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Clean a laptop heatsink

Clean a laptop heatsink


A notebook will get dirty. It is inevitable that dust and dirt will build up inside and out. This dirt will begin to make a notebook computer operate at a higher temperature compared to when it was new. If
a notebook overheats then it is prone to errors and possibly shutting down during CPU-intensive
activities such as gaming, video and image editing and when running distributed computing
programs such as Folding@Home. If your notebook is experiencing BSODs or complete shut-downs then the culprit could be a dusty, dirty CPU and heatsink. This means it’s time to clean it and gain back stability. Just how to do it is what this guide is all about.

The notebook computer used in this demonstration is a 6-month old Toshiba A30. It’s too was overheating and turning itself off while running Folding@Home. The source of these errors was a dust-ridden heatsink. The notebook reached a temperature of 76 degrees Celsius under full load
before it turning off. (A digital thermometer was used to measure the temperature
at the base of the heatsink.) After cleaning the heatsink and removing the layer of
dust on the fan shroud it now operates at a temperature of 51 degrees Celsius under full load with a variance due to ambient temperature. That 20 degree Celsius drop is more than welcome.

ADVISORY: Icrontic assumes no responsibility if you damage or void the warranty of your notebook computer when attempting to clean your heatsink. Proceed at your own risk. If you are not up to the task then take the laptop to a qualified professional at your local service centre. Always consult the owner’s manual.

Tools and supplies

Figure 1: Recommended tools and supplies.

tools_and_supplies

Here is a list of recommended tools and supplies. It may vary depending on the notebook computer in question.

  • Philips screw driver
  • Slotted screw driver
  • Torx set
  • Tweezers/forceps
  • Isopropanol alcohol
  • Cotton swabs
  • Thermal paste
  • Tissue/toilet paper
  • Canned air (not pictured)

Removing and cleaning the heatsink and fan

Before starting remove the battery and disconnect any cables to the notebook
computer.

Opening the notebook computer can be either an easy task or a hard one. It
all depends on the notebook computer. Some, like the demonstration Toshiba, have an access
panel for the CPU and heatsink area. Some may have access to the whole cooling assembly
and some may not have any access to the heatsink and CPU. Notebook computers
that don’t have a convenient access panel to the CPU, heatsink and fan(s) will
have to be completely disassembled to gain access. **Take the notebook to a qualified professional at a local servce centre if you are not
up to the task. Proceeding may void the warranty and possibly damage the notebook. Proceed at your own risk.**

Figure 2: Removal of the CPU and heatsink access panel.

access_panel

A Torx bit (T-9) is needed to undo the screws in order to gain access to the CPU and heatsink inside the Toshiba A-30 notebook computer.

Figure 3: Removing the heatsink mounting screws.

remove_access_panel

With the access panel removed, undo the screws holding down the heatsink.

Figure 4: Unlocking the CPU socket.

unlock_cpu

Unforunately, in this notebook computer, removing the heatsink from the CPU
cannot be done. The thermal paste that Toshiba used permanently “glued” the heatsink
to the CPU core. The CPU socket had to be unlocked with a slotted screwdriver so
the CPU and heatsink could come out as one unit.

Figure 5: Dusty heatsink that’s “glued” on the CPU.

dusty_heatsink

Use some tissue or toilet paper to wipe off the old thermal paste once the heatsink is removed. It is preferable to use Q-TIPS as they will not disintegrate as easily. Use the isopropanol alcohol to moisten the Q-TIP in order to remove any excess thermal paste. Remove the large clumps
of dust. Use canned air to remove smaller deposits of dust. If the CPU heatsink is removable from the processor then it may be washed with warm water. USE A HAIRDRYER TO 100% DRY OFF JUST THE HEATSINK BEFORE REINSERTING or leave it to dry overnight. DO NOT use a hairdryer on a processor. You WILL damage it. Better yet…use the isopropanol alcohol as the fluid evaporates completely within a minute. Remember…water and electronics do not mix.

Figure 6: Clean heatsink, ready for reinstallation.

clean_heatsink

Use an open paperclip and stick it through
the fan grill so the fan blades don’t move in preparing to clean the fan and fan area. Use the canned air to blow out any dust or clean as much as possible with an alcohol soaked cotton
swab.

