Laptops have a sensor near the CPU (microprocessor) that measures it’s temperature. If the CPU gets too hot, the laptop will shut down. Desktops have the same feature. When laptops are getting too hot, it can be caused by several different issues:
1) Fan needs replaced – the fan has a mechanical bearing that can wear out. When this happens, the fan stops turning and the laptop will get too hot. The simple repair is to replace the fan.
2) Between the CPU and the fan are copper tubes that carry the heat away from the CPU. These tubes have a partial vacuum in them along with a liquid that allow them to be highly efficient at conducting heat. The liquid in the tube turns into a vapor by absorbing heat from the CPU. The vapor then travels along the heat pipe to the cold end where the fan is located and condenses back into a liquid – releasing the latent heat. Here is more info http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pipe But from a computer repair perspective, sometimes the tube will develop a crack and lose the vacuum / liquid inside. When this happens, the heat tube will no longer efficiently conduct heat from the CPU. The repair is to replace the heat pipe, many times the fan will also be replaced at the same time because the cost of the fan is minimal – most of the cost of the fan replacement is the labor to disassemble the laptop and reassemble it.
3) Something is blocking the air flow internally. In homes with pets (especially cats), the fine hair can get inside the laptop and block the air flow. The solution is to thoroughly clean the inside of the laptop. Many times the hair will wind around the fan axis causing the fan to fail much earlier than it would have otherwise.
4) Sometimes the air flow is blocked externally. Normally the fan will pull air in from the side or bottom of the laptop and out the side. We have found people will sit on their sofa working on a laptop with it sitting on a pillow on their lap. The pillow is blocking all the air flow from entering the laptop. If you notice when you put your laptop on a table, it is angled such that air can get to the air entrance holes on the bottom. You never want to block those with your pillow, leg or whatever. If the little rubber “feet” on your laptop fall off, they should be replaced because it often are there to allow the proper amount of air flow to reach the air inlet ports.
As always – we offer to provide a free diagnosis of your problem. We are conveniently located at 2446 SW Cary Parkway, Cary, NC 27513 for customers in Apex, Cary, Morrisville, Holly Springs, Raleigh, Garner and Durham. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call, if you have any questions.