Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Laptop dissection

In the last few weeks, my laptop keep experiencing overheating problem. The fan always running at maximum and I thought this could be attributed to the hot weather. Then, few days ago, a dialog box pop up in the screen and mentioned that the laptop has been experiencing overheating problem and need to be shut down.

I guess that this must be caused by the heatsink in the laptop. The heatsink must have accumulated lots of dust since I have been using the laptop for more than 3 years now. I think it is a common problem for any laptop that has been used for a long time.

Google for the methods to open the laptop and I memorized the steps involved. Bear in mind that by doing this, you could invalidate the laptop warranty but since my warranty has already has expired B), I guess this is my only option [another option is to go to the computer shop but I did not want to pay ;)].

The first step is to back up all of the data. Next, I find the section where the heatsink and CPU are and open it using a Philip screwdriver. Throughout the whole process, I have to be careful of the electrostatic charge since it can damage any delicate electronics inside.

The picture above shows where is the CPU and the fan inside the laptop. The fan is on the right and the processor is on the left. You can see the dust next to the fan. Next, I removed the fan....and I found the culprit. No wonder my laptop is overheated. The dust has already blocked the airflow.

I cleaned the heatsink using various methods. After 10 minutes, the dust are gone. Compare the picture above and below :).

The whole procedure took about 15 minutes without counting the time spend for data backup. By cleaning the dust, the problem went away and hopefully I did not have to do this dissection again in the near future.

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