How's The Condition Of Your Laptop Computer?

By The WindChime

Laptop computers are supposed to last between five to seven years. But one day last week, I was starting a repair work on my father's 3-year old laptop computer whose power circuitry simply went dead. When I opened the unit I discovered a thick layer of lint and dust accumulating in the cooling gills of the unit's copper heat sink/radiator. This condition prevented the external air sucked in by the internal cooling fan to circulate and exit from the unit since the exhaust passage through the heat radiator's gills is clogged with bonded particles of dust. When such condition occurs, heat quickly builds up inside the laptop until one (or more) of its electronic components overheats and fails.

In my years of experience as a computer technician, I can say that most of the common hardware-related failures occurring in laptop computers today can be traced to overheating as the main cause. This is because in the tightly confined and very limited space inside any laptop, the ventilation is very poor and this condition is conducive to overheating. The combined heat that is simultaneously generated by the so many compact electronic components cramped inside the laptop's circuitry builds up quickly and, if not exhausted fast enough, could heat-compromise component parts inside and cause them to fail. This is the reason it is very critical for laptop computers that their internal cooling system's efficiency be maintained and must be in top working condition all the time.

Every time you use your laptop computer the internal cooling system of your laptop sucks air from its surrounding environment to cool itself. As air is taken in by the cooling fan, some dusts and other very tiny particles floating in the air around the laptop's close vicinity are also sucked in. While most of these tiny particles are carried away by the stream of of the exhaust air out of the system, a few amount of them get deposited in the area around the cooling system's exhaust passage when the laptop is turned off. And as the laptop cools down, these deposit of dusts and other tiny particles will attract themselves electrostatically bonding together to form a very fine layer of cobweb-like material. As time goes by, the continued use of the laptop without periodically cleaning its internal area can cause the accumulation of dusts and tiny particles to continue and the build-up of the fine layer of cobweb-like material will grow thicker at the critical area between the very narrow spaces of the laptop's exhaust air passage until clogging of the outflow of air in the laptop's cooling system will begin to occur. When the laptop is in this condition overheating is sure to happen and it will just be a matter of time before hardware-related problems start to develop and manifest intermittently every now and then until eventually your laptop's motherboard will totally fail.

Since most owners of laptop computers are unaware of the necessity to periodically get their laptop computers cleaned internally as a simple measure to prevent overheating, this is perhaps the main reason why so many laptop computers don't last up to their maximum lifespan.

Laptop computers' motherboards are designed differently from desktop computers' motherboards in such a way that their dimensions or form factor is very much proprietary and model specific. So when your laptop's motherboard is dead beyond repair due to overheating, you have no other choice but to contact the manufacturer of your laptop and ask for a replacement. But if the model of your laptop was some two or three years ago, chances are the manufacturer had already stopped producing parts in support for that specific model. What happens now is that you are left with no choice except to trash your laptop and painfully bleed enough cash to buy for another laptop unit. This is a criminal offense against austerity in the season of economic crisis.

If only laptop manufacturers were able to redesign the cooling system of their products such that it was possible for users by themselves to easily access and clean even just the cooling gills of the heat sink/radiator located at the critical part of the cooling system's exhaust passage without having the need to disassemble the laptop, I believe this would have significantly reduced the number of customer warranty services availments and would have saved them a lot of after sales customer support costs. And also since it would have helped maximize the lifespan of their laptop computers sold, people would have been buying laptop computers not too unnecessarily and as a result there would have been a reduction in the rate of wastage resulting from premature deaths of laptop computers, and possibly a lessening of the manufacturers' overall demand for raw materials, and ultimately thus helped promote environment friendly sustainable manufacturing. Not to mention the tangible and intangible benefits the manufacturers would have enjoyed as the result of the improved reliability of their products.

The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do. -Ted Nelson

People think computers will keep them from making mistakes. They're wrong. With computers you make mistakes faster. -Adam Osborne

Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window. -Steve Wozniak

The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers. -Sydney J. Harris

Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users? -Clifford Stoll