The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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Laptop Travails

In continuing adventures in WTF Laptop, Why Do You Do This, Adam started overheating dramatically the last few days. Dramatically as in ouch. Also, my fan seemed to stop working, and then the system slowed down to a crawl. Normally, this would, of course, be a screwdriver and Saturday afternoon project moment of maximum contentment, then I decided to hit system restore, since the fan/heat/slowdown problem all happened rather abruptly. Also, I just got Adam upgraded and to my liking and I do not want to deal with another laptop shopping experience when I still have the option of doing a replacement CPU project this year on him, provided I can steal my sister's soldering kit.

For the first time ever using System Restore, it actually worked. Not that I'm not still overheating some, and not that my fan isn't making me nervous, but I dl'ed a program to take control of the fans and monitor the temperature. Except for a 91C spike, it's stayed below 70C since. But for the life of me, even after cleaning it out, I cannot figure out why it hates me or even where this is coming from.

The other problem with the Saturday Fan Replacement Project was when I was disassembling Adam into component parts to install the new wireless n card, I realized I would have to reduce it into literal component parts to get to the fan--WTF? How are you supposed to easily clean it when you have to go through the keyboard, the CD/DVD, the hard drive, the screen, heatsink and CPU to look at the fan? In what universe does this make sense? I could replace the motherboard easier than getting to the fan. And also, the heatsink scares me. Okay, few things in a laptop terrify me, but the thing that keeps it from blowing up on my lap rates pretty fucking high on my do-not-fuck-with list, and remember, I was trying to disassemble a CRT TV without caring about x-rays, mmkay?

Have ordered a fan-cooled notebook pad/tray/thingie to help with the heating issue. I do not like spikes that are ten degrees below boiling water. It's just--I cannot figure out why it's suddenly doing this. I've overheated it before, but it took a lot of work to do that and some heavy CPU usage (again, system restore did fix a lot of that).

Curious--has anyone done a laptop CPU replacement? Is this an Elder God situation from which I will not return from sane mumbling about non-Euclidean geometry or just highly stressful and scary? Because I seriously seriously want to try that now. Don't ask; I just read something about it and got really inspired.

That's Worrisome

It just hit me my primary relationship right now is with my computer. Worse, I'm kind of happy with it.

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wow, when my laptop overheats and turns off, i blow on the bottom!

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Nope, Dell Inspiron. I'm a terrifyingly loyal Dell person.

Okay, for Inspiron/Latitude,

For others,

The second works fine for monitoring but not for fan control for Dell, but it does have a list of what it is compatible with. And has lots and lots of settings if your computer does allow fan control. It's also fairly accurate for all internal temperatures and HD checks, so I like having it as a backup just for the readings.

The first works specifically for Dell and Latitude computers to control the fan settings, which I spent a lot of time testing last night. Same thing, configurable to your laptop's use and etc.

They are seriously fun to play with.

Windows 7 is awesome. I love it more every day.

CPU replacements really aren't that hard, it's just very important that you make sure you either match the exact model already in your laptop (a replacement) or find one that is compatible and better than the current one (an upgrade). The second thing is easier said than done - sometimes you'll find your laptop/computer already has the best CPU it can support, because the motherboard can't hold anything else. And so then if you replace the motherboard with a different one, you have a whole new can of worms because now your other components might not work with that motherboard (e.g. memory).

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I've used speedfan for evaluation and it works fine, but my laptop doens't have a separate fan sensor, so I can't control the fan with it. Running it with anotehr program for Dell laptops that *can* control the fan, however, the temp readings are usually very close to the same. So I like it, yes, and I run it to verify the other program's readings.

Speedfan has pretty good documentation, too, and I've used it on my last three computers.

Randomly piping in! I actually had the same problem a while ago, so.

1. You could try and conduce a slightly, possibly risky operation of vacuuming your fan - no need to disassemble anything; just hold the vacuum pipe outside of where the fan is. But you have to be careful with that so as to avoid mechanical damage.

2. There are kits designed specifically for this purpose. I have no idea what they're called in English but it's just air under pressure. You can probably buy it in any given computer store.

3. The problem could also lay with something else. There's a layer of thermoconductive paste that covers the CPU; there's a chance it's just burnt out. You can also buy it in a computer store and apply it yourself.

4. Re-setting the CPU timing but you have to know what you're doing to try this.

5. A cooling pad is also a solution. They're rather cheap and reportedly pretty effective so maybe that's your option?

Good luck with your laptop, dude! I know how stressful this shit can be /o\

...this might be way too simplistic of a fix to work in this situation, but whenever my laptop gets overheated, it's usually because I switched my power settings to High Performance while it's still plugged in. Switching it back to Power Saver or Optimized cools it down right away.

Again, I'm not sure if this will work for your case (I know nothing about CPUs or fan replacements or motherboards /o\) but if nothing else, it's worth a try. (If you haven't tried it already. XD)

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