Infrastructure
Commentary
2/10/2005
02:50 PM
Fred Langa
Fred Langa
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Langa Letter: Curing Laptop Overheating

Sometimes, Fred Langa says, fixing a too-hot laptop/notebook computer is as simple as "Whooosh!"

What Causes Overheating In Laptops?
When a laptop gets too hot, the cause almost always boils down to one of three main issues: Dust and dirt blocking airflow through the unit; a dead fan; or environmental causes.

Whatever the cause, the unit can't get rid of its heat, and temperatures climb inside the case. If you're lucky, the laptop's heat-sensing circuits will shut everything down when temperatures reach dangerous levels; you may lose data, but your hardware will probably survive, at least for a while.

If you're less lucky, you'll start getting data errors or lockups. Here, too, you may lose data, but you may be able to save the hardware through a prompt manual shutdown.

In a worst case, or after repeated lesser overheating episodes, your laptop may simply end up cooked to death; either inoperative, or so unreliable as to be worthless.

Of the three main reasons for overheating, the environmental issues are the most obvious and easiest to avoid: Don't use your laptop in full sunlight for extended periods; don't leave it in a closed car on a sunny day; don't place it on or near extreme heat sources, such as radiators, hot air vents, and so on. Common sense, really--and the same advice that's in almost every owner's manual for almost all portable electronic devices. It's so obvious, in fact, we won't spend any more time on it.

The other two reasons--dead fans and dust and dirt--both cause reduced airflow through the laptop. You can look for and solve these problems the same way. Most times, you won't have to open the laptop's case, so there's no issue of voiding the warranty, and nothing that requires exotic tools or training. In fact, it's so simple a procedure, I'm amazed more people don't do it.

Previous
2 of 5
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
While 68% say demand for WAN bandwidth will increase, just 15% are in the process of bringing new services or more capacity online now. For 26%, cost is the problem. Enter vendors from Aryaka to Cisco to Pertino, all looking to use cloud to transform how IT delivers wide-area connectivity.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and trends on InformationWeek.com
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.