PC Troubleshooting – Part 1: Overheating

how-to-treat-a-slow-computer

The most common thing you hear people complain about their computers (especially laptops), is “My computer is so slow and unresponsive”.
This problem might seem daunting to many people, sometimes even forcing them to upgrade, but it really isn’t that complicated.

There are 3 main issues that might be slowing down your computer.

Overheating, unecessary/harmful software and disk problems.

Especially with laptops, overheating is very often the problem and can be easily solved.
Desktops are easy and straightforward to clean and prevent overheating. Moreover, adding a fan or two can help drop to normal temperatures.

Laptops on the other hand, due to their design might look like they don’t really need to be cleaned, but that isn’t really the case.
Laptops need to be regularly cleaned off the dust that accumulates inside them and most users either don’t know that or don’t bother with that. Depending on where the laptop is operating, the cleaning must be done once or twice a year.
There are two main ways to figure out if your laptop is overheating.
The first one is that the blower fan that’s inside is constantly working, even if the laptop is not performing any intense tasks whatsoever. For example when you’re just browsing the web, without even playing a video. Most laptops should be able to cool themselves efficiently enough without having the fun blow at high speeds. If your laptop is doing that, it means that there is too much dust in the device, making cooling very hard.
The second way, which is also the most accurate one, is to download a temperature monitoring program. Monitoring tools are something that every serious user should have in their computer. There is no way to optimally user a computer if you have no idea what is going on inside it.
For Windows computers up to Windows 8, you can download the AllCPUMeter gadget and the coretemp program. For Windows 10 or Mac, just google search for CPU/temperature monitoring programs and you can find a large number of them.

Here are the current download links for the programs I recommend:

http://addgadgets.com/all_cpu_meter/
http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/

Those two programs can work with each other to show you both how your PC is performing(CPU and RAM usage) and the temperatures of the CPU.
All you have to do is download and install both and enable the temperature monitoring option on AllCPUMeter. When Coretemp is running, the AllCPUMeter gadget will detect it and display the temperatures that Coretemp is reading.

All_CPU_Meter_info

If you’re just interested in monitoring the temperatures, you can install Coretemp alone.

coretemp

Getting temperatures around 60-80 degrees while the computer is not doing anything intensive, means that you’re definitely having an overheating issue. In the summer, the temperatures will naturally be higher, but they still shouldn’t be over 70 degrees C, unless you’re running intensive applications. Individual core temperatures are not that important, just make sure that the average temperatures that you’re seeing are in the range that I specified.

Cleaning your dekstop PC is easy. Just use a vacuum cleaner or some high pressure gas can (costs around 5 euros and you can find them on most electronics stores) to remove visible dust from the fans and fins.

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Cleaning your laptop might seem complicated or even scary, but is also pretty easy. All you have to do is remove the backside cover(a few screws) and use a high pressure dust can to blow air in the various components and the dust will fly off from the vents of the laptop and the keyboard.

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A simple clean with a 5euro can of air can make the temperatures of a laptop drop to even 30 degrees lower. This will make it silent and help it perform much better. It will also prevent crashes/shutdowns/restarts that might be happening due to overheating.
Desktop PCs will benefit greatly as well.

In very rare cases and in very old machines, the thermal paste of the CPU might need to be replaced to improve temperatures. If you have no experience with this and especially if you have a laptop, that should be done by a technician. It’s not very hard to do in desktop PCs, so I might upload a tutorial later on for that.

So yeah, monitor your temperatures and clean your computer once or twice a year and you should be fine!

If you have any questions, suggestions or even disagreements, please comment them on here and we can talk about them. You can also email me at: kn.angel@yahoo.com

Join the PCForNewbies community on facebook!

Thanks for reading!

*All images are taken from the web*


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