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Discussion Starter #1
I have an old laptop that my sister gave to me a year or two ago when the hard drive failed. I repaired it with a good drive from another old laptop and I was up and running. It's an old Athlon machine but it runs Win XP just fine and sometimes it's handy to have a laptop.

It always had a problem which gradually had been getting worse. If you did something that made it work hard like say watching a video from Google or UTube for a long time it would shut down suddenly. The fan always was rather noisy and it would cycle from low to high back and forth but it would tend to stay mostly on high when you were using the computer.

Over the weekend my girlfriend used the machine quite a bit and it was really acting up and shutting off about every 45 minutes or so which was annoying. This got me thinking about how the machine was acting and I remembered that I had used it while working on a fuel injected engine on the dyno a few weeks earlier without any problems at all. The machine had run for hours without failure BUT it was only about 50 degrees where the machine was sitting that day!

So I took the laptop into the garage and blew it out with compressed air using a blow gun. A huge cloud of dust flew out. Now the fan is very quiet, runs slowly AND the machine has been perfectly stable since the cleaning.

I just never thought about cleaning the computer since I owned it and I couldn't see any dust or fuzz through the vents so I just assumed it was clean and dirt wasn't the cause of the problem. I had been thinking that this computer's mother board or memory was just gradually failing, I guess not. I hope this is helpful to someone else with a computer stability problem.
 

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It's amazing how much dust/fur they attract, I have to take my home computer apart about every 2 MOS to clean it or the roar of the fan drives me crazy, Where does it all come from I wonder.
 

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Some machines have onboard diagnostics which allow you to see the cpu temp and fan rpm. Some you can access from the OS and some you have to see from the BIOS menu. Heat build-up is one of the most common killers of computers.
 

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I have seen this many of times and I cleaned one laptop out that was just about to be tossed.

Keep those computers off the floor unless it's there to clean the dust bunnys up for ya.

There is also thurmal grease between the CPU and the the heatsink sometimes it would be good to clean it and apply new grease, just don't touch it with your fingers unless you clean it after.

Right now I have some systems in a location at work that are having the solder eaten right off the system boards, ya that what I want to do is go over there and fix them :(
 

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I had Geek Squad tell me I needed a new mother board on my sony. After almost buying a new computer I thought I better take it apart and have a look myself. The fan was totally plugged off like in your case.
 

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overheating will make it act exactly as you described, blow it out every couple of months, if you do it with your shop air turn the psi down , smoking around them makes it much worse as the nicottene makes everything sticky, the fans in them can be replaced if you can find the right one as there are so many different models out these days, my employer has a problem with their compaq laptop after only 4 months, but they both smoke at it and its used 12 hours a day.

Steve
 

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overheating will make it act exactly as you described, blow it out every couple of months, if you do it with your shop air turn the psi down , smoking around them makes it much worse as the nicottene makes everything sticky, the fans in them can be replaced if you can find the right one as there are so many different models out these days, my employer has a problem with their compaq laptop after only 4 months, but they both smoke at it and its used 12 hours a day.

Steve
I hate working on PC's that people smoke near.. I smell like old cigerettes after it just sucks.
Proof that 2nd hand smoke is bad
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This computer is pretty darn old and again I inherited it from my sister and it was probably full of dust then! The BIOS on this machine is rather crude and it doesn't give a whole lot of information about temps etc. Really about all you can do is change the boot order and a few other things. I'd say that laptops must be a lot worse than a desktop PC just because their compact nature doesn't allow for a lot of thermal headroom. It loses a little cooling and the temperatures become a LOT hotter.

I don't smoke but I understand exactly what you're saying because I like to clean out the power amps that my band uses every year or two and they are always amazingly dirty from playing in smoky bars. An old CS800 can pick up an incredible amount of dirt rather quickly. In my bass rig I use a Crown MacroTech 1200 and it has a filter which I think is a great idea. A couple of times a year I pop it off and wash it out and the water runs nearly black for a few seconds, nasty.
 

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cooler

dave u need a laptop cooler. it sits under the laptop and has 2 - 4 fans in it and it plugs into the laptop or the wall for power. they cost 20-50 bucks on ebay. if you run a laptp longer 30 min it is a must to have. it will not cut off for overheating again. i use a targus 2 fan cooler. it pulls down not push air up. may have dust also but not likey your problem. 45 min is a long time with no cooler it will burn up you power supply.
 
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