Our Dell Inspiron 1100 Notebook Computer Kept Overheating
Yesterday I decided to take the notebook apart and clean it in hopes of remedying the problem. My guess was that the heatsink/fan was full of dust, limiting airflow and causing the overheating. I took the keyboard out and removed some little metal panel, allowing me to see the heatsink and fan. After removing the four screws holding the heatsink/fan assembly in place and the fan's power connector I could lift the heatsink/fan right out. I took the vacuum to it, but it really wasn't too dirty.
The part that surprised me--and I suspect the cause of the overheating--was that there was only a tiny dot of thermal grease sitting on the CPU, to aid in transferring the heat from the CPU to the heatsink. The dot wasn't more than about 1/4 the size of the CPU die. So I cleaned all the old thermal grease off the CPU and heatsink and put some new stuff on--and this time, enough to cover the full CPU die when the heatsink was put back into place! I reassembled everything, powered the computer up, and ran it for quite a few hours yesterday with no problem.
Sherree's successfully used the computer for a while today, too, so I suspect that solved the problem!
7/26/04 Update: Our Inspiron 1100 has been working well this past week and hasn't shutdown on us at all. New/more thermal grease solved it!
2005/04/02 Update: Photos and brief details of a relapse can be read in Our Dell Inspiron 1100 Has Overheating Problems Again.
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