TechSpot

Laptop Fan Control - Cooling Toshiba M55

By mit006
Apr 4, 2006
  1. Hey Guys, I recently bought a Toshiba M55 laptop... I've had it for about a month now... but i find that it tends to run a bit hot.
    I can't tell what component it is that is getting so hot... but it is located directly to the right of the touchpad, where the base of your right hand would rest if you were typing. Conversely, it also gets really hot on the underside of the laptop... at the same spot... which when it's resting on your lap gets your thighs and well crotch (depending on how close the laptop is to your torso) very hot.

    Now from what I understand laptops regulate their fans by temperature. I was wondering if it's possible to change the temperature setting of the laptop to a lower setting so that the fan would turn on earlier and cool the thing down before it got that hot.

    I tried using speedfan to check out the temps, I only got one temp reading which I think was the Hard Drive... which was at 53C and went up to 56C while the comp was doing nothing... it felt hot to the touch. I just want the fan to run more and do it's job... the laptop hasn't hung or crashed yet... sometimes the touchpad won't respond for a few seconds... I'm not sure whether that might be a heat related problem or not... but either way I'd like to cool this bad boy down.

    Speedfan didn't do me any good really... so i was wondering if anyone has experience with this sort of problem... or suggestions on how to make the fan do it's job... and also suggestions of other ways to cool the laptop down, software or hardware (aside from cooling pads which seem like a half-*** solution, if it's a hardware solution you're suggesting ideally it'd be an internal one.)

    so yeah, please let me know... all help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,382

    Hello! Welcome to TechSpot!

    If you'll listen, cool pads do work (I'll be it 1/2 way) Good selection
    LAP top is a misnomer without a cooler, however on the internal part of cooling mods, I hope you're up to the task....
    "Let The Real Mods Begin"
    There is this too, the best I've found yet! The Real Laptop Mod
    Of course it's at your own risk........but then that just makes it more fun :haha:


    G'Luck
     
  3. mit006

    mit006 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    the reason i'm not interested in laptop cooling pads is because my laptop isn't a desktop... or a desktop replacement for that matter. My laptop doesn't have a home on a desk... I'm always taking it places, sitting at desks all over the place, tables, chairs... where ever... i don't want an inch thick hunk of plastic that has some fans and is going to drain my battery to carry around everywhere.

    I was hoping I could fix the problem with some software or a minor hardware mod. Artic silver or a fan addition... or just getting the current fan to run more. and do it's job of cooling the computer down... before it gets too hot.

    those mods you posted seem really cool... and i'd be interested in trying them in like 3 years from now... but right now this puppy is pretty new and is still on a bestbuy protection plan... so screwing with it like that isn't a good idea.

    anyway thanks for the suggestion I really do appreciate your effort to help. If you have more suggestions, or if anyone else does too... please do reply. thanks.
     
  4. mit006

    mit006 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm really hoping there's more advice or suggestions of what can be done beyond a cooling pad solution.

    anyone?

    even if you could shed some light on how the internal stuff work... like how the fan decides to turn on/off... or where the temp sensor might be located and if it's possible to reposition it... or if it might be possible to switch the fan for a bigger one that moves a larger volume of air through the machine...

    really... i'm grabbing at any possible info/ideas that might lead to further ideas on how to disapate this damn heat!
    thanks in advance! lol
     
  5. Weasel5i2

    Weasel5i2 TS Rookie

    Laptop Cooling

    Hello,

    I own a Toshiba S55-M135 and I too have the same heating problem, to the immediate right of the touchpad.

    Being a hardware-hacking enthusiast, I've taken my notebook apart and added/replaced/cleaned components. From my experience, the component which can be blamed for the heating is the hard drive. To prove this point, simply place your ear against the flat surface and listen (do this BEFORE it gets too hot! :haha: ) and you'll hear the action of the read/write heads emanating from that area. This also explains the heat, as hard drives can definitely produce significant amounts of it.

    I believe that the problem with the hard drive heating up is due to the fact that these notebooks (well, mine, at least) have fan systems which seem to only cool the processor, but not the hard drive. I may be mistaken, but I don't recall seeing any sort of heat-pipe connecting the two regions (the processor is below the upper-left corner, under QWERTY)

    As for solutions, I don't think the hardware solution is a good possibility because of the space limitation inside the chassis. Software is the next best thing. There are many utilities which enable you to control certain ACPI features of your computer. I'm not familiar with many, but I have one called "Battery Doubler" made by a company called Dachshund. It may not be the best one out there, and it's shareware, but it can do these things:

    - slow down your CPU when you don't need its full capacity/speed
    - limit your CPU usage to 99% (some fans auto-start at 100% CPU)
    - slow down hard drive RPMs (and consequently, transfer speeds)

    I forgot what else it can do.. it's part of a suite of tools made by the same company. I'm pretty sure there are freeware/better alternatives out there.

    Hope this helps!
    --Weasel
     
  6. mit006

    mit006 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    hey, thanks!
    that was helpful. and I gathered as much about the cpu being under the keyboard... and the hard drive being to the right of the touchpad.
    I think my harddrive is a 5400rpm model as opposed to the cheaper 4200rpm laptop drives... the higher rpm adds performance... but heat comes along for the ride.

    Since you're already inside your computer... do you happen to know where the temperature sensor might be? I was wondering if it's even a possibility to move the sensor... closer to the harddrive?

    alternatively... I know compounds like arctic silver are designed for heatsinks etc. would drenching the hard drive in that stuff help at all... maybe extending the fan heatsink over the HD?

    the entire front underside (south of the keyboard area) of the my laptop gets realllly hot. so putting it on my lap for more than a short period of time heats up my thighs and nether regions. I've heard that can cause serious nerve damage if you leave it there for long periods of time. so no more of that... but there has to be a simple solution to disapating this heat.
     
  7. X DarthMonkey X

    X DarthMonkey X TS Rookie Posts: 164

    Moving the temp sensor would be impossible, because in almost every computer, laptop or otherwise, it's etched into the motherboard under the processor.

    Arctic Silver on the HDD would not be a healthy idea, seeing as how all that does is transfer heat to something else (I.E. a heatsink). So considering the fact that there's no heatsink on the hard drive, it wouldn't do anything. (And it might even make your crotch even hotter, and something tells me your mom wants grandchildren) :haha:

    Basically, there's really nothing much you can do except get a cooling pad. They're very thin and convenient these days. Several have their own battery, so you don't need to worry about draining your laptop's.

    If you use the computer a lot, that's definitely the best way to go. Or you can just ignore the heat, it won't hurt the computer.
     
  8. bufferstuffer

    bufferstuffer TS Rookie

    you cold always buy a pcmcia fan powered by the usb port. An inexpensive solution to the problem. (But the cheapest solution is to use a Linux distro). Linux doesn't believe in using step processors so any step processors run full tilt boogie. I had an old presario 700 with 1.2/700 step processor, linux Puppy ran full speed with fan on high. Besides, puppy is a distro that runs on about 120MB of space so think of it as win2000 pro on steroids.
     
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