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Run a laptop while it's closed?
October 31, 2008 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Can I make my Dell laptop keep running when it is closed?

I recently bought this Dell laptop. Don't ask me why -- I needed a laptop right away and it looked like the best thing at BestBuy at the moment. Anyway, I'm mostly happy with it, but I want it to run when it's shut.

As I announced in this AskMe answer, I have a new tv tuner that plugs into the usb port. Thing is, I also often have the laptop connected to an external monitor. For purely aesthetic reasons, I want to be able to close the laptop and still have it output the video to the external monitor. Is this possible? I've looked at the manual and googled but I can't find out how to do this.
posted by trip and a half to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Open control-panel, go to power-options, select "what happens when I close the lid", set as desired.
posted by nomisxid at 12:01 PM on October 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's going to overheat if you do that.
posted by scabrous at 12:01 PM on October 31, 2008


You rock, nomisxid! I knew there had to be a way to do it.

scabrous: I'll keep an eye on it.
posted by trip and a half at 12:05 PM on October 31, 2008


oops, sorry, the exact text is "Choose what closing the lid does".

And scabrous is not likely to be correct. I run 3 laptops in closed-99%-of-the-time configurations, and the only one that overheats does so because I'm playing WoW in max-res, and a simple $10 laptop cooler takes care of that machine.
posted by nomisxid at 12:05 PM on October 31, 2008


Thanks again, nomisxid. You have made my home entertainment solution complete. And I will look into a laptop cooler (had no idea they existed) if necessary.

Thanks again to both of you!
posted by trip and a half at 12:22 PM on October 31, 2008


Laptops that are fanless will overheat when run like this. Laptops with fans (Im pretty sure all Dells have fans) should be okay unless youre pegging the CPU and Video at 100% for long periods.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:32 PM on October 31, 2008


I have a Fujitsu that I leave closed all the time; it's my mail/Web server. Until recently I had been running Folding@Home on it, pegging the CPU pretty much continuously. No problems. If the machine wasn't designed to run that way, it wouldn't give you the option.
posted by kindall at 12:35 PM on October 31, 2008


Laptops that are fanless will overheat when run like this.

Only if they are exceedingly poorly designed, no-name laptops. Some laptops are fanless because they put out less heat by using low-power components and don't need a fan, not because the manufacturer decided to save money by eliminating a $0.20 fan!!

Besides, all brand-name laptops (Dell, IBM, Toshiba, etc) will have been stress-tested in all conceivable scenarios and shouldn't fail from overheating just because you've got the lid closed. Can you imagine all the warranty issues, recalls and lost profits Dell would have to deal with if they hadn't anticipated this?
posted by randomstriker at 1:16 PM on October 31, 2008


My husband keeps his dell laptop running (closed) permanently, and for sixteen hours a day, it's in a laptop backback. Hasn't overheated yet.
posted by changeling at 1:16 PM on October 31, 2008


Thank you, everyone! This is all useful information, and I am now enjoying my Netflix cd of the first season of The Prisoner without having to see the blank screen on the laptop at the same time.
posted by trip and a half at 1:59 PM on October 31, 2008


>Only if they are exceedingly poorly designed, no-name laptops.

Panasonic toughbook. Not exactly no name.

>Some laptops are fanless because they put out less heat by using low-power components and don't need a fan, not because the manufacturer decided to save money by eliminating a $0.20 fan!!

I never said they did, but a fanless design is usually worse than a design with a fan for this kind of thing. Ive seen it with the toughbooks and others.
posted by damn dirty ape at 4:43 PM on October 31, 2008


People who have docking stations keep their laptop closed while running all the time without problems. I know I've never had any trouble in the more than 15 years I've had laptops at work.
posted by rfs at 5:45 AM on November 1, 2008


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