I've recently been getting in to playing PC games on my laptop, but unfortunately nearly every time I play, my computer overheats and shuts off after 5-10 minutes.

Although I have not checked the temperature while playing (I don't want it to overheat again), I can hear the fan whirring progressively louder as the game runs until it shuts down.

Here are my specs:

Model: Lenovo Win7 PC
Processor: Intel Core i7-2670QM CPU @ 2.2 GHz
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit

I really know nothing about computers, so I have no idea how to fix this problem. The graphics card is an Nvidia GeForce GT 555M. I'm not sure how important that is though, because this is happening with older games (like Half-Life 2) too. I would appreciate any advice or suggestions.

  • Do you smoke around the computer? – kobaltz Jul 31 '13 at 2:26
  • No, I've never smoked near my laptop. – Rowan K. Jul 31 '13 at 2:32
  • Try getting a can of air and blow through at the heat sinks. I've had to take apart a few laptops and use denatured alcohol and qtips to clean out the components (heat sinks and pipes) and used it to remove thermal paste on the cpu, gpu and chipset to put some artic5 down. – kobaltz Jul 31 '13 at 2:34
  • So to do this, would I have to take apart my laptop and blow air into it? Or could I just do this into the vent area on it? – Rowan K. Jul 31 '13 at 2:38
  • You could first try the vents. Otherwise you would be looking to take it apart if it didn't help; either to do what I said above or to replace faulty fans. – kobaltz Jul 31 '13 at 2:39

The video card in your computer is getting too hot.

Choose laptop location

Don't use your laptop on your bed or your lap. Place your laptop on a hard surface like a table when playing games. Fabric from your clothes, or your comforter can block the inlet fans. You could also buy a laptop stand which provides extra ventilation.

Install Speedfan

Speedfan is a free program that will tell you what temperatures you are hitting in your laptop. Temperatures up to 80c are nothing to be worried about. Anything higher, and the laptop may shutdown to protect itself.

Dust Out the fans

If the fans become clogged with dust, their ability to cool your laptop will suffer. Buy some 'caned air' from your local computer store, and blow out all the dust.

Do not let the canned air spin the fans too quickly! Caned air can destroy fans. Use short controlled bursts.

Find a local expert

If your computer is still overheating, then take it to a computer repair shop. They will be able to diagnose if the thermal paste should be replaced, or if you are experiencing early signs of hardware failure.

|improve this answer|||||

I'm having this problem too, but I find that propping your laptop up really helps. I'm currently using a Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix book.

|improve this answer|||||

I had a similar problem on 3 different computers. My desktop was constantly crashing with a blue screen with the message (CPU fan has failed). At other times it gave me a message about Clock interrupt on CPU core 2 & numerous other different messages with every shutdown when it bluescreened.

I called HP Tech support & fooled around with this problem - I tried replacing the hard drive because kept getting shutdowns with messages like hard drive corrupted, file errors and so on. I tried PC Doctor but never could isolate a problem. This went on for 4yrs.

I was reading a blog on HP TECH. problem/solutions & saw a mention of CPU/Thermal Paste/Overheating. I checked the heat sink on CPU & the Thermal Paste was hardened, heat sink was clogged with dust & the fan that sits on it & pulls air onto it was full of dust(like a vacuum cleaner).

I ordered Thermal Paste from vendor on EBAY & I cleaned the CPU & heat sink surfaces with brake cleaner or alternately use 70% or 91% Alcohol. Then I applied small amount of Thermal Paste & rubbed it back & forth till it was evenly & thinly applied between Heat sink & CPU

I've fixed multiple systems of different ages that "Would not boot" by taking it it apart, removing the heat sink & fan, & cleaned thoroughly,removing the old thermal paste to apply new thermal paste to CPU/HEAT Sink Surfaces. It booted right up & everything started working like it was new.

I can tell you right now that compressed air will only make it worse, since it just pushes the built up dust deeper into your computer housing and does nothing to actually remove it.

If you remove the heat sink or any component that has thermal paste, you must clean and reapply thermal paste. I've found that with systems more than 5 years old, dust built up causes systems to overheat and run hotter.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 3
    This is a very low quality answer, in that it is extremely difficult to follow anything on this post. I would suggest using the Edit function to clean up this post with proper grammar, and separate it in some paragraphs for readability. If not, it is very likely it will get lost in the great recycling bin of the Internet – Canadian Luke Jul 31 '13 at 4:50
  • In addition, you do NOT want to use brake fluid on a computer - isopropyl alcohol is what most folk recommend. – Journeyman Geek Jul 31 '13 at 6:08
  • @JourneymanGeek Addendum: 90%+, typically 99%+ is recommended. 70% rubbing alcohol isn't that great. – Bob Jul 31 '13 at 6:21
  • I've fixed up this answer, as much as possible. One thing I missed in the original is the mention of 'caked up heat sink compound' - while it can happen, its useful to know that laptops often use thermal pads rather than thermal compound (which can be mistaken for dried up thermal compound), and these have different physical characteristics to thermal compound. You may not always be able to swap one for the other. When thermal compound does dry up, its chalky and crumbly – Journeyman Geek Jul 31 '13 at 6:38

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.