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Overheating Laptop

penneck
Rising Star
Posts: 749
Thanks: 25
Registered: 03-08-2007

Overheating Laptop

My wife's laptop has started acting very strangely. It started with the Fingerpad (not sure what the usual name is) stopping working after the laptop had been on for a while. We rebooted with a USB mouse connected. That worked for a while then that stopped too (and no light). Also Cntrl/Alt/Del didn't work. We rebooted and the mouse worked so we ran Microsoft Security Essential. Part way through, the screen changed to vertical stripes, and nothing would stop it, so I powered it down. Now when we start it worked and I tried a quick Microsoft Security Essential but the laptop froze after a few minutes. The bottom of the laptop feels quite hot, though because I dont normally use it, I have no idea if that is normal.
If the laptop is just overheating, how do I cure it? Or is the problem more serious (virus, etc)?
Thanks for your help
33 REPLIES
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,978
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Overheating Laptop

Check the fan works and is not obstructed.
Use on a hard surface such as a tabletop.

Community Veteran
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Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Overheating Laptop

I normally blow (or use compressed air) into the fan outlet on the side/back of the laptop to dislodge all the dust which collects in there and blocks the fins.
It often helps to remove the panel where the fan is on the back of the laptop (if you can) to allow the dust to escape.
You need to do this every six months or so on the average laptop or they do get blocked up and overheat.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Overheating Laptop

You could try booting the laptop to a 'live' Linux CD or USB flash drive.
That would eliminate possible 'Windows' problems.
Many 'live' boot discs also contain a copy of 'MemTest86' accessed from the boot menu, so you could run a full memory check to ensure the RAM isn't causing the problem.
Doing a memory check can be a quick way to raise the temperature of a computer, so if the laptop crashes while testing then that probably confirms the overheating theory.
Within Linux, you should be able to view the full SMART status of the laptop hard drive for signs of pending failure.
Look for thermal monitors for the CPU, motherboard, disc, and any other temperature sensors, to check for overheating.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,819
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Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: Overheating Laptop

My Toshiba Tecra A4 had a vertical stripe problem. This also caused it to freeze after a short while, and get hot.
I came to the conclusion, obvious in my case, that the display adaptor had failed.
redsetter
Grafter
Posts: 76
Registered: 12-05-2013

Re: Overheating Laptop

fault finding can be consuming and difficult,laptops are a nightmare.some time ago i went to pc world for spares they didnt stock them and the repair staff didn't touch laptops.
dust,hard drive,processor heat sink and many other faults,check the psu and the battery also for output.laptops suffer from board stress opening and closing the screen too.
penneck
Rising Star
Posts: 749
Thanks: 25
Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Overheating Laptop

My thanks to all. I will see what I can do to clean the laptop to get rid of any dust.
There was one suggestion (from Purleigh) about using a 'live' Linux CD. How can I majke one of those? Can I make it on any pc, but use it where it needs to be used? How would I use it?
I tried running a Windows Offline Defender CD on the faulty laptop, but it wouldn't boot. The CD has an iso-file on it, but does that necessarily mean it is a bootable device, or could I have created a non-bootable CD without realising it?
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Overheating Laptop

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/try-ubuntu-before-you-install
http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows
An advantage of booting to a USB stick rather than a CD/DVD, is that it is possible to do updates (such as a video driver), and also you can add programs, so these will available the next time you use the USB stick - whereas a CD/DVD you can't alter.
Wink
Community Veteran
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Registered: 27-05-2011

Re: Overheating Laptop

As @picbits says laptops pick up fluff of carpets etc.
One laptop of mine would just shut down instantly with no warning.
after going into panic mode and suspecting virus attack, major component failure etc. I put my mouth to the fan exit slots (with the computer off!) and blew.
All sorts of s**t was disloged and its worked perfectly ever since  Cheesy
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: Overheating Laptop

Next obvious is connect to an external display.
Still have lines?
penneck
Rising Star
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Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Overheating Laptop

