Notices
Results 1 to 17 of 17
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By One beer

Thread: Grey Gunk Around Vents/Ports Near Vents and Overheating

  1. #1 Grey Gunk Around Vents/Ports Near Vents and Overheating 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    28
    My computer has been experiencing overheating recently (it's a laptop with 8gb of ram that just recovered from a RAM mismatch caused by my parents. I could have fixed it a long time ago but my parents didn't believe me until a relative who is a computer expert said I was right) and recently grey gunk has begun building up on the vents. Is this melted plastic or something? Should I reapply thermal paste, or run my laptop immediately to the Computer ER?


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Bar Stool Scientist AluminumFalcon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    9
    I would certainly hope it is not melted plastic. You should smell that if that is the case. Either way, I suppose you can run something like SpeedFan just to be sure and check your temps. My first guess would be that the grey gunk is a product of heat + humidity + dusk..

    sometimes lubrication in the little laptop fans get mixed with dusk and turn into a grey gunk but unless those fans got one hell of a grease job that shouldn't be the problem. You can try cleaning it out.. take it apart if need be.. and buy yourself some sort of material to fashion air filters for those vents. Since its a laptop, its probably going to be mostly a DIY job but you can buy desktop pc case air filters of all shapes and sizes. Perhaps cut the filters to specs and engineer a way to install them where needed. This will at least filter out most of the garbage the laptop intake in sucking in.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Bachelors Degree One beer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    442
    ......My first guess would be that the grey gunk is a product of heat + humidity + dusk..

    sometimes lubrication in the little laptop fans get mixed with dusk.......
    Dusk????

    Dusk is the time of the day just after the sun has set. How can this get into a lap-top???


    Do you mean dust?

    Dust is a fine grey powder of detritus found in houses and is approximately 80% dead human skin.


    OB
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    喫茶店
    Posts
    16,670
    Quote Originally Posted by One beer View Post
    Dust is a fine grey powder of detritus found in houses and is approximately 80% dead human skin.
    And that is probably what is blocking your fan (eww). (Another major component is the excrement of the mites that live on human skin: double eww.) Grease from the fans is a possibility (and grease from human skin as well, of course!).

    Just give it a thorough clean. I haven't dismantled many laptops, but the ones I have looked at have a pretty sophisticated system for getting the heat away from the processor. It seems unlikely that the thermal past (if any) could have leaked unless you have disassembled the heatsink system.

    If the system runs hot, you might need to be careful about fitting a filter as the rate of airflow may have been carefully designed to keep the system within its operating range. But maybe a filter on the input is better than gunk on the output! Although often there is not a single input vent.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    28
    I understand most laptops generally get up to 100-110C and are just fine, but my BIOS setting is 90C so it overheats a lot...
    I think it is dust, however my parents don't trust me with computers even though time and time again I've been right.

    Also, it looked like it was something that had dried onto it. I also only have one intake fan working AFAIK, the other two vents that look like intake vents (on the bottom) over the RAM do absolutely nothing... there was a very tiny bit of gunk there.

    Should I just reapply thermal paste, or should I take compressed air and clean out the vents? There was some paper-y dust in there that needed to be cleaned out (I got it out)

    This is an HP Pavilion g7 my parents got me from Best Buy, then caused it to crash every 20 minutes from RAM mismatches, then blamed me for it... could it just be the computer?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    喫茶店
    Posts
    16,670
    From my days in maintaining equipment, the other major problem is food and drink. Even in a professional environment. So in a domestic setting, I wouldn't be surprised to find pizza, beer, chocolate, cigarette residues and all sorts of other gunk.

    Thermal paste has to go between the processor and the heatsink. Unless you have good reason to think it is necessary, you are likely to do more harm than good by breaking the existing seal between them.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Bachelors Degree One beer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    442
    I agree with Strange. Clean it all out, but don't disturb any heat sinks unless it is obvious they have already been disturbed, (in which case they may need a little heat conducting paste applying).

    Make sure all the vents are clear and the fan(s) are working. I wouldn't put any filter material in the vents, this will actually reduce airflow.

    Just a few other thoughts:

    When you use the machine, make sure the vents are not blocked - do you use the laptop on the bed or couch? - in which case the soft material may block the vents and also cause dust from the bed/couch to be drawn in. Even placing it on your lap could mean your clothing is blocking the vents.

    Keep all food and drink away from the machine - I don't even put a drink on the same table as my computer - in case I knock it over - I put the cup on the floor. But it's best not to eat or drink at all while using the computer - there can be splashes.

    The overheating could be due to the power supply having to work harder than it was designed to because of hardware add-ons. Have you or the previous owner modified the machine and are now drawing too much current? (for example a different or bigger hard drive).

    This is also a common reason for computers shutting down or doing un-commanded resets; The power supply voltage dips when more than its design current is drawn, and then some or all of the components stop functioning.

    Finally, the laptop battery may be old and knackered. This will draw too much current from the power supply to charge itself, getting too hot in the process and causing the power supply to overheat too. Try fitting a brand new correct battery.

    Good luck.


    Good luck too with persuading your parents that you can fix this. Just explain calmly what you think is wrong and what you can do to fix it. A calm, reasoned explanation is better than an argument. Don't get cross if they initially say no. They may not agree straight away, but they will think about what you've said and may relent.

    OB
    Strange likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Bachelors Degree One beer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    442
    I love the way that when some people ask questions or advice on this forum and other people take time write them answers, the original question asker just buggers off without so much as a thank you.

