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Why does my laptop run too hot?

Posted on 2012-08-31
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a Dell inspiron 1000 Laptop that runs about 2 or 3 minutes and then shuts itself off due to the fact that the processor over-heats.

   I took the keyboard off, took out the fan and heat sink, made sure that the heat sink was clean and applied new therm o grease between the heat sink & processor, but it still overheats. It gets so hot that I can start to smell something like it's almost to smoking temp & I almost burnt my finger when I touched the top of the heat sink.  the fan comes on and runs just like it is supposed to.  
Can someone give me any ideas what I could do to help this situation?
I am sending a pic of the fan & heat sink.
DSCF0002.JPG
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Question by:beemmer
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by:John Hurst
ID: 38355833
Make sure the CPU is set to adaptive (Power Management) so that it does not run at full power.

However, more likely, I think you must have a short somewhere causing the extra current draw. This can come from circuit board joint failures (happens sometimes) and so I would say your motherboard or GPU is failing. Possibly even the CPU is failing. However GPU and CPU are chips and it seems more likely to me that the motherboard has a fault.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:rindi
ID: 38355857
Maybe the thermal transfer paste isn't applied properly, or you really need a thermal pad, and the old pad hasn't completely been removed, or the heatsink isn't attached properly. Other causes could be that it isn't the CPU itself that is overheating, but rather another chip, like the chipset or the GPU. You have to check their heatsinks and thermal pads or paste as well. Also the GPU's RAM usually needs some cooling. Apart from that also the HD can overheat.
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by:beemmer
ID: 38355944
I double-checked the seating of the heatsink, made sure the heatsing & top of processor was shiny clean, applied enough thermopast on to cover all the surface of the processor.
 The heat seems to be coming solely from the processor.  
  However, I went into BIOS but could not find any settings for the CPU to set to adaptive (Power Management).  The only thing I could do was to tell BIOS to go back to default settings.  I am attempting to install the OS.  So far it has copied all OS files, rebooted and is running windows setup.  It has not shut down yet.  So, it appears that just resetting to factory defaults may have fixed the problem.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 38355955
If resetting BIOS to factory stops the overheating, then it must have been the adaptive power settings (somewhere) forcing the CPU to run non-stop at 100%.  

... Thinkpads_User
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John Hurst earned 2000 total points
ID: 38355986
Also, in a properly functioning computer with Power Management set to Adaptive, a CPU should run at less that 5% usage more than 95% of the time.

So if resetting the BIOS works, it may be permanent, or it may just take longer to overheat.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Closing Comment

by:beemmer
ID: 38356338
Since I posted this issue I have not shut down the laptop and it is still running.  I have fully installed windows XP & it has never shut down yet.
I am going to close this out and say that my issue has been resolved.  Thank you for leading me in the right direction.  I too. believe that resetting the BIOS also reset the settings that I didn't see or, like you said, couldn't be seen. Thanks a bunch
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by:John Hurst
ID: 38356348
You are most welcome and I was pleased to assist you with this. ... Thinkpads_User
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