An update:-
1. I only had the vertical stripes once. After I powered off and then back on, the stripes had gone and have never come back.
2. I have tried cleaning out the inside of the laptop - not much dust to be seen before I cleaned it, even with part of the base opened to uncover the microprocessor and fan. Afterwards, having rebuil the pc, the laptop was even worse. I couldn't even get to the desktop in normal mode, nor in Safe mode. Then at yet another attempt, it booted up in Normal Mode, and after a while I started a full scan using Microsoft Security Essential. This ran for 29 minutes before the pc froze. I left it for about 10 minuts then the screen went blank. I powered off then back on and the screen is working. I am now trying to get Windows Defender Offline to work. The CD I had created with this on has an iso file (nothing else), so have I done something wrong when creating it?
3. I am going to try to create the Linux USB Flash Drive as suggested by Purleigh. I had a few problems when trying this earlier, but I think I know what went wrong
Will be in touch
Regards
gtowen
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Registered: 05-05-2013

Re: Overheating Laptop

Quote
The CD I had created with this on has an iso file (nothing else), so have I done something wrong when creating it?

It sounds like you have burnt the cd as a data file which is wrong, whichever program you are using, look for an option to burn an image/iso file and use that instead.
penneck
Rising Star
Posts: 749
Thanks: 25
Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Overheating Laptop

Well I was wrong on two counts (see my previous post):-
1. The laptop screen just got the vertical stripes again. I have connected an external monitor to the laptop - how do I turn off the laptop screen?. Powered laptop off and on byut cannot get back to desktop, although both monitors show yp to just about the "welcome" screen before the pc freezes. Have powered down and left it in case it is a heat problem.
2. I have failed to produce the Linux USB stick. I get to Step 1 "Select Linux Distribution From Dropdown" and select the top version. I then move to Step 2 "Select your saucy-desktop-i386.iso". It doesn't show an iso file, unlike in the example shown by the process Purleigh pointed me at (sorry, not a criticism P). Now I have already downloaded an iso file, and I know where it is, but if I use the Browse button in the Linux process, and go through to where the iso file is, it doesn't show it. Where on earth have I gone wrong?
Regards
PS - Post from gtowen just arrived so will consider that too. Ta GT
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Overheating Laptop

When you download the "live" cd .iso file.... it is just a file... in your "Downloads" folder... right click on the file and you should get an option to "burn"... follow the instructions... and you should be ok...
IF/When you have successfully burned the .iso file... you need to put it in the dvd driver and boot up... (hopefully you have your bios set to boot from CD/DVD drive "before" it gets to Hard drive...
once it is "booted" and shows on the screen as Linux ... you can use it as "normal" .... except you may not have a wireless connection,.... and any "work" you do will not be saved when you shut down...
I have used a Linux Mint 15 CD with NO HDD installed... very useful to have as a "stanby" investigative tool.... esp with the MeMtest 86 on there....
Good luck.  Wink
Community Veteran
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Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: Overheating Laptop

Just in case it's of any help.
Toshiba Tecra A4
Vertical lines on the screen. At first they were intermittent but gradually became more pronounced and permanent. Laptop freezing sometimes.
Came down to it had to be the display chip. No repair shop would touch it. "It's a laptop it's scrap".
But checking online for a dismantle guide it was clear that the display chip was on a plugin daughter board.
Bought a battered smashed screen one off ebay for £30.
Dismantled and replaced display daughter board and the added bonus of an extra memory chip from the smashed laptop. I still use it now, working perfectly.
Battered smashed laptop re-sold on ebay for £35. Someone wanted a motherboard.
Everyone is happy.
------------------------------
The big but is, is this your problem? A definite check is on an external display. If it is then you have to hope that the display chip is on some plugin module of sorts. If like many it's on the motherboard then it's toast.
Checking the memory is easy if you have two plugin memory modules. Just take one out and see if you still have the problem. If you do then do then swap them over. If that still doesn't help then the memory isn't the problem.