Laptops nowadays tend to run quite hot. This is especially true if the laptop is at least 3 months old. Read on to find out how you can clean up your laptop at home, and avoid so much on repair fees that you’ll have enough saved cash to buy a brand new laptop.
In some cases, the laptop gets so hot that it freezes up and shuts down before the CPU overheats and breaks down. This is not a problem if your laptop is still under warranty, but once the warranty expires you’re looking at a $50 repair fee. At minimum.
If only one of the listed cases is true for your laptop, it is time to do a thorough cleanup:
Does your laptop fan work hard for longer periods of time even if you only browse the net?
Do you notice that the laptop works hotter than it used to before?
Is the air coming out of the fan’s exhaust quite warm but not proportionately strong in comparison to how hard the fan blows?
Is your laptop at least 6 months old?
The bad thing is that we tend to take laptops in for repair only if there’s something terribly wrong with them, so we usually ignore the issue of overheating altogether, or come up with improvised solutions like a cooling pad. Although these cooling pads do bring the temperature down a bit, they’re like punting a blanket over a broken leg. In other words, it’s covering up the actual problem, ignoring it, or healing the symptom at best.
If the laptop is older than 3 months chances are it is already quite full of dust and various dirt particles. In some instances I’ve even found dead bugs in laptops, making the laptop literally “full of bugs”. This dirt clogging acts like a blanket and the CPU fan has a lot of trouble to get all that heat out of the laptop. Fairly soon, the CPU overheats and the laptop must shut down before you experience The White Smoke symptom (i.e. the processor is busted and you’re up for a $300 repair fee).
Using a cooling pad is a terrible idea. As I mentioned, it only deals with the symptom (the laptop’s bottom bezel is quite hot). In reality, it cools off the surrounding area, but the processor is still running too hot and this causes a lot of stress on the motherboard which can lead to a total breakdown, which means a new laptop altogether.
The best way to deal with the overheating problem is to do a thorough cleanup of the laptop, with special attention to the CPU heatsink (that gold-looking block of parallel fins that you can see from the side or back of the laptop). As I mentioned earlier, a cleanup like this costs at least $50 if you take the laptop to a repair center. Multiply that by the average lifespan of the laptop (3 years) and take in consideration that ideally laptops need at least 2 cleanups per year (ideally 4), you’re looking at this:
$50 per cleanup
3 years lifespan
2 cleanups per year
That’s a total of $100 per year if you want to cut edges, but if you want to truly have a reliable laptop then it’s actually $200 each year. Multiply that in the 3 years you’d use the laptop and the scales tip over the $500 threshold easily. That’s how much you’d pay for a decent new laptop.
This is why many people opt for a Do It Yourself solution.
This repairmanual will teach you how to take apart your laptop, do the cleanup and hopefully do a few tricks that will save you some time next time when you do the cleanup. Usually it takes about an hour to take apart a laptop, clean it up and put it back together.
This tutorial is a case study of the HP6820/6720laptop, which is almost identical to the many HP DV series of laptops, so if you own some of the DV series, this tutorial will come quite handy. As an added bonus you will find a way how to do a few tweaks of the plastic bezels on the laptops which will help you to turn this hour-long cleanup into a five minute project. This is especially true for the HP 6720/6820 laptops, but again, as laptops nowadays are more and more alike, it would not be a surprise if this same rig can work on any other laptop brand or model. Don’t worry, this rig is not a “make a hole at the bottom of your laptop” approach. It’s a very elegant solution that will not be visible from any side, so your laptop will not be suffering any visual changes whatsoever.
So, to sum up, this laptoprepairmanual will help you learn what needs to be done, why, and how. With it, you will ensure that your laptop will be healthy and reliable for years to come, and in 3 years time this manual will save you enough money to get a new laptop even though the one you have now will work just fine. Further more, you will learn how to think out of the box and come up with a very elegant laptop chassis adaptation that will make the cleanup project into a 5 minute job that even a 7-year old can do.
The cleanup tutorial will save you well over $500, and the rig will turn the cleanup into a 5-minute walk-in-the-park project.