Acer and a number of other companies are well reputed for making some of the most reliable laptops for the community. Often times there are instances where some laptops get recalled or are replaced for being faulty. In some instances it’s the end-users neglect that has caused the laptop to fail or display abnormalities like shutting down or heating up. This tutorial will aid you in resolving an Acer laptop that suffers from heating up and undergoes forced shutdown.
As a precursor, forced shutdowns often occur when a laptop or component has reached its thermal threshold and needs to shut off in order to protect itself.
1. You will want to verify the SKU and model for your Acer laptop and note it down on a piece of paper.
2. On a donor system, in a web browser of your preference, go to Acer’s support site and find your laptop model from the drop down menus.
3. Download all the latest drivers and BIOS updates for your laptop.
4. In order for you to verify which BIOS revision your Acer laptop is on. You should be able to delve into your laptop’s BIOS soon after pressing the power button and tapping on the F2 key. At the main screen you should see the BIOS revision you’re on.
5. If you have BIOS updates pending, it’s advised to update the BIOS for your laptop in a gradual process. If you have 5 BIOS updates since your last revision, you should work your way through all 5 BIOS updates as opposed to jumping onboard the latest BIOS revision.
6. If you can power up to go into BIOS, it’d be a good idea to take note of your temperatures. This option should be found with the Diagnostics area or in the Hardware Monitor area. This will also depend on which model of an Acer laptop you have since older models will have different functionality built into each models BIOS.
7. If updating your BIOS as well as updating the graphics card and other drivers doesn’t change anything, you will need to disassemble the laptop to get at the thermal assembly of the laptop.
8. Undo the screws on the underside of the laptop.
9. Undo the keyboard. Depending on the model of your laptop, the keyboard may be part of the palm rest so please be careful when disassembling. If you think it helps, have a screw diagram for the laptop you’re disassembling.
10. With the underside of the laptop disassembled, undo the screws and retention mechanism for the CPU and GPU’s cooling assembly.
11. Inspect the heatsink and the fin stack/array for any dust and debris that may be clogging the spaces between the venting areas. This will be critical since the heat dissipation area effectively cools when it receives air across the fins. If there are any obstructions, clean it with a small soft bristled painters brush.
12. Inspect the cooling fans and perform the same diligence as step 11 if cleaning is necessary.
13. Remove the thermal paste on your CPU and/or GPU’s IHS/die surface with isopropyl alcohol. If, for some odd reason, you don’t have access to isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol, you can get by with nail polish remover.
14. Apply a small, pea sized grain (usually 1mm-2mmin in diameter) of thermal paste on the die surface(s) with a reliable thermal paste like Artic Silver 5 or Arctic MX-4.
15. With your cleaned copper heatsink assembly, remount the cooling solution, taking note of the order in which you screw down the retention screws. Don’t worry about the spread of the thermal paste, so long as you didn’t over apply the paste will evenly spread across the die surfaces.
16. Reassemble the laptop.
17. Power up the laptop and see if you can boot to GUI.
18. If you can get to GUI and stay there while on idle and at load (with your regular chores) then the issue was due to the cooling assembly being unable to dissipate heat effectively.
Hopefully you have now resolved the issue of overheating on your laptop by following through the steps outlined in this tutorial.