Reassembly

If the processor is permanently affixed to the heatsink then the entire unit can be carefully put back in place. Carefully position the CPU and heatsink so
all the pins line up with the CPU socket pin holes. Very gently push the CPU
and heatsink down into the CPU socket. It should go in with very little
resistance. If it does not…adjust the CPU and
heatsink unit position and try again. Once it is in place then lock the CPU socket the same way it was unlocked.


If the CPU is not affixed to the heatsink then clean the heatsink surface and the CPU die with some isopropanol alcohol soaked cotton swabs to remove any residue of the old thermal paste. Apply a thin layer of thermal paste to the CPU die face. Use a credit card or business card to “trowel” out the thermal paste to an even and complete layer as if the entire surface area of the cpu that comes into contact with the heatsink had a glaze to it. Place the processor in the socket and it should insert easily. If not try again. Do not use excessive force. Reinstall the heatsink carefully and lock everything into place.

Put back the access panel or reassemble the notebook. Reinstall the battery and cables and now boot up the notebook computer.

The notebook computer should run considerably cooler after cleaning the heatsink and fan. Note that the fan doesn’t come on as often and it should not shut-down during CPU-intensive activities. If errors continue then this is most likely software or memory related and please seek help in Icrontic forums.

Final Comments

Dust and dirt is the enemy of a computer. Dust and dirt can block airways. The computer runs hotter and is prone to errors. Cleaning any computer can be a simple task if not rushed. If unsure ask or take the computer to a qualified professional.

See Icrontic’s guide to cleaning a desktop PC for help with cleaning desktop or tower PCs.

For those who are requried to disassemble the notebook computer and don’t want to bother with taking it apart again to clean the heatsink then it is recommended to use canned air and blow out the notebook monthly. This maintenance can cut down on the rate of buildup and keep the notebook running cooler…longer. This maintenance is a good practice even for those with an access panel.

Good luck and a happy and healthy PC to you.


Comments

  1. primesuspect
    primesuspect mcwc, excellent article. Also, congrats on getting your first article published with short-media :)

  2. mcwc
    mcwc Thanks to prime for suggesting to write the guide.
    Thanks to Matt for editing the guide and getting it to MM.
    Thanks to MM for getting it up.
  3. Lincoln
    Lincoln Good work mate :cool:
  4. Unregistered
    Unregistered You say that using a hairdryer on the processor will damage it. Actually, it won't have any effect, silicon doesn't melt until about 1200c. (yes 1200, not 120). When it's powered the heat generated changes how electricity flows though which can damage stuff, but you could probably put a processor in an oven when it's off and not do damage.

    Good article though
  5. MediaMan
    MediaMan You are most likely correct about heating up a processor with a hairdryer but it's a good idea to use caution. Better safe than sorry.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. We do appreciate it. :)
  6. Unregistered
    Unregistered YAY! I've been trying to figure out WHY my Toshiba laptop was spontaneously shutting down. It is relatively new and I do all the maintenance things I'm supposed to (NAV, defrag, doctor, cleaning internet cache, etc.). I would get no warning, blue screen, etc. Just boom - complete shutdown. I followed your article and it was like a mirror! I pulled the heatsink out and there was 1/4 inch thick mat of dust, dirt, hair, etc. I did just as you instructed. My fan now runs intermittently on low, not on high. My computer is definitely running cooler. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Diane M. Hess.
  7. leishi85
    leishi85 check your article, typo

    Isopropyl alcohol
  8. Unregistered
    Unregistered isopropyl alcohol leaves a film on electronic devices. That's why it is called rubbing alcohol. This could cause the heatsink to start burning that film and a host of other potential problems. It is better to use regular old ethanol, or, if your stubborn about sticking with isopropyl, they now have a cleaning grade isopropyl for electronics equipment.
  9. Thrax
    Thrax I've been cleaning my heatsinks with isopropyl for the better part of a decade. What you claim may be true, but after so long, I deem it nothing more than a remote possibility.
  10. Unregistered
    Unregistered Thanks! I've been looking for something that I could do to keep my friend's-friend's Toshiba with a 2.8E "Preshott" from shutting down under load, especially since the pictures look very familiar to the said system.
  11. primesuspect
    primesuspect
    Thrax said:
    I've been cleaning my heatsinks with isopropyl for the better part of a decade.
    Really? You're lucky, cause I've been cleaning mine with bourbon and gin for the worst part of a decade. But yeah, during the better part, I used rubbing alcohol.
  12. Unregistered
    Unregistered The article is quite nice, pictures help a lot! However the advice is helpful only to owners of particular model machines. Unfortunately my laptop (HP) is not so easy to open and clean (40 screws have to be unscrewed...)
    But anyway this is a problem for laptop owners
  13. Straight_Man
    Straight_Man The discussion about Isopropyl versus Isopropynal:

