How to fix a laptop that keeps shutting down (caused by overheating)

overheating_laptopWe have an Acer Aspire 5733 laptop, bought Christmas 2011 (which means it is currently about 5 and a half years old). It’s a basic Intel i3 laptop, but I upgraded it to SSD which means it’s still fast enough for general use (and low-end games).

However, about a year ago it started randomly crashing and shutting down. It started off fairly rare, but in the past 6 months it got much worse. It finally came to a point where it would not last more than about 45 minutes without switching itself off. There was no error message, the screen just went blank/black, and the entire machine went off. Originally we thought it was only when playing a specific game (Football Manager) but eventually it would do it even when just doing simple tasks like web browsing.

Simultaneously, we have noticed that the laptop fan has got noisier and noisier. Clearly it was overheating and then (eventually) its self-protection mechanism kicked in (once the temperature had exceeded its limits).

Researching on the internet it seems that:

  • Laptops shutting down due to overheating is a common issue
  • The Acer 5733 seems particularly prone to it, because of a design fault of where its CPU is with respect to the fan and the temperature sensor etc
  • To prove it, you can install some software which shows you the temperature of your CPU

Several solutions are on the internet, for example:

However, I just needed a quick and easy solution, so I bought an Opolar LC06 Laptop Fan Cooler with Temperature Display

laptop_external_fan

I paid £26, and I think it was worth every penny.I could have bought cheaper ones (similar fans were on sale for £10 and £20) but I liked this one because

(a) it had great reviews

(b) mainly because it had a visible temperature gauge (so I could have confidence that it was working).

My feedback is:

  • When the machine was first switched on, the temperature gauge read approximately 25-27C
  • During intensive CPU work, the temperature typically rose to around 37C
  • At one ‘bad’ point, it rose to 42C, but it fell back afterwards.

It has fixed my laptop, and I wholeheartedly recommend them to everyone whose laptop is randomly shutting down!

 

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