Question about Dell Inspiron 5160 Notebook

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My Dell 5160 keeps overheating- I need help opening the machine.

I have had this problem for a good year or so. Basically, my computer (after a good amount of use- say two hours or so) will keep heating up... the fan will suddenly go REALLY fast and the computer will shut off. When my computer was under warranty I talked with those Dell tech support freaks and they actually sent someone over and they replaced the fan, and the heat sink... After speaking with them a few weeks ago (and them telling me that my warranty is officially expired) they suggested that my motherboard may have fried as well. I doubt this, but you never know... what I have decided to do in the interim is clean as much dust as I can from the vents and maybe that will solve most of the problem. I wanted to open the machine and clean all of the hard stuff as well that I can't get to otherwise.

Trying to open the machine, I took all the screws off the back panel and there were a few screws holding it from the back of the machine AND one holding it down from inside the empty battery slot. Why won't the machine open for me?

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  • paris_gartag Jan 18, 2009

    Yes the computer works fine, I turn it on, Windows loads, and it works for a period of time (although it runs hot) and after some time it overheats (the fan starts running VERY fast) and then shuts off.

  • paris_gartag Jan 18, 2009

    Sorry I should have mentioned I have re-installed Windows a few months ago. There no viruses to be found (via Virus Scan)... how would I check to see if it's the power supply?

  • Susorama Mar 17, 2009

    I have the same issue. It sounds like a bloody freight train! I am NOT a computer or tech person so I have been living with it since the first year. And that was almost five years ago! SHould I take it to the Geek Squad and have them do whatever needs to be done? I tried the cleaning route (dust). Also, my screen is not bright but when i pull out the power cord the brightness comes back. What is with that????

  • DEKR
    DEKR May 11, 2010

    can you get it to load windows before it shuts down



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Mine was running at 74 to 76 degrees Celsius and was completely worthless. It took forever for the simplest tasks and I was ready to toss it. Rather than trash it I decided to take it apart and check the fan and cpu. It only took me 30 minutes the first time and 15 minutes the other two times. More on the other two times in a minute. All I had to do was remove the lint that had built up between the fan and the cpu. The hot air from the cpu was trapped causing it to overheat. Once the hole was unplugged the hot air was able to escape via the fan and now it's running between 41 and 55 degrees Celsius. When I put the parts back together the computer didn't boot up so I took it apart again and it still didn't work after the second time. I didn't realize it but there is a cam for the cpu and I didn't have the cpu completed seated in the socket. Fortunately there was no damage and my 5160 is running better than ever.

Posted on May 19, 2009

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I know exactly what you are talking about. Dell should have replaced the motherboard for you but they didnt. Call them back and give them grief because they did not fix the original problem.

I have an Inspiron 5100 and same deal. I thought there was a problem with the hard drive but later found out that it was the motherboard.

As far as your issue look for any screws you might have missed with a flashlight.. there are 17 screws on mine. Take off all the bay door screws also.

Good Luck

Posted on Jan 18, 2009

  • Shane Fowler
    Shane Fowler Jan 19, 2009

    you need a new cpu fan and heatsink..this is a common problem with these then... get one here Click link


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Have you cleaned it lately
Have you done a virus scan
If windows is loading and everything is there
I doubt its the motherboard
Maybe the power supply is going
Do a virus scan

Posted on Jan 18, 2009

  • DEKR
    DEKR Jan 18, 2009

    you also want to check in control panel


    screen saver

    then power options

    make sure they are all set right

  • DEKR
    DEKR Jan 18, 2009

    did this only happen after reinstalling windows

    there could be a lot of dust on the fan


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