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Sony Laptop needs to be opened up!


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#1
Imaginee

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Hi, My Sony laptop is a year an a half old, it has begun to overheat the last couple of months. I have been careful not to place it on my lap (although i did do this in the beginning) so's not to block the vents. The problem is now after a little while of using it, well it starts to burn up and soon slows down. I have to then shut it off to cool it off which is a pain. I downloaded speedfan 4.20 and just ran it, not to sure what i am to look for, the laptop is beginning to heat up as i type this post.

What i want to know is if anyone out there can walk me through opening up this baby and checking for fan/vent problems, maybe it just needs to be cleaned? I need to know what to do in detail before i do it. I used some spray air, but that didn’t make any change. i started to unscrew the bottom and then stopped. I want to be clear on what i should be unscrewing before I do. I want to open it up and hope to find something blocking the fan, or vents, or something. If i am walked through i will not have any problem, i learn quickly and haven’t had any problems with this new laptop i couldn’t fix (up untill now)... it runs great, no virus's or spyware/malware, I learned long ago about HJT, taught myself to read the logs and fix what needs to be fixed on all of my pc's and my friends too.


Thank you for any help in advance, I'll print out your instructions soon as i hear from one of you wise ppl here. :tazz:
~Linda
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#2
Imaginee

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Is this the right forum for a question like this? If not i will go to another and ask for help. Thanks ~Linda
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#3
gerryf

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Linda,

It is most likely a clogged heatsink...I tend to clean my laptop out every six months....I've opened up laptops and extracted what appeared at first to be entire cats,....

You did not mention what MODEL of laptop you have. Each laptop is different...sometimes VERY different. I would be loathe to walk you through such a job unless I had a service manual.

Before you even begin, you should be prepared to clean the heatsink and cpu, and be prepared to reapply heatsink compound (like arctic silver).

Don't even open it up until you have that covered.

If you care to post the model number, I will see if I can dig up a service manual..pretty sure that your computer was built by Quanta...

Another place you might consider trying is
http://notebookforums.com/
They have a small Sony section, but this forum is populated by notebook owners and perhaps one has previously had to open a similar system.
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#4
Imaginee

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Thank you Gerry!! You see i didn't know about that heatsink compound, thank goodness i didn't just open it up and start messing with it!

Here is the model # PCG-9L1L
Any info you care to pass on to me would be great. Umm like where to pick up the compound? I have a Radio shack and walmart close by, all other stores are over an hour away. I have never owned a laptop before so it's all new to meeee, i have however owned a desktop since 1985 (started out with a little Tandy 1000)

I thank you very much also for replying back and await your comments. ~Linda
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#5
gerryf

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well, no luck on the service manual...it is indeed a Quanta made laptop, rebadged for Sony, tho.

You can get some heatsink compound at a radio shack but it is typically of lower quality.

Again, I am leary of trying to walk you through something without seeing it.

I would typically determine the location of the cpu by tracing back from the exhaust fans.

The heatsink will sit on the CPU, and the fan will push or pull air through the heatsink.

The heatsink is like a radiator in that it has tiny little fins and the gaps between these fill up with dust. After a year, it can reduce the cooling substantially.

Blowing air back from the fans is not a good idea, because you can burn out the bearing on the fan (you will be spinning them backwards faster than they were designed to go).

In a pinch, if you can see the fan, you can use a toothpick to hold the fan blades in place so they do not spin, and blast the dust out that way.

Ideally, you should remove the heatsink and clean the blades, clean the bottom of the heatsink and top of CPU, reapply a VERY think coat of arctic silver.

Here is an excellent tutorial for a computer that is not yours (sadly)

http://notebookforum...ead.php?t=11362

but it will give you an idea of what you're up against.

I believe that tutorial talks about lapping the sink as well...you need not concern yourself with that unless you want to.
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#6
Imaginee

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Thank you again Gerry, I looked at that tut and will go back and read it carefully in a few. I'm thinking I should find out if i have a service plan on this laptop, i think i may, it was a gift from my son the christmas before last. I will find out and if indeed i have a plan i'll turn it in to be fixed. I hate to be without my laptop for more then a day (kinda a wee bit addicted) I have a desktop, it died on me 6 months ago, well it's still breathing but will not boot up for me at all. Maybe i will address that pc's problems while this one is being treated. Thank you again, I will let you know what I decide. Thanks~Linda:D
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#7
BePro

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A bit late. I was searching for information on the CPU switch settings for my VAIO and found this topic. I registered and hope to be able to provide you with information.

I have a question,

You said your VAIO model was PCG-9L1L. Where did you find that number from? Was it from the label that is on the bottom of the laptop? I have a PCG-FRV31 VAIO Laptop, and on the label on the bottom of my unit it says the model number is PCG-9L1L.

So, What I want to know is what does your VAIO say for the model number on the top (Above the keyboard, left side). Mine is PCG-FRV31.