    Ethanol is in essence a fast drying solvent. Alcohol does the cleaning well. BUT,70% Isoprpyl (rubbing alcohol) has lots of water content proportionally; is is about 1\3 water. Water that is distilled will take quite a while to dry, and I use 90% or better Isopropyl alcohol simply dues to the lower water content in the alcohol mix. It dries a lot faster with less H2O molecule content.You can add a small proportion of ethanol to 90% or better Isopropyl and you will not get a volatile reaction, but you then need good ventilation, as purified Ethanol is a poison. Isopropyl of 90% or better alcohol content works real well astually.

    The only thing that could be better is to polish the area of the Heat Sink that contacts the CPU die itself with 1000 to 1500 grit Wet\Dry Silicon Carbide sandpaper in order to in essence LAP the working\conductive face of the Heat Sink and get all the tiny remaining amounts of old HS compound off of the surface of the HS that contacts the CPU core\die. This also works to remove any tiny scratches on contact surface of HS.

    Same lapping process that works for desktop HSs works for laptop HSs and the BASIC procedure given here is good to follow with desktop Heat Sinks except for CPU removal which is close to toolless in ZIF desktop CPU socket. I say close to toolless rather than totally toolless since the swinging end of the lever on the ZIF socket release lever has to be released from its locking tang (I use the very tip of a jewelers straight screwdriver to unlatch the lever, myself).
  14. Unregistered
    Unregistered OMG Thank you so much! I'm a college student and have had this A25-S207 model for awhile now. At first I thought it wasnt getting enough ventilation and propped my laptop. Obviously that didnt work so I went searching for solutions. I'm so happy I found this tutorial on how to clean my laptop up. Its running like it was when I first bought it!
  15. Unregistered
    Unregistered HAHAHAHA sorted,i got a TOSHIBA A30 and it shut down under high load {trying to reistall windows...and it always shut down,infuriatingly around 98%complete..anyhow,i jacked the machine up on books to let air get in easier me thinks...and it completed ,great !} BUT now hang on a minute,why am i sitting it on books ???,so of to google and on to here...what?,heatsink?,dust? aha...10 mins later...back to opening line ...hahahahahahahaha. yup it worked,well,really well.Now somone deserves praise indeed .cheers!
  16. Unregistered
    Unregistered Thank you Thank you Thank you. I tried about 20 things before doing finding this fix. You've changed my Toshiba A35-S159 experience...and save me $100 by not having to take it into the shop.
  17. Unregistered
    Unregistered Thanks for your instructions, but I need more help. I did as you suggested with the exception of taking off the CPU. However, I put it back together after cleaning, and I can hear my computer come on, and the fan runs, but I get nothing on the screen (as if only the electrical parts are running). Do you have any suggestions?
  18. Unregistered
    Unregistered Excellent article .. my friend's A30-141 had the same problem, shutting down unexpectedly and following your instruction .. lo and behold, a think layer of dust stuck between the heatsink and the fans. Removed it and now the problem seems to be gone away. Thanks a billion for the article again.
  19. Unregistered
    Unregistered Wonderful. Thank you for helping me solve this problem. I removed the heatsink from my A35 and boy was it covered in dust. Thanks for taking the time to write your quick fix article. - Eric
  20. Unregistered
    Unregistered What a fantastic well put together article as i have a Toshiba A30 as well and i will print this off and follow the steps, the web-site is superb as well and very well put together. A big well done to you.
  21. Unregistered
    Unregistered Thanks to the article my Tosh A30 is now running a lot cooler, I am surprised that Toshiba have not taken more responsibility at what appears to be a design flaw.
    Much appreciated
  22. Thank you EVER so much for going to the trouble of writing this article. I've been having shutdown problems for so long that it seemed 'normal' and the fans were on constantly (when the laptop (Toshiba A30) actually worked, that is). Having cleaned the heatsink following your advice, the fans now sometimes turn *off* and I can actually use my laptop without propping it up at the back. THANK YOU!!!

    fireproofbetty
  23. Sledgehammer70
    Sledgehammer70 It’s good to see Short Media articles always useful, even after 2 years of being published
  24. audsnends
    audsnends Found your article searching for information about over heating Toshiba laptops.

