Dell Inspiron 1150 / Heatsink problem

By Fenian32 ยท 21 replies
Sep 20, 2006
  1. Hi:

    I've been working with this Dell Inspiron laptop for a few days. I took the machine apart and applied thermal compound to the base of the heatsink (which rests on top of the CPU) and put a minimal amount on the top of the CPU itself.
    The main problem with this model is that it shuts-off after less than 1/2 hour of work. It seems that an overheating problem is common with this model.
    To get to the point:

    Do you think upgrading to a better heatsink fan will take care of the problem?

    The Motherboard seems to be working O.K., BIOS was updated, but the PC shuts down fairly quick.

    I wonder if Volcano makes a good heat sink that would be compatible with this Dell model, which I.M.H.O., is a total piece of garbage.

    Thanks for any input.
  2. an0nym0us

    an0nym0us TS Rookie Posts: 31

    does it just shut off or does it lag then turn off like there's something overworking the cpu? if it's a heat problem that's gonna be a tough one, try using some arctic silver 5 on the stock heatsink that stuff is known to drop a few degrees centigrade even on stock heatsinks.
  3. Fenian32

    Fenian32 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, I heard good things about the arctic silver, but any good thermal compound should provide similar results.
    The PC doesn't seem to lag, it just shuts off. However, when it's multi-tasking it seems to shut down quicker. When I installed the BIOS upgrade it confirms that the shut down is due to the PC overheating. The stock heatsink is crap, but I'm too certain that replacing it will solve the problem.
    What do you think?
  4. gcranfill

    gcranfill TS Rookie

    I had the same trouble with this model of dell laptop, the trouble was isolated to the radiator like cooling fins on the heat sink. If the heat sink is clear you should be able to put your hand near the exhaust (on the rear of the computer) and feel a strong air flow from it. If not you will need to remove the heat sink and remove the fan from it. Blow air from the outside of the cooling fins in toward the fan cavity, this should dislodge the bulk of any lint or dirt clogging them. You should be able to hold it to a light and see through it clearly.

    Before I found this problem I had downloaded a utility that allowed me to manually control the fan, this allowed me to turn the fans on sooner and keep the system running longer.
  5. chamillitarysk8

    chamillitarysk8 TS Booster Posts: 128

    gcranfill what utility did you use? and from what site?
  6. gcranfill

    gcranfill TS Rookie

  7. chamillitarysk8

    chamillitarysk8 TS Booster Posts: 128

    thanks for the site the utility worked really good it kept my pc in the normal range
  8. Plenum

    Plenum TS Rookie

    Inspiron1150, Overheating Problem and CPU running at 100%

    Hi - My Inspiron 1150 had been overheating for 7+months... An enduring problem that I simply tolerated. I looked all over for solutions and tried several. But finally it was suggested here and other places to simply blow out(with pressurized air purchased at the 'puter shop) the fan's air entry ports and exit ports... Did it, and cripes, the thing runs like a charm, again, finally.
    Characteristics of the CPU 100% and CPU Overheating -

    1. Temp rose within 5 min up to 72-75C which would provoke 100%CPU usage quickly and programs were extremely, extremely slow to download.
    2. Downloaded a free CPU temp/fan monitor program which let me control the fan speed - which helped some, but didn't cure it at all.
    3. Thought it was a memory problem, and bought a Gig of memory which didn't help at all... 200 Euros down the drain, duh.
    4. Bought heat-sink silver paste which didn't help particularly, but glad I did change it out, anyway.
    5. Made some internal modifications as to the way memory was used, but that didn't seem to help.

    There were other attempts... Perhaps I was somewhat the ***** for waiting and not buying another computer, but the Inspiron1150 functioned perfectly well when less than 70C, so it had to be a rather simple solution and the temperature was it... Really, somehow it should be more common knowledge to keep fan and cooling units clean. Who knows how many people have bought new motherboards and/or have trashed perfectly fine computers because the fan and ports were too dusty?

    Regards to all, and hope this helps.
  9. Sentrixx

    Sentrixx TS Rookie

    Well just an update here on my system...

    I have had a Inspiron 1150 for about 4 years now. And just in the past few weeks I have had some issues with it just shutting down on me. After doing some surfing I come to find out about the heat sink issues, dust and etc.

    Well I ended up downloading the I8kfanGUIutility to watch what was going on.. Come to find out that my system was running around 72 C on a day to day basis. And at idle its been as low as 66 C.

    I decided to try to clean the PC myself and didn't have any issues. This was to take the kepboard off and clean the actually fan and heat sink.

    At this moment I am running AVG anti virus and Spybot and have hit a high temp of 76 C.

    I would like to keep the temp down as much as possible. Any other ideas I could do to keep this system as cool as I can. Because I noticed a huge difference with the temp. As soon as it drops the system is much fasted.. we pages load up faster

    ny other ideas I could do to keep this system as cool as I can?
  10. Plenum

    Plenum TS Rookie

    Inspiron1150, Overheating Problem and CPU running at 100%

    Right... Sounds like you are having the same problem I did - overheating Inspiron 1150. I see that you cleaned out the heat sink, but I did too, and think that the dust that blew out of my ventilation system may have been in the channels that direct the flow of air through the cooling system... Try buying a can of pressurized air from the computer shop and blowing out the fan intake, then from the air-exit ductwork - from both directions. Regards - Plenum
  11. garreg_ddu

    garreg_ddu TS Member Posts: 19

    Most Inspiron 1*** models have this problem. Regular application of a POWERFUL vacuum cleaner nozzle on full suck to the airflow ducts, while the machine is switched off, will help to prevent built up of lint and fluff. (Try a Dyson DC08)
  12. Calebz

