Background: When I tried to run SpinRite 6.0 on my laptop, it reached a drive temp over 62°C, which is the hottest temperature they’re allowed to run (or something along those lines).
Anyway, I emailed GRC support, and received this reply:
It appears that some laptops are not designed to work with DOS anymore and the temperature controls may only be available in Windows.
SpinRite will allow you, when you hit the temperature screen, to proceed with caution. It may be that the drive is not going to get much hotter and it may also be, as you suggest, that this is not really a problem because laptops generally have heat dissipation troubles and so characteristically run their drives hot. However, it may also be that your laptops fans or other cooling devices are controlled by Windows drivers and so your laptops cooling is not functional when outside of Windows and running SpinRite in DOS.
I didn’t get too much from this reply, so I held out on continuing the hard drive maintenance until I could solve the heat issue. Shortly following this email reply, I ran into “Our Dell Inspiron 1100 Notebook Computer Kept Overheating” and “Our Dell Inspiron 1100 Has Overheating Problems Again“.
Basically, I had to:
- remove a few screws and panels
- remove the heat sink and fan
- clean the cooling fins from dust
- [possibly] reapply thermal grease to the CPU
To me, this was a fairly daunting task, simply because I haven’t tinkered inside the workings of a laptop. But, my laptop was running hot anyway, so I was hopeful that this would help cool things down.
Today: At work, I brought my laptop in and used the tools I have here in my office. I wasn’t planning on cleaning the CPU core and reapplying thermal grease, because I didn’t have any. Popping off the thin blue top plate was the only issue. It’s really flimsy.
- Compressed air
- Mini Phillips screwdriver
- Standard Phillips screwdriver
- Flathead screwdriver
With the help of the pictures in the article mentioned above, I cleaned the dust out of the laptop, and SpinRite ran for over two hours. The drive temperature has held steady for the past hour at 54°C. Awesome!
I’ll be using it later tonight to see if my lap and hands feel better with it. (Yeah, even the area below the keyboard gets a bit warm!) I’ll also put some pictures up, marking the areas where you need to use the tools. I took them with my camera phone, because my main one wasn’t here, but it’s a 1.3MP camera.
Lastly, it’d be in your best interest to read over the both the articles, and skim over the comments. Some of them have important insight, so [take their points] into consideration.
Thanks to Dan for writing these articles!