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Author Topic: Would appreciate advice on laptop overheating and registry issue  (Read 4110 times)

mosey

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Hi

I haven't been an active member of DonationCoder (apologies) but I do enjoy reading the newsletter that comes through to my email, and was wondering if it might be possible to get some advice from people here with some problems I've been having with my 5 year old laptop.

1. Laptop Overheating:  I play a very old Valve game called Team Fortress Classic (on Steam), and several months ago, my laptop would suddenly turn off mid-game.

Initially I thought it was the wireless card going awry, as every time I booted the laptop after a sudden-death, I would physically have to press the wireless button on my keyboard to 'reset' the wireless.

But after installing Notebook Hardware Control, I am now wondering if it might be the CPU as the temperature does get rather high sometimes (80 degrees celsius) according to its monitor.

I have now attempted to 'underclock' the CPU using this program, and if I play TFC, I find that my laptop doesn't shut down suddenly, but after about 5-10 mins, my wireless connection will disconnect, only to reconnect again after about 10 seconds (effectively kicking me out of a game)

The laptop model is an NEC Versa e6000, and without knowing where the actual hardware sits, I wonder if the CPU could cause the wireless card to overheat.

If it is the CPU overheating, what would be the best way of dealing with this without using an external laptop cooler?

2. Small registry problem: In a bit to clean up my system a while ago, I started using Revo Uninstaller to uninstall programs. Somewhere along the line I forgot to check each 'registry' entry before deleting, and now when I try to use Launchy (application launcher) or the Start Menu - to open up e.g. 'My Computer' I receive an error:
Quote
This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Folders Options control panel.
If I click on the link on my desktop to My Computer, it works just fine.
 I have tried using the filefix for 'lnk' and 'cpl' reg files at Doug Knox's site, but to no avail.

I know it's rather cheeky of me to ask for help without contributing much towards the community, but any advice would be really much appreciated!

Many thanks.


mrainey

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Re: Would appreciate advice on laptop overheating and registry issue
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2009, 04:48:27 PM »
Fred Langa's thoughts on overheating.

http://www.informati...l?articleID=60300177
Software For Metalworking
http://closetolerancesoftware.com

mouser

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Re: Would appreciate advice on laptop overheating and registry issue
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2009, 05:15:06 PM »
Quote
I know it's rather cheeky of me to ask for help without contributing much towards the community
not at all -- we don't view things that way here -- everyone is welcome to ask for help when they need it.

you're already way ahead of most people in diagnosing your problem.. and it's highly likely you have correctly identified why your computer is spontaneously shutting down.  not only that but figured out a fix for it.

i'm not a hardware expert by any means, but it kind of seems unlikely to me that the heat is responsible for the wireless card losing it's connection.. just because there seem more likely culprits, like the normal annoying dropped connection that occurs relatively frequently for everyone.  wireless usb adapters and pcmcia cards are very cheap these days, and it may pay to just buy one and see if it solves your issue.

[i had a problem with my old laptop suddenly being unable to go to standby properly after i upgraded to windows xp sp3.. after a day of struggling i just said sod it and bought a new $20 network adapter card and the problem was solved; sometimes it really is easier to just replace something than figure out what particular gremlin is on your wing.  however -- if you have a built in network adapter in your laptop that may not be a viable option, though it would be useful if only to tell you if overheating is the the cause].

As for your My Computer issue, i don't know.

TucknDar

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Re: Would appreciate advice on laptop overheating and registry issue
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2009, 05:43:10 PM »
If it is the CPU overheating, what would be the best way of dealing with this without using an external laptop cooler?
Sounds like you've got dust in there. Have you ever cleaned the fans in your laptop? My laptop was overheating (not drastically like yours, but too much) so I found a guide on the net, bought a can of "canned air" and cleaned the fans. Solved it! If you've never cleaned your laptop, I'd put money on dust being the cause of the overheated CPU.

Shades

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Re: Would appreciate advice on laptop overheating and registry issue
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2009, 06:32:36 PM »
When the laptop is older, chances are that you can find a service manual for free. Usually a service manual tells you how to correctly dismantle your laptop. When you have such a manual and some technical knowhow you could be removing all the dust everywhere in the laptop.

The reason that I am not a fan of the canned air solution is that you can (seriously) damage fan(s). Blowing air directly at a fan will make it rotate at an RPM rate it was not designed for. Securing the fan(s) will prevent that, but I'll guarantee you that not all dust bunnies are removed from their burrow otherwise known as your laptop.

Having said that, most dust bunnies do leave so you should notice a drop in temperature.

Come to think of it, when you are able to remove the keyboard from the laptop following the steps from the manual you should have good view of all the dust buildup inside.

mouser

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Re: Would appreciate advice on laptop overheating and registry issue
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2009, 06:49:29 PM »
if you blow air in -- make sure the latop is off first!

