Troubleshooting Laptop Heat Issues

Some time ago, a friend of mine had a laptop with a rather irritating problem. For some reason that none of us could discern, the device had rather severe heat problems (basically, it overheated to the point that it had to shut down, else it might permanently damage its hardware). He ended up selling it to some guy looking for parts, and going to purchase a new PC – unfortunately, the problem was more related to construction than anything (plus, the screen got all borked up).

We’re getting off-track, though. Computers tend to generate a lot of heat when they’re running. Laptops, in particular, with how compact their components get, tend to run into this issue more often than desktop rigs. While there’s no guarantee you’ll actually be able to do anything about them, here’s a few tips for troubleshooting severe heat issues- and, failing that, mitigating heat.

1. Use an Air Duster

Remember the PC care guide? One tends to see a lot of dust accumulating on the inside of computer hardware, and if it’s not occasionally dealt with (blown out by a can of compressed air, generally), it’ll start to build up on the interior components. Three guesses as to what happens then. See, dust is a mighty fine insulator. Computers don’t get along very well with insulators. See where I’m going with this?

Of course, there’s no guarantee that an air duster’s going to be good enough. You might need to go a bit further.

2. Alcohol Swab

Before you even consider this, make note of the fact that, depending on where you purchased your notebook, opening it might void the warranty. If you’re okay with that, grab yourself a static grounding bracelet and pop open the system (after removing the battery and unplugging the AC adapter, of course).  After making sure the alcohol has dried fully, put everything back together. If that STILL doesn’t work, you could consider undervolting your system.

3. Undervolting

This isn’t something you should attempt if you don’t know technology particularly well. If you reduce the voltage too much, your computer will bluescreen on you. If you’re still willing to proceed, you can find a decent guide on undervolting here. If Undervolting doesn’t work, well….save downloading some power management applications (which likely wouldn’t help anyway), looks like we’re moving into mitigation territory.

4. Buy a Cooling Tray

Most laptops don’t really have any way of dispersing heat aside from their internal fans – and some possess only a single fan, at that. As a result, a cooling tray might be just the ticket for your heat-based woes. Again, it’s not guaranteed to fix the problem, but it’ll help a bit, regardless.

5. Ambient Temperature

How hot is the room you’re operating in? A fan or two might work wonders for your laptop temperature. It’s a pretty crude solution, but if you’re running out of ideas and desperate to get your system cool, cooling down the environment in which you’re using it might actually help.

 

Image Credits: [Network Solution Tips]

 

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