Oct 24, 2018

How to Deal With an Overheating Smartphone

What causes overheating? You’ve felt it before, on more counts than you’d actually care to remember. How many times have you used an electric device and felt it heating up during usage? It happens to everything from computers and phones to kitchen appliances. But we’re kind of use to the notion of devices with moving parts or computers working on demanding tasks heating up, but overheating phones often catch people off guard, especially if the temperature goes beyond the safe range. Then it’s not a case of your phone being unpleasant to use or slow - it can damage your device or even cause it to catch fire or actually explode. So let’s take a deeper look at the nature of this issue and how to solve it.

Common Causes

Our phones use electricity to run all systems and enable the central processing unit (CPU) to carry out the necessary functions. When activities housed in the central system-on-a-chip (SoP) become overloaded, the CPU slows down hence the occasional long waits for phones to process data and perform operations. This is especially common in android phones with a lower RAM memory capacity. This also has a side-effect: CPU generates heat as it works. Bigger the workload = more heat. Many of us are used to this notion with our computers, but in those we have fans or even intricate liquid cooling systems. But with phones we went a long way to make them as compact as possible, which makes venting excess heat harder.

Graphically intense apps or apps requiring continuous and difficult calculations, such as high-end video games, HD video streaming services and so on, can easily overload your system and cause your phone to overheat. Special case must be made for viruses and malware - viruses and miners abuse your phone’s resources for their malicious intents even if you’re not doing anything demanding with your phone.

Other than overloading the CPU through performing different actions and operations, there are also a number of other reasons known to cause overheating to phones. Heating issues might be brought through the external environment in relation to environmental temperatures. When the phone is directly exposed to sunlight or extreme temperatures, you might receive a warning message to let your phone cool down. Though unless your phone has other heat-related issues, this would be solved by simply moving your phone.

The heat may also come from different parts, such as bluetooth or WiFi modules. When using them for a long time they’re known to heat up as well - not to a dangerous level, but they can contribute to overall issue. A very special case is having a faulty battery - those can cause the worst and most damaging cases of overheating, not only when the phone is used, but also while it’s charging.


How to Deal With an Overheating Phone

Now that we’ve addressed the question “why does your phone get hot”, it’s about time to look at measures to take to prevent and/or grapple with an already overheated device? Is your iPhone really hot and you don’t know what causes the overheating? Is your phone battery getting hot on a frequent basis and you still haven’t stemmed out the root of the problem? Hope the following tips help you tussle with your situation.

It’s always advised not to allow our devices to stay for too long on the chargers. As a matter of fact, experts advise phone buyers to only charge their phones to 80% during the day and only extend to 100% at night when the phones aren’t in use.Better to stick with 80% at all times for increased longevity of your battery life. In the same effect, don’t let your battery life drop too low reaching critical levels - while not critically bad, it’s not optimal.

When charging a phone, place it on top of a hard and cool surface as opposed to a sofa or bed. This is because the ‘clothed’ surfaces will only act to trap heat which worsens the situation. Similarly, if your phone got too heated for any reason don’t hurry to hide it in your pocket or bag - being exposed to air is the best solution here. But don’t place it into an actively cold place, like a fridge. Rapid changes of temperature put strain on the materials and can damage them - plus it may cause moisture to manifest on parts of the device. Just place your device in an open space away from sunlight. If it’s possible you might also want to remove its panels.

Dealing with the main offender - the CPU - might require a bit more of a personal touch. You need to look over how you use your device, how many apps you have running at the same time, how many connection methods are on (cellular, bluetooth, WiFi, 3G, 4G). When playing a game that requires a ton of processing from the SoP you might want to turn off some working in the background. Remember to reboot your phone from time to time. Also remember your cybersecurity tips and check your phone for possible malware if it might be at fault. Updating your apps might also help, as the developers might patch out certain bugs that overworked your phone for no reason.

But always remember than you can only do so much on your own. You can check online if other people with your phone model are having the same issues. If you’re using your phone responsibly but keep having heat-related issues that are not common for your device, then it’s time to contact the manufacturer or the service centre. You might have a defective battery or other hardware and the sooner you take care of it the better.

Conclusion

Future trends in phone technology are promising as newer models are being integrated with ‘internal-cooling-pipes’ that run to the processing unit. These trends will ensure the issue of overheating phones is a thing of the past. Until such models are actually a reality, the safety measures above will go a long way to secure your phone from getting easily overheated. Last but not least, you might also consider a phone upgrade if you are the ‘all-time surfer or gamer’ and just can’t help it.

Since that’s done with, what are the other annoying menaces that you’ve found out drains your battery life? Join the discussion in the comment box as we share more remedies on the same.


Oct 7, 2018

Update for Xen 7.1+ - STOP: 0x0000007B BSOD After Restoring UrBackup Image to XenServer VM

A few months ago I posted about getting a STOP: 0x0000007B blue screen of death on one of my VMs after restoring an image backup from UrBackup in Xen 6.5. My solution then was to create the blank VM that we were restoring to using a Windows XP template.

Well, the other night I was migrating all of my old Xen 6.5 VMs to a new Xen 7.1 cluster, and that troublesome VM popped up again! I got another BSOD when I powered it up in the new cluster!



The trouble this time is that Xen 7.1 doesn't have a Windows XP template! Damn it!

No problem, I did find a solution. If you are getting this error for one of your VMs after moving, upgrading or restoring to Xen 7.1 or newer just use "Other install media" template located at the bottom of the templates list.


After using that template, and attaching the original disk it booted up just fine!

