Acer L100 overheating annoyingly
September 1, 2007 6:22 AM   Subscribe

Can you help my ACER L100 stop over-heating? (Please say yes, I'm trying to write my thesis!)

I have a new Acer L100. It worked like a dream for the first 4 months I had it. Now, although I haven't moved it, it started to act funny, like so:

1) Fans would start whirrling super-noisily and/or just shut off
2) The computer will freeze
3) Computer shuts down.

This is a relatively new thing. At first I thought it was some virus or sth, but no. I see many complaints about this online.

Incidentally, I find that by switching it from vertical to horizontal position once the fans turn off, it will work fine - but I'm afraid of losing my thesis.

Any other Acer users out there with this experience? How did you solve it? Ideas, suggestions, insight much appreciated. Don't want to send it back to Acer now (but maybe later, still under warranty I think).


PS. Using Windows XP
posted by mateuslee to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)

The unit can only be run in the vertical stand (as advertised in the specs)otherwise it overheats. Even in the vertical position the bottom of the unit runs hot internaly(more than 115 deg) with the full sized 3.5' HD installed. When the unit goes into standby mode the temp jumps to 125 deg when the fan shuts off. The case needs to be about 1 inch thicker to allow better air flow around the chipset and hard drive.
posted by mateuslee at 6:24 AM on September 1, 2007

I can't answer the Acer question, but if you are really concerned about losing your thesis, can you find an online backup somewhere? Upload it to, for example, and update it at regular intervals. Then, if the computer does crash, you can still retrieve a version of it from another pc.
posted by natb71 at 6:39 AM on September 1, 2007

Yes, thanks. Using Mozy as a matter of fact. Seems like a good product... check it out.
posted by mateuslee at 6:44 AM on September 1, 2007

Go grab a desk fan or something and place it at the air intake, see if you can get some extra air into it. Can you open the case (without voiding the warranty) and blow air directly on to it?
posted by defcom1 at 7:15 AM on September 1, 2007

A hair dryer set to blow with no heat aimed at the intake of the laptop is one workaround until you can fix it.
posted by Floydd at 7:55 AM on September 1, 2007

Check for dust/animal fur buildup and vacuum any found (don't use a blower to push dirt deeper into the system).

Use spacers to raise the base off the desktop for better airflow.

Try leaving the CD drawer open for more airflow.

Disable the online virus scanner and similar programs, schedule complete scans when you're not working.

Use MSCONFIG to disable all of the unnecessary startup items and services.

Does your BIOS setup have low CPU speed, memory settings or fan control options?

You might even try 16bit color on your display.

Backup, backup...
posted by Fins at 8:38 AM on September 1, 2007

Sound like a typical dirt problem - go and vacuum your machines parts. Or get a can of compressed air and give your machine a proper blowjob. Also check if all ventilators are working. For a short term fix get a strong ventilator and let it blow at the right parts / places.
posted by homodigitalis at 8:48 AM on September 1, 2007

Thanks guys - I'll try this soon. Perhaps cat hair? I'll try to suck it out. I guess I can't use a normal vacuum, can I?
posted by mateuslee at 9:16 AM on September 1, 2007

Go grab a desk fan or something and place it at the air intake, see if you can get some extra air into it. Can you open the case (without voiding the warranty) and blow air directly on to it?

I second this as a temporary but very successful solution. Pop the case, point a desk fan at the internals. I have in my desk drawer a mostly busted hard drive that only works for more than 5 minutes if I do this.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:29 AM on September 1, 2007

Yes, a regular vacuum with the pointy attachment. Maybe a small paint brush to help loosen stuff. No blowers please.

Small parts don't like dirt jet-propelled at them. Compressed air = early breakdown
posted by Fins at 9:43 AM on September 1, 2007

Caution with the vacuum cleaner, it can cause some great static problems, and fry bits. (I put the nozzle a bit away from the parts, and blow dust towards it when it's lodged stubbornly)
posted by defcom1 at 9:48 AM on September 1, 2007

You might try this after cleaning the system. I have a friend who uses his laptop 24/7 (?) and thinks this is very helpful.
posted by rmhsinc at 1:25 PM on September 1, 2007

This is a pad (stand) for keeping laptops cool. Just google "fan laptop stand pad" or something similar
posted by rmhsinc at 1:29 PM on September 1, 2007

Sorry--not a laptop I guess. EOM
posted by rmhsinc at 1:31 PM on September 1, 2007

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