This weekend I decided to tackle a problem I’d been having for quite some time. As I have an HP Pavilion laptop (DV7) that problem was obviously one of overheating. It could only run a game for about 30 minutes before its temperature sensor flicked the kill switch. As I don’t do much gaming this was never a major concern (until I found myself bored stiff in a hospital bed). However, recently movies have been burning it up and it can’t play NFL Gamepass with any worthy quality. So it finally became time to deal with the problem.
I’d been avoiding the task because HP hates its customers. That’s the only reason I can think of for them designing their laptops the way they do. I found out post-purchase that the Pavilion laptop is notorious for overheating. And it took me about a year to discover that. The fan is located in the rear corner of the laptop with vents on the back and bottom. These vents are conduits for dust and lint and all the crap in the air that wants to snuggle up in the heat of its CPU. All this unwanted stuff clogs the fan and the heat sink, and rather than having a little latched door at the back of the laptop to allow for easy cleaning, HP requires a near-total disassembly of the laptop in order to perform what should be a simple task. My Pavilion DV7 required the removal of the top casing, the screen, the keyboard, the hard drive, the motherboard and 61 screws to remove a clump of dust.
Some conspiracy lovers say that HP does this to keep the computer shops in business. I don’t think HP is so altruistic to their retail partners. I think it’s much more likely they keep it in family and do it to sell warranties and give their laptops a shorter lifespan.
After three hours of screwing and unscrewing and ensuring I didn’t strip or lose any screws I finally managed to clean my laptop. The core temperature which used to be an astounding 90-101 degrees Celsius is now running at 47-65 degrees Celsius. I can watch HD movies and NFL Gamepass again but the damage is done. It doesn’t run as fast as it did before and the overheating is likely responsible for the all-dead-all-the-time battery. Well, Windows 8 will be out in a month and time to buy something new anyway. I got recommended the HP TouchSmart but it seems to have overheating problems as well. So with HP and Toshiba on my blacklist it looks like it’s time to check out Acer. Regardless, next time around I’ll be sure to hit my fans with compressed air once a week.