How to Diagnose and Fix an Overheating Laptop

One of the most common issues with aging laptops is overheating, something many people aren’t sure how to fix. We’ll help you figure out what’s causing the heat and how to keep your notebook functioning at a lower temperature.

Overheating computers can cause a lot of problems, from seemingly random blue screen crashes to data loss. You might not even realize that overheating is the root of your issues, and before you know it you have a burnt-out motherboard on your hands. Let’s go step by step and see how you can deal with an overheating computer. We’ll be talking primarily about laptops, but many of the same principles apply to desktop computers, as well. And as always, before you start messing around with hardware—especially anything involving disassembly—take the time to back up your PC first.

Step One: Find the Heat Source

The first thing you’ll want to do in diagnosing an overheating problem is to find where the heat is coming from.

Check Air Flow and Heat Transfer

Just like with desktop computers, laptops need a way to expel the hot air created by their components. No air flow means no heat transfer, so your first step should be figuring out where the air vents are located. Most laptops have vents on the bottom.

And some—especially thicker models—have vents on the back panel.

You’ll likely see multiple vents. Some are intake vents where cool air gets drawn into the laptop and some are outflow vents where fans expel the hot air.

While the laptop is running—and ideally while it’s running a taxing app—check to see if the outflow vents are blowing hot air and the intake vents are letting air in. If you’re not feeling much airflow at all, the most common cause is an accumulation of dust in the vents, fans, and cooling channels. It’s not too hard to clean out this dust. Turn your laptop upside-down and look at what you’ve got.

You may be able to get by with just blowing the dust from the vents using a can of compressed air. If you have a laptop that makes the fans easily accessible through panels you can remove, unscrew those panels and lift out the fan so you can blow the dust out even better.

And while the fan is out, don’t forget to blow out the area where the fan sits, as well.

If you find that a fan is spinning erratically, you may want to try lifting the sticker off of the axle and putting a drop of mineral oil to keep it going. You can also use contact cleaner, which is designed to evaporate quickly and leave no residue.

If you find that your fan is too gummed up with dust or other debris and just doesn’t spin freely, you can also try to look up the part number from your laptop’s user manual or by searching your laptop model number online. Once you have that, you can find replacements pretty easily on eBay and the like.

Check for Dying Batteries

There are plenty of different types of batteries, and many different schools of thought on battery maintenance and life span, but one thing that seems pretty unanimous is that batteries aren’t meant to be stored at 100% or 0% capacity. I know plenty of people who buy laptops and always keep the charger in—never actually using the battery. This can definitely reduce a…

8 Misleading Gadget Marketing Gimmicks

Consumers now have thousands of computers, tablets, e-readers, phones, game consoles, and other gadgets to choose from. Unfortunately, technology marketing teams have a frustrating history of creating misleading marketing campaigns — from the commercials they create to the facts listed on product listings. Here are eight misleading marketing gimmicks to be aware of before you purchase any new tech toys.

1. PlayStation 4 Pro’s 4K graphics

The new PlayStation has been marketed as a new 4K gaming experience. Despite the marketing claims, developers have begun to admit that the console doesn’t have the processing power to render a true 4K image. Instead, the PS4 Pro fills in half of the required pixels for a 4K image (like a checkerboard) and utilizes an algorithm to fill in the missing pixels for a 4K screen, which will still result in a high definition gaming experience, but not technically 4K.

The PS4 Pro will be close enough to 4K image that most gamers won’t be able to tell the difference. Mislabeling the PS4 Pro as 4K isn’t malicious, but it’s still indicative of an industry that continually oversells image quality as true 4K.

2. Video game trailers with misleading images

Video games, every once in awhile, mislead gamers about the quality of the graphics. Gamers awed by the trailers, purchase the game, and then are disappointed by the poorer-than-advertised image quality. Game marketers hoodwink gamers in two ways: pre-rendered images and cross console game images.

No Man’s Sky has come under fire (and an investigation by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority) for using concept art and pre-rendered footage to advertise their game in a manner that over-exaggerates the graphics.

In 2010, Final Fantasy XIII’s trailer was banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority for using PlayStation 3 clips to advertise the Xbox 360 version of the game. The trailer convinced individuals to purchase the game, only for them to discover the Xbox 360 version of the game had lower quality graphics.

3. Available storage space

Available memory is an important aspect of many purchases. Is 8GB enough? Or would a 32GB device be better? Each consumer needs to make an educated decision which device best fits their needs. The problem is that tech manufacturers often choose to not advertise how much of the memory has already been used by preinstalled software and hardware.

