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my dell laptop overheats with linux SUSE

I just installed SUSE linux 10 on my dell inspiron 8500. everything seems to be fine except it keeps overheating and turning off suddenly. It will beep loud 3 times, give me a message that says that the computer has reached critical heat, then it just turns off.
I am pretty new to linux. I mostly use osx but I'm trying to learn linux so that I can administer some servers better at work. I'm guessing that this is an issue of not having the right drivers installed for the mother board to monitor the heat and regulate the heatsinks properly. can anyone help me out with this? I'm stuck. like I said, I'm new to linux, so I don't know where to get the right drivers or anything like that for my laptop.

here are my notebook's specs:
Dell Inspiron 8500
P4m 2.4ghz
2gigs of sdram ddr2

I'm sure there are some linux guru's on this forum. please help.
thanks in advanced
Do u use any other OS on the same laptop (like WinXP)? If that works okay and only linux has problems then u should contact your Dell support enginner and they may suggest u which drivers to load or which distro works best on that laptop. Try UBUNTU linux. It can be installed on apple mac too.
I'm not running anything else on this computer right now, just SUSE. but it was running win xp fine a few weeks ago before I formatted it for Linux. I'm thinking that it has to be a driver issue or maybe a firmware issue.
Do not install UBUNTU! -It is one of the worst linux distros ever.
Do make sure you have the right kernel installed (contact dell or SuSE support or both).
Make sure it's not a hardware problem as well.
Feel free to try other distros, just stay away from ubuntu.
You should definitely reflash BIOS. I had a similar problem with a desktop and after I reflashed BIOS it stopped. WinXP probably altered it so you would come back.
haveing a intel in your laptop is the problem.

Intels have this thing they like to overheat a lot.

Anyway where is your laptop is it in a well vent. area. make sure it isn't in a corner with no air curculation. And make sure it not on a bed sheet or a sofa because that blocks the air from cooling the cpu. Is your laptoped overclocked at all?
Read the man and try to compile kernel yourself. Maybe you're using the wrong one or it's not the best for your laptop. I like SuSE, I use it on my laptop but if you want something ONLY for your computer or laptop, you should try Gentoo. It can be hard, but if you like it, it can be one of the best options you can take.

Good luck.
Try running FC4. I'm running it on my inspiron 1100. I have no problems with overheating (and yes it's a an intel). Gentoo is good, but takes forever to get running. Or if you are that commited to SUSE, maybe try an older version. I did notice that Dell doesn't like it when you try to install a different OS, but it works and there is support. I had to flash my BIOS to get my screen to full size. But it works great now.
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