Laptops provide a convenient method of mobile computer access, but in order to provide a small footprint they are very tightly packaged, making them much more susceptible to overheating than a desktop. The most common method of providing cooling for a laptop is a fan expelling air across a heat sink, which is usually attached to the processor and graphics chips.
One of the biggest problems associated with this setup is that dust particles tend to be attracted to the fan and heat sink, which if allowed to accumulate will quickly reduce the cooling efficiency. The first warning sign is when the fan starts to spin more often than normal. This is very often ignored which can result in a failure which requires data recovery.
Continual Fan Operation
Once the dust settles onto the fan and heat sink, it will have a tendency to attract even more to accumulate. This will eventually lead to a point where the fan will run continuously, at which point the cooling may no longer be sufficient to avoid components overheating. It is tempting to think that opening the laptop case in order to clean the fan is a good idea, but this will not invalidate the warranty, but also risk damaging sensitive components due to static electricity.
If the dust is allowed to accumulate long enough the fan can start to make strange noises such as scraping and clicking sounds. The temptation fix the problem using an air-blower, compressed air or even tapping the case may risk causing damage. Under no circumstances should you tap or bash your laptop, as impacts may cause severe problems, especially if the hard disk is in operation at the time.
Essential Laptop Care
As the name would imply, it is designed for use on the lap, and a well-designed laptop will be able to provide sufficient cooling. Most work best when placed on an even solid surface, which allows enough airflow for the cooling, while reducing the amount of dust which may enter the laptop. Placing them on a chair, sofa or bed, even temporarily may have a significant impact on the lifetime of the laptop.
Avoiding impacts is one of the most important aspects of owning a laptop. Dropping the laptop when carrying it or slamming the screen closed could lead to serious damage to the hard disk drive. Hard disk drives are sensitive to shocks and if in the process of moving the heads, could lead to them impacting with the disk platters, causing severe damage.
Laptop Data Recovery
The most common reasons for a laptop failure are either through overheating or impact damage. In both scenarios it is quite common for the hard disk drive to start making clicking noises. If the hard disk drive starts to click, or the laptop refuses to identify the drive, you should power the laptop down and contact a data recovery company.
Repeated attempts to reboot a laptop where the hard disk drive is failing, may lead to a further accumulation of damage, which reduces the chances of a successful data recovery. Damage caused by heat or impact damage could result in the failure of any component in the hard disk drive, be it the motor spindle, controller board, platters or read/write heads.