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Overheating laptop

Old 11th Jan 2020, 12:45
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Overheating laptop

Can anyone advise on what can be done to stop a laptop overheating continuously?
I've done the obvious things - vacuumed and airblown the vents - I've replaced the battery - the laptop is on a hard surface.
It's run off the mains. It doesn't have many programs loaded being used mainly for internet searching and emailing.
The device was bought about six years ago. The continuous overheating started some months ago. It is so bad that the laptop turns off after a minute or so use when looking at Google Earth. It is very slow loading certain sites such as PPRuNe !
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 13:33
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Sounds like some part of the cooling system has failed if it is overheating just when generally browsing and no heavy processing apps or graphics running. You could try a laptop fan unit that blows air under the laptop and raises it to allow better airflow (available on the Bay of Fleas). however you then have a device tied to a desk. I had an all-in-one and it got continually slower, even after taking it apart, vacuuming and air-blowing and removing lots of dust. It could also be that you don't have enough RAM. No matter what Microsoft says, Windows 10 needs 8MB if the whole machine is to run easily, I purchased 16MB to make my more future proof and because I run multiple browsers and graphics apps for mapping.
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 13:34
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Depends on the cause. Is Task Manager showing 100% CPU usage? (right click on clock, select Task Manager, then more details at bottom left of task manager window) this will show if a particular app or process is causing it.
Physically, there is a very thin layer of thermal paste between the CPU chip and its heatsink, if this hasn't been applied correctly or has dried out over time then the heat can't transfer out and the CPU probably will overheat, the shutdown is to protect it.
Cure is to dismantle it and clean the old paste off, then apply new. Not a difficult job if you know how but if you don't then get your local computer shop to do it, shouldn't cost the earth (it is mostly labour costs as taking a laptop to bits is a PITA).
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 14:07
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Files backup and full OS reinstall after low level drive format to get rid of any disk defragmentation is my best advice.

if you have an old HDD installed, next advice would be to upgrade to SSD and get some more RAM. This will ensure system resources arenít being used by reads/writes to an old disk. Amazon is thine Friend!
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 15:27
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If all above fails, you could try searching eBay for a replacement CPU cooling unit - it could have sprung a leak!
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 15:44
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Task manager can tell you how hard it is being worked by whatever it doing.
HW monitor from CPUID will tell you what internal temperature the CPU is running at https://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

Taking the two together a laptop CPU working hard can end up running at 80c 'normally' although 60c or 70c would be nicer for it.

CPU's usually reduce their work rate to try and avoid passing 90c and generally this systems avoids protective shutdowns at 95c +

If there is little workload from you but it's reaching 70 or 80 c the CPU heatsink or cooling system/fan is suspect

If the CPU is on 100% with little activity from you there's a virus/trojan or internal software conflict (Windows updater problem, 2 virus checkers colliding etc) going on

If neither is happening mechanical or electrical problems are your main suspects - if you find it runs fine upside down for example bad connection or soldering is very likely
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 16:31
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What laptop is it?

I can't say that I've ever had an overheating issue over many laptop, but I did buy the daughter a Lenovo (13" i5, don't recollect the model number at the moment) a couple of years ago & it does have an issue. Running hot & overheating seem to be standard features regardless of what's running & what load is placed on it. 5 minutes after booting up the cooling fan is running a full tilt with minimal processes running & the fan will continue to run often at full speed until shutdown.... Don't expect it will see a reasonable service life.

It's not a Lenovo thing as such though, I have others & they don't have an issue.
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 21:17
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Had that problem, CPU utilization ok in task manager, still hot and fans running. Opened it up, CPU and GPU blowers full of dust. Cleaned them and all fine now.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 00:29
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Failing all of that, something like?

Amazon Amazon
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 03:34
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My Sony i7 was a bargain, but it really ran hot with the fan working hard. I thought I'd soon get the straw and debris out, but the outlet to the CPU fan was a complex copper flat horn with numerous separators in it. It really held on to the fluff and I had to poke each one out with a wire.

You sure you've got yours clear?
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 07:41
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Blowing air injudiciously in to the ducts of a laptop is not advised as you can do more harm than good. There are multiple components that can break with the force of the air and you also risk re-distributing the dust and debris in to small tight airflow channels where it will block cooling efficiently even more.
If you have been blasting it with air only a disassembly of the outer laptop case and chassis to expose the motherboard and internals and proper clean will solve your cooling issues.
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 22:53
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Thanks for all the replies - much appreciated.
Strangely although the laptop has had it's normal usage today, not once has it overheated. Presumably it knows that I'm going to investigate it's innards !
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