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Thread: Laptop gets Shutdown due to over heat upon scanning my 2TB external Hard disk

  1. #1
    kishore is offline New Member
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    Default Laptop gets Shutdown due to over heat upon scanning my 2TB external Hard disk

    Hi I am newbie here, I own a Dell laptop with Core 2 Duo 2.4GHZ, 3 GB ram, Windows XP installed. Recently I have purchased a Seagate 2TB external hard disk and filled 480GB. Yesterday I put a scan using my Kaspersky Internet security, while the scan is about to complete my laptop gets shutdown showing an "error Over heated". What should i do? Is it ok? or anything dangerous to my laptop or to my external hard disk?

    By to by I haven't partitioned my external hard disk. Partitioning and scanning individual partitions can avoid it?


  2. #2
    J_B_MVP's Avatar
    J_B_MVP is offline Microsoft MVP
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    Hello Kishore and welcome to the forum.

    Over heating can be caused by numerous problems, not least dust build up on the fans in your laptop. Dust and fibres can also block the exit grills causing your laptop to over heat. This is one of the problems with laptops there is so much equipment packed inside them as it is difficult, compared to a desktop, to get adequate airflow to keep the machine cool.

    If the source of the over heating is not located and remedied then, obviously it will eventually damage your laptop. At the moment the machine is turning itself off as it hits that critical temperature.

    Had your machine been a desktop you could have removed the cover to see if the extra airflow helped; however you can't do this with a laptop. You can check the fan grill(s) to see if anything is blocking them. Alternatively it may be worth getting a technician to look at the machine and give it a good clean.

    A 2TB drive has a lot of surface area to scan and can take hours even to simply virus check. The length of time of the scan could also attribute to your over heating problem as the system is simply getting hotter and hotter as it tries to scan the 2TB drive. I would suggest partitioning the 2TB drive in anycase, you don't want to be waiting hours and hours just scanning the system.

    Does the laptop autoshut off during normal use - with the 2TB drive connected or is it only when the machine is scanning the 2TB drive? If it is the latter then the machine is over heating because of all the additional work it is doing scanning the whole of the 2TB drive. Reducing the surface area by partitioning will probably help.

    You can use a cotton bud and gently wipe the exit grills to remove any build up of dust. A vacuum cleaner on low power can also be used to gently remove any dust from the grills. Don't use full power as this causes the fans to spin which could cause damage. Also check that each fan is working, it maybe that one of the fans has stopped working causing the laptop to overheat. Finally, have you checked that, when using you laptop, it is not in a position where any of the grills can get covered; this is especially so if you have the laptop sitting on your lap at the time.

    You might alsdo find this link http://www.howtogeek.com/67660/how-t...t=emailsidebar useful
    Last edited by J_B_MVP; 11th July 2011 at 18:15. Reason: added link

  3. #3
    whs's Avatar
    whs
    whs is offline Gold Member
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    In addition to the above excellent advice, you may consider a coolpad. That reduces the temps by about 5C to 10C. The big disk is probably the cause of the problem. It produces a lot of heat by itself.

    In a similar situation with a HP laptop I solved the problem by exchanging the HDD with an SSD. But then you need to store a lot of data on an external drive if you have a 2TB requirement. An SSD that size would be unaffordable.

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    kishore is offline New Member
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    First of thank you J_B_MVP and whs.

    I haven't faced the problem ever before and I have been using my laptop since 2008, Recently i have added some data to the 2TB hard disk which is about 200GB in size, and now it became 480GB around. Before adding the 200GB it can scan the 2TB external hard disk without any problem.

    Does the laptop autoshut off during normal use?
    Ans: No

    with the 2TB drive connected or is it only when the machine is scanning the 2TB drive?
    Ans: Only when the machine is scanning and it is getting turned off when it is about to finish the scan (after completing 97%)

    Could you please provide any tutorial to partition the 2TB external hard drive? Seagate have provided me with some applications, what is the purpose of them? Can i use them to partition the drive?

    Please don't mind if at all I asked too many queries.
    Last edited by kishore; 12th July 2011 at 04:35. Reason: mistake in writing

  5. #5
    J_B_MVP's Avatar
    J_B_MVP is offline Microsoft MVP
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    If the laptop is only shutting down after almost completing a full scan of the 2TB drive it looks very much as if the 2TB drive is causing the problem. I think this is simply due to the fact that it is too large. In my case I would be partitioning the 2TB drive into smaller partitions. Maybe four 500GB drives or, perhaps two 750Gb and one 500GB. These sizes, of course, are approximate as they may vary slightly depending upon how the size is worked out. Windows, for example, uses 1024 bytes to 1MB whereas DOS (pre windows environment) uses 1000 bytes. It doesn't really matter so long as you allocate a few partitions so that your anti virus doesn't have so much disk area to scan causing the system to overheat.

    Here is a link to partitioning using Windows: How to partition and format a hard disk in Windows

    Seagate usually supply you with an application for imaging the hard drive and from migrating your old drive to your new one. What are the names of the applications that came with the 2TB drive?

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    Bellaar's Avatar
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    Hi J B.. reading your comment on fan spinning while using vacum to remove dust saying it can cause damage, I do that with my desktop PC, only when not on & not plugged in at power point, is this ok??? you have me thinking now, I have no overheating probs!!! I do maybe once week

    Have been doing this since I've had Vista, now have Win 7

  7. #7
    J_B_MVP's Avatar
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    Hi Bellaar,

    Apologies for not replying sooner I must have missed this post.

    So long as the vaccum is on low power it shouldn't do any harm. On the handle of the vacuum you should have a sliding lub. If you slide this open it reduces the amount of suction from the vacuum pipe, this will reduce the speed at which the fan in your PC will spin. Another option, if you have a desktop PC, and you are cleaning the power supply unit fan is to gently slide a cotton bud through the grill and hold it against one of the fan blades (you can't do this with a laptop because the blades are too far away from the grill) to prevent them from mvoing while the vacuum suction is being applied.

    I think once a week is a little too often, I usually clean my Desktop PC every few months. However, if you feel more comfortable with a weekly spring clean then that's fine. I would suggest, however, that if your PC is of the desktop variety you keep the fan blades motionless (using the cotton bud method). The cotton but only needs to go in far enough to prevent the fan blade from moving, there is not need to probe around with it.
    Last edited by J_B_MVP; 15th July 2011 at 15:55.

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    Thank You for reply, I have open fireplace which does not help with dust.

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