    I did it!!! Naturally taking it apart was easy, despite driving all over town to find a torx bit #9, had to settle for a #8. Then dropped one the screws inside, lot of shaking going on as it managed to wedge itself, so had to loosen a couple of screws on the casing to get it out. Cleaning went fine, it was filthy as I have a cat that believes my laptop fan is her own personal heater. And as you mentioned in your article my processor is permanently affixed to the heatsink.

    The nerve racking part was after putting everything back together my laptop wouldn't quite start. Opened it again, somehow I'd managed to bend two of the pins. Using a magnifying glass & dental tool to straighten them, and after four more tries adjusting the unit...VOILA!


    My laptop is sooo quiet now...should be able to run some programs completely now, thank you!
  25. Pterocarpous
    Pterocarpous
    audsnends said:
    Found your article searching for information about over heating Toshiba laptops.

    I did it!!! Naturally taking it apart was easy, despite driving all over town to find a torx bit #9, had to settle for a #8. Then dropped one the screws inside, lot of shaking going on as it managed to wedge itself, so had to loosen a couple of screws on the casing to get it out. Cleaning went fine, it was filthy as I have a cat that believes my laptop fan is her own personal heater. And as you mentioned in your article my processor is permanently affixed to the heatsink.

    The nerve racking part was after putting everything back together my laptop wouldn't quite start. Opened it again, somehow I'd managed to bend two of the pins. Using a magnifying glass & dental tool to straighten them, and after four more tries adjusting the unit...VOILA!


    My laptop is sooo quiet now...should be able to run some programs completely now, thank you!
    :celebrate Terrific, audsnends! I'm happy you were able to get it cleaned out and up & running again. As you discovered, laptops can be tricky business when taking them apart. You did well on your 1st venture into your laptop's innards. :woowoo:

    Re: kitty camping out in front of your laptop fan vents, it's very important that all the vents on your laptop are unobstructed. A laptop can overheat very easily because all the electronics are enclosed in such a tight space.

    Perhaps a heating pad slid under a towel and atop a pillow would suit kitty even better... :wink: I have kitties, too. (In fact, I'm currently typing one handed while I hold my youngest in my other arm) They've all made it clear who the boss is not. Kitties being who they are, I suspect the same holds true for you as well. Even so, perhaps the heating pad (in close proximity to you of course) might be a sufficient bribe to get kitty away from your laptop vents. :smiles:
  26. catrebligtx
    catrebligtx THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this article. I used to take my A35-S159 in for repair when this happened since it was under warranty. But now that I would have to pay for the work myself, I figured I needed to learn how to do this myself. I can take desktop computers apart and put back together in my sleep but this is the first laptop I've owned. Like some of the others who responded to this, I dropped screws inside the laptop and got a blank screen when I turned the computer back on. But it's working now, and it's great. I thought I was doing something wrong when reassembling but then I found this article that indicated that the cpu won't go back in with any resistance. I spent over an hour trying to get it back in thinking it was supposed to resist. So again, thank you. This article saved me a whole lot of time and frustration.
  27. primesuspect
    primesuspect You're welcome :) Hang around short-media, there's lots more good stuff where this came from :p
  28. mrmac
    mrmac Thankyou SOOOOO much for the pics & info; laptop is now running like new AND I've got a new stick on goatee made of fluff.

