To get to the fan & heatsink is easy on this laptop. Remove one panel off back, and you now have easy access to cooling fan & heatsink components on this laptop. Unlike most laptops you have to “tear down” completely.
I cleaned the fan, removed the fan housing and clean the heatsink exhaust vent from dust buildup, cleaned the CPU and applied fresh Arctic Cooling MX2 thermal compound.
After new hard drive install, and Windows 7 operating system. The Gateway still booted up operating at 75-80 celsius, and it continued to idle at that temperature for an hour. Still way to hot for idle temp! Keep in mind the fan was cleaned, AND the fan was running high speed, and loud. Flip the laptop over and took another good look at that access panel.
The only cool air intake sits to the far left on this panel, about 2″ away from fan. This intake was covered with mesh material acting as a filter, but also restricts air flow. What little air was pulling through this intake passed over the memory, passed over the hot video graphics chip.
By the time what little restricted cool outside air gets through and over these components I figured the air is probably hot by the time it reaches the fan and main cooling heatsink for the laptop.
First off, this is a guide and by no means does Lightspeeds Computer Repair take any responsibility in the dis-assembly of your equipment by this guide & photos, and you damaging the equipment. Dis-assemble, re-assemble at your own risk.
So I cut into the aluminum backing on the inside of this panel and ripped out that mesh filter.
I also drilled out 3 holes directly over the fan. You can drill out a few more if you want.
Cleaned heatsink / fan exhaust from inside, and applied Arctic Cooling MX2 Thermal Compound.
Keep in mind drilling out a few more vent holes will cool your laptop down, BUT will also allow more dust / hair into the laptop to block the fan exhaust to.
Personally, I rather have the laptop running cooler, for I can keep the fan cleaned out periodically. The fan is easy to get to on this laptop, so it is not a problem. If your laptop is still under any type of warranty, this will void that warranty most likely.
Keeping a can of compressed air around, and periodically blowing out exhaust vent from outside of laptop will help that also.
Most laptops do have the intake vent directly over the fan. This Gateway M-1617 does not, why… I have no idea why the designed it this way other than to fail due overheating.
Well, put cover panel back on and booted up:
Laptop booted up running 55 celsius, and settled down to 35-42 celsius. That is a 35-40 degree DROP in temperature. Cool air is now pulling directly into fan and cooling the heatsink, exhausts out of the laptop and cools the cpu & video chip down in the process. The way it suppose to be designed to.
- Open and clean fan and heatsink exhaust.
- Open the fan cover to get to the inside exhaust grill, for that is where dust build up will block off.
- Clean old thermal compound off cpu
- Apply thin spread of Arctic Cooling MX2 thermal compound on CPU
- Cut out and remove mesh filter on this access panel
- Drill out few holes in back fan cover / lid directly over fan
- Keep fan exhaust blown out with can of compress air periodically
New hard drive installed, during a major Windows 7 Service pack update, max temp is 64 celsius. 100& CPU usage, “full load”
A constant 70+ celsius in laptops is dnager overheat range, 80+ celsius is TO HOT and overheating.
Remember, this Gateway M-1617 was idling (not under any load) at 75-80 celsius.
Have no idea what load temperature was prior to this fix, hard drive was dead, probably due to excessive heat in this laptop. The high temperatures were discovered and overheat repaired AFTER installing new hard drive.
Most overheat problems in laptops are caused by a blocked internal heatsink exhaust fan (dust, lint hair accumulation), poor manufactures thermal compound that breaks down over time. What added to the heat problem in this M-1617 Gateway laptop was no cool air intake vent near the fan.
AMD Turion Chips run hot as it is, so keeping these cooled down will prolong the life of your hard drive and laptop in general!
Some of these Gateway M Series DO have a cut out cool air intake vented grill below the fan, this particular model did not. It was solid, no vent what so ever.