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HOT! HOT! HOT!

Posted on 2003-03-30
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
Does anybody have any suggestions why a laptop would become really really hot. It was not like this until recently, but when I turn it on, the bottom of it becomes very hot. So hot that it burns to touch. Is there a narrow reason as to what can cause this. Maybe the cpu fan or something. I replaed the hard drive in it a few weeks ago and reinstalled windows 2000 and I returned it to my client. after not turning on the laptop for a few weeks, she turned it on and it said it could not find some boot up files and gave me the blue screen of death. It was also very hot. These are two separate issues but who knows, they could somehow be related I guess. Does anybody have a clue? Thanks.
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Question by:mfcrusty
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23 Comments
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:CRAK
ID: 8237121
Not sure if they exist, but what kind of harddisk did you put it? The higher the rotation speed is, the warmer they get.
I know in my desktop, I won't be able to touch the drive after operation, if I don't apply drive cooling.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Wakeup
ID: 8237133
Can you give us a bit more specifics on the laptop itself.  Brand? Model?  How fast of a processor etc.
Give us as much as you know.  Also try elevating the back of the laptop a bit to keep it from touching the surface of the desk/table/floor etc.  give it some room to breath?
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:CRAK
ID: 8237153
I.e. a 7200 rpm drive...
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Wakeup
ID: 8237156
0
 

Author Comment

by:mfcrusty
ID: 8237198
Its a Sony Vailo PCG-G505LE
 P3 650 Mhz
30 GB Fujitsu Harddrive - 7200 rpm
380 Ram or somthing like that
 I upgraded from a Fujitsu 12 GB probably 5400rpm or lower

Does this help at all.
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Expert Comment

by:armg2k
ID: 8237259
does the computer hangs alot lately or not???
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 8237286
Had a similar case recently. CPU fan bearings worn out = low fan speed and hot CPU. Crashed and didn't recover until I reset the CMOS (and got the fan running smoothly).

/RID
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Author Comment

by:mfcrusty
ID: 8237308
makes sense if fan is worn out.  It doesnt feel hot where the harddrive is so I guess it is where the cpu is.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:daleoran
ID: 8237522
the majority of laptops also have ventilation vents on the bottom of the unit - check that these haven't been blocked.
Also as noted above some laptops will run hot. Mine's only a few months old and from the start I couldn't use it on  my lap because it got so hot - so why are they called laptops? :)

Michael

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LVL 13

Accepted Solution

by:
CRAK earned 1500 total points
ID: 8237643
I'd blame the new 7200 rpm harddisk!
If you leave your PC on for about 30 min. and then check the temperature, you may be able to identify the heat source.
Harddisks usually get their cooling from the air circulating in the computer case. In a laptop the small fans are not powerfull enough and there is too little room/air to circulate, while the 7200 rpm drive causes a lot more heat than a 5400 rpm one!
Another thing to worry about: if the disk is too hot to touch, temperature will have exceeded 50 degr C. Compare that with the allowed temperature range! I "melted" 2 SCSI drives before I learned this! ;-(
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Expert Comment

by:Alex_Baskeyfield
ID: 8237676
Does your PSU have a fan in it? I had a similar problem with my desktop machine and it turned out that the PSU fan had stopped. The machine was working fine but it was getting hot enough to cook eggs on the case.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8238865
Wow, I didn't think they even made 7200RPM harddisks for laptops, the fastest I had seen was 5400!  Definitely agree with the above though, sounds to me like the system vent fan is failed or not operating properly.  Dell had some problems similar to this on a few of their Latitude laptops and had a BIOS update to improve "thermal performance" (basically make the fan spin up at a lower temperature and/or run faster).

The bootup errors are likely due to the excessive heat causing the drive itself to overheat and getting read/write errors.

I think you need to swap the drive out for a "standard" 4200/5400 RPM laptop drive, as there isn't much you can do to improve internal airflow in a laptop since they're so jam-packed with parts.

-dog*
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8238872
Wakeup:
That PC card fan (http://2cooltek.safeshopper.com/64/cat64.htm?61) is pretty slick though!  Good thinking by those guys (though I wonder how much it really helps...)