    Fix your own damn computer you ingrate!

    Ditto the losers on the electronics forum.

    OB
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Resident of Big Island of Hawai'i since 2003, and in Bayside, Ca. since 1981, Humboldt since 1977
    Posts
    12,964
    Quote Originally Posted by One beer View Post
    I agree with Strange. Clean it all out, but don't disturb any heat sinks unless it is obvious they have already been disturbed, (in which case they may need a little heat conducting paste applying).

    Make sure all the vents are clear and the fan(s) are working. I wouldn't put any filter material in the vents, this will actually reduce airflow.

    Just a few other thoughts:

    When you use the machine, make sure the vents are not blocked - do you use the laptop on the bed or couch? - in which case the soft material may block the vents and also cause dust from the bed/couch to be drawn in. Even placing it on your lap could mean your clothing is blocking the vents.

    Keep all food and drink away from the machine - I don't even put a drink on the same table as my computer - in case I knock it over - I put the cup on the floor. But it's best not to eat or drink at all while using the computer - there can be splashes.

    The overheating could be due to the power supply having to work harder than it was designed to because of hardware add-ons. Have you or the previous owner modified the machine and are now drawing too much current? (for example a different or bigger hard drive).

    This is also a common reason for computers shutting down or doing un-commanded resets; The power supply voltage dips when more than its design current is drawn, and then some or all of the components stop functioning.

    Finally, the laptop battery may be old and knackered. This will draw too much current from the power supply to charge itself, getting too hot in the process and causing the power supply to overheat too. Try fitting a brand new correct battery.

    Good luck.


    Good luck too with persuading your parents that you can fix this. Just explain calmly what you think is wrong and what you can do to fix it. A calm, reasoned explanation is better than an argument. Don't get cross if they initially say no. They may not agree straight away, but they will think about what you've said and may relent.

    OB
    Oh heavens, am I in trouble.

    I eat at my comuter. I have water and coffee at my computer.

    I vacuum my keyboard, and vents, and spray it with the Nitrogen also.

    Never lost a computer to food or drink in 30 years...I think I'm good.

    Try to fix the computer with your parents permission....of course. Good for them to know you can and good for you to know you can.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Resident of Big Island of Hawai'i since 2003, and in Bayside, Ca. since 1981, Humboldt since 1977
    Posts
    12,964
    Quote Originally Posted by One beer View Post
    I love the way that when some people ask questions or advice on this forum and other people take time write them answers, the original question asker just buggers off without so much as a thank you.

    Fix your own damn computer you ingrate!

    Ditto the losers on the electronics forum.


    OB
    Manners seems to be a lost art, in society anymore. It is quite fine to RSVP and then not show up, or not RSVP at all AND show up.

    Whatever happened to COMMON COURTESY!!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    喫茶店
    Posts
    16,670
    Quote Originally Posted by One beer View Post
    I love the way that when some people ask questions or advice on this forum and other people take time write them answers, the original question asker just buggers off without so much as a thank you.
    Luckily, in my moral code it is wrong to expect thanks.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by One beer View Post
    I love the way that when some people ask questions or advice on this forum and other people take time write them answers, the original question asker just buggers off without so much as a thank you.

    Fix your own damn computer you ingrate!

    Ditto the losers on the electronics forum.

    OB
    Other ingrates may stumble across the thread on a search and be helped, and we'll never even know about those lurker-grates.

    Be grateful for the ingrates you have. They were magnanimous to notify you of their existence.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Bachelors Degree One beer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    442
    Hmmmm. They're probably kids laughing at us because they think we're nerds: "let's post a really nerdy question about a switch and watch them get off on answering it!".

    Losers.



    Babe, you're probably a lot less clumsy than I can be sometimes.

    OB
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Resident of Big Island of Hawai'i since 2003, and in Bayside, Ca. since 1981, Humboldt since 1977
    Posts
    12,964
    Quote Originally Posted by One beer View Post
    Hmmmm. They're probably kids laughing at us because they think we're nerds: "let's post a really nerdy question about a switch and watch them get off on answering it!".

    Losers.



    Babe, you're probably a lot less clumsy than I can be sometimes.

    OB
    *L* in which way...I walked into a door! *L* once......
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    28
    Thanks guys... Sorry for being so inactive, I have some family issues to deal with.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Bachelors Degree One beer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    442
    OK, fair enough. Sorry to hear that.


    OB
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Resident of Big Island of Hawai'i since 2003, and in Bayside, Ca. since 1981, Humboldt since 1977
    Posts
    12,964
    Quote Originally Posted by Blahgory View Post
    Thanks guys... Sorry for being so inactive, I have some family issues to deal with.
    Hope all goes well. Best wishes.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Aubrey De Grey?
    By theSocraticomplex in forum Biology
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: April 14th, 2011, 05:50 AM
  2. Grey Noise
    By lordhigh in forum Behavior and Psychology
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: December 29th, 2010, 12:49 PM
  3. Formation of amino acids at hydrothermal vents?
    By pariah in forum Earth Sciences
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: March 8th, 2007, 12:00 PM
  4. LIQUID entering air vents meant to releas controld air
    By himanshu1khatri in forum Chemistry
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: August 20th, 2006, 04:27 PM
  5. What is dust (little grey particles) made of?
    By Dorex in forum Chemistry
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: February 24th, 2006, 05:30 AM
Tags for this Thread

View Tag Cloud

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •