Step 11: Afterword

Testing the Temperature
Quite a few people have commented that I used way too much thermal grease (compound) and that the amount I used would cause overheating. I disagree with this view. So in an attempt to provide some kind of proof, one way or the other, I decided to monitor the temperature for a few weeks with SpeedFan v4.44. Then to take the laptop apart again, clean it up, using the suggested alcohol wipes method, and replace the thermal compound. This time I would use a thin amount. I would than assemble everything and then monitor the temperature again. I followed the same process as before with the slight suggested changes. This documents that process.

According to the CPU chip specifications for a LF80537 T5500, which is a Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile, the Minimum/Maximum operating temperature (°C) is 0 - 100°C. The maximum operating temperature of the CPU was 65°C before I started this process. After I completed the process the maximum operating temperature was 60°C. It seems I might have applied too much thermal compound but not way too much to cause overheating. Just too much as in wastage. It would seem as if excessive amounts of thermal compound could cause your system to heat up slightly more and if it is running close to the maximum allowed temperature it might cause overheating. It caused a 5°C increase in temperature in my case but this is not definite because it was not a controlled situation. The increase was not enough to cause overheating, but enough to deduce that excessive amounts of thermal paste could increase the temperature. The photos contain a step-by-step guide of what I did.

Notes: Wipes

I found the alcohol wipes worked terrible. It smeared the thermal grease all over and just created a bigger mess to clean. It could be because the previous thermal grease was al dried out and flaked off nicely. This thermal grease was wet and sticky. It smeared too easily. On the GPU there are very small resistors or components and the wipes smeared the thermal grease all over them and then kept getting caught in them.

If I were to do this instructable from the start over again, I would use less thermal grease from the start as it does make a difference no matter how slight, but I would not use the alcohol wipe.

Update 2013

I have been ripping Intel CPUs out of laptops and desktops and replacing the thermal compound (grease) for years now and have noticed that on the older Intel CPUs the thermal grease was used liberally. However, on the newer CPUs the compound is quite thin. I wonder if it really matters that much or is it cost saving to have a very small (tiny) amount of compound in between the CPU and the cooler (heat sink)?

Here is what Intel itself says about how to apply thermal grease to a CPU. What you will read will surprise you because there is no mention of layer thickness and no mention of spreading it around. To tell you the truth it states that you blob everything in the centre of the CPU and the pressure of the cooler (heat sink) on the CPU will determine the thickness, squeezing out all excess. I think I also mentioned something like that in one of my comments. This information comes straight from the CPU manufacturer, and they should know. Read for yourself at:
http://www.intel.com/support/processors/sb/CS-030329.htm (Click "How to Apply TIM" from the menu)

I have included some of the photos from the Intel site for reference.
I have also replaced the thermal grease (compound or interface material if you are from Intel) on many secondary chips like integrated GPUs on motherboards by releasing the cooler (heat sink), cleaning both surfaces, apply thermal grease and replace. Once you know how, you can replace the thermal compound on practically anything.

Update 2014

Many people are still suggesting I am using too much thermal grease. I want to bring the following to the attention of these people. I am using a non conductive thermal grease. It does not conduct heat as well as the conductive thermal grease but does not damage components when it comes in contact with them because it does not conduct electricity. Cooling has to do with getting rid of excess heat, so the thermal grease is only one part of the solution. The heat sink, fan and airflow are the other parts. You could have a CPU that does not have well applied thermal grease but has a fantastic heat sink and airflow across it and the system will never overheat. Here are some links to other resources which I found very helpful in understanding overheating, thermal grease, fans and airflow.



I hope this helps everyone understand more about what causes overheating and how to solve the problem.

Hi, Mr. Andre. I don't know if this the right thread where I should ask this but my laptop's keyboard is malfunctioning. I press on whatever key ONCE but the result is as if I have pressed the key a hundred times. It is now impossible to use it. The reason I am asking it here is because it happened after I left my laptop charging (and may have overheated). Can an overheating battery destroy the keyboard's functioning? Thank you! I hope I am not bothering you!
Just replace the keyboard. It will cost you about 20 bucks and take you about 15 minutes. Go to Amazon and type in the model of your computer and then keyboard after that and you can find them. Then there are tons of instructional videos on YouTube that can walk you through it. There's nothing to changing out a keyboard.
Hi, firstly, I am sorry I took so long to get back to you, I missed this one completely. Secondly, an overheating laptop will not cause the keyboard keys to stick. It normally does the reverse and makes your keyboard sluggish to respond. You could try to clean out the keyboard but I doubt that dust, dirt (or whatever was messed on the keyboard) will cause EVERY key to stick and repeat. Normally when a few keys stick (or don't respond) its because they are dirty. Coffee and soda that was messed on the keyboard (even just drops) normally cause this because of the sugar they contain. You could try plugging and external USB keyboard in, to see if the problem continues. If it does, its not the keyboard. Replacing the keyboard is also an option.
<p>Hello, Mr.Andre Coetzee, I'am using DELL Vostro 1015 laptop from past 4 years, but nowadays it gets heated up very fast and I'am not using any kind of material under laptop like pillow. After getting heated, my laptop gets lagging while doing work please help me. What can I do to solve this problem.</p><p>Sometimes it is very difficult to work on it.</p><p>This is to inform you that I'am using Windows 7 and want to upgrade to Windows 8 so can you tell me that if, should I upgrade or not* </p><p>*(If no then give reason) *</p>
Hi PRAFULP,<br> First off, lets deal with your upgrade issue. Why would you would need to upgrade to Windows 8? Is there a much needed special feature that will help you? If not, don't upgrade. However, here are the more tangible reasons why not to:<br> <br> <strong>1.</strong> The Dell Vostro 1015 was not designed for Windows 8<br> <strong>2.</strong> The Dell Vostro 1015 has no Windows 8 drivers<br> <strong>3.</strong> Windows 10 (Microsoft Edge) will replace Windows 8