-dog*
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Author Comment

by:mfcrusty
ID: 8239487
Okay, my mistake.  I must have been extremely tired last night. The harddrive is actually only a 4200 rpm harddrive. I checked it out this morning. It was probably upgraded from something older that is 2 years old but I just said 7200 because most of the new harddrive for desktops are 7200rpm. I think the same problems could apply since it was upgraded. I am going to look into the problem a little more tonight. thanks for the suggestions. If anyone has any more please feel free to keep them coming.

mfcrusty
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:zubin_kharas
ID: 8242140
Hi mfcrusty,
  I have worked on VAIOs & also the one you mentioned. Try these: Firstly, Switch it on, wait for 20secs & take your nose close to its bottom (sorry for making it sound so filthy.) Do U feel air blowing towards you enough to tinkle Ur nose? If no, Do U find a slight smell of carbon ?

No breeze means Ur fan is dying.
Well the smell indicates your new drive is to large, in size physically. So the air wents have been blocked & yout hot air is not colling but infact heating the Lappy.

Next check that you r supplying with correct voltage.
Third, VAIO LCDs r a pain in the as* They very delicate & overheating can e a major reason.

Try by using appropriate energy settings in BIOS or Windows to doze off the hdd after unusability for a while. Also the same for DVD ROM or CDWR onboard.

Go to a VAIO authrzd ss & get some extra sink-compound on you CPU & maybe an advanced dye-cast copper sink with 5440 rpm or > system fan.

Regards,
Zubin
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:SpudGun
ID: 8276973
I know this is probably not the correct answer but could the faster, larger hard disk be drawing more current from the laptop battery and therefore more heat being created?

Just a suggestion...

Dave
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Author Comment

by:mfcrusty
ID: 8285056
Sorry I have not gotten back to any of the suggestions.  I got busy and have not had a chance to even look at the laptop.  I turned it on last night and it doesnt get hot anymore. I installed windows 2K and had it running for a few hours.  Its kinda wierd but it is back to normal now. I have no idea what the problem was. Maybe the fan has a short or something. But I'm not going to open it up unless I have to. For now, Im going to leave it and hope that it stay ok. Thanks for everyone's help.
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Author Comment

by:mfcrusty
ID: 8285070
Im giving the points to Crak since he was the first to answer.  Everyone kinda said the same things but since I dont know what happenned, I will just give points to Crak.  Thanks for the help.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Wakeup
ID: 8289529
Sooooo......it was the hard drive that was too hot?
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Author Comment

by:mfcrusty
ID: 8296069
I have no idea to tell you the truth. I think its a defective harddrive because like I said it started working perfect and last night after I wrote my comments on here, I was installing Norton System works and the cpu crashed again and gave me the same stupid errors about missing a boot device and gave me the blue screen of death. I'm going to exchange the harddrive and try again.  It wont let me even reformat the drive now.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:CRAK
ID: 8297746
That does sound like one of the symptoms that I previously encountered on my melted drives!

Most drives have a 3 year warranty. It took a month or two, but when I brought mine back to the store for service (not telling about burning my fingers on the drives when removing them), I got them returned and fixed for free (depends on the brand: some replair, others replace).

Still.... odd for a 4200 rpm drive.
But you know now that a drive's cooling depends on air circulation in your computer case. Don't neglect the comments about faulty fans either, or your next drive will also crash!
0
 

Expert Comment

by:Thomask64
ID: 10928468
I have a client with a Sony Vaio Laptop. 2.4 Ghz P4 and it gets hot and shuts down without warning. After much research this morning, I have found numerous reviews and comments from other Vaio laptop owners experiencing pretty much the same problem and Sony doesnt seem to care about recifying it. I did find one article from a guy who purchased a "Laptop Cooler" and hasnt had the same problem since. I ordered one this morning from Ebuyer.com for $25. Hopefully this will be an inexpensive fix for a good client who bought the wrong laptop.
Thomas
OnSite Computer Services of Ohio
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