Monday, 13 September 2010 14:54

Why is my Laptop Over-Heating?

Written by  abid ali
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Catherine: **My “friend” uses his laptop often when he is sitting on his bed and only realizes how hot it has gotten when it shuts down on him because he is so busy doing “important stuff” on it.**


Abid: I wonder what this friend of yours is doing all the time that he doesn't realize he is about to set a fire to his room.

All jokes aside however, this is a serious issue that occurs to a lot of people; and this is not just limited to laptops. All those gamers out there, I am sure you have had your gaming system over heat to the point where it stops working. When something like this happens, where either your laptop over-heats to the point where it shuts down or it becomes burning hot and cannot be handled, most people just turn it off and wait for it to become cool.

Now first of all, let me remind everyone that if you do have a problem with over-heating laptops, you need to do something about it, RIGHT NOW – don’t wait for tomorrow or next week. Over-heating laptops, and for that matter, any technology related item, that over-heats, needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. Laptops have been known to cause fires, damage property, and in rare cases, even caused deaths. So once again, if you are having an issue with your laptop, until you get it fixed, I suggest you limit the use of the laptop.

There are two things that can cause a laptop to over-heat; one of the reasons that laptops can over-heat is a simple problem and you can fix it at home. The other reason why a laptop would over-heat, would be a little more difficult to fix by yourself and you would need to send it in to the laptop manufacturer.

Now if you notice that your laptop is over-heating constantly, here are some reasons as to why that can happen.

We talked about this last time as well; Technology is progressing at an amazing speed. In fact, Intel’s co-founder, Gordon Moore, predicted in 1965 that the number of transistors that can be placed on a chip will double approximately every two years. That being said, he also said that the cost associated with creating new technology will decrease 50%, during the same time period.

 Now Catherine don’t worry, I am not going to start a boring lecture. We can save that for when you take me out for lunch.

 What I really wanted to emphasize was that 10, 20, years ago, computers were much bigger. Therefore, the space needed to fit all the components was readily available and over-heating would not have been such a big problem.

 However, because of Moore’s law, we have started building a ‘mini-version’ of everything. No more cell phones that weighed as much as new born baby, and no more computers that would take up a whole room. We have cell phones that will easily fit in the palm of your hand and a new version of laptops, called net books, and are so small that you can carry them in one hand.

 Since all the components are packed tightly in such a small enclosure, there is little room for airflow and heat-reduction equipment such as fans and heat sinks.

 So now that we know why it happens, lets answer the question, how does it happen? Laptops will over-heat for a very simple reason; you are not allowing air to travel into the laptop. Your vents and fans might be blocked by paint, stickers, or dust that has accumulated over time. In our case today, Catherine’s friend, who asked that his name not be mentioned, so as to avoid his friends making fun of him, is doing something that is very common; and that is to use the laptop on your bed. When your laptop is on the bed, your bed sheets, quilt, and blanket can possibly restrict air flow into the vents on your laptop.

 When this happens and the air flow is restricted, you will notice your laptop get hotter and hotter. One simple way to prevent laptop over-heating is to use a ‘Lap Desk’ which looks something like this. (Show Picture). Or you can use a ‘Laptop Cooling Pad,’ which can be bought at computer stores at a very affordable price. (Show Item). This is a quick and cheap solution to your laptop over-heating problems.

 This over here is a cooling pad that I use for my laptop and honestly speaking, it makes a huge difference. All you have to do is set your laptop on the top, plug in this USB cable into one of your laptop USB outlets and the fans start working instantly. This provides constant air to your laptop, thereby keeping it cool.

 Now remember I mentioned that there can be two reasons as to why laptops can over-heat. Lets talks about the second reason.

 Laptop batteries sometimes overheat and that has nothing to do with how you are using it. This is usually a manufacturing problem and in most cases, the manufacturer announces a RECALL of the specific model number. If you have your bill of sale, you can just send in your battery, and they would send you a brand new one.

 Dell, Apple, Toshiba, Lenovo, & Sony have all had to recall laptop batteries over the years because they were over-heating to the point where they became hazardous.

 And that, Ladies and gentlemen, is WHY laptops will over-heat.

Last modified on Sunday, 06 March 2011 07:32

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