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Laptop overheats, not sure what to do

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November 11, 2012 10:09:15 AM

Ok, so I'm just a fifteen year old girl who likes to play games, I'm no computer-geek who has a lot of experience with computers, therefore if I get any replies, it'd be great if they're very detailed and easy to understand.

So about 6-12 months ago I began to notice that my laptop got rather hot when playing games. It sometimes crashed too, but I could handle it, since I could at least play for 30 minutes before it shut down.
However, now it's crossed the line. I can only play a game for about 6-14 minutes before it overheats and crashes.
I've cleaned up my computer, erased any excess data etc etc, but it hasn't really been laggy,
it just gets hot, so, I've come to the conclusion that it must be because of dust in the fan/vent (is that the same thing? I told you I'm a newbie ok).

However, I have never opened a laptop before, so I'm not sure of what to do.
From browsing around the net I've learnt that it's pretty risky opening a laptop, and that if I *** up somewhere along the way, my whole computer could be fucked. And I would not like that...
I don't have the time or money to have it repaired. Do you think I could still do it on my own? I could ask my dad to help me but then I'd probably have to wait 2-3 weeks because I won't have the time until then.
I can also ask a couple of friends.

I have a Toshiba Satellite A500D 10E, and I got it when I was thirteen, so it's about 2-3 years old.

I can't staaaaand not being able to play any games.
Please help.

also there's a chance that I've posted this in the wrong forum. If that's the case, then I'm sorry.

More about : laptop overheats

a b D Laptop
November 11, 2012 10:25:34 AM

the bottom of the laptop has vents for air intake, the side/back should have output vents. get a can of compressed air (photo shops/amazon/radioshack) and blow both ways. If your laptop has a panel on the bottom it is safe to remove that, and blow through the heat sink and fan but don't disassemble any further than that.

Have you been playing new games over the last few years? if so then they will be stressing your system more and hence generating more heat. try lowering the resolution, putting everything on low, making sure that v-sync is on, this will help minimise the heat generated.

Unfortunately laptops are rarely built to play games unless you are talking >1k and even then they would be limited.
November 11, 2012 10:34:36 AM

Well, it is can be pretty risky to open and (un)install things in a laptop.

Removing dust depends entirely on the laptop in question. With mine I can do it removing only body-parts (or at least most of it), but a quick look at youtube tells me its not so easy with yours.
There are a few videos there about cleaning Toshiba satellites which give you a decent idea what is involved in this. Look at one and then decide whether you feel up to trying that or you feel more comfortable doing this with your dad.
I don't know the exact layout of your laptop bodywork, perhaps you can access your fan without having to completely disassemble your computer. If this is the case it is entirely doable.

It's just removing dust from between any other two things. The two things in between the dust is held will not break down if you scratch them. These are a fan, a scratched surface is no big deal, and the exit is a metal grate, a scratched metal grate is no big deal. Pick dust from between these two things and airflow should be able to perform its cooling function again.

EVERYTHING ELSE is VERY susceptible to dying if you scratch it. The fan and grate are big enough this should not happen.


Then: Stop taking this thing to bed. Or get a portable laptop table thingy.
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a b D Laptop
November 11, 2012 10:41:59 AM

resting on a hard surface is always good.
a b D Laptop
November 11, 2012 11:24:43 AM

Compressed air sound advice, but if that fails you may have to get help to dismantle your laptop to clean thoroughly. You'll find instructions here
http://www.irisvista.com/tech/laptops/Toshiba-Satellite...
There are also videos available.
Sometimes there is a build up of dust inside the fan which can only be removed by dismantling.
November 11, 2012 7:13:19 PM

Thank you guys so much, I'll look into what you've said :) 
!