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Thread: ACPI on Laptop3936 days old

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    Registered User JohnnySteele's Avatar
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    ACPI on Laptop

    I'm confused by two things concerning ACPI on my laptop. I have been looking all over the internet for stuff on this and still am having a problem. I'll try and provide as much info as possible (sorry Grogan about the KDE compile question). I have read that in order to change the "trip_points" where the fan turns on, one should issue a command such as "echo -n "x:x:x:..." > trip_points while root and in the proper directory. While the values will change (I check them with cat trip_points), nothing changes as far as the temp that the fan starts. FUrthermore, everytime I restart the values are reset. The only reason I am even fucking with this at all is because my laptop gets rediculously hot and the temps are set really high right now. Any thoughts on what I'm doing wrong?

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    DEMON OF THE DEAD TJM4FUN's Avatar
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    What model laptop is this?
    It's working fine on my IBM thinkpad T20,
    both with the default install and after the
    kernel upgrade to 2.4.24.
    After looking around , you may need to get a utility package for some makes of laptops.
    Take a peek in http://www.linux-laptop.net ,
    you may find some info there.
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    Registered User JohnnySteele's Avatar
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    My laptop is a Dell Inspiron 5000. The fan works, its just that it doesn't kick in til the processor reaches 74C, and the values in the trip_points file wont change. Thanks for the link. And as a side note, I'm also using 2.4.24 if that makes any difference.

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    Just Plain Crazy Three D's Avatar
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    Check the Dell site for any bios updates. I know for a while there was heat problems with different Dell laptops and they came out with bios updates that lowered the temps where the fan would kick in.

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    Registered User JohnnySteele's Avatar
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    Thanks Three D. I have checked the Dell website, and have the latest BIOS version. Is that what passes the temperatures to the linux implementation of ACPI? If it is then I think I'm screwed b/c the configuration in the BIOS is really limited and does not include temps. I was hoping that maybe I was just making a mistake passing the argument (that I stated above) to the trip_points file or something.
    P.S.- In XP, my computer seems to stay a lot cooler in general, without the fan even kicking in, I don't know if that is something I can control in linux, or even what the reason is exactly, but for right now I just want to get that fan switching on earlier so I don't fuck up my comp.

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    Just Plain Crazy Three D's Avatar
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    Hmmm...I am not sure about the linux end of it. I never really played with it on my laptop before. Grogan would be the best one to question up on that.
    Yup...XP and 2000 do run cooler. They have a built in program that makes the CPU run cooler that in 9x systems. It works along the same line as those CPU cooler progies you used to be able to run with 9x but they are not needed in 2000 or XP.

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    Registered User JohnnySteele's Avatar
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    Alright. Well thanks to both TJM4FUN and Three D for your help. G, if you have any thoughts, they would be greatly appreciated.

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    Just Plain Crazy Three D's Avatar
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    Another thing you could do is check out the forums at Dell. Check the Bios one for your particular model. Someone might have had the same problems and you might find a solution.

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    Hell's Very Own Grogan's Avatar
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    I really have no suggestions, other than make sure that the Fan component of ACPI is enabled in the kernel config, and also if you're still trying to use the 2.6.2 kernel, you should probably try the latest 2.4 kernel instead.

    I just have no experience with Linux on laptops... finicky things that they are.

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    Just Plain Crazy Three D's Avatar
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    Dells are very finicky too. Most of their hardware is propietary and made to work with Windows and only Windows. Most of their newer systems can only run XP.

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    Registered User JohnnySteele's Avatar
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    Thanks everybdy for your help. I really appreciate it.

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    DEMON OF THE DEAD TJM4FUN's Avatar
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    I am quessing that you are getting your info on the trip points from this page:
    http://acpi.sourceforge.net/documentation/thermal.html

    have you read thru all their documentation? Also, is this a module you added to control ACPI? as is pointed out acpi compliancy is buggy on some machines, and you may be hitting that.
    For the thinkpad, I didn't set any thermal control, I let the bios handle that , let the hardware handle the root hardware functions.

    Tho I should say that you can't ignore this, you need to have the fan kicking in. are you sure in the kernel compile you have the proper cpu and chipset set, that could also add to the problem.

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    TJM4FUN: Ya, I read through all that stuff and thats actually where I got the info on how to set the trip points. Everything in the kernel (2.4.24) is cool, I've double and triple checked everything concerning the cpu and ACPI. The fan does come on eventually its just that the laptop becomes rediculously hot (cpu at 74 deg. C) before the fan kicks in, and everytime I try to pass that "echo" argument from the ACPI website to change the trip points, they are reset on reboot.