4wd

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Re: Would appreciate advice on laptop overheating and registry issue
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2009, 11:04:25 PM »
The reason that I am not a fan of the canned air solution is that you can (seriously) damage fan(s). Blowing air directly at a fan will make it rotate at an RPM rate it was not designed for. Securing the fan(s) will prevent that, but I'll guarantee you that not all dust bunnies are removed from their burrow otherwise known as your laptop.

I agree with you Shades, not only will it rotate the fan at possibly speeds it wasn't designed for but the main reason not to rotate the fan is: you've just turned it into a wind generator and where's all that generated voltage going?  That's right, down those two wires into your motherboard.

Also, regarding compressed air dusters, you're blowing the dust into nooks and crannies where it will just jam in harder.

If you're going to clean the dust out of a PC's internals, grab a soft-bristled brush, gently dislodge the dust/fluff/etc, and then vacuum it out holding any fans to stop them spinning.  Make sure you're grounded and hold onto the vacuum as close to the end of the nozzle as possible to prevent any buildup of static that might discharge into your electronics, (with any luck any buildup will discharge into you instead :P ).

TucknDar

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Re: Would appreciate advice on laptop overheating and registry issue
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2009, 02:57:29 AM »
The canned air has worked for me, but as I said, I found a guide explaining how to use it for my particular laptop. The guide included instructions to secure the fans so they wouldn't rotate. I'd never have tried this without a set of clear instructions. Cotton sticks (don't know a better word for it...) and a vacuum was indeed also very helpful in removing the dust. Temperature during normal use went from about 55C to 40C.

But search for your particular laptop model to find specific instructions, which can hopefully be found somewhere.

40hz

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Re: Would appreciate advice on laptop overheating and registry issue
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2009, 11:42:48 AM »
But search for your particular laptop model to find specific instructions, which can hopefully be found somewhere.

Good advice. If at all possible, never attempt to perform service on any laptop without checking the service manual first. Laptops are often assembled in unorthodox ways, making them very easy to damage accidentally. Since most manufacturers provide free service documentation on their websites, it's usually not worth the risk or hassle of trying to figure things out for yourself. Especially if any disassembly is required. Cracking open a laptop without reading the "take apart" instructions is just asking for trouble - even if you know what you're doing.

We have a saying at my company:

If you don't know what you're doing - check the docs first.
If you do know what you're doing - check the docs anyway.


Just my 2ยข (based on many years of fixing various laptops).
----------

All 118 pages of the Service and Reference Manual for the Versa 6000 Series can be downloaded from NEC at this link:

http://support.necam...load/versa6000sr.pdf

Main support information page for the 6000 series notebooks can be found here:

http://support.necam...notebooks/versa6000/

---------

Note: There are several websites that will sell you copies of service documentation for various machines. Don't bother with them unless you can't obtain a manual directly from the manufacturer.

Tip: Just because the manual you need does not show up on a search of the manufacturer's website doesn't automatically mean it's no longer available. If you can't locate a manual via the search feature, try sending an e-mail to the customer service and/or tech support addresses.

9 times out of 10 they'll get back to you with a link to what you need.

Luck! :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: July 05, 2009, 11:46:41 AM by 40hz »

mosey

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Re: Would appreciate advice on laptop overheating and registry issue
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2009, 05:41:09 PM »
Hi all

Firstly: thank you all very, very much for taking the time to provide little me with all your thoughts and advice!  ;D  I almost thought I'd clicked on the wrong thread as I read through the many different posts.

After going through what everyone has said, I think it might be best for me to start by clearing out this dust.

As TucknDar asked, I haven't actually ever cleared out the laptop fan of 'dust' (just attempting to hoover around the back of the grill)  so this might well be a major factor. I was about to rush out to buy a can of this compressed air (I've used it in the office for my keyboard) after reading through mrainey's link by Fred Langa. Then read about the possibility of electrical discharges and fans turning the wrong way mentioned by Shades and 4wd and so decided to hold back.

This really is a huge learning curve for me (and a big phew!) - it seems like there are quite a few  pitfalls to look out for -  I had a look at the service and reference manual links kindly posted by 40hz, but realised that NEC have, very surprisingly, posted downloadable service manuals for some really old models (e.g. Versa 6000)  and really news ones, but nothing for those inbetween (including my Versa E6000) - so I've taken his advice and have dropped Tech Support an email to request for a similar manual.

Hopefully I'll be able to identify all the necessaries specific to the Versa E6000 to start clearing out the dust very soon, but if push comes to shove, I think I will take up mouser's advice and just buy a new one.

Especially now that the wireless seems to disconnect much more during normal use, it might be time for a hardware change.

Thank you all very much for your advice!  :Thmbsup: As mentioned in my first post, they are all really appreciated - I certainly never thought that there could be so many things to try and think about, but this is very very helpful.