Sep 26, 2018

SQL Query to see how long DBCC CHECKDB will take

Last night while converting a VMWare VM to a XenServer VM I had a little bit of an issue with one of the database VMs, and several of the databases came up as "Suspect."

We decided to follow this procedure here (How to fix a Suspect Database) and it went fairly quick except on the biggest database that was almost 100GB in size.

Well, we wanted to know how long it would take for the DBCC CHECKDB to finish! I'm sure you are here because you are in the same position. Well, here is a query that will give you an estimated completion time so you have a rough estimate on how long it will take:

 SELECT session_id ,  
 request_id ,  
 percent_complete ,  
 estimated_completion_time ,  
 DATEADD(ms,estimated_completion_time,GETDATE()) AS EstimatedEndTime,   
 start_time ,  
 status ,  
 command   
 FROM sys.dm_exec_requests  
 WHERE database_id = <YOUR DATABASE ID NUMBER>  


Fairly simple right? Your output will look like this:


If you are wondering how to find your database_id you can find it by running this query:

 Use <DATABASE NAME>  
 Select DB_ID() AS [Database ID]  
 GO  

Again, fairly simple right? I hope this helped!

Sep 17, 2018

Getting Fog PXE boot working on a Thinkpad T460P, T470P and a T480P

I've been using Fog Project for years. It's my favorite open source operating system imaging tools for large networks. We were using it at my company up until a few years ago when we started buying Thinkpad T460P laptops and my desktop technician at the time couldn't get these laptops to boot. Instead of doing some actual Googling he and my Systems Administrator at the time wanted to use WDS instead.

Well both of those guys have since moved onto other places, and I decided that we were going to save a Windows server license and go back to Fog!

The first thing I had to do was figure out how to get the T460P's, T470P's and now T480P's to boot up to the Fog boot menu. When I first tried booting my T460P, this is the message I received:


Long story short, it got stuck saying No configuration methods succeeded.... Boo!

Well the fix was actually pretty easy. Instead of using the undionly.kpxe tftp file like the documentation says, we used intel.kpxe instead and it worked like a charm! Now we get the Fog boot menu on all models of our Lenovo laptops!

Have you had problems with Lenovo and Fog? What did you have to do to get it to work? Let us know in the comments!

Sep 10, 2018

Active Directory Users and Computers Will Not Open After Azure Site Recovery Test Failover

The other day we wanted to test some database stuff in our Production Azure environment. Obviously, we didn't want to mess with actual Production data, so since we're using Azure Site Recovery for our disaster recovery plan, we decided to initiate a test failover of the impacted systems in an isolated network.

Also, since we're using our own domain controller VMs, we had to fail those over for authentication. This is where I ran into problems. After initiating the test failover of my domain controllers I couldn't open Active Directory Users and Computers. When I tried, I got this message:
Naming information cannot be located because: The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted. Contact your system administrator to verify that your domain is properly configured and is currently online.


Well, after banging by head on the wall for a few hours, I finally found a solution. Open a registry editor and browse to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Netlogon\Parameters

Open the SysvolReady key. If the value of the key is 0 change it to 1. If the value is 1 change it to 0 and ‘Accept’, again change to 1 and accept. Exit registry editor.

Boom! After that I could open Active Directory Users and Computers again without a reboot!

One thing that still didn't work though was Netlogon and Group Policy. To fix that on my two domain controllers in the test environment I had to copy all contents from C:\Windows\SYSVOL\domain\NtFrs_PreExisting___See_EventLog on both domain controllers to C:\Windows\SYSVOL\domain\. When that was done I ran the following on both test domain controllers:

  • net stop netlogon
  • net start netlogon
After that, Netlogon and Group Policy were working again. I also took the extra steps seizing FSMO roles and deleting the other domain controllers from Active Directory Users and Computers, as well as Active Directory Sites and Services along with their sites. That way I wouldn't have to deal with replication issues in the isolated test environment.

Have you ever ran into something like this? Did you fix it differently? Let us know in the comments!

Aug 31, 2018

Alternative Download For HP Proliant SPP

Is it just me or should hardware manufacturers make their drivers easy to download regardless of support contracts? I've been a loyal HP server user for years, but just recently something really chapped my ass! I went to download the latest Service Pack for Proliant (SPP) so I could install drivers on an older Proliant system and couldn't! Why? Because I didn't have a current support contract with HP!

I've also been a loyal Lenovo user for years. Guess what? I can download their System Update tool fine! No need to have some bullshit login for it! In the past I could always download HP's SmartStart CD's without a login. Why now all of a sudden is there a change?

Now you're probably just saying, why not buy a support contract? Well, I already have full hardware support from our aftermarket re-seller Curvature at a fraction of the cost of HP's support. I don't feel the need to pay extra for roughly the same level support. The only draw back, at least for HP, is that I can't get tools like SPP!

Well, I found a good Samaritan that is making the downloads for the SPP available for free!  At the time of this writing the March and June 2018 versions of SPP are available here.

Hurry up and grab them before they are gone!

Aug 28, 2018

End of an Era: Coleman University is Out of Business



This is a real shame. I myself am a Coleman Alumnus. I just heard the news while interviewing someone for my company's open Systems Administrator position in San Diego.

Via Fox 5:
Coleman University -- a private college that's operated in San Diego since 1963 -- is closing at the end of the current term, school leadership announced Thursday. 
"To all our very fine students, staff, and faculty, I am personally sorry that we have to close Coleman University," President & CEO Norbert J. Kubilus said. 
In a letter to students, faculty and staff obtained by FOX 5, Kubilus said that Coleman learned in late June that they had lost a bid for accreditation from the Western Association of Colleges and Universities Senior College and University Commission, putting the school in a financial bind.
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