    You rock :o)
  29. Mike
    Mike Great howto, works perfectly. Just did it to my Toshiba Satellite for the first time since I got it 5.5 years ago. I'm pretty sure the performance is improved and it's definitely running cooler and quieter. I had to make due with a T10 instead of a T9 bit... if you do this, try to have the right tools on hand!
  30. NorahBatty
    NorahBatty I was delighted when I found this article as my Toshiba A-30 was behaving just like all the others mentioned here. It is almost five years old. I did everything in the article but when I put it together again power came on but nothing else. The HDD light blinked once then went off. Went through process again and found one pin bent flat in the corner. Didn't have a dental tool like Audsnends but managed to lift it upright with a sewing needle. Only problem is it still has a curve in it. I'm such a neophyte I don't know if I should attempt to straighten the pin myself. How robust are the pins? Would it withstand using a tweezers to straighten it? Can anyone help please? The CPU seemed to move a bit on the paste but since it went back in o.k. I figured I had lined it up correctly but maybe not. I do hope I can get help on this as I reallly don't want to have to spend money bringing it to the repair shop.
  31. Phil
    Phil Hey, I have had my lappy shutting off like crazy, and now i know it isnt just a piece of crap, it is overheating wow!
  32. Yaf
    Yaf Hi,
    I had the same problem, my laptop is less than a year old. It would shut down after long periods of simple surfing, however whenever i tried to play a game it would shut down after about 5-10 mins.

    I tried opening up the laptop, Satellite A300D but it was a little more intimidating then i thought it would be so i settled with blowing pressured air through the fan outlet and all the other openings and that seems to have done it for me. Now can feel alot more air coming out and its still cool after 30mins.

    worth a try before opening it up, but thanks for the info.
  33. Jay
    Jay Thanks, great guide :)
  34. Marty
    Marty The CPU is definitely NOT glued to the heatsink.

    The thermal paste may be dry and require heating up with a hair dryer and sliding a razor blade between the IHS and the heatsink.

    Mine didn't even need this. Simply prying it off with a credit card did the trick. Cleaned it up, applied Arctic Silver 5 and put it all back together. No problem. No shutdowns.
  35. Thrax
    Thrax It entirely depends on your heatsink, CPU, manufacturer, thermal grease, etc. Some thermal adhesives, particularly from OEMs, are part adhesive, part TIM.
  36. Mozzman
    Mozzman If you own a Toshiba and your having this problem, theres a very simple solution. Sell it and NEVER buy a Toshiba again. Overheating is a very evry common problem with Toshiba's for one of 2 reasons. 1. They dont know how to cool thier systems properly or 2 they consume way too much power overheating the CPU. I have run comparison tests with Toshiba's, Asus and HP laptops and found that the HP and Asus laptops would run at about 30 degrees celcius while the Toshiba ran at around 70. This was sitting idle. If you pushed it, the HP and Asus would reach around 40 degrees while Toshiba could get up to 100 and switch off. Its simple, stay away from Toshiba's as they have no clue how to build a laptop. I have an A70 and an A200 with the same overheating problem and have many clients with the same issues.
  37. Aaron
    Aaron I don't have any thermal paste, canned air or isopropyl alcohol. I know I could troll about town finding them, but I'm just wondering if I can take the heat sink out, remove the bulk of the dust like a clothes dryer filter and put it back in without dealing with the paste etc.
    Is that an OK temporary fix? I'm not really confident with hardware :)
  38. Lincoln
    Lincoln You can get by without the canned air probably - just suck it out with a vacuum. The thermal paste is ABSOLUTELY necessary if you remove the heatsink from the processor (you will DESTROY your computer if you don't re-apply paste afterwards), and isopropyl alcohol is like $1 at the corner drugstore.
  39. Will T
    Will T Thanks so much, this solved my problem after I had spent countless hours trying to fix an overheating A30
  40. Armagan D.
    Armagan D. Greetings from Istanbul. Thanks a lot mcwc. I wouldn't have dared to touch any screws on my laptop if it weren't for this article. Having summoned my courage here, I found this: where they provide a hardware maintenance manual for IBM-LENOVO 3000 N200 (and N100) series . This manual makes stuff really easy, provided you read it thoroughly before you begin and follow the instructions verbatim. I cleaned a ton of grime and dust from my fan and now everything's good as new. (The only thing that made me a little uneasy was Lenovo's strict recommendation about using a set of screws, which are all nylon coated, only once. But who gives a flying ... !) Cheers and thanks again :)
  41. Armagan D.
    Armagan D. Ooops! The web addresses I posted in my previous comment are sifted out. You can still get there from here. The title of the page is: Lenovo Support & Downloads - Hardware Maintenance Manual - Lenovo N100 (type 0689, 0768), N200 (type 0769). Just google it to download a 13MB pdf manual.
  42. Frank W
    Frank W I've had my A30 for 5 years and it recently started freezing occasionally (a total halt or freeze type crash), usually when using Firefox. Updated RAM to 2 GB about a year ago, RAM seems OK.

