How to Tell If Your Computer is Overheating and What to Do About It

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Today we have a great little article for you;
How to Tell If Your Computer is Overheating and What to Do About It
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A Dan Thompson contribution

How to Tell If Your Computer is Overheating and What to Do About It


http://www.howtogeek.com/174288/how-to-tell-if-your-computer-is-overheating-
and-what-to-do-about-it/

Heat is a computer’s enemy. Computers are designed with heat dispersion and
ventilation in mind so they don’t overheat. If too much heat builds up, your
computer may become unstable or suddenly shut down.

The CPU and graphics card produce much more heat when running demanding
applications. If there’s a problem with your computer’s cooling system, an
excess of heat could even physically damage its components.

Is Your Computer Overheating?

When using a typical computer in a typical way, you shouldn’t have to worry
about overheating at all. However, if you’re encountering system instability
issues like abrupt shut downs,
blue screens, and freezes, especially while doing
something demanding like playing PC games or encoding video – your computer
may be overheating.

This can happen for several reasons. Your computer’s case may be full of
dust, a fan may have failed, something may be blocking your computer’s
vents, or you may have a compact laptop that was never designed to run at
maximum performance for hours on end.

Monitoring Your Computer’s Temperature

First, bear in mind that different CPUs and GPUs (graphics cards) have
different optimal temperature ranges. Before getting too worried about a
temperature, be sure to check your computer’s documentation – or its CPU or
graphics card specifications – and ensure you know the temperature ranges
your hardware can handle.

You can monitor your computer’s temperatures in a variety of different ways.
First, you may have a way to monitor temperature that is already built into
your system. You can often view temperature values in your computer’s BIOS
or UEFI settings screen. This allows you to quickly see your computer’s
temperature if Windows freezes or blue screens on you. Do this by booting
the computer, enter the BIOS or UEFI screen, by pressing f2 or what ever key
your computer’s manul says to use. Then check the temperatures displayed
there. Note that not all BIOSes or UEFI screens will display this
information, but it is very commonl.

There are also programs that will display your computer’s temperature. Such
programs just read the sensors inside your computer and show you the
temperature value they report, so there are a wide variety of tools you can
use for this, from the simple Speccy
system information utility found here:

http://www.piriform.com/speccy

to an advanced tool like SpeedFan
found here:

http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

or HWMonitor found at the
link below:

http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

also offer this feature, displaying a wide variety of sensor information.

Be sure to look at your CPU and graphics card temperatures. You can also
find other temperatures, such as the temperature of your hard drive, but
these components will generally only overheat if it becomes extremely hot in
the computer’s case. They shouldn’t generate too much heat on their own.

If you think your computer may be overheating, don’t just glance as these
sensors once and ignore them. Do something demanding with your computer,
such as running a CPU burn-in test with
Prime 95, found here:

http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft/

playing a PC game, or running a
graphical benchmark. Monitor the computer’s temperature while you do this,
even checking a few hours later – does any component overheat after you push
it hard for a while?

Preventing Your Computer From Overheating

If your computer is overheating, here are some things you can do about it:

Thousands of hours per year of fan-driven air movement combined with
electrostatic charges make computers veritable dust magnets. Is

. 1. Dust Out Your Computer’s Case:
Dust accumulates in desktop PC cases and
even laptops over time, clogging fans and blocking air flow. This dust can
cause ventilation problems, trapping heat and preventing your PC from
cooling itself properly. Be sure to clean your computer’s case occasionally
to prevent dust build-up. Unfortunately, it’s often more difficult to dust
out overheating laptops.

. 2. Ensure Proper Ventilation: Put the computer in a location
where it can properly ventilate itself. If it’s a desktop, don’t push the
case up against a wall so that the computer’s vents become blocked or leave
it near a radiator or heating vent. If it’s a laptop, be careful to not
block its air vents, particularly when doing something demanding. For
example, putting a laptop down on a mattress, allowing it to sink in, and
leaving it there can lead to overheating – especially if the laptop is doing
something demanding and generating heat it can’t get rid of.

. 3. Check if Fans Are Running: If you’re not sure why your
computer started overheating, open its case and check that all the fans are
running. It’s possible that a CPU, graphics card, or case fan failed or
became unplugged, reducing air flow.

. 4. Tune Up Heat Sinks: If your CPU is overheating, its heat sink
may not be seated correctly or its thermal paste may be old. You may need to
remove the heat sink and re-apply new thermal paste before reseating the
heat sink properly. This tip applies more to tweakers, overclockers, and
people who build their own PCs, especially if they may have made a mistake
when originally applying the thermal paste.

On Friday I will post an article regarding ” How To Diagnose and Fix an
Overheating Laptop.” But for now, One of the most common issues with aging
laptops is overheating, something many people aren’t sure how to fix. This
is often much more difficult when it comes to laptops, which generally
aren’t designed to be user-serviceable. That can lead to trouble if the
laptop becomes filled with dust and needs to be cleaned out, especially if
the laptop was never designed to be opened by users at all. This will be
further discussed on Friday.

Overheating is a definite danger when
overclocking your CPU
or graphics card. Overclocking will cause your components to run hotter, and
the additional heat will cause problems unless you can properly cool your
components. If you’ve overclocked your hardware and it has started to
overheat – well, throttle back the overclock!

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