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Old 05-13-2011, 12:11 PM
 
575 posts, read 843,095 times
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I disassembled my laptop (it's an older toshiba satelite a75 3.2ghz proc) and cleaned off the processor and applied new thermal silver compound. My laptop had been shutting down and I knew the culprit was the cpu overheating, but didn't think there was anything to be done about it. It had gotten so bad that I could not even turn it on and leave it for 20 minutes or so so that it could complete virus definition updates without it shutting off.

I did some research and discovered that this particular model suffers from overheating on occasion. You wouldn't think that blowing out the heatsink and fans (mine has two)and reapplying new thermal compound would make a big difference, but it has.

things I couldn't do before previously mentioned maintenance:

watch online video
update virus scanner definitions
have multiple tabs open in Firefox
navigate to a page in firebox with a plethora of scripts (even with the noscript extension)
defrag the hard drive

all of the above mentioned activities can now be done with no problems after some simple maintenance.

I know this is an old laptop, but I don't have the cash right now to upgrade, so this restored my laptop to store bought conditions (but I bought it off of ebay).

Definitely worth the effort for anyone thinking of getting a new laptop if they are experiencing similar problems.
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
14,693 posts, read 23,401,392 times
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Glad you were able to get it working. Blowing out the fan often makes a big difference. Did you get the thermal paste that is in the little needle dispenser or the type that self sticks to the processor? The self stick stuff is much easier to apply.
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:42 PM
 
575 posts, read 843,095 times
Reputation: 486
Silver thermal in the syringe. From what I have read and my own personal experience, it's the better option for systems where heat dissipation could be a problem.
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,496,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebri View Post
You wouldn't think that blowing out the heatsink and fans (mine has two)and reapplying new thermal compound would make a big difference, but it has.
I would. Heat kills electronics faster than anything else, and the two things you mentioned are the most vital pieces of the CPU cooling puzzle.

You should notice that your battery lasts longer now, too, as the laptop doesn't have to spin up the fan(s) as high or as often.
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:55 PM
 
2,791 posts, read 3,436,677 times
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You are actually supposed to clean the vents fans and heat sinks every so often as periodic maintenance. I clean out both my desktop and laptops every once in a while. Heat is electronics enemy.

Last edited by dijkstra; 05-13-2011 at 05:36 PM..
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:18 PM
 
10,754 posts, read 18,012,225 times
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Anyone that works on laptops on a regular basis will tell you the exact opposit. The most likely cause of overheating is dust buildup on the heatsinks, I do probably a couple a month, the photo below is one of the worst I've done.

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Old 05-13-2011, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Mayacama Mtns in CA
14,523 posts, read 7,679,422 times
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Ewwww! That's gross.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:03 PM
 
28,631 posts, read 40,613,958 times
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I wish I still had the picture of a desktop that was returned from a plant in New Jersey. The entire inside of the case looked like that. It was a horizontal instead of vertical case so there was a lot of area to fill.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:09 PM
 
10,754 posts, read 18,012,225 times
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I've seen some nasty desktops, CPU coolers covered in nicotine coated dust that you need q-tips to remove, I've had a couple from shops with that sticky grease coated dust, I hate that stuff.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:42 PM
 
15,924 posts, read 17,654,908 times
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Dust buildup? Nahhhhhhhhhhh


Filthy PCs: The X-rated circus of horrors ? The Register
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