Replace optical drive, now overheats. Any suggestions?

I recently had my optical drive go out (I had a piece of plastic stuck in it, and when I pulled it out, I broke an ribbon connector). So, I ordered a replacement drive here, and I confirmed it was the same model number as the one in my computer. However, it seemed that when I put the two small screws in toward the slot on the chassis, they did not line up completely. So, I just screwed one down pretty tight, and put my computer back together. Now, I have issues where it seems to get very hot and freeze. Now, It usually freezes when I am laying in bed and it sits on blankets which I know is not good for ventilation, but it never used to freeze before, so I wanted to hear from the community if you guys could think of a reason why this might be happening. Is there something specifically I should look for as far as contacts are concerned? The fans works, and it is fine. As a side note, I am in the customer seeding program so I am testing a newer OS, and I swapped the non-working to working drive after I upgraded the OS.

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You've already guessed my suggestion. Reinstall the system. Are you using Lion? Is there a particular location where it's getting hot? Next download and install Hardware Monitor to see just what's overheating:

Could your machine be picking up vent blocking material from your blankie?

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It's weird because this has never happened before. I could re-install Snow Leopard and see if that helps. That would suggest software, but given that I opened it up to replace the optical drive I feel like maybe that is what is causing it. However, at school on a desk it doesn't do that, and I am on the couch right now, and it isn't freezing.

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The screws might not have lined up because one goes to a sliding bar on the side of the optical drive and this sliding mechanism has to be pulled all the way back when installing. Is the drive functioning properly with just one screw? But I dont really see how the two would be correlated.

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The drive functions no problem. I can stick a disc in and it will read fine. It does have a slightly louder mechanism when it pulls the disc in. I may take it apart again and look. I was just curious since Macs dissipate heat from the bottom if something wasn't touching correctly, heat would be transferred. However, it may be a OS issue as my wife's computer also does the same thing. I am going to switch back to SL and see if that helps. Although, I may try and get those screw lined up.

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I would remove the cover and inspect the inside of the computer for several things:

  • Inverting and opening the computer could dislodge a dust bunny that now blocks an air path.
  • During reassembly, you may have left a sheet or cable in a position where it now blocks air flow.
  • If a plenum through which air flows, such as between a vent and a fan, were dislodged slightly, the seal between it and, for example, the edges of the vent could leak.
  • Bracket-like devices called heat sinks are often used to conduct excess heat away from chips. If the joint between a heat sink and the chip were interrupted, it would not cool effectively. For example, an inexperienced person might clean off the thermally conductive grease between a chip and its heat sink.
  • Any object that gets between a chip and its heat sink will prevent cooling. For example, the designers might use the cover as a heat sink.

Look for anything out of place, including tape you used to hold cables out of the way during disassembly.

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