How big can the discrepancy between advertised and available storage be? In the past, Apple iPhones and iPads had 20 percent less storage space…

Here’s the Most Attractive Facial Feature on Women According to Science

You might have heard some people say they’re an “eye guy” (or girl!), and surely you’ve complimented a friend’s hair with the slightest bit of jealousy, but what does science have to say about the most attractive feature on a woman’s face? Is there an empirical answer?

Turns out…yes.

According to this recent study out of Manchester University, upon meeting a woman, men will spent much of the first 10 seconds looking her lips – and the attention lingers almost a full second longer if the woman is wearing lipstick.

Dr. Geoff Beattie, the study’s lead researcher, had this to say about why:

This study proves that lips represent one of the most sensual aspects of a woman’s body and play a critical role…

Razer’s Blade Stealth gets a classy new finish and a bigger display

Razer’s Blade Stealth gets a classy new finish and a bigger display

Razer’s Blade laptops have always been classier than the typical gaming fare, but the green accents and RGB lights still weren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Fret no more: Razer now has an honest-to-goodness professional-looking laptop in the latest update to the Blade Stealth, while also addressing some of the biggest pain points with the previous models.

I suspect the new Gunmetal color is going to work wonders for getting people to consider the Blade Stealth over Dell, HP, or Microsoft’s offerings. It looks quite sleek, doing away with the neon green USB ports and logo in favor of dark grey. While I still don’t like Razer’s logo, the metal-on-metal look looks infinitely classier than the l33t h4x0rz glowing-green-on-pitch black of its predecessors.

The keyboard is also plain white instead of RGB, which is a bit more of a questionable decision. You could always just turn the keyboard white if you preferred it in Razer’s Chroma software; it could have been a nice differentiator from the competition. Still, I imagine not too many people will mind.

Colors and finishes aside, Razer default display option shaves down the bezels to increase the screen size from 12.5-inches to 13.3-inches without making the chassis larger….

How Nvidia’s Max-Q delivers 3 times the performance in a much thinner laptop

Last night, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang announced Max-Q, a new approach to designing gaming laptops to deliver three times the performance in a third of the size of previous laptops. In doing so, he held up a 10-pound gaming laptop from a few years ago and compared it to a lighter and thinner laptop from Asus.

And today, Nvidia’s Mark Aevermann, director of notebook product management, further explained how Max-Q makes that possible. He noted that five years ago, efficient mainstream gaming laptops were just a dream, and the total market was about 200,000 systems a year. It was a niche market. In 2016, more than 10 million gaming laptops shipped, or more than the number of Xbox One game consoles sold.

“Gaming notebooks are a force today, and they’re the fastest-growing platform out there,” Aevermann said.

But gaming notebooks could still be lighter and more affordable. So, in partnership with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Nvidia set about to redesign notebooks to be more efficient, without changing the graphics chips that ship with them.

Above: Nvidia’s Max-Q improvements.

Image Credit: Nvidia

In one of the biggest changes, Nvidia figured out the peak efficiency for its graphics processing units. It found that running chips at peak performance cost a huge amount in terms of power consumption. By throttling back just a little, the power efficiency became much more manageable.

“Peak performance is not peak efficiency,” Aevermann said. “The last little bits of performance cost a tremendous amount of power.”

Nvidia also looked at the optimal game settings, advanced thermal solutions and software drivers that make use of them, better acoustics, and efficient power regulation.

Max-Q is a term taken from NASA’s mission to launch man into space. It is defined as the point at which the aerodynamic stress on a rocket in atmospheric flight is maximized. Thus, the design of the rocket is precision-engineered around Max-Q.


Synaptics warns that fingerprint spoofing makes laptops vulnerable

In the wake of the WannaCry ransomware computer virus attack, here’s one more thing to worry about. The fingerprint identification systems that some modern laptops employ to recognize users can be easily compromised with a spoofing process.

Synaptics, which makes fingerprint identification sensors and touchpad technology, earlier this month issued a warning that some computer makers, seeking to save about 25 cents per machine, have chosen to use insecure smartphone fingerprint sensors instead of more secure laptop sensors, said Godfrey Cheng, vice president of product for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company, in an interview with VentureBeat.

“Fingerprint identification has taken off because it is secure and convenient when it’s done right,” he said. “When it’s not secure all of the way through, then that’s an exposure that an attacker can exploit.”

