Did I kill my laptop's processor by ripping my DVDs??! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-02-2014, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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About a month ago I started digitizing my DVD collection using my laptop (2 year old Dell E-6510, quad core i5) saving to ISO & then to MP4. I did maybe 1 movie/day. Recently my laptop started acting wonky & I took it for repair thinking some addware was causing me trouble. Low and behold, the FOUR CORES of the cpu failed testing! The cpu is fried to bits! 

 

I have to decide to repair or replace, but the key question is: Is DVD ripping in a laptop w/this amount of processing power a bad thing? Was I pushing it or did I just get unlucky with the processor? Should I stick to video processing in a desktop?

 

Just last week, I purchased a used HTPC from e-bay, but the CPU in that system is quite old & modest (pentium G620 dual core). For an HTPC w/basic needs should work, but it would be very slow for digitizing my DVD library. 

Your advice is appreciated!

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post #2 of 12 Old 03-02-2014, 04:25 PM
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Firstly, ripping is just the act of copying the data from optical disc to HDD (with maybe some DRM removal or remuxing). It puts very little load on the CPU.

What you are talking about is more likely encoding.

A properly designed computer can be stressed 100% load 24/7 without any damage to the CPU. The cooling system is designed to keep the processor within the specified temperature range, and there is a failsafe (thermal shutdown) if somehow the cooling system fails to do its job.

If your CPU has somehow been damaged from the mere act of stressing it then your system is faulty or improperly designed.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-02-2014, 04:53 PM
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Thermal management for laptops is problematic. It is really difficult to get rid of all the heat produced by a heavily loaded fast quad-core processor and GPU in the small form factor of a laptop. Manufacturers can deal with it to some extent by monitoring processor temperature and throttling the clock speed, etc. But if thermal management doesn't go right, it is quite possible to damage the processor or other components.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-02-2014, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Now, this is interesting. What would happen if you test a dual core processor thinking that is a quad core?

 

I was googling around, looking at the cost of replacing my cpu, and it turns out that my laptop's processor is not quad core. Is dual core!!! The laptop is still at the shop, but according to my purchase order from Dell, I have a i5-560M 2.66 GHz - 1066 MHz-3M L2cash Dell E6X10 DUAL core processor.

 

Is it possible that the guy at the shop got confused if he saw 2 real cores & two virtual cores, or maybe most of the i5 chips are quad & he didn't even check? All I know is he was going to do a "full system HW check"...I'm starting to get suspicious...would that be a mistake the test system would not warn him about (i.e. "hey, I have only two cores here) or is he likely giving me BS? My noob-ness is pretty apparent...

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post #5 of 12 Old 03-02-2014, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

Thermal management for laptops is problematic. It is really difficult to get rid of all the heat produced by a heavily loaded fast quad-core processor and GPU in the small form factor of a laptop. Manufacturers can deal with it to some extent by monitoring processor temperature and throttling the clock speed, etc. But if thermal management doesn't go right, it is quite possible to damage the processor or other components.

 

Interesting. Would you expect the thermal damage to be obvious to the eye (discoloration on the motherboard, burn marks on the chip, for example) if the heat increase was high enough to fry the cpu? Would that kind of heat be felt at the front end? I never picked up the machine while it was churning away data, but the front surface & keyboard felt barely warm. Would you normally notice from the front if the cooling can't keep up & the CPU's temperature is going through the roof?

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post #6 of 12 Old 03-03-2014, 06:22 AM
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Many Intel processors are hyper-threaded. This gives the appearance of having two cores when there is really only one. A hyper-threaded CPU can do more work than a regular CPU for applications that are well constructed to take advantage of threads, but isn't flexible overall as a multi-processor CPU. In your case, your Core i5 was probably a dual core hyper-threaded model - it would show up in Task Manager with 4 cores. As to the thermal failure, that's interesting - while laptop cooling has always been an issue this is the first I've heard of a situation like yours.
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-08-2014, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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So, after much agony I finally got my laptop back. The processor was fine. The HDD wasn't (at some point). After the initial service guy started talking about having to do a complete window re-install w/a new, slower HDD & about also charging me for data recovery services for "recovering data" from my HDD (which worked fine when they got the laptop in); I had it. I went to the store & talk w/a more senior guy who cloned my HDD into a new one & everything was working again.

