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."
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:
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
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.
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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.