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I've got a Gateway P-6860FX laptop that has started shutting down automatically off late because the GPU gets overheated when I play any decent game. I can see that there's a lot of gunk around the GPU fan and I am suspecting the vent is probably clogged up too. It seems fairly straightforward to take it apart if all you need to do is fiddle with the memory or the wireless card or the hard drive. The GPU seems to be behind the main casing and taking that off will take a little doing it appears.

I googled a bit but didn't get anything worthwhile (though I did see posts by some folks claiming that they were able to get to the GPU fan - so it looks like this may be possible). I am in touch with the Gateway support folks as well (haven't heard from them yet), but would prefer to not have to send the laptop in or something like that and I am pretty sure I am out of warranty now.

Has anyone done this? Please help! Thanks!

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

If the machine is over a year old, then yes, it's probably out of warranty. I've had similar issues with an HP machine.

I've done this, but not all of the way. I can pretty much get you about half way there. Read slowly and carefully please. Print it out if you want.

First of all, Go SLOWLY The key is to not rush through things. We don't want to knock anything on to the floor and break or lose it. Keep a neat work area when doing this and give yourself room.

Second,keep all screws in labeled cups or containers. I labeled them based on where they came from on the machine and how many there should be in the cup. (eg: bottom - 12) Of course, numbers and locations vary. Break it up in a waay that you will remember where each screw goes. The screws will vary in size and length so you need to keep track of this.

Next, Look for all of the screws on the bottom. There should be icons or letters on the case next to each screw to show what it is for. (M for memory, or a little picture on the case of a memory stick.) You can safely ignore the RAM, Hard Drive and Wireless card slots (if they are there) but to be safe remove any wifi cards/ram carefully, and place them on your workspace in a safe place.

To open your machine, there are three things to do to start. One, pry off a faceplate that is located between the monitor and the keyboard on. Gently use a flathead screwdriver to do this. The second thing is to remove keyboard and the third, remove the screen.

To remove the keyboard, you are going to need to look on the bottom of the machine for some screws on some models, on others, under the faceplate on top of the keyboard. Once those screws are safely stashed away, gently (I know I keep saying this,but it needs to be this way) pry the keyboard up and tug slightly until you feel/see the ribbon cable that attaches it to the motherboard. You will need to remove it. The ribbon cable attached to the keyboard should have some sort of clasp on the motherboard so carefully figure out how to unclip it and set aside the keyboard. Next, you need to remove the monitor. There are generally 2 screws on the back ov the computer and 2-4 on the hinges inside that hold the monitor together with the rest of the machine. Be careful here because you don't want to crack the screen. Remove those screws and put the monitor aside. Now the fun begins...

Turn the machine over so that the keyboard side is on the bottom. Remove all the screws, setting them aside for later. Remove any cards/memory that you didn't already. remove the battery and the DVD drive as well. Look for screws underneath the cards.

To remove the hard drive: It is either in a bay on the bottom or the side or on the front. If it's on the side, you probably need to unscrew something, which you may have covered already. The same holds true for the drive if its in the front. If it's on the bottom, you would have covered it when removing all devices with face plates over them.

I couldn't figure out how to remove my DVD drive at first. Some laptops have a battery-style clasp and others require you to push it out from the back with a screwdriver. (Stick it through the hole on the side of the memoory or wifi card bay) Again this depends on the layout of the machine.

Once you've gotten everything out of the bottom of the machine, look around the DVD bay and / or hard drive bay for any screws that may have been revealed be the drives. I couldn't remove the top plate from my machine because I missed a screw and I was frustrated - I spent a while looking for a screw above the DVD drive.

Then I got to the point where I gave up because there were too many wires coming form the screen. I didn't want to mess up anything so I closed it up. I got a can of canned air to clean the vent, but the GPU (Graphics card) sutll gets too hot...

Good luck. Hope this helps.

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Wow! This sounds like a mini-weekend project. Maybe I'll give this a shot tomorrow. Thanks for the detailed response - I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again! – Raj Jan 3 '10 at 5:12
Yea - I did it on a Friday and it took a few hours between breaks to help around the house. – Moshe Jan 3 '10 at 5:56
Well, I got as far as removing the keyboard and the faceplate between the keyboard and the monitor but couldn't get very far beyond that! Sigh! Looks like I'll have to head down the local repair shop - the Gateway folks want $59 for 30 minutes of telephone support! Thanks for your inputs though! – Raj Jan 4 '10 at 15:53
OK, good luck. It does take some prior experience, i guess. I've tinkered with many desktops before. – Moshe Jan 5 '10 at 16:01
I finally got sick enough of the laptop shutting down on me that I decided to give this another shot and this time, I am happy to say, I was successful! :) Apart from your comments I also found this detailed guide here very helpful - So if anyone else wants to do this then Moshe's answer above and the guide are your best bet! Now the GPU hardly ever goes over 75 C even with demanding games and it hasn't shut down one me so far. :D – Raj Oct 16 '10 at 10:07

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protected by BinaryMisfit Oct 11 '10 at 18:00

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