Cleaning Your Laptop


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Cleaning a laptop, if they are sealed up so well why do it?

Cleaning a Laptop - If your notebook is getting hot and slowing down or shutting down at an inopportune time maybe it needs to be cleaned.

"I have had a problem lately with my notebook overheating and shutting down."  Small laptotp battery, normally in a 12" to 14" display laptop or a netbook.

A notebook like a desktop is subject to dirt and dust. The difference is where the dirt and dust can get inside the notebook. For the most part a notebook is sealed very well, that is it doesn't have the vents or open places in the case that a desktop has. One of the indications that the fan and heat sink are covered with dust or dirt is it gets hot and shuts down. Another is an increase in noise the fan makes while running.

Cleaning a laptop instructions:

Batteries will get warm, a hot battery has failed! Repalce it asap!It is fairly easy to clean the fan and heat sink all you need is some canned or high pressure air. If you use an air compressor don't go higher than 50 PSI, if you go higher then you may damage the bearings in the fan because the air will spin the little fan on the heat sink, you will hear it spinning up when you blow air in the vent.

The main places where dirt or dust can get in to the laptop are the side and back, where there are two louvered openings (vents). One is the intake for fresh air and the other is the exhaust for the hot air. With the computer running put your hand close to each one, which one has the hot air coming out of it?

With the computer turned off; take the canned air and blow in to the opening that the hot air was coming out of first, then do the same to the other opening. You may want to take the computer out side or have a vacuum close to the opening that the hot air was coming out of to catch the dust. Power up the computer, did a lot of dust come out of the exhaust port? If you did get a lot of dust, power the computer down and do the cleaning process again. Keep doing that until you don't get any dust from the port.

If you cleaned the fan and heat sink and it is still over heating then the location maybe the problem. Do you have the computer in a 'docking station' or 'port replicator'. If you do, is it in an enclosed area, I have seen where people put the laptop/docking station in a desk drawer. Makes the desk look tidy but there isn't enough air circulation for the computer to keep cool. If you do use a 'docking station' or 'port replicator' make sure  there is plenty of room around the computer for air to circulate. If not then either move the docking station or find a small fan to circulate air around the computer, don't put the fan close to your monitor it will cause the video to waver (you'll know when it is too close... )

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If you don't have a docking station and the computer is out where the air will circulate around it then the only other two options I can give you is either get a laptop cooling pad or find a way to lift it up off of the surface you are using so that air can get underneath it.

Only three other things will cause the computer to overheat are a failing hard drive, power supply, or a bad battery.

Note: If the battery is hot to the touch and will not hold a charge remove it until you have a replacement, it could short circuit and catch fire!

There are other things that need to be cleaned such as the hard drive for excessive temporary files and viruses. See this page cleaning a Laptop for techniques for doing those tasks.

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