Mobile Minutes: Overheating

This is a true story:

My laptop is an incredible eight years old. It still does what it is suppose to except for one MAJOR problem. It overheats like an old Yugo.

I’m not kidding; it’s a horrible experience. I’m in the middle of work, FilingThePapers, a movie, or SimCity 4 and bloop…it’s gone. I mean, I’ve clocked this thing at 210 degrees before it kicked off. Scary high numbers.

I’m getting a mobile Chromebook in September, and this laptop is so big, it never really is much of a laptop. So, it’s time to turn it into a PC for good. Today I had enough while working on a post; the stupid thing kicked off twice and I’m tired of running the A/C in the apartment, just so the laptop won’t turn off.

I got creative and tapped into my trailer park roots.

Reaching into my tool kit I removed a small screwdriver, and began to remove the back plate of the laptop. I’ve worked on PC’s before, but they always told you not to mess with a laptop. To heck with them!

I removed the back plate to realize that ACER is full of idiots. The plate was blocking the exhaust for the fan…the only fan in the laptop. That plate is not going back on the laptop, but the circuitry, which is exposed, can’t just sit on the table.

The Process:

  1. Remove back plate from laptop
  2. Straddle laptop over a glass bowl and turn on
  3. Note that it is operating at least twenty degrees cooler versus when the plate was on
  4. Grab cooler plate that has three exhaust fans [that don’t work]
  5. Rip out the three exhaust fans
  6. Turn cooler plate upside down [upright it sits at a 45 degree angle]
  7. Place laptop, without back plate, on the cooler place edges; perfectly straddling the computer, and keeping all circuits and boards free of any contact of…anything
  8. Bring small desk fan to the side of the unit
  9. Turn fan on to blow a constant current through the space between the laptop and the desk
  10. Turn on laptop
Laptop straddling over glass bowl to record initial temperature without the back plate being attached.

Laptop straddling over glass bowl to record initial temperature without the back plate being attached.

I’ve been running this setup for nearly twenty minutes. Only once has the laptop reached 160 degrees; immediately shooting back to the standard 144-149 range.



Now where’d that duct tape go…

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