Hey… that maintenance stuff works!
Published Tue, Apr 5 2011 7:28 PM
Technorati Tags: Computers and Internet
I’ve been somewhat frustrated with my laptop computer recently. I’ve had it for just over a year now and it has recently begun acting up a bit.
It’s got an Intel Core i7 processor inside, running at a fair clip (2 to 2.5 Ghz) and it has plenty of memory. It should be able to handle complex tasks and perform lots of work. But lately, when the CPU utilization across those four hyper-threaded cores gets up to about 20% the CPU temperature climbs quickly to over 210° and shortly after that the system shuts “shuts off”. No – not an orderly shut-down, but a sudden “oops… where’d the power go” kind of shut-down.
I bought a Targus three-fan cooling pad for it that’s powered off of the USB port. That helped a bit – for a day or two. But… if I did anything serious or requiring heavy disk action or high CPU utilization (really? Symantec using 13% of CPU kills it?) the system wouldn’t last long before shutting down.
It wasn’t like this a year ago.
Enter one can of Dynex “compressed gas duster”. I shut the machine down. Turned it over and blew out the dust from every ventilation orifice. I did the same for my cooling pad. While I was at it I blew the dust from under the key pads too.
I turned it back on.
I have no idea why the “Symantec Service Framework” is requiring 13% of CPU… but it is… I’m hoping it gets over it soon. But hey… with the dust out of the ventilation grills and blown out of the machine the temperature is over 50° cooler.
Hm.. how about that. As I type this, the system is back down to 5% total CPU utilization and the temperature has gone down another 20°.
Isn’t it amazing how something so simple as minor maintenance can keep your computer running smoothly?
I wonder how many people have ruined their laptops with something as simple as dust? And then blamed Microsoft – or anyone other than themselves.
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David responded with:
Good on you for exercising your diagnostic/repair skill set!
I repaired a laptop recently that had heat issues. The cooling fins and fan weren't just full of dust, they were caked and packed with dust to the point that the fan had failed because it could not move at all.
Another recent heat problem (netbook this time) had a failed fan due to cheap plastic bits n pieces (some from the fan enclosure) breaking off inside (I do suspect slightly rough usage, knowing the user) jamming the fan and causing its failure.
Heat is a big problem with most notebooks/netbooks, especially when they're not properly maintained. I see far too much of that. Just an occasional squirt of canned air and careful handling can avert a lot of problems. My Wonder Woman's notebook is now five years w/o a heat issue. The slowly-growing collection of other notebooks/netbooks here at twc central are also kept free of heat issues by the same simple maintenance procedures.
BTW, http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php is a pretty good temps monitoring tool.
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