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Over Heating Laptop

dgreen007
Grafter
Posts: 169
Registered: 05-03-2008

Over Heating Laptop

A work colleague is having problems with a Dell Vostro A860 Laptop.
It gets very hot and runs very slowly.
It has 2GB of Ram and runs XP.
Would changing the fan make any difference and if so can anyone recommend the best place to find one.
Thanks
6 REPLIES
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: Over Heating Laptop

Probably worth running a vacuum cleaner over the vents to try and clear it of dust first - that's usually the culprit. If you can get it open, so much the better for clearing that out.
If there's no dust or fluff in there then yes maybe replacing the fan or if you really want to go to town remount the heatsink with some fresh thermal grease but that's a much bigger job and will probably invalidate the warranty.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Over Heating Laptop

Also, is it being used on a flat surface with room for air to flow underneath? They might be called laptops but using them on your lap or any other soft surface is usually not good, as that can block the airflow.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 292
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Over Heating Laptop

It might be worth thoroughly going through ALL the power savings settings, both in the BIOS and in the running OS, as anything you can do to put inactive hardware into standby, or spinning-down disk drives after a short time of idling, blanking the display when keys/mouse are inactive, is going to help reduce power consumption - and therefore reduce the heat.
In addition many laptops can be set to reduce the maximum effective CPU clock speed, so if this say limited the 2GHz CPU to say 1.5GHz, I don't suppose you would notice much difference in performance, but it will make a big difference in the heat output of the CPU.  At the moment the CPU is probably protecting itself by throttling back with reduced performance due to overheating, so reducing the peak operating speed may actually give higher performance for a longer period of time.
You can buy fan trays for laptops that fit underneath and blow cold air from the edges up onto the machine.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,845
Thanks: 120
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Over Heating Laptop

Does it have an nvidia graphics chip?  These are prone to overheating and nvidia produced a bad batch a couple of years ago.  So check if the laptop is covered by Dell's extended warranty scheme for affected models.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 292
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Over Heating Laptop

I think these came with the Intel GMA X3100 graphics adaptor - so not nvidia !
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,466
Thanks: 1,473
Fixes: 16
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Over Heating Laptop

I have a Dell inspiron 1545... on which the touchpad area and the "wrist rest area" are above the HDD... and get "quite warm.... I have made a sloping rest for the laptop, and cut out larger than the laptop vent areas to enable cooler (?) air to circulate.... however, it still gets "warm"....
I use the Laptop in my "electric wardrobe"  ...!  (  http://www.flickr.com/photos/32369450@N02/page10/ ; )    and  t present I have a small 5" desktop fan blowing wind across the keyboard, and probably underneath it too, and this keeps the laptop cool..... It is also quite pleasant whilst typing.. !... I did try to "open it up" to see if there was a build up of dust and fluff, but it started to get difficult, so I gave up... looking through the vents, it doesn`t seem to be dirty at all...
Maybe the current temps in the weather are not conducive to good laptop operating temp! !...