Hi, I'm just wondering if anyone can help knowing what maybe causing an old (about 2009-ish) HP laptop (AMD Athlon) running Vista) I have that seems to shut down due to overheating (underneath it becomes very hot). Leaving the machine idle for long periods with nothing running it doesn't shut down (I've left it powered on for over 3 hours), but running a program like a capturing program or watching a video he seems to shut down after about 20 minutes. I'm guessing this is a problem with the heating system?. Can this be fixed/replaced?.
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Start by blowing dust out of the fan/cooler. And make sure the fan is still working.
I had a laptop I bought in 2011 and a few years in it started overheating, if blowing/cleaning out the fan/heatsink fins doesn't work, AND if you can tell that the fan is still rotating at the proper speed...you may need to take the laptop apart, remove the heatsink, and re-apply the thermal compound between the processor and heatsink. The thermal compound fills in any gaps between the processor and heatsink to make a "bridge" for the heat to escape the CPU into the heatsink...then the heatsink disperses the heat into fins where a fan blows cool air across them to get the heat out of your laptop. Air is a terrible thermal conductor and thus the need for the thermal compound..without it the heat can't escape fast enough and builds up till the PC begins lowering it's clock speed or turning off completely.
In order for it to cool effectively, you need:
- proper airflow: fan must be spinning fast enough to move enough air across the fins of your heatsink...both the fins and the fan must be free of dirt for the air to flow efficiently and get the heat away from the laptop. Also there will be vents/slots on your laptop for the air to enter and exit the laptop...these must be clean as well as the entire path from input to output of the airflow.
- proper thermal conductivity between the CPU and Heatsink: that's where the thermal compound comes in...
IF you've cleared out the fan/airflow path and it's still overheating..you'll want to decide if you are comfortable with this operation
- First you'll want to remove the battery and hold the power button down a few seconds to drain any remaining power from the laptop.
- Next, take the laptop apart until you can get to the heatsink. You should be able to look up the model on youtube and find a video of a teardown.
- Once you've gotten it torn down to where you can remove the heatsink, see if you need to blow out/clean out any more dust from the airpath...
- Once you've removed the heatsink, you may have to first scrape off the old thermal compound with a plastic scraper (don't use metal! you don't want to scratch or mar anything in there!).
- Once you've gotten rid of the bulk of the thermal compound, use a cloth and rubbing alcohol to thoroughly clean/remove the rest of it...you'll want to get rid of ALL the old stuff from the CPU and the heatsink.
- Next, apply a small amount of the new thermal compound..the idea is to use only what is needed to fill in the tiny airgaps between the CPU and heatsink...Just put maybe 2 or 3 dots of thermal compound on the core of the CPU and spread it thinly with your plastic scraper. Careful not to touch the CPU or the mating surface of the heatsink...wearing gloves would probably be best!
- Re-apply the heatsink...you might want to gently wiggle it over the CPU a little bit to work in the thermal paste and get a good "seal".
- re-attach the heatsink and re-assemble the laptop...plug the battery back in and see if it fixes the issue!
All this assumes we're dealing with regular dust..if you or anyone else has smoked regularly around the laptop then you're gonna have a stickier mess to clean up in there :P
This is a bit out there.
On my old Acer I used two of those blue bricks from the freezer.
Wrapped them in a tea-towel and sat the laptop on top.
The Acer would then run happily for 1-2 hours sucking the cool air from below, subject to ambient temperatures.
Just had to make sure not to block the fan input grille.
I'm not sure about moisture levels within the laptop, probably corroding happily, out of sight.
It turned out to be too fiddly, so I bought a new laptop after about 3 weeks.
I had no problems getting all my data onto an external drive.
You're talking about Vista in the year 2023?
Virtualdub, after about 10-15 minutes it then shuts down, the screen fades to black and it makes a whirring sound for a few seconds and then shuts down. I have no battery attached as it seems to have died a while back and I thought that was making the laptop shut down quickly. Strange that my Acer laptop is older than it by (just slightly) and I never had it overheat (the Acer doesn't work anymore anyway).
Here is an example of a laptop that has not been cleaned for 5 years.
[Attachment 73887 - Click to enlarge]