Fix Laptop or get a new one?

Over the past few months my laptop of almost two years as been acting slow and over heating when I play games on it. The only game I play on it is the Sims 3 with all of it expansions and because of the slowness and over heating I haven't been able to play in months. I have been considering getting a new laptop but a friend told me I could fix the one I have for cheap.
He told me to buy a external hard drive and reformat my laptop. Reinstall windows 7 on it and install all my sim games on the external hard drive. He said this wouldn't make my computer slow and it shouldn't over heat anymore.
I have no idea if this would work and I want to get some opinions on what I should do. Should I just look into getting a new laptop or should I try and fix the one I have currently.

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I disagree.
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Canned Air

Yes I have tried canned air. It didn't seem to help much in th long run, it was more of a short term solution. I've always had problems with this laptop when it comes to over heating. I used to have a cooling fan that I use to run under my laptop and that use to keep it cool but now that doesn't even work.

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Then the last hurrah.
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Not for the feeble-hearted

Might also try undervolting to reduce temperature. A fair bit of work would be involved, incl. stability testing due to possible BSOD. Some processors will show more tolerance than others.

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The hidden dust, hair, etc fix.

Canned air doesn't blow out the matted mixture of dust, hair, and other things that get sucked in by the fan and lodge between the fan outlet and the cooling fins of the heat sink assembly. The Dells I've cleaned were stuffed and the space filled was about 1/2" thick square by the width of the cooling fins. I doubt a vacuum cleaner plus air would unlodge the matted mess. I had to remove the top assembly which includes keyboard and cover to get to the fan area. Suggest you get a copy of the service manual and see how to safely remove the items mentioned to get to the fan and cooling fin area.

This overheating will eventually cause your video chip to fail and screen to do weird things or not show anything. The only way to repair the failed video chip is to replace the motherboard with an exect like one which is not that hard with the service manual usually found online. I bought the motherboard on ebay along with the heat sink glue. Takes about a hour hour to do the change out and it much more difficult than cleaning the fan area. If you can follow directions, then you should be able to do it. Key is to take pictures as you progress (helps putting it back together) and place the screws in separate piles in a container so you know where to put them back and you don't scatter them. Always be sure to remove the battery, unplug the charger, and discharge yourself before touching any components... if you walk away and come back, discharge again before touching anything.

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In the CNET Laptop Troubleshooting forum

We have more information about deep cleaning. Canned air on a regular basis can put off the day you need to do the deep cleaning.

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