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Not your average question here I know but thought it would be fun to get some points of view...

I'm on a tight schedule and my laptop keeps turning off because it's overheating due to the crazy heat in the UK at the moment...

So I'm looking for a DIY (Its 2am here) way of keeping laptop cool.. I won't down vote no matter how bizarre , wacky , tips, suggestions innovative , lame whatever..

Brainstorming exercise...

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give the laptop a good cm of room at the bottom - I used rubber feet to lift the laptop up, and allow airflow under the laptop –  PostMan Jun 30 '10 at 0:06
    
    
Just keep it clean. Clean the dust out. You can get a blower and blow in through the ventilation outlets to get the dust out. –  tapan Jun 30 '10 at 7:36
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 30 '10 at 0:07

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7 Answers

Open the case and clean the dust out of your heatsinks. Seriously, whenever you have heat problems, dustbusting should be one of the first things you do.

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oh yeah. that's for sure. –  studiohack Jun 30 '10 at 0:26
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You can try to use a cooling pad. See this SU post for example.

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If you must work and don't need the eye candy, try disablid aero and other graphic enhancements.

Also, other hw resource intensive software could keep your HD or CD spinning all the time.

Games should be out of the questions, as they stress all components.

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Prop your laptop up on a few books or something to provide airflow underneath the computer. Get a fan blowing in there. If you're felling corageous, put some ice and water on your computer in tripple-bagged ziplock plastic bags.

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My wife used one of those therapeutic ice packs they sell at the pharmacy (she says it works like a charm...)

I personally used to use a USB-powered laptop cooler when I used to have a PC laptop. Now I have a macbook pro, for some reason it rarely gets that hot (maybe I'm not working hard enough...!)

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Assuming that you don't need the full calculation power of your laptop, install a program like Notebook Hardware Control (normally dedicated to save battery, but can be used in this case to reduce heat).

Then, use it to:

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+1 I love love love Notebook Hardware Control. I use it on a Toshiba tablet PC that's in a tablet case, which means that it has a harder time cooling. I also have it set to alert me when the temperature reaches certain ranges. –  GalacticCowboy Jun 30 '10 at 19:27
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I live in Singapore where it's regularly 33 Celsius (92 Fahrenheit), so we do know a thing or two about cooling your notebook.

Since the common ways have been stated here, I am going to state a real hacker's way of cooling your notebook - the good ol' thermal compound swap. WARNING: Not for the faint-hearted.

Heat is transferred from your notebook components out of the notebook through the fan(s) and heatsink design, and the it is in your favor to ensure that the heat is transferred from your components such as the CPU/GPU to the heatsink as fast and as efficiently as possible.

Usually notebook thermal compounds are good, but there are after-market compounds that are BETTER, sometimes MUCH BETTER.

I do this to all my notebooks - open up the notebook, separate the heatsink assembly, clean up all the old thermal compound junk with an alcohol swab. Then go get some Artic Silver 5 (one of the best thermal compounds out there) pictured below, and apply. Reassemble the heatsink assembly and your notebook.

alt text

On average, you can see a 3 degrees celcius drop in your operating temperature. If you are even more gung-ho, swap out the notebook fan with a silent, more powerful after-market alternative.

Also, at times when my notebook is still warm, I actually drill small holes into the casing after studying the airflow. I have only done this on ONE occasion though, and it's because it was simply running too hot - managed to drop it by another 2 celsius.

P.S Please be sure you know what you are doing before trying this - not responsible for a bricked notebook.

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