11 April, 2007

Tech Advice?

[Update below]

My one-year-old laptop (Compaq Presario V5000) is starting to overheat. I make sure it has plenty of room for the fan to circulate the air, but it's still shutting down once or twice in a 3-4 hour period.

I expect the overheating problem will get worse as I face a summer without air conditioning. Also, I am using a stand-alone monitor instead of the laptop's screen because the connector has a short; that'll change when I get it repaired before the MilBlog Conference (speaking of... please consider the tip jar on the right).

I've looked into buying a cheap laptop cooler, but it's very confusing. The laptop's internal fan pulls from underneath with a rear exhaust. But the fan plates I've seen seem to have fans that would pull in the opposite direction of the laptop's internal fan. Would that put too much strain on the internal fan? And should I spend the extra money for aluminum? Does anyone have experience with a certain model of laptop fan plate/cooler?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated...

UPDATE: on Bloodspite's advice, I contacted the manufacturer's tech support. Turns out I was using an old BIOS with a few bugs in it. Among other things, it had my fan speed set too low; the fan is now amazingly fast and quiet, and the keyboad is noticeably cooler. The new BIOS also fixed some strange quirks I'd been trying to ignore and has significantly increased overall processing speed (I've spent the last six months running constant virus scans and deleting cookies, etc. at every turn, trying to figure out what was making it so slow). I'm a very happy laptop user right now. I just hope I didn't do too much long-term damage by not talking to the tech people sooner.

However, I'm still very interested in getting a cooling pad; I'm anxious to baby this thing as much as possible, considering what damage I've likely done to it by suffering through the problems of the old BIOS.

And btw, the HP/Compaq online tech people are top notch. They were polite, efficient and--most importantly--correct.