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I have been using this Dell Latitude D620 for a while now. The system becomes quite hot even when I've not plugged it in. Anyone know what might be causing it & how I can reduce operarting temperature?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The latitude D620 is a pretty old model, and there's a few physical and non physical causes of heating

I'd start with the 'easy' non invasive test see if your system is heavily loaded for some reason. Task manager should work for this. If your system is consistantly at high load - and if so, kill the process that's causing this. If its due to this, updating the program that's doing this or removing it altogether helps

A very common cause of this could be due to dust clogging up heatsinks and with some older systems, heat-sink compound drying up. You may want to try cleaning the heatsinks with air-duster/'canned air'. In some cases you may be able to do it without disassembly but for a through job, grab the service manual and disassemble the system before you do. You could also change the heatsink paste while the system is disassembled. Clean off the old stuff carefully with isopryl alcohol and apply thinly over the processor before reassembling.

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thank you so much. I'm a bit scared to do it myself. I might give it in a service shop for cleaning :) – Uma Feb 4 '13 at 13:12
wot exactly is the heatsink paste? – Uma Feb 4 '13 at 13:31
It's a layer of paste, often silver based, that is applied between the CPU and the heatsink to improve the conduction of heat from the CPU to the heatsink. It's also often called thermal paste. – BBlake Feb 4 '13 at 13:54
If you need to ask what thermal paste is, puget systems has a pair of great articles on various brands of paste and application methods. If the grey gunk on your processor looks less gunky and more chalky, its possibly the cause of your problems. – Journeyman Geek Feb 4 '13 at 14:33

Same as always. Clean the heatsinks.

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Try to reinstall the ACPI Drivers, maybe this can solve the problem. Plus you can vacuum clean inside your laptop, but be really careful!

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