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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

One Year In

I got my Toshiba Qosmio a little over a year ago and it has been a great machine for me while traveling and producing podcasts. It's been rock solid with Vista Ultimate on it, with a few annoyances, but mostly it has just worked.

Until recently.

I was actually rendering a video the other night, sitting in bed with the laptop resting on the bedspread and it cut off. I'm glad I was watching because it just died like the battery had been pulled, no blue screen, no nothing. I tried powering it back on, checked the cables, and nothing helped. It was dead.

I picked it up and then I noticed that it was really hot in one spot. The upper right, near the screen where there are exhaust ports. My first thought was that the CPU overheated, and I was hoping that was the case, so I unplugged it and let it cool down. Later it started up and I felt better.

Over the next few days, I watched it carefully. I was ready to send it in for service, and still am, but I've observed a few things. For one the fan still works. I can hear it coming on and off, and air is blowing out. Also, I'd been working in bed for a few days and I think it sitting on the bedspread, which is thick, probably overheated things since it wasn't cutting off while I had a long video editing session.

I'm backing things up and keeping an eye on it and hopefully it will continue to work well. I like this laptop and would hate to have to replace it.

Though I wouldn't mind a new Powerbook if it goes :)

Comments

Posted by K. Brian Kelley on 29 December 2008

I had an old Toshiba and it has a problem with overheating... did some research and for that model, Toshiba had a habit of using too much of the thermal grease between the processor and the heat sink and what happened is that over time it collected dust and dirt and ended up insulating the heat rather than helping it dissipate. Those folks who went in, cleaned everything up and reapplied new thermal grease said that it fixed the issue. Mine was at the point for replacement, anyway, so I never bothered.

Posted by Steve Jones on 29 December 2008

I might have to get that checked. I certainly like this machine if it continues to work.

Posted by Wayne West on 5 January 2009

Sounds like you might have smothered the air intake by it lying on the bed, causing it to overheat.  You might consider setting it on something firm.  I picked up a USB cooling pad at Best Buy that does a reasonable job (firm surface, two fans built-in, plastic shell), but it isn't very convenient to use, so it doesn't get used.

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