Review of a donated laptop


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Check the hardware with Labtix
To start, you should check a donated computer. After all, it makes no sense to send a laptop to hot countries that already overheats in cool regions. Or if the hard drive is already "crumbling", how is it supposed to survive transport and operation in hot regions? That's why Labtix comes with useful tools to check not only the hard drive, but also speakers, temperature sensors under load and much more. more to check, if necessary to clean fan, to renew thermal paste or foil.

BIOS settings
Some laptops require changing BIOS settings:

BIOS settings Comment
Secure Boot Must always be off (disabled). Sometimes an administrator password must first be set in order to disable Secure Boot. The admin password can then be removed again.
Trusted Platform Module (TPM) TPM is a security chip that secures a computer. In connection with Linux, however, TMP should always be switched off (deactivated). With some laptops, an administrator password must first be set in order to be able to deactivate the TPM. The admin password can then be removed again.
UEFI Up to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS It is recommended to turn off UEFI and enable Legacy/CSM. However, there is also a concept for an UEFI-based installation for 20.04 LTS developed by Labdoo helpers.
From Ubuntu 22.04 LTS a separate concept was developed for Ubuntu so that both UEFI and Legacy/CSM installations are possible. Note: Labtix starts on some computers and the installation of the image runs smoothly. But when you restart the laptop, you get notices like "Invalid Partition table!" or similar and the laptop won't boot. Then please set the UEFI mode or both (UEFI and Legacy) in the BIOS.
In very stubborn cases, the tool uses SuperGrub2Disk

Recommended hardware checks

Tool Check
GSmart Please check the status of the target disk (sda) with the tool GSmartControl. The more "red" notes or icons and the darker they are, the sooner the hard drive should be replaced.
StressCpu / psensor The maximum temperature should be around 55 to 65°C under normal load, depending on the CPU / GPU type and the ambient temperature. To load the CPU, the "Stress CPU" script starts on the desktop (triggers "stress --cpu -8" in a terminal). Observe the temperature display of the CPU sensors in psensor. Stress CPU starts after 10 seconds and runs at full CPU load for 60 seconds so as not to damage the CPU and cooling system.

The temperatures often rise to over 70°C under full load, less would be better. Many manufacturers indicate an acceptable maximum temperature (CPU under full load) of 75 degrees. If the temperatures rise to 80°C or higher under load, Stress CPU immediately stops to avoid damage to the processor and cooling system. Then the cooling system needs to be revised (e.g. cleaning the fan or replacing the cooler paste/cooling pads). An overheated cooling system can also be recognized by the fact that the copper-colored heat conductor has turned bluish.

  • Unscrew the cover from the fan area. Shine using a lamp inside and check whether you can see the light well from the outside through the fan. Then the air can also get through :) If not, the fan and ventilation system should be cleaned.
  • Sometimes it's enough to blow through the ventilation slits from outside in. The fan should be blocked with a nail or screwdriver to prevent it from rotating. In addition, dust flakes can be removed with a curved needle or soft brush through the suction hole..
  • If necessary, the thermal paste/foil on the CPU cooler must be renewed.

For some devices with Intel i3/5/7 processors, it is helpful to switch off the "Intel Turbo Boost" (may have a different name for some devices!) in the BIOS/UEFI in order to get the temperature below 75°C under full load.

Speaker Test Alternately checks the left and right speakers.

Continue reading to the next page:
UEFI Boot only or BIOS locked and UEFI set

Go back to read the previous page:
Labtix 1 [archive]