    Thanks mcwc, I used your info to clean the slightly dirty heatsink. Btw dental floss good for cleaning heatsink. Maybe the cleaning will get rid of the freeze. I saw some dust on cpu pins, maybe it was causing static & the freeze.

    I read elsewhere that static electricity can cause freeze in A30 & similar Toshibas. Toshiba has a cure with a little mod but I don't have details.

    I still like this notebook so might put in a 320 GB HD - WD WD3200BEVE.
  43. ken
    ken hmm, i hav a toshiba laptop Satelite L200, hav the same prb, auto restart, but include with one more prb, screen display come with strange visual image like freeze. Having hard time disassemble it, do u hav any idea to do it?
  44. ken
    ken hmmm...i hav a toshiba laptop Satelite L200, hav the auto-shut down prb and screen always freeze with weird visual. Having hard time to disassemble it. Any idea?
  45. Angelo
    Angelo Thanks a lot very useful :).
    Ciao
  46. Chris
    Chris This is a great method of getting your laptop back into working order. One tip for anybody who gets it all back together to find the machine won't boot, don't forget to lock your CPU after you put it back in. If it isn't locked it won't boot.
  47. Sam
    Sam Thanks for the article. Dead useful.

    I found that when I put everything back together it wouldn't boot (see other posts above, black screen, fans whirring but nobody home etc).

    Spent half an hour cursing before realising I hadn't unlocked the CPU in the first place. Go back in, unlock it and lock it back in. Booted up first time.

    Thanks again
    Sam
  48. bahman
    bahman hello, I want to run agame in my laptop Toshiba- satellite A60 , but as a massage which I receive it needs to A128 MB video card with support for Pixel shader 2.0 , so I don't know what's my video card and what should I do ?
    THank you for your attention.
  49. bren
    bren Great article. Thanks very much. The cleaning went just fine. However, I can't get the processor to seat properly despite multiple retries. It seems to be lined up OK and there are no bent pins. The machine won't boot up. Maybe the overheating has already damaged it ?. Again, many thanks. Best wishes, Bren.
  50. batman007
    batman007
    Unregistered said:
    Thanks for your instructions, but I need more help. I did as you suggested with the exception of taking off the CPU. However, I put it back together after cleaning, and I can hear my computer come on, and the fan runs, but I get nothing on the screen (as if only the electrical parts are running). Do you have any suggestions?


    I have the same problem. Did you fin a soluyion?
  51. batman007
    batman007 I of coarse unlocked and locked the CPU seated the CPU in countless times, started and restarted the power button still no boot any tips?
  52. Anonymous :)
    Anonymous :) batman007, I used to have the same problem. I never used to turn my l300 sattelite off properly, just mashing the power botton. Pop the battery cover, take it out for a few mins then put it back in. Worked first try ater that.
  53. AnswerMan
    AnswerMan I think the answer to the below is that some pins probably were bent in putting the part back in. at least that is what happened to me.

