Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Temperature monitor

Windows has a tool for monitoring how much disk space you have left. It will warn you when disk space is getting low and give you the chance to run the Disk Cleanup utility to free up wasted space.
It also has a tool that monitors the battery (if you have a laptop). If the battery is getting low, it will warn you, and if it is critically low, will do a proper shutdown of Windows so that you work is saved.
What is it doesn’t have is a tool that monitors processor temperature. While most computers now have hardware monitors, all these do when the temperature gets too high is cut the power, thus meaning that you lose your work and risk file corruption. If it doesn’t have a hardware monitor then you may end with BSODs or application errors – or worse, hardware damage – so you’d lose your work that way anyway.
If Windows had a tool that monitored the temperature, it could warn you if it was getting too high and have your programs shut down properly so that your work is not lost. It could even allow the running of external commands, such as one that paused your video player or something.
As you can probably imagine, I could really do with a tool that does the above. I’m fed up of this laptop cutting out when it gets too warm (a particular problem at the moment what with the warm weather of late) – currently, all I have is SpeedFan which on my system only tells me how warm it is. If it could have some automation as well, that would be great.
Oh, if it interests you, I’ll probably be ordering my Mac Mini in the next couple of weeks.

6 Comments

  1. You could try MBM, although it is no longer actively developed. It has temperature alert (among other things) and support for a massive variety of motherboards.

  2. Have you tried cleaning the heat sinks around the fan assembly. One of my co-workers had that problem a while ago, he opened up the fan assembly access panel, found a crap load of hair and dust over the heat sinks, removed them and hasn’t had a problem since.
    Just an idea. I’m sure you’ve already tried this.

  3. If it’s an Intel motherboard you can download Intel Active Monitor for free.

  4. If you have a faulty heat-sink on an AMD rather than an Intel, here’s a video to scare the bejeezers out of you.

  5. Recently I’ve found a very cool program for Centrino based notebooks – Centrino Hardware Controlol It allows you to read temps from all sensors, as well as managing powor options, such us dynamic speed switching and some hdd accustic stuff. For those who also have ATI’s video on board it also can manage it.