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Nordy

join:2007-10-20
kudos:1

Dell Inspiron N5110 Overheats and Shuts Down from Past few Days

I have a Dell Inspiron N5110 with a 2.5Ghz i5-2450M processor, 4GB RAM and 1GB nVidia Graphics card running Windows 7 Home Premium, that's about 2 years old now.

When I previously used to play games like Skyrim: Elder Scrolls V and MS Flight Simulator X, the system would heat up a lot, but never used to automatically turn off. In recent days, when I play these same games (even at the lowest setting), the systems heats up, but automatically shuts down.

What can be causing this and how can this be stopped? Someone said I need to open up the system and put in new thermal paste. Is this the thing? Or could there be something else behind it.

I don't use a cooling pad, but there's sufficient ventilation. The cooling fan works fine and spins really hard. I don't have an Anti Virus program running as well, since this laptop isn't connected to the Internet. I updated all the drivers last week.


psafux
Premium,VIP
join:2005-11-10
kudos:2
Check and remove any dust accumulation in the heatsink/fan. Sometimes there is an access panel to get to the HSF area. Dells are notorious for poor heat dissipation and thermal problems in general. If you are comfortable removing the HSF, cleaning the paste, and repasting it (correctly) it can only help. Thermal paste can become less effective over time. Thermal paste applied incorrectly can be worse than old paste.


Nordy

join:2007-10-20
kudos:1
I'll do the cleaning first and see how it goes.

asdfdfdfdfdf
Premium
join:2012-05-09
kudos:3
reply to Nordy
I wouldn't mess with replacing thermal compound. Make sure the vents aren't stuffed up with dust and I would get a cooling pad. Over time dust will build up inside and cooling efficiency will diminish.


Billy Brethr

join:2005-04-01
San Antonio, TX
reply to Nordy
Check BIOS for your shut-down temperature. It may be set too low. Report what it is set at here.

Check BIOS for it's current temperature. Report that here.

Install "SpeedFan" and let it run for a while in order to get a sense of normal operating temperatures. Install Prime95 and max CPU and RAM and report what temp it operates at under full load.

This is not normal. A cooling pad is not an answer. Even if it works it's a band-aid. This laptop should not be shutting down like this. The problem might be minor, like a BIOS setting, or it could be major, like the CPU fan stops spinning for some reason, either electronic or mechanical. I take a vacuum cleaner and vacuum both the intake and exhaust ports. There might be CAT HAIR in the CPU fan, or a scrap of paper. Or coca-cola. Or coffee. Or cat piss. One customer's 2 year-old son took a piss into his open laptop, and then closed the lid like it was a toilet. He was a "big boy", and he went pee-pee like a big boy.


Nordy

join:2007-10-20
kudos:1
reply to Nordy
Click for full size
Dell Inspiron N5110's Vacuum Effect
I opened up the laptop and got to the cooling fan, and this is how it was.

That's a lot of fur and... whatever

I've cleaned everything. There was little thermal compound left on the processor and GPU chips. I'll be changing that in the days to come.


Nordy

join:2007-10-20
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to Billy Brethr
Billy, there's nothing like shut-down temperature in my BIOS.

After I opened and put things back, no game will run for more than a minute. They just begin, and the whole laptop shuts down. Do you think this is happening because I took apart the CPU assembly and put it back without applying thermal paste?

HD Movies run fine. The shut-down happens only when I turn on a game like FSX or Skyrim. Any advice?


Billy Brethr

join:2005-04-01
San Antonio, TX
said by Nordy:

After I opened and put things back, no game will run for more than a minute. They just begin, and the whole laptop shuts down. Do you think this is happening because I took apart the CPU assembly and put it back without applying thermal paste?

HD Movies run fine. The shut-down happens only when I turn on a game like FSX or Skyrim. Any advice?

YES! Thermal paste is a MUST HAVE, and if you cleaned off the old and didn't put any new stuff in, you have AIR as a thermal transfer material. Although, in most cases, simply removing the CPU and putting it back isn't going to be catastrophic. The old thermal compound doesn't disappear just because you separated the CPU from the Heat Sink. Standard practice when a CPU is removed is to clean off the old thermal compound using 90% alcohol and replacing it with good quality thermal compound like Arctic Silver 5, which is what I'm familiar with. There are several other good quality thermal compounds and some discussion as to which is "best".

I wouldn't track your issues based on the highly subjective and variable standard of what software will and will not run. Instead you should install the testing softwares I've mentioned previously so that we can look at some definite numbers.


psafux
Premium,VIP
join:2005-11-10
kudos:2
reply to Nordy
1) Laptops typically have watered-down BIOS settings. There will rarely be thermal range control settings.

2) Anytime you remove the HSF you HAVE to repaste it. Clean off all the old paste, clean, and reapply fresh paste. No exception. Ever.


Nordy

join:2007-10-20
kudos:1
Thermal compound is arriving today. Shall post images of Dell's stock thermal compund application, and mine.


Nordy

join:2007-10-20
kudos:1
reply to Nordy
Click for full size
Dell Stock Thermal Compound Application
Click for full size
Dell Stock Thermal Compound Application
Click for full size
Dell Stock Thermal Compound Application
Click for full size
All Cleaned and Ready for New Thermal Compound
New thermal compound arrived today. I cleaned up all the old thermal compound from Dell, which looks like it was spread on like pancake batter. See Images.

Re-applied new thermal compound. Problem seems to be solved now.

When playing Skyrim, Speed fan show a GPU Temp of 98, but never more than that.

The Laptop no longer shuts down now.

Thanks to all who replied and helped here.

P.S: Any idea why Dell put on Thermal Compound in that Manner? All over the CPU and Heat sink?


psafux
Premium,VIP
join:2005-11-10
kudos:2
said by Nordy:

P.S: Any idea why Dell put on Thermal Compound in that Manner? All over the CPU and Heat sink?

Likely was fine from the factory. Paste does wear out over time and excessive heat can cause undesirable effects. Once the paste loses its ability to transfer heat it goes downhill quick. It breaks down and the thermal problems increase.

bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
reply to Nordy
said by Nordy:

...
P.S: Any idea why Dell put on Thermal Compound in that Manner? All over the CPU and Heat sink?

Cheap labor? Employees or contractors who don't know or care about how to apply it? If some is good, more must be better mentality? Pick your choice.