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Laptop Troubles :(

Started by DaveMorton, June 26, 2012, 00:27:53 AM

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DaveMorton

The past few days, the laptop has been plagued with performance issues, spotty network connectivity, and a few other issues that have been getting gradually worse, so I decided to look into the matter today. Everything with the OS and all of the software looked ok, with nothing amiss in the event logs, but I did notice that the top of the keyboard was slightly warmer than usual, and I also noticed that the fan was in "quiet mode", and so I couldn't hear it. I could feel warm air coming out from the exhaust ports, but it seemed warm, not hot, so I wasn't all that concerned. But I DID want to know what the various temps were, just to be absolutely certain, so I installed SpeedFan, which is a temperature monitoring/fan control app (for those who didn't already know), and I was rather shocked to find that the CPU temp was sitting at 55°C! While that's not unusual for a slightly overclocked desktop unit on a hot day, it's WAY too hot for an entry level laptop. At this point, I noticed that SpeedFan was also showing that the fan wasn't running at all (or was incorrectly reporting 0 RPM, perhaps), and I still couldn't hear it, so I shut down and let the thing cool off. That's where I am now. I'll boot the laptop up in a while, and listen for the fan to kick in during the boot process (it always jumps to "high" for a second, right at the beginning of booting up). If no fans, it's time to create a "blow box", to keep it cool till I can take it apart and see what's happening.

I HATE doing surgery on laptops! :(
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!

sybershot

sorry to hear you have an issue with the lappy :(
I don't do any surgery to my laptop, I always send out. Too much of a pain to get to the internals on my beast. HDD or ram I can do anything else I don't touch it :)  Hope your fan is ok, for lappy's are most of the time a pain at least for me.

Freddy

Reminds me of when in the early 80s I heard that people used a chilled carton of milk to keep their ZX81s cool :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX81

Snowcrash

What you need to do is clean the fluff out of in.

Am I the only one here brave enough to do laptop surgery?
Unfortunately I'm too far out for you to pop it in, Dave.  :Head-Slap:

I'm getting quite good at pulling them apart. Have broken a few in learning. Never terminal.

Have one freezing Del and one overheated graphics card Del I must look at. Doh!
"I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

GCCDave

I've good news and bad news.

The good news is that the fan is fine, and there's no "fluff" clogging up the works.

The bad news is that the fan controller is shot. :(

I've taken a bit of white wall paneling and an 80mm case fan, and created an external cooler to mate up with the laptop's exhaust port. So far, so good, the comp's running at around 90°F (32°C), and it's been doing so for over an hour now. So I'm happy. :)
Yes, officer, that IS a 'Get Out of Jail Free' card.    Will it work?

Snowcrash

Maybe hardwire the fan into 5v or 12v? 12v for full speed.

Easier said then done on a laptop though.
"I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

GCCDave

I thought about that, but that will require taking the thing apart again, which I don't want to do.
Yes, officer, that IS a 'Get Out of Jail Free' card.    Will it work?

DaveMorton

I may try to remove the keyboard from the top plate, and see if I can access the fan from there. The way the laptop is constructed, that's the part that comes off, anyway (the top plate, that is). The MoBo is attached to the bottom assembly, which has no "bottom plate". it's all one piece. And not a scrap of metal in the thing that would form a framework. It's all pretty chincey.
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!

Data

This might help, there are quite a lot of videos on Youtube that show you how to take apart different types of laptops, might be worth a little look for your model Dave.

DaveMorton

Oh, I've already had it apart. Figuring that part out was easy, actually. And I've already removed the keyboard to see if I could access the fan from there (no luck, I'm afraid). It's just that I don't have enough fine control of my hands to trust being able to do it without doing irreparable damage. It's a cheap laptop, but it's still beyond my means to replace it.

However, I think that I'll need to seriously think about hard-wiring the fan. The external cooler works fine, but it gets in the way of my left hand at times, since it lies so close to the keyboard. I'll just need to determine if it's an "active high" (where the supply voltage is controlled by the computer - somewhat rare, but not unheard of), or "active low" (where the controller uses the ground connection to activate and adjust the speed of the fan) setup. The connector for the fan is very tiny, so I'll have to create a probe for my meter that I can use to take voltage measurements. This is stuff that I know how to do, but I doubt my ability to actually perform the necessary tasks.
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!

Data

I guess you have looked in the BIOS at the fan controller settings, is there an option to turn off the speed controller and just have it full on, or is the fan turned off even.

DaveMorton

Looked in the BIOS. No settings at all for the fan, and no place where it shows any temp readings. I had to download SpeedFan just to see the temps.
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!

sybershot

QuoteThis is stuff that I know how to do, but I doubt my ability to actually perform the necessary tasks.
It is a pain but rest assure, you can do it :)