If yours is the same as PCG-FRV31, then I can take pictures of how to open the laptop and get to the CPU heatsink.

Why do I know this? Because mine overheated too. After I cleaned it, it performed better, but it isnt as good as it was when I first got it (which is why I was searching for info on the CPU switches, so I can upgrade the CPU to a P4 instead of a Celeron).
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#8
Imaginee

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Hi and Yes it is the same model number, i just now looooked at the number above the keyboard.:tazz: Thank you for writing to me that was very nice of ou. I plan to bring the laptop in next month to Best-buy to have it serviced, i may as well use the plan while i have it, I will be away for a week and thought that to be the best time to have it fixed(hope it doesn't take longer). Oh and i would like to talk to you more about this laptop, well more about the inner workings of it, if i ever need to work on it myself, i would like to know much more. Thanks again and how long before your Sony heats up now that it was cleaned?
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#9
BePro

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Hi and Yes it is the same model number, i just now looooked at the number above the keyboard.:tazz: Thank you for writing to me that was very nice of ou. I plan to bring the laptop in next month to Best-buy to have it serviced, i may as well use the plan while i have it, I will be away for a week and thought that to be the best time to have it fixed(hope it doesn't take longer). Oh and i would like to talk to you more about this laptop, well more about the inner workings of it, if i ever need to work on it myself, i would like to know much more.  Thanks again and how long before your Sony heats up now that it was cleaned?

View Post



Your welcome.

I (stupid me) opted not to buy Best Buys warranty. Bad desicion.

At first I did not know what was wrong with my Vaio. I noticed it was slow as heck, and very hot. Figuring that I had no warranty, and that I have worked on many desktops and a few laptops, I made a bold desicion to open my Vaio. With that, I found huge clumps of fuzzballs and dust bunnies. I could not beleive how much I took out. (After this, I asked many people and have been told that dust is not covered by warranty, which blows my mind as its pratically unavoidable with laptops, especially since they are mobile and can often be subjected to many enviroments).

After I cleaned it, I noticed a huge difference in performance and temperature.

I have not had problems since, but I not am very careful to not let my desk area where I set my laptop get dusty. I am in the dorms of a college, and dust is a problem. I now use a external monitor and keyboard/mouse combo so I can leave my laptop standing up, so the air intake is not near the desk surface and draws fresh air far away from where dust can settle.

I also about every 3-6 months open it up and check the dust levels.

Since this overheating has happend, I do not get the performance I originally got when I first bought my Vaio. I beleive the heat has had a permanant impact on the Celerons performance.

As far as the internals of this unit, its almost like performing surgery, as everything is very compact. Upon opening this Vaio, I found several Dip switch banks that I assume are used to select the speed and bus speed of the CPU. I know this Vaio model series do come with P4s (PCG-FRV35 for instance), and I can upgrade my Celeron to a P4, but I do not know which settings to set the switchs to, as they are not labeled. I mailed sony support today asking about it, but I doubt I will get an answer, as that information is probably considered "Confidential" or "Buisness salses security valnurability" or so.

Hopefully I can get info on this. I have a CDROM that contails about 70 Vaio Service Manuals and Service bullitens, but they are all 2002 or older models. I will ask my professor tomorrow if he cant get me the info, as he is the one who obtained this CD in the first place.

Another thing I noticed is the CDRW/DVD Combo on mine does not perform well at all. It no longer burns CDs and has a hard time reading a lot of CDROMS. Is yours having similar problems?
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#10
gerryf

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That's because you have cats, maybe :tazz: (noting avatar)

Seriously, you should have seen these pictures

http://notebookforum...&highlight=cats

Guy's laptop heatsink was 50 percent cat hair, and 50 percent aluminum
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#11
BePro

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The pics give a 404 error, but I can imagine. At hoe I do have 2 cats and a dog, and the ydo put out a lot of hair. Fortunently for me I am at the dorms most of the time. Back at home its another story, so we usually groom the pets often to minimize the hair problem
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#12
Imaginee

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I have a dog that sheds a lot all year long, so i can only imagine what they will find in my laptop. I just found out i will be away for a week and leave this Friday, so i will have Best-buy service it now, i can't take this overheating, i hate that i can't get work done and that also i may be causing permanent damage. So wish me luck that they fix it and I get it back in a week running as FAST and COOL as it use to(that's s lot to wish for!)!

Thanks again and as i said i will be back to ask questions when needed. :tazz: Ciao~Linda
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#13
lazar

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I'm in the same boat somewhat. My girlfriends laptop has been acting up, it had been overheating a lot for a few months, now it sounds as if the fan motor may be stripped or something. Its a noise as if something is stuck in the fan. I have to open this thing up and replace the cooling unit. Should be a fun job hehe. Its the same model as the others above, pcg-frv31 so if anyone came across any pictures or tuts of that model, I'd greatly appreciate it if you could share, thanks.
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