Monthly Archives: December 2008

Stop your laptop from whining at you in Ubuntu…

If you are reading this, chances are you know exactly what I mean when I say “whining laptop”.  If you happened here by chance and are still curious, in short, certain Linux kernels will cause certain notebook hardware to emit a high-pitch whining noise – generally it is low in volume, but at times the frequency can be a tad irritating.

Although there are apparently multiple potential causes for this problem, both times I noticed the squeal, it turned out that the processor C-State was at the root of the problem – this is how I resolve this particular problem.  I re-installed and found myself scouring my notes to find the fix and figured I would be best served to document it here.

Open up your modprobe options file for editing:

ALT+F2, “gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/options”

Add the following to the end of your “Options” file opened in the previous step:

“options processor max_cstate=2”

Save changes and exit.

Open up a terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal) and enter:

“sudo update-initramfs -u”

Reboot the PC and verify changes by entering the following into a terminal:

“cat /proc/acpi/processor/CPU0/power |grep max_cstate”

If your C-State was indeed the problem, as it has been with me, then you should notice a much quieter PC.