    Calebz TS Rookie

    First, thanks to everyone for the helpful advice.
    Second, did you guys disassemble the unit to perform the blowout?
    Third, do you think my Dyson DC14 Animal will do the trick? ;)

  13. garreg_ddu

    garreg_ddu TS Member Posts: 19

    Hi. I use a Dyson DC14 myself, and with the long upholstery nozzle with a fabric filter on the end (try a tea-towel) to stop any small parts and keyboard bits dissappearing, it works a treat. Our additional problem is animal fluff, from a Bernese Mountain Dog and two spaniels, which comes in carrier bags full every day......
  14. Calebz

    Calebz TS Rookie

    Understood quite clearly.

    I have a 90 pound Rott/Black Lab mutt and a 125 pound German Shepherd/Retriever mutt. The big one is long haired and when the heat gets up there (Index has been averaging 110F the past week) they both shed horrendously. The Home Theatre PC goes out to the garage every week or two for a visit with the air compressor.

    I blew out my 1150 and installed the fan management software. Tooling right along now. Running cooler than it ever has. Thanks to everyone for the assistance.

  15. mcp1

    mcp1 TS Rookie

    I've had overhearing problems with this model since I first bought it, like many others who have posted here. I'd like to thank those who replied for the invaluable information. I was able to reduce the temperature from 60-65c down to 40-45c. Here are my findings:

    1) This is was the first post-warranty maintenance I'd done on this machine. Dell offers a very good online service manual with basics on how to remove the hinge guard, keyboard, and EMI shield. This is my first post to this board, so I'm not allowed to post links, but just google for it or go to the dell support site for this model. Only common tools are required: a small flat-head and phillips head.

    2) After remove the fan/heatsink and inspecting under a good light, I could clearly see the exhaust / aft portion of the heatsink was clogged. For those cleaning this part the first time, there's about a two-inch wide copper radiator with tiny, delicate fins around a millimeter or so apart. On the fan side of the radiator (in the fan well), the space between the fins can easily get clogged and prevent heat dissipation.

    3) I removed the fan from the heatstink so I could reach all of the fins. I then took a qtip, bent it at an angle, and very carefully and gently started to remove the buildup. After breaking some of it free, I'd alternately blow on the other end to push the dust out. I repeated this several times, and went through about have dozen qtips, to finally get it clean. I can't stress enough the need to be gentle - this is a very delicate part.

    After reassembling, my average running temperature dropped 20c. I expect I'll need to do this every 2 or 3 months. Unlike a lot of people who have already posted, I don't have pets, so am not sure why it gets dirty so fast, other than it just being a design flaw in this model.

    Next time around, I plan use anti-static compressed air rather than blowing, as well as trying the Arctic 5 grease others have mentioned.
  16. chamillitarysk8

    chamillitarysk8 TS Booster Posts: 128

    The heatsink apparently isn't the (only) problem its the intel graphics that supposedly gives off 40% more heat than it should and there is the possibility that some heat is coming from the ram.
  17. Sentrixx

    Sentrixx TS Rookie

    Well once again... Mine is hitting a peak of 71C. I don't understand why this is happen once again. So I went ahead and clean off everything for the 3rd time. Right now even at idle with the following programs running.

    Windows Live Messenger
    Peer Gaurdian

    I'm still at 64C. I don't see how anyone is getting around 50-55C. I don't even see that at startup. The lowest I have ever seen mine was 57C.

    What else have you people been doing? And where can I get this Arctic 5 grease? And how easy/hard is it to apply?

    Has there been a write up with pictures?

  18. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    There is plenty of information on this page about your laptop, ranging from remedies for the cooling issues that your particular model has (as well as similar models) to information about class action lawsuits against Dell for the defective/inefficient cooling architecture.

    I am sure reading that page is worth your while, however, to answer your question, Arctic Silver 5 is a thermal compound that can be purchased at most PC component reseller/enthusiast sites and shops. It's not that difficult if you've got half a brain and a little patience. Here is a link to Arctic Silver 5 at Newegg

    There are probably guides for the disassembly of your model (especially given the popularity of the issue) all over the Internet and possibly even one in that link above. There are also guides everywhere about how to remove and apply thermal compound.


    Perhaps Dell's "Service Manual" will give you a bit of insight on how to go about disassembling it:
  19. Sentrixx

    Sentrixx TS Rookie

    Thanx.. I actually found it on there right after my post. I went ahead and bought the grease as well as the cleaning agent.

    Thanx for the link to the lawsuit. I wasn't aware that some many other people were having the same issues. Even on different models. I went ahead and joined the crusade.
  20. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    You're welcome, and hopefully things get worked out for you :). Maybe you can contact Dell and see what they have to offer? Perhaps they've got some form of a standard compensation package for those that are having this issue.

    Worth asking anyway :).
  21. Sentrixx

    Sentrixx TS Rookie

    ^^ Very true.. I shall try that.
  22. manjinderbk

    manjinderbk TS Rookie

    Thanks for your advise
    I have face same overheating problem with my Dell Inspiron 1150, I clean all heatsink fins and reassemble all components, But my problem start when I could not able to start my Laptop.
    Current scence is as follow:

    The fan is running, DVD Drive light showing, Battery is recharging,
    but there is not display and not keyboard light...

    Please Help......
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