It's running at 1.2 GHz because it powersteps, which means that supposedly when you have it running on battery power it slows down the processor and dims the screen, and when it's plugged in, the screen goes brighter and the processor speeds up. It does it to save battery life.
I also have an overheating problem with my Inspiron 8200. I guess I better try blowing out the dust... :?
If you direct your browser to Diefer's website, which was specifically designed for the Inspiron 8xxx series notebooks but which works on most Dell systems, you will find two programs: One is entitled SpeedSwitchXP (which will allow you to alter the state of your P4-m Processor), and one entitled i8kfangui (which will allow you to control the fans and monitor the temperature of your inspiron notebook. I had the Inspiron 8200 notebook and this program worked like beaut. When I was in lectures or in a meeting, i could set the fans to run so slowly that you coudn't hear them, but it kept air moving across the cooling fins so as to keep the processor within a tolerable temperature margin.
With regards to "Blue68F100's" suggestion that you use compressed air - this is a good idea as long as you keep the fans from moving. if you blow the compressed air without securing the two fans at the back of the notebook, you will strip the bearings, severely reducing the lifespan of your notebook's cooling solution.
Also if you direct your browser here, you will be able to remove the thermal assembly and clean it properly as per Dell instructions.
Use 99% alchohol and a Qtip to remove the existing paste from the CPU (raised square in the centre) and the bottom of the heatsink.
Apply the new paste to the CPU (a drop about the size of a grain of rice in the centre of the square)
Reassemble, be carful not to touch the surface of the CPU or bottom of the heat sink.
Before I did this the CPU was running at 66c with the fan on, after (leaving it running for 24hrs to burn in the new paste), it is now at 35c with the fan on, running at full load (converting videos)
Total cost: $5.00 for the paste
I'm currently using mine as a Tversity server and video converter.
I have some experience in over heating. In my case, there were multiple failures. The first indication that something was wrong was that the fans ran a lot. Eventually, one of the fans siezed and then the poor wee beastie would go into thermal overload. I tried thermal paste, which helped, and various software solution in addition to cleaning, etc. What finally made a significant improvement was replacing the heat sink.
The heat sink is not just a hollow copper tube with fins. It is filled with a heat conducting fluid. If the tube leaks then the fluid evaporates and that's the end of it.
Again, the symptoms:
Over time, the fans stay on longer and harder.
Eventually, the fans pretty much run all of the time.
One of the fans breaks.
The machine goes into thermal overload.
replace the heat sink
replace the fans
Richard Lewis Haggard
Thanks for the reply. I tried arctic silver 5 paste without removing the foil. It did not help (not that I can notice). I noticed that when the GPU and Harddrive temperature is below 50C. The CPU temperature will drop when idle (63C to 56C) without fan on. But as soon as GPU and hd temperature rise above 57C, CPU temperature is rising even when it is idle. So the fan goes on every 2-3 min when idle. When watch youtube, it is on every 30sec. I use i8k set temp threshold around (56-63C). This thing seems to have design issue with heating.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I decided not to spend more money on this thing since I only use it once in a while when I watch tv.
Can i let the fan running maximum speed all the time? And what about upgrading CPU? I get an other laptop with a p4 2,4 Ghz (with an Integrated Heat Spreader). Can i remove it and try? Is it dangerous for the motherboard? Make that warmer?