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How To Fix an Overheating Laptop (WITHOUT having to take it apart!)

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STaRDoGG's picture
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STaRDoGG
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I recently was repairing a few problems with a Toshiba Satellite laptop (L305D-S5938 in this particular case) for someone and was getting nowhere real fast, because it overheated if you just looked at it funny. The second something normal caused the fan to get a little louder, *poof*, off it went; just shut right off in the middle of whatever you were doing. And on top of that, when it wasn't shutting off, it just took foreverrrrr to do anything. Anything.

I really wasn't in the mood to tear it all apart to inspect everything, and fortunately with my previous overclocking experience I've become accustomed to the symptoms of overheating issues, so my first (lazy) step was to get rid of the dust (the usual perp).

You'd be surprised at how much dust can wreak (apparent) havok on a computer, and doubly surprised at how unbelievably quickly dust builds up in there. So just as an aside, if you ever have any weird issues with your computer randomly shutting off, firsts and easiest thing to do is just clean all the dust out, particularly on the fan and if you can get at it, the processor.

Fortunately, this is a very easy thing to do on a laptop, and only takes a few minutes. Granted, other more serious things can cause a computer or laptop to overheat, but in general this right here should fix ya all up. And you don't even need to take anything apart. Smile

 
  1. So first things first, turn the laptop off.

  2. Then grab your vacuum. Any old vacuum will do, but the stronger suction it has, the better, and it has to be the type with a hose or at least a hose attachment (but no brushes or anything on the end of it), because that's the part you'll be using to do this.

  3. Finally, simply place the end of the hose right on the fan(s) on the bottom of the laptop and let it suck out all of the gunk and dust inside of the laptop. (Example screehshots below)

  4. Tip: It also can help to take something, like a business card for example, and cover half (or so) of the fan vent, and then place the vacuum hose on top of that. This helps to increase the suction a bit more.

  5. While you're at it, do the same thing to any and all other vents you find on the bottom and/or sides of the laptop.

  6. Take your time, get all that old gook out. Suck it all right outta there. Get the poison outta your system.

 
 
How To Fix Overheating Toshiba Satellite Laptop

 
 

My HP Pavilion has fans and vents all over that sucker ...

 

How To Fix Overheating HP Pavilion Laptop

 

Now fire that puppy back up! Should be a night and day difference if dust was the problem. If not you'll need to dig deeper.

One thing to note, you could try using some of that compressed air to blow it out, and it may work, but all that's really doing from the outside is moving the dust to some other location inside the laptop most likely, assuming it works at all. Vacuuming pulls it all out of there completely (mostly).

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SebaJK7's picture
SebaJK7
Re: How To Fix an Overheating Laptop (WITHOUT having to ...

but couldnt using too much suction possily damage anything inside?

STaRDoGG's picture
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STaRDoGG
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Re: How To Fix an Overheating Laptop (WITHOUT having to ...

Good question. Smile

The insides of most laptops are pretty solid, there may be a couple wires and/or cables, but nothing to worry about.

I suppose if you were using a nuclear powered vacuum you *may* have to be a little careful, Wink but with your everyday vacuum cleaner you shouldn't have to even consider the thought.



Shhh.. dont tell anyone, but we also have a private forum area with the really good stuff, see?

SebaJK7's picture
SebaJK7
Re: How To Fix an Overheating Laptop (WITHOUT having to ...

 The one i have has 10.5 Amperes. Could that damage it? i dont know much, but is that a lot?

STaRDoGG's picture
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STaRDoGG
Head Mucky MuckJoined the Dark SidePremium Member (Gold)I'm a Code Monkey!The Steel CurtainI use FirefoxI use Google ChromeI use Internet ExplorerI use SafariLinux UserMac UserWindows UserI donated to GeekDrop simply because I love it!Booga Booga BoogaI took a bite of the AppleFormer Phrozen Crew MemberI'm MagicMember of VileThe Dr. put the stem on the apple!The JokerSomeone thinks you're udderly delightful!
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Re: How To Fix an Overheating Laptop (WITHOUT having to ...

Well, just to give the standard disclaimer Smile , the final decision is yours, but if it were me, I wouldn't be worried one bit. Wink

nick777nl's picture
nick777nl
Re: How To Fix an Overheating Laptop (WITHOUT having to ...

Just commenting to say this is a VERY bad idea. If the suction is too strong, the fan blades will spin too fast and get damaged. Then your overheating troubles could get much worse. This technique might work for some laptops but definitely not most!! I know this is an old post but since it is still at the top at Google I'm sure someone will read this and save their laptop.

STaRDoGG's picture
From:
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STaRDoGG
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Re: How To Fix an Overheating Laptop (WITHOUT having to ...

Hi Nick777nl,

Thanks for the heads-up. As with anything, there's always a change of something going wrong, so it's always worth keeping that in mind before doing anything. That said, I've done this myself numerous times without issue, and have never heard of it damaging anything, including any reports of it damaging anything by others. The vacuum suction is actually pulling the fan blades toward the grill (slightly), and not really spinning the fan much; and most fans I've come across are very tightly mounted, so lateral (sideways) damage is unlikely to occur as well.

I know you only have good intentions by posting the warning, and I appreciate it, Smile, I just want our readers to know that it's generally very safe, as your post kind of gives an "urgent catastrophic" sound to it, and it's really not very dangerous to the computer. In fact, it's pretty difficult to get a fan spinning so out of control that it'll damage the fan. I've deliberately blown air with various devices onto fans, including motherboard fans, to purposely get them spinning as fast as I could, and never harmed anything.

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