    "Unregistered
    Thanks for your instructions, but I need more help. I did as you suggested with the exception of taking off the CPU. However, I put it back together after cleaning, and I can hear my computer come on, and the fan runs, but I get nothing on the screen (as if only the electrical parts are running). Do you have any suggestions?"
  54. stevo
    stevo Went like a dream. Got so used to the whirr of fans when Satellite A30 turned on that I thought it was normal. Then it regular cut out under heavy load. Now its nearly silent on start up and when running
    Thanks
  55. NTTS
    NTTS Much thanks for donating your time to give this very well laid out article. I had a custoemr come in with an older laptop, (unable to run a recovery) and after checking DVD drive, media, and BIOS settings, this was the fix! I just wish Toshiba had a CPU temp reading so I could have skipped all the troubleshooting (it took over 40 min of use bfore the computer would start powering itself down/pointing to a heat issue)! years later, your info is still golden. keep up the great work.
  56. NTTS
    NTTS PS: When putting the CPU back, hold the laptop up and look through the air vent to line up the pins. Do NOT put any pressure, but wiggle it back and forth a little. If you do bend a pin, bend it back VERY gently witha screwdriver (be very picky, make it perfect). Lastly: instead of any liquids, I removed the dustball by hand, and used a can of air to clear the remaining debris from the heatseink. Thanks again!
  57. MeMeBev
    MeMeBev I can not get the cover off my heatsink on my toshiba satellite a25-s159. I take the screws out and the corner lifts but resists about 1/3 the way. Trying to open to clean as it is doing just as discribed above. Had it almost 7 years, runs well still..just a bit slow.
    Thanks
  58. Uday
    Uday Excellent article.... Dell care claimed for a sum of 5000/- asking to replace the heat sink and cooler fan.... thanks icrontic....
  59. Pamela
    Pamela This information wa better than all the other websites that came up in my search for how to clean my laptop because it was the only one that showed the heat sink being removed. Thanks
  60. jumpimgbean
    jumpimgbean I didnt know this many people had the same problem as i do. I hope the shutting down problem with my dell inpiron 15.
  61. jumpimgbean
    jumpimgbean Is easily to fix as this looks.
  62. Aida
    Aida My hp 520 was shutting down spontaneously all the time. I've cleaned the heat sink and cooling fan. My desktop got corrupted and I lost a lot of data because of the constant shutting down and my efforts at restarting - i think.
    I took it to a local computer repair shop and after £60 for reinstalling software, retrieving data, it's still shutting down all the time. What could possibly be wrong? I am a student and can't afford to pay any more.
  63. Tushon
    Tushon HDD could be going bad. Easiest way is to shutdown, pull HDD out to verify manufacturer (as in, Western Digital, Seagate, Hitachi, etc), download and burn UBCD to a disc/USB, and run the manufacturer test after booting from that CD/USB. Personally, I recommend the manufacturer test AND Hitachi's Drive Fitness Tool (long test).

    If it passes both tests, then you can also try just running chkdsk (windows key + r, chkdsk /r in the box, type y to schedule a chkdsk for next reboot, and reboot) to see if it was just some software issues.
  64. Fred
    Fred Hi great read, really appreciate your efforts!

    My issue is that I do not want to let go of my A30, obsessive compulsive I am sure, however, I want to upgrade, various components, so it is fast and more reliable and up to date almost alongside today's units. But everyone tells me it can not be done! I don't think that is true, I mean I am sure it can be done it just may be difficult and I might have to make some room in the unit or something. I just find it hard to believe that all of today's computers are thin and components are getting smaller than ever, and that I can not find compatible parts to install, that are either from other labels. Or maybe I just have not talked to the right people or found the right forums or websites hence this comment :0)

    Can you please help?

    Best Regards
    Fred

    P.S. if your wondering? Is it capable to replace the motherboard, HDD, CPU, and basically everything else.
  65. Richo
    Richo The heatsink in my Toshiba was almost the exact same as pictured here! Thanks for the great advice :)
  66. Cody
    Cody SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ! ! my acer Ferrari 5000 laptop cant operate for more than 5 minutes after starting. Its shuts off just like that. Then when you restart again it shuts off when booting and the shutting off time gets shorter again and again. I've tried all these great advice - cleaning the heatsink with a brush, removing the thermal paste build up and cleaning surfaces etc.etc. but this seems to be an extraordinary problem. What could be wrong please ? ? ?
  67. CB
    CB Have you tried running the system (from cold) elevated? Prop it up on a couple doorstops or something else that would leave breathing room under the system, and see if that extends it's time running. Maybe even try an icepack underneath - just to see if that's the problem, not as a permanent solution.

    If it is heat, then you may not have reseated the heatsink on the CPU properly. That can make a CPU get hot real quick.
  68. MAGIC
    MAGIC
    SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ! ! my acer Ferrari 5000 laptop cant operate for more than 5 minutes after starting. Its shuts off just like that. Then when you restart again it shuts off when booting and the shutting off time gets shorter again and again. I've tried all these great advice - cleaning the heatsink with a brush, removing the thermal paste build up and cleaning surfaces etc.etc. but this seems to be an extraordinary problem. What could be wrong please ? ? ?
    Also, you said you removed the thermal paste and cleaned the surface, but did you apply new thermal pads after? As CB said you may not have good contact with all the surface that need cooling. If you did, did you use thermal paste or pads when resetting the heatsink? I would recommend pads because not every chip surface will match up exactly with a heatsink and the pads are a little more forgiving.

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