HP 431/HP 430/HP 630 : Laptop Heating Problem Solved [standard protocol to follow]by Nishant Arora on 7/01/2012
Winters are all about sitting cozy in on your beds with lush quilts over you, followed by a laptop and you browsing Facebook and surfing the World Wide Web in other tabs. But the problem begins when the laptop starts gushing out heat as if there was a furnace burning inside. What to do then? No idea? let’s start..
Knowing and preventing the situations:
- Install software called CoreTemp. This is free software, which will display the current CPU temperature in the taskbar. Do the required settings like display the temperature in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit, etc. Ideally if this software shows you are running above 80 degree Celsius, then you are my friend danger zone.
- Generally a laptop has the processor installed in the corner (preferably the corner adjacent to the charging port) and these two corners are the ones where the screen is attached. If you see carefully you will see a heat sink, because the processor is concealed by it. The heat sink fan will be generally on the bottom of the laptop and fins on the side. It works y pulling the air from below the laptop and squirts it out through the side bays and cooling thus the heat sink fins. Moral of the story, NEVER EVER KEEP THE BOTTOM COVERED WITH A CLOTH/QUILT/OR ON A DUSTY TABLE TOP.
- If the palm rest of your laptop is heating, then it’s about time you visited the service center.
Solving some common problems:
My Laptop is not on a quilt, still is heating up badly, no applications are running, still above 80… :(
If yours is feeling the same way then it’s time to do a short drill:
- Pressure Wash the Sink (without water I meant…:P): Okay just locate the fins (keep your hand over both the outlets where the fan is, and you will know where is the air coming out from.), so from where the air is coming out from, just blow in with your mouth (as if smooching it) as hard as you can, do this for the entire opening one by one. (Personal Experience: keep your eyes closed, as it will give out splendid amounts of dust. Also make sure you do not inhale after blowing or you could choke up badly.)
- Buy a Cooling Pad: Cooling pads for laptops really work and can help drop the temperature by 2 to 10 degree Celsius. Buy a one with a large fan, and make sure it has a soft bottom, so as it is comfortable in the lap. Do not forget it to clean it once in a fortnight as it gather’s dust too. I own a CoolerMaster L1, but it is not comfortable for working in the lap, but gives a nice performance on desk, pushes down the temperature by almost 15 degrees. (Personal Experience: Do not buy cheap Chinese gimmicks from eBay or any other deal site, these can be expensive, so shell out money, or they will trouble you a lot.)
- Try Cleaning (Only for Advance Users): I don’t know about other users, but HP has a video tutorial site here, using which you can disassemble your laptop completely. Do it, take out all the components and pressure blow the laptop, Indian conditions will make your laptop heavier by pushing dirt into it. (Personal Experience: Again I am not responsible for anything goes wrong, it is damn easy, but can be difficult for you!, so do not try if you are not aware of what you are doing.)
After you are done with the above mentioned hardware hacks some software tricks:
- Time to update the BIOS: the bios control the fan and sensors, and manufacturers keep polishing their bios and believe me, these updates are really nice, and if done properly they can bring a sea change to the laptops performance (HP 431 BIOS updates can be downloaded from here). After I updated my bios it works better than ever. (Personal Experience: If you do not know what you are doing, please do not continue, if you do it the wrong way, you could end up bricking your laptop, this can even damage the mother board flash and I do not think they cover it under warranty. Make sure you download the bios version made specifically for your device/motherboard and you download it just from the manufacturer’s website!)
- Change the graphics processor: now a day’s most laptops come with two graphics card, one from Intel (Labeled as Battery Saving GPU) and one from either ATI or Nvidia (labeled as High Performance GPU). Now if you are not aware, the Core generation laptops combines GPU into the CPU, so all the load of graphics processing is being actually processed by the CPU, which saves power, but… means more processes for the CPU, and thus it heats up very fast. So if you are sitting where you are not worried about battery back-up switch it to the third party GPU. (Personal Experience: the theory is right and is indeed very effective!)
- Cleaning the hard drive: Make it a routine, to run some files every week, on Saturday or on Sunday in the following order:
- Run Wise Disk Cleaner (weekly, delete all files, even if it says maybe important!)
- Run Wise Registry Cleaner (weekly, delete all entries even if it shows important!)
- Run CCleaner (weekly, run both the disk cleaner and registry, make sure to un-check the browser passwords and form data if you use them)
- Run Disk Defragmentation (Auslogics have a good software, run it once a month)
- Run CHKDSK /r (from an elevated command prompt once a month)
- if you are uninstalling software, make sure to use only Revo Uninstaller, it works great (also go to tools>autorun manager and remove all the un needed items)
Hope I motioned them all, in case you find any issues, just comment or mail, I will get in touch shortly.
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