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I have a pretty old laptop: Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Li1718. Last year I have cleaned the parts inside the case, there was a lot of dust. Laptop had started to work a lot quieter and it was a lot cooler.

Last 2-3 months it is almost all the time spinning the fan at full speed. It is hotter than it was after cleaning but.. I have opened the case during normal work and .. I just started to touching some parts trying not to short any circuitry. And you know what? I have discovered that the CPU, GPU, heat pipe and other parts are just pretty warm, but.. WiFi card is just burning. I can't keep the outer side of my hand/finger longer than a second one the thin metal cover of the card. Why would the WiFi card got so hot? I suppose it has a lost smaller wattage than CPU / GPU..

Any ideas?

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2 Answers 2

With mini-pci wireless cards, this can sometimes happen when an antenna coax cable isn't terminated properly (damaged) or connected to the card properly. Some cards will actually go so far as to disable this antenna when this occurs, but other cards will just heat up as a damaged or improperly connected antenna is essentially creating a short.

Double check your re-assembly job. Make sure you did not pinch the antenna leads anywhere (they go from the card, up through a hole to the other side of the motherboard, through one of the hinges and to either side of the screen), make sure that the antenna leads are not touching any motherboard contacts where a short could be occurring (the insulation on the antenna coax is quite thin), and make sure the antenna coax are properly connected to the card.

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Thanks to your suggestion I have found the solution. It is a damaged SB. More details in my answer below. –  qlf00n May 26 '12 at 21:32
    
@dygi so... it's always been getting very hot, you just hadn't noticed before? Or the SB just started getting that hot recently? –  Bon Gart May 26 '12 at 21:33
    
Recently (last few months). When I cleaned the laptop last year, it was working in idle even almost without spinning the fan. Considering ambient temperature about 20 Celsius degrees the fan is now spinning at 3/4 of the speed constantly which wasn't the case since I bought it. I have noticed the fan few months back bud didn't have the time to investigate it a little deeper. –  qlf00n Jun 10 '12 at 18:14

I have found the problem. Under the WiFi card there is a south bridge. In this model it is SB460 which is known for causing many problems. I have removed the WiFi card and started the laptop. The SB got very hot in very short time. The repair cost is not worth to be considered so I am going to let it as it is. If it get worse I will just take the hdd drive out of the laptop and utilize the electronics.

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