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I have a 3 yr old laptop (Thinkpad T61) which runs seemingly much hotter than it used to. It's not uncomfortable to touch, but I wonder whether I should do something about it. It does get uncomfortable if I have it on my lap (which I rarely need to do). I haven't made any mods to the laptop other than a bigger HD, and I recently cleaned up the inside (superficially - I didn't remove the fan).

Are fans items that should be changed regularly?

Edit: I use the laptop plugged in 90%+ of the time.



PS: I know that a 3-yr old laptop is old tech, but this one works perfectly so....

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A 3 year old Lenovo is fine. People even us 6-8 year old IBM ThinkPads, dont joke with us. :P | As ctrl_freak suggests, you can easily disassemble it. Check Lenovo's page for manuals, but you can do it simply by unscrewing the bottom part. After its taken apart, use 'canned air' (don't know it's english name sorry) to get the dust out. HOWEVER, if you take it to a Lenovo service, they will do this for free (don't care about warranty) as far as I know. At least they cleaned mine for free (though it was still in warranty, but they said its free). – Shiki May 25 '10 at 14:16

I've seen plenty of times that dust and crap accumulate against the inner part of the heatsink. This is often covered by a piece of pliable aluminium that is stuck onto the fan. Try unscrewing the fan and heatsink completely (which often means taking the entire chassis apart). A short term fix is to force air backwards through the vent/heatsink. This should dislodge some crap, and may give you an indication of how much it needs to be cleaned.

If you have not pulled a laptop completely apart before, I don't suggest doing it unassisted by someone who has. It is a large project that can take longer than an hour.

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Had an older Gateway running hot and this is what returned it to normal. – Bratch May 25 '10 at 14:53

Is it the battery? Over the past couple of years there have been a few recalls on IBM/Lenovo batteries. Might be worth checking the website to see.

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I know this is an old post, but in case anybody sees this - there ARE a number of recalled IBM/Lenovo batteries. There are also a few that aren't technically recalls (no safety concern) but have an out-of-warranty free replacement period due to service issues. NONE of these tend to exhibit overheating beyond normal though - they tend to just quit working. (Lenovo Power Manager will inform you the battery has encountered an irreparable error or something to that effect.) – Shinrai Aug 11 '10 at 15:17

Writing an "answer" because last time I got bitten because its an answer, not a comment.
Here is a good howto, using a ThinkPad: << Totally what I told about at first. Just follow the instructions.

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One option is to use a "laptop cooler pad". You can read about laptop coolers on this Wikipedia page.

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