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Notebooks Why is this laptop overheating?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Wicked_Sludge, 3 Aug 2012.

  1. Wicked_Sludge

    Wicked_Sludge My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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    i received this gateway w340ui from a friend some time ago because it started acting up on her. she had already replaced it with another laptop so i stuck it in the corner and didnt mess with it for a long time.

    lately ive been trying to get it working and its been fighting me but i may have it tracked down to a cooling issue. ive tested the RAM with memtest overnight with no errors, and the CPU fan cycles like normal (it doesnt run full blast constantly, indicating overheating) so i dont think its the ram or the cpu that are overheating. everything but the CPU is passively cooled and i have the motherboard out and laying on the desk in the open so i wouldnt think cooling would be an issue, but i wasnt able to get it to run long enough to install windows until i pointed a large desk fan at the motherboard and shut the computer down to cool every time windows installer wanted to reboot the system.

    ive been feeling the chips on the board and the only one that even gets slightly warm is the GPU, which does not have a heat sink. i need to install drivers before i can run any stress tests on it to see if it piles up under load but it seems odd to me that any of the passively cooled chips would be overheating with the board laying out in the open like it is?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. dancingbear84

    dancingbear84 error 404

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    Why do you think it is a cooling issue? Have you checked the hdd for errors or bad sectors? Have you cleaned the exhaust vent of the cpu cooler. In my experience the gap between the heat sink and fan can get filled with a "blanket" of fluff a couple of mil thick.
     
  3. Wicked_Sludge

    Wicked_Sludge My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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    as i said, i believe its a cooling issue because the system would not stay stable enough to even install windows until i pointed a desk fan at it and shut it down to cool periodically during install.

    i did scan the HDD (its clean) as well as trying a second drive which produced a similar failure. i have reseated the cooler twice using AC5. the cooler and board are immaculate.
     
  4. Xahl

    Xahl Your mum's a Dremel

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    hmm I had a similar-ish problem where my laptop would just reboot after a period (as if overheating) until the point where it just wouldn't turn on, which is a motherboard - power supply problem usually. I ended up having to get a new machine, which unfortunately doesn't help you but it might help indicate where the problem might be...
     
  5. ferret141

    ferret141 Minimodder

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    Some hardware fault is probably the issue. But hs anyone ever considered cooked thermal compound.
     
  6. lancer778544

    lancer778544 Multimodder

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    Might be worth booting to a Linux distro and checking temps from in there if it can last the boot process.
     
  7. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman World's worst stuntman. Lover of bit-tech

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    ta da!
     
  8. ferret141

    ferret141 Minimodder

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    Sorry for not reading thoroughly enough.
     
  9. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    My initial thought would be a faulty laptop PSU adapter or connection, the most common fault. Does the system have any problem sitting in the BIOS screen for a good few hours without stability issues?
     
  10. Wicked_Sludge

    Wicked_Sludge My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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    i havnt been able to run any 3d graphics tests. furmark just crashes on launch and 3dmark requires directx 10 which i guess this ati Xpress 200M does not support. i did successfully run the WEI test.

    i just ran prime95 with speedfan going and it froze within 3-4 minutes with the following temp readings:
    temp1 - 55
    core0 - 46
    core1 - 45

    based on that im even more sure its not a CPU heat problem (but i have no way of monitoring the GPU). i must now let the system cool off for a while because when i try to power it on, i just get a black screen. no POST or anything. once it cools off i will let it sit on the BIOS screen and see if it freezes (im pretty sure it does though).

    i suspect the power supply is OK. ive used it with two other laptops and they both work OK...
     
  11. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    The only thing I can suggest is attach a copper heatsink to the ATI chip. Just do a soft install with some TIM and see if that helps. Doesn't have to be anything pretty, as long as it's adaptable to fit it'll do for testing! :thumb:
     
  12. lancer778544

    lancer778544 Multimodder

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    I'm gonna put money on that being the culprit. I've had to replace a couple of motherboards with that exact chipset due to garbled graphics outputs when warm.
     
  13. hughwi

    hughwi Minimodder

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    Seconded, this chipset seems to get FUBAR'd after a few years of running in a lappy with no heatsink.
     
  14. Wicked_Sludge

    Wicked_Sludge My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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    Ive also been leaning toward a bad GPU pretty much this whole time, i just have no way to confirm it. i dont have a heatsink small enough to fit the chip, but i did stick a half-height PCI bracket to it to act as a sink of sorts but the system still acts up. im starting to think it may be toasted from previous overheating :(
     
  15. Deders

    Deders Modder

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    How old is the laptop? it could be another chip that doesn't have active cooling or it may be because some of the solder has gone bad causing resistance.
     
  16. Wicked_Sludge

    Wicked_Sludge My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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    so for the past 2 days i couldnt get anything but a blank screen out of this thing. finally, tonight i disconnected and reconnected what i assume to be some kind of small battery (red circle) and it POSTed and i got to the BIOS screen. i dont believe this is the cmos battery, which i have circled in blue.

    [​IMG]

    the system sat for 3 hours on the BIOS screen and was still operational. as soon as i tried to boot into windows, it froze on the starting windows screen. ditto when i tried again. it seems any load at all is enough to lock it up when the system is warm.

    i think this machine was given to me in '07. it would have only been about a year old at that point and since ive had it its spent most of its years collecting dust.
     
  17. Deders

    Deders Modder

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    Could try looking up the part or serial number on the battery?

    Most laptops have a lifespan of about 5 years unfortunately
     
  18. Wicked_Sludge

    Wicked_Sludge My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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    good call. it appears to be the modem (i was way off!).

    id say unplugging it and the machine coming back is coincidental, but its not the first time ive gotten it to boot by doing that.

    just for fun, i started it up with the modem removed. the system booted into windows and i managed to run prime95 for 3 minutes before it locked up. i attribute being able to boot this time to it cooling down for 5-10 minutes.
     
  19. Deders

    Deders Modder

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    Have you checked the soldering for dry joints? Capacitors etc for bulges?
     
  20. Wicked_Sludge

    Wicked_Sludge My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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    theres only a handful of caps on this board and they all look good. as for solder joints, theres a metric ****ton on this board. ive glanced it over but studying even half of those connections boggles the mind!
     

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