The smartphone fingerprint sensors typically use unencrypted methods to store and send the fingerprint to a central processing unit (CPU) for processing. That makes the data vulnerable to snooping software and other hacks. Synaptics sensors, by contrast, use encryption and a secondary host processor to do the recognition work.

That encryption makes it a lot harder for hackers to copy the fingerprint and use it to unlock a computer remotely, Cheng said. Synaptics will demo the fingerprint insecurity at the Computex trade show in Taiwan this week.

The insecure fingerprint sensors are disturbing because modern laptop users are conditioned to believe that fingerprints are unique and are much safer than passwords. This is largely true, but a laptop manufacturer’s choice in sensors can potentially lead to the theft of your fingerprint image. That makes a user’s laptop secrets vulnerable, as well as those of an entire enterprise, if it’s a work computer.

“There are two types of fingerprint sensors in the notebook market today,” Cheng said. “Those that are encrypted and safe, and those that are unencrypted and unsafe.”

Cheng showed that thieves can use typical phishing methods to take control of your computer and can plant a software program to sniff out your fingerprint when you use the laptop’s fingerprint scanner. Once…

Nvidia’s Max-Q tech can make gaming laptops as thin as a MacBook Air

Graphics chip maker Nvidia introduced Max-Q, a new design approach that will enable thinner, quieter, and faster gaming laptops.

Laptops using the new Max-Q designs will debut from all major computer makers starting June 27, according to an announcement by CEO Jen-Hsun Huang in a speech at the Computex trade show in Taiwan. Max-Q is a new approach to designing gaming laptops, and Nvidia is working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and system builders to make high-end gaming laptops thinner, faster, and quieter. With Max-Q, everything in the design is precision-engineered — including the laptop, the graphics processing unit (GPU), the drivers, and the thermal and electrical components — to ensure peak efficiency.

Max-Q is a term taken from NASA’s mission to launch man into space. It is defined as the point at which the aerodynamic stress on a rocket in atmospheric flight is maximized. Thus, the design of the rocket is precision-engineered around Max-Q. Nvidia said it has applied a similar philosophy to designing gaming laptops, enabling original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to build laptops that are three times thinner with up to three times more performance of previous generation products.

The results of Max-Q technology, as applied to existing chips, is a high-performance gaming platform…

Zoolz offers 1TB of cloud storage for life – for under $30

cloud storage

Stack up all the hard drives and flash sticks you want, but online storage space is still a premium commodity. Without some regular attention to storage room on your phone, tablet or laptop, you’ll likely to find stuff clogging up your device.

Rather than slow your tech to a crawl, just start sorting through all the stockpiled videos, images, documents and other low-priority digital content and push it…

Facts About Mobile Casino Gambling In 2017

Mobile casino gambling has dominated the Industry for the past decade. In 2010 91 % of the people that play mobile casino games used desktops or laptop computers. In 2014 34% of real money gamblers used their desktop or laptop computers to play games cash.

The growth continues as the Smartphone and tablet technology improves. In 2016 did a study and found 74% of the people playing casino games online used a Smartphone or tablet. What kind…

Long live the laptop. Long live the Apple-Microsoft rivalry

There may yet be life in the laptop market. A few weeks after Microsoft launched its long-promised, fully fledged Surface Laptop, Apple is reportedly planning to refresh its Macbook lineup. Apple’s anticipated announcement followed last fall’s update of the Macbook Pro, which left many enthusiasts underwhelmed.

Apple will upgrade the Macbook Pro and the 12-inch Macbook with faster processors, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources. In particular, the Macbook Pro will get a quad core processor using Intel’s Kaby Lake architecture, which wasn’t available when the Macbook Pro relaunched last October. In addition, Apple is said to be considering a faster chip for the 13-inch Macbook Air. The new laptops will be announced at Apple’s developer conference next month, according to Bloomberg.

The competing offerings from the longtime personal-computing rivals suggest a brighter future for laptops than was on the horizon even a few months ago. The new Macbook Pro received mixed reviews upon its announcement, with some enthusiasts — especially professionals who relied on its processing power — feeling that it fell short of their expectations. Instead of a new Touch Bar that seemed nice if not necessary, they wanted the speed and power Macbooks have always offered.

And rather than delivering the fancy upgrade that Macbook Pro users had waited 524 days for, Apple had signaled that it may be moving away from laptops in a personal-computing landscape where smaller devices were dominant, at least in terms of sales. Reports inside Apple…