any results?

Anonymous said...

Yes, sort-of. It's been reported that a 32 bit kernel does help things in some cases. For me (for my friend, really), yet-another BIOS update and a newer kernel (now 64 bit) seems to have solved all overheating problems - the fan runs up and down as it should, as far as I know.

I guess my only advice is this: find BIOS updates (for Acer stuff, try Acer Europe - Acer America still seems to be in the stone ages for BIOS-related matters) and run a later kernel. The machine in question is on or thereabouts as I write this.

It's still, honestly the nicest screen I've yet seen, with fonts so crisp and gorgeous as to make Mac fans jealous (not that they'd ever admit it).