Saturday, 7 February 2015

How To Prevent Your Laptop From Overheating

So, I had a few technical issue with my laptop recently (hence the delay in posting regular blogs). Basically, I would switch on my laptop, it would start to boot, lights would come on, fans start up…and nothing. Just a plain black screen.

The annoying thing is, sometimes the laptop would start up fine especially if I left it overnight. But if I were to shut it down and then later restart it, the same black-screen-of-nothing would appear.

This coincidentally happened when I got the warning sign saying my battery may need replacing…and when the electric heater in my room conked out.

I assumed it was a power issue, but when my laptop was still experiencing the same issue when I checked the fuse box, used another plug socket and ran it just on the AC adapter (which would always correct any power issues, as the laptop basically just uses power like a desktop computer), I wanted to make sure it was actually the battery that was an issue, before I purchased a new one for an aging laptop that I had experienced numerous problems with before, and needed very specific parts for.

So, with my smartphone as a back up internet source, I searched for decent computer repair companies and found a local one that seemed professional, but was a home based company which I assumed would mean cheaper repair costs. Plus, it had a free diagnostic service.

So, I take it along, the lovely, professional guy takes a look and basically tells me the temperamental power-ing up was actually due to a failing graphics card.

I was not expecting that lol.

To repair it, you need specific expensive machinery to basically do something known as a reflow. I mean, if you’re a techy you could attempt the DIY approach via various online resources (some people have put entire motherboards in the oven), but I prefer to leave that to the professionals.

This guy though, he did offer various tips on how to prevent this in the future, and even offered short term solutions (which made me trust his advice/diagnosis, since he was offering up advice that if anything, would lose him business).

These tips he offered can help to get your computer going if you’re experiencing the black-screen-of-nothing, as I have named it, and included:

- Well firstly, I was reprimanded for not using a proper cool, hard surface for regular use. But they’re laptops, I protested, you should be able to use them on the go and on any surface.

That may be the case but if you want a long lasting laptop, it was recommended that I invest in a laptop tray, preferably with a cooling pad with multiple fans. This prevents the hardware from overheating which can cause multiple problems in the future, something to do with overheating metal parts in the laptop.
LED laptop cooling pad

- The extreme cold we had been experiencing could have also played a part as it too can affect the way the metal parts work. It definitely affects battery life, although the biggest drainer of batteries is actually infrequent use.

- A quick-fix tip he suggested was to wrap the laptop in a towel for a few hours. This usually gets the screen to power up.

It’s all quite confusing info between trying to prevent your laptop from overheating, and warming it up as a short-term solution to correct problems you’re having, if you need your computer urgently.
Either way, it became very clear how important it is to regulate the temperature of your laptop.

I’ve looked up this guy’s advice online and he does know what he’s talking about.

My laptop went down the same week I lost a temp job because I had to take a couple of day off for a sprained ankle. Classic case of when-it-rains-it-pours, but because of that I wasn’t in a financial position to buy a brand spanking new laptop, plus the majority of my programmes can only be installed on Windows7. I also didn’t want to spend too much money getting a laptop fixed, as I’ve had to take it in for repairs multiple times now.

Solution? I did a part-exchange with the guy and bought a refurbished laptop for £100. But honestly, waving goodbye to my sleek Sony VAIO laptop that I’ve had for the past 4 years was a feeling not dissimilar to ending a bad long-term relationship with someone you're still attracted to: pretty to look at but proven to have been a massive ballache over the years.

The way we get attached to our electronics, hey?

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