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    DEMON OF THE DEAD TJM4FUN's Avatar
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    Here's an interesting thought:

    Your dell and my t20 are roughly the same vintage, early 2000 machines. I built acpi into my kernel compile, and on bootup, got
    a message fairly early ing hte messages, i think right after the
    cpu part that this is too old for acpi and not being loaded.
    Check your mesages during bootup, you may be getting the same message, if so, then you're beating a dead horse.

    also check in the messages that the 'hlt' instruction checks ok, that is what is used software wise to cool the cpu when idle.

    edit: I think you'll see the messages in the dmesg command in a terminal window. scroll thru that.
    Last edited by TJM4FUN; 02-17-2004 at 12:31 AM.

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    Registered User JohnnySteele's Avatar
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    Mid 2000 is when I got this laptop, right before I started college, but at boot ACPI seems to be working. I'm not getting any error messages. I'm not sure if this is even related/relavant, but in XP, in the device manager it lists my computer as something like "ACPI computer." I think at this point I'm probably just going to have to live with the default values. I've checked tons of message boards and sites to no avail. I assume that the BIOS must be passing the temperature values to linux. If this is so, I guess they must be safe for the chip I'm using. (Oh yea, and hlt works too by the way.) Really appreciate the time you're taking to help me out.

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    DEMON OF THE DEAD TJM4FUN's Avatar
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    well, just cause XP says it's acpi doesn;t mean it's fully supported.

    Does the echo command actually work tho? you said it's lost on reboot, which it would be unless you pass the parameters to the module on the next boot.

    So the real question is, does changing the setpoints with that command work at all? if it does, then we could address that with
    finding out how to force the setpoints at boot.

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    DEMON OF THE DEAD TJM4FUN's Avatar
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    More questions,
    you read thru the acpi stuff at source forge. Did you also patch your kernel with the new acpi module they are discussing?

    if not, then I would suggest you read thru their how to's and get that module installed, as the stock one probably won;t react to your commands properly.

    also, since I didn;t do thru the entire site, you should use the one
    for your distro if you are going to install it, if there are distro specific ones.

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    Registered User JohnnySteele's Avatar
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    This may be part of my problem. How would one pass the temperature values to ACPI at boot? Would I have to edit some sort of rc file? Also, as far as the patches go, I have not applied any. When you say distro specific, I assume you mean the linux distro, but I couldn't find anything on the sourceforge ACPI site. I found fix patches for blacklisted hardware...but no distro stuff. Where would that be at? I feel like this is close to being resolved (hopefully)? Thanks in advance.

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    DEMON OF THE DEAD TJM4FUN's Avatar
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    Well first off, you have to get the module they have there in your kernel, there are a few how to's I saw.
    Apparently this module they have is not specific to any one distro, so that should make it easier.

    If you didn;t install these modules, running that command will do nothing, afaik. The standard acpi module may respond with values, but likely has no idea what to do with you input command. All that command will do without any support is write a file to the folder you told it to, then re-write the same file each time you run it. if nothing is looking for that trip_point file, you might as well write the values to the screen for all the good it will do you.

    So , at this point, install the module per their instructions.
    After you get it installed, then you need to verify that you can get the fan to turn on with the commands.
    If that then works, you should be able to add the command in to your local.rc file, and it should be executed at next boot.

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    Registered User JohnnySteele's Avatar
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    Ok, cool. I probably won't have a lot of time to mess with this stuff this week...midterms. But I'll definitely give this a whirl. Since you have a laptop, I fgured I'd ask you another question that you may have some input on. I posted something earlier about a clicking noise my drive was making with 2.6.x kernels on shutdown. I think that it is related to the 2.6.x kernels not issuing a command to flush all ide drives or park my HD heads. In 2.4.24, it does this before power off and reboot and gives a quiet shutdown. In 2.6.x it does not give any such command and either on reboot or shutdown...clicking/scratching ensues.(by the way I'm using my old HD to test all this stuff out, I don't want to mess up my new one) I patched the 2.6.2 kernel with the ACPI patch, but to no avail...still happens. Is this something that I can change possibly by editing the rc.6 (shutdown script in slack)or anything else under my control, or am I stuck with a 2.4 kernel on this computer for its useful life? I now you responded to my earlier inquiry, but I think I've isolated the probalem as having to do with the action of flushing the ide drives and parking the head, and wondered if this changed anything. Thanks again for your help, I'd be totally lost in linux without help from people like you and others on this forum.

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    DEMON OF THE DEAD TJM4FUN's Avatar
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    Well, I'm still new to this, but I'm one of the few dumb enough to play with it on a laptop.

    My lappie doesn;t support acpi , as I said. I haven't gone to 2.6 yet, and it seems that you may have hit on a bug. If this has been reported back to the developers, then you just have to wait for a fix. I haven;t tried a 2.6 update yet. since I'm still in learn mode, figured I'd start with upgrade to a stable kernel, then I updated KDE to 3.2.0. I may try the 2.6 kernel within the next few weeks. if I experience the same "hard" shutdown, then I'll let ya know.

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