 

As for the failing processor, I could not extract out of him which test he'd run, but he said that out of 50 tests, one failed so I should'n be too worried about the cpu...I did get an extra chip online for $30, just in case.

 

Sorry I couldn't provide here any technical details: after realizing that they messed up, the people in the store went into damage control. They did fix my problem, but were very squeamish about sharing with me any details of they've done and/or tested.

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post #8 of 12 Old 03-09-2014, 07:27 PM
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Regular maintenance of the cooling system in a laptop is important.

I've found that the compressed gas dusters don't have enough flow to properly clean out the air ducts, heatsink fins and fan. You need to step up to a small compressor and tank with a blowgun to properly clear it out.

It's possible that the test that was run on the CPU wasn't compatible.
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-11-2014, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebberry View Post

Regular maintenance of the cooling system in a laptop is important.

I've found that the compressed gas dusters don't have enough flow to properly clean out the air ducts, heatsink fins and fan. You need to step up to a small compressor and tank with a blowgun to properly clear it out.

Blowing air into the vents will just push the dust in deeper. It got in there by being sucked in from the surroundings. The best way to get it out is by sucking it back out the way it came in. IOW - get a ShopVAC. Put the edge tool on it to create a high velocity suction field and apply it to the vents.

I noticed that the fan on my daughters laptop was literally screaming as she was using it where prior it was barely audible. When asked she told me it had been doing it for a while and that she would sometimes put it up on blocks on her desk so that the fan would slow down. I took it down to my workbench and pulled out the ShopVAC. I was absolutely shocked at the huge clots of dust and dog-hair that I pulled out of my daughters laptop. Some were so big they could not be sucked through the vents and had to be pulled out through the slits with tweezers. After I was done, her fan went back to normal and once again was barely audible.

And to the OP -- no you did not hurt your laptop by ripping disks. High CPU usage will result in a hotter chip which triggers the fan to come on full blast. If that is not enough, thermal sensors in the laptop will not let it overheat. They will first cause the CPU chip speed to be throttled down so it generates less heat and if that is not enough they will cause it to shut down and hibernate before any damage can occur. The only problem will be if the thermal sensors go bad -- then you could get screwed.

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post #10 of 12 Old 03-11-2014, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Blowing air into the vents will just push the dust in deeper. It got in there by being sucked in from the surroundings. The best way to get it out is by sucking it back out the way it came in. IOW - get a ShopVAC. Put the edge tool on it to create a high velocity suction field and apply it to the vents.

As a tech who has disassembled and reassembled hundreds of laptops and has used everything from cans of compressed gas, compressed air and vacuum cleaners, I disagree.

There's an intake and exhaust for the air - usually air is drawn in via the fan from the bottom of the laptop and exhausted out the sides or back.
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post #11 of 12 Old 03-11-2014, 06:11 PM
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I just don't see how ripping or shrinking DVDs would cause any issue. I was doing it in the early 2000's with the CPUs available back then with zero issues. I would rip and Shrink the DVDs. I did hundreds of them with no issues until I stopped watching DVD content in 2005.. I would think any current CPU would have no problem with a DVD since even shrinking it shouldn't stress it. If it didn't with my old CPUs from the early 2000's

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post #12 of 12 Old 03-12-2014, 11:04 AM
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HDD failure is common in laptops.
Although there is almost always (depends on issue), some indication that something is going wrong.
Aka: Taking unusual long to load a file or a program, very slow boot ups, programs locking up.

Processor failure is rare and would only happen if one of the cooling systems failed.
If you are worried about overheating they do sell laptop fans that you put underneath your laptop to assist in the cooling.

I am thinking the original tech either didn't do the job he was supposed to or he was trying to make more money off of you.

As for it acting strangely. what type of virus protection do you use?

Reading your first post leads me to believe that you had a possible virus/malware infection.

What type of software where you using to rip your DVD's?
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