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onlyhlub
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PostSubject: my laptop...   Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:37 pm

ok guys...help me out here. not sure what's wrong w/my laptop but it seems to be over heating pretty quickly. for the past few days, it has turned itself off a few times when i have it on for a while. so what should i do? i try raising my laptop up using a textbook so air can vent in and out but i hope there's a better solution. help...any suggestions?
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proudworks
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PostSubject: Lecture and Solution   Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:41 pm

When a laptop gets too hot, the cause almost always boils down to one of three main issues: Dust and dirt blocking airflow through the unit; a dead fan; or environmental causes.
Whatever the cause, the unit can't get rid of its heat, and temperatures climb inside the case. If you're lucky, the laptop's heat-sensing circuits will shut everything down when temperatures reach dangerous levels; you may lose data, but your hardware will probably survive, at least for a while.

If you're less lucky, you'll start getting data errors or lockups. Here, too, you may lose data, but you may be able to save the hardware through a prompt manual shutdown.

In a worst case, or after repeated lesser overheating episodes, your laptop may simply end up cooked to death; either inoperative, or so unreliable as to be worthless.

Of the three main reasons for overheating, the environmental issues are the most obvious and easiest to avoid: Don't use your laptop in full sunlight for extended periods; don't leave it in a closed car on a sunny day; don't place it on or near extreme heat sources, such as radiators, hot air vents, and so on. Common sense, really--and the same advice that's in almost every owner's manual for almost all portable electronic devices. It's so obvious, in fact, we won't spend any more time on it.

The other two reasons--dead fans and dust and dirt--both cause reduced airflow through the laptop. You can look for and solve these problems the same way. Most times, you won't have to open the laptop's case, so there's no issue of voiding the warranty, and nothing that requires exotic tools or training. In fact, it's so simple a procedure, I'm amazed more people don't do it.

Consider this test case: An IBM ThinkPad that's several years old. It's my personal laptop; it's used almost literally every day.
As with almost all hardware work, your job will go smoother and be easier if you work in a clean, well-lighted area. Because you'll be peering into small openings on your laptop, you may also find it useful to have a bright flashlight on hand, in addition to bright ambient lighting.

With the laptop shut off (not "suspended," "sleeping" or "hibernating;" but shut down all the way), start by unplugging all cables from the unit, and then remove the battery pack, which usually is on the bottom or in the side of the laptop. (Check your owner's manual for exact instructions.)

Start with a thorough visual inspection of all the laptop's case openings, and make a mental note of any dust and dirt accumulations.

First, find the air exhaust, intake, and fans(s), if any. On this laptop, the exhaust is on a rear corner of the case; the intake is on the bottom of the unit, and there is one fan in the intake, blowing cool air into the system. Other laptops place the fan on the exhaust side of the air path, sucking warm air out of the case; still others use more than one fan.

Note the dust on our test system (see photo): Six of the small exhaust openings are substantially blocked with fine, gray dust, and there's more dust visible on the heat sink fins, behind the plastic grill.

The intake area also shows visible dust buildup (although it's harder to see in the photo). There's a modest accumulation of dust on the top edges of the fan blades; around the edge of the circular opening; and on some of the plastic grillwork that's directly over the fan.

While the inlets, outlets, and fan are the obvious places to look, be sure to check any and all other openings in the laptop. For example, the docking port opening on our test system shows a light dust buildup.

Similarly, the card slots, network plug openings, floppy and CD drive openings and the like also need inspection: A flashlight or other bright light source may help you peer inside the smaller/darker openings without having to take anything apart. Make a mental note of any locations where you find a dust build-up.

Laptop hard drives and RAM banks are heat producers, and a layer of dust can act like a sweater, trapping heat inside. If these components are readily accessible on your system, you can carefully remove their access covers to see if any dust is accumulating there. Be sure you only look; don't touch, as these components are static-sensitive.

Ordinary, clean, dry cotton swabs are fine for much of the cleaning you'll be doing. Later on, you'll be blowing dust out from inside the laptop, so at this step your primary goal simply is to loosen any stuck-on dust or "fur balls" inside the laptop. If necessary (and as shown in the accompanying photo) you can remove most of the cotton from the tip of a swab to access tight spots; you only need a small amount of cotton "fuzz" on the swab tip for effective cleaning of confined spaces. Work carefully and gently; don't force the swab into tight areas.

Once the worst of the dust has been loosened or removed mechanically with the cotton swabs, use compressed air to complete the job. (Air carried most of the dust into your laptop; air can likewise remove most of it.) While you can use almost any source of dry, clean air, your best bet may be to use a product designed for the purpose. For example, I used a can of "Dust Off;" it's one of many similar products available at most office-supply and electronics stores. These cans of compressed gases produce highly controllable, highly directional, very intense bursts of dry, filtered air; and usually come with a long plastic nozzle that's ideal for working inside crevices and hard-to-reach places. A can costs only a few dollars and can last for many cleanings. (Read and follow all label directions.)

No matter what air source you use, be careful not to overspin the laptop's fan: A strong blast of compressed air can spin a small fan like a pinwheel, over-revving it enough to damage the motor or bearings. To prevent such damage, keep the fan from spinning as you clean it. As the accompanying photo shows, I gently inserted a clean cotton swab between the fan's blades so the fan couldn't rotate when I blasted the blades clean with compressed air.

With the laptop's fan blades secured, maneuver the flexible tip of the compressed air dispenser to access every part of the laptop that you can reach around and through the fan assembly, from every possible angle. And be careful: You may be surprised at how much debris whooshes out with the first few blasts of air!

Note also that some "compressed air in a can" products can spray a supercooled liquid if you invert the can. This is good for neither the laptop nor anything else the liquid may touch; and it actually can cause frostbite on human skin. Once again: read and follow all the directions that accompany whatever compressed air product you use.

Repeat the cleaning process for all other openings you identified previously. Use care with any openings near the fan to ensure that your blast of cleaning air doesn't spin the fan; if necessary, re-secure the fan with a swab, as before.

When you're done, the fan area and other openings will be clean, clear, and dust free.

Repeat the cleaning process for all other openings you identified previously. Use care with any openings near the fan to ensure that your blast of cleaning air doesn't spin the fan; if necessary, re-secure the fan with a swab, as before.

When you're done, the fan area and other openings will be clean, clear, and dust free.

**I got this off a website, and the link is posted below**

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So in summary, clean out the dust and it should be cooler. Thats all. If you want more info, please visit:: Help On Overheating


Hope this help....

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onlyhlub
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PostSubject: Re: my laptop...   Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:08 pm

oh, thank you proudworks. i shall try this. Smile
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proudworks
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PostSubject: Re: my laptop...   Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:32 pm

No problem onlyhlub.... anything to help anyone who needs help...

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PostSubject: Re: my laptop...   Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:12 pm

hm... i'm not much of a help..

but dang. that was alot of info..

i learned a bit too.
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