I thought overheating was something that was supposed to happen in cars, not computers. Nonetheless, one day I became educated when my then year and a half old Dell Inspiron 1150 laptop computer began experiencing pretty bad overheating problems, to the point where the system would shut itself down.
I picked up the phone and called Dell Support and was promptly put on hold for fifteen or so minutes before speaking with a representative. I explained the situation and followed the instructions that were given to me, but to no avail. After calling back and explaining that the problem was persistent, it was decided that a technician would be sent out to repair my laptop. Lucky for me my system was still under warranty. The technician came out and replaced my mother board, heat sink, and fan. The technician left me with a friendly goodbye, and that was the end of it. Or so I thought.
A couple months later I ended up with the same issue. The fan ran steadily on its highest speed, the system slowed down, and then eventually shut down entirely. Frustration soon followed. This time I wasn’t sure what to do, knowing that the parts in question had already been replaced. I decided to turn to the internet in search of answers, and what I found surprised me. It seemed that I was not the only Inspiron 1150 owner to encounter overheating issues. I found a webpage (I can’t remember which) that explained that there was a design flaw in numerous Inspiron models that made the machines prone to overheating.
The problem was with the heat sink. The heat sink has blades, similar to the blades in the radiator of your car, which are directly connected to the processor. When the processor gets hot, it heats the heat sink. The fan blows air through the heat sink blades, which cools the heat sink, which in turn cools the processor. The problem was that dust was collecting on the surface of the blades, making it more difficult for heat to be transferred to the air being expelled from the machine; making it difficult for the processor to cool properly.
So what intricate remedy did this webpage have for the problem? A simple canned “air duster” The page instructed the user to turn off the computer, place the computer at the edge of a table with all fan vents un-obstructed, and blow compressed air through the back of the machine, directly through the heat sink blades, and out the vent openings. So I shut down my computer and grabbed the air duster. Voila, it worked like magic. The fan no longer ran on high. In fact, never before had the computer seemed so quiet. The system no longer needed to shut down either, and I was very happy. I have continued periodically dusting out my heat sink every month or so and have never again had an overheating issue.
Another thing I found online has become an indispensable tool for me. It’s a program for Dell laptops that allows you to monitor system temperatures. The program was created by Christian Diefer, a German fellow with a great idea. With his program you can not only track your CPU temperature, usage, and speed, but also your hard drive temperature, memory temperature, chipset temperature, and more, depending on how your model is equipped. You can even control the fan speeds if you so desire. This program is great for me, and I keep it running all the time in the system tray, checking it often to make sure the system is running well. I hope this article will help you to fix your laptop overheating. . If you like this article, check out my recent post “How I Find the best laptop for programming for college.”
Elizabeth Diane is an in-house blogger who write reviews for laptops, desktop and other tech related products. She has also written a couple of buyer’s guide on laptop and gadgets. She loves to work for small business and companies. If you want to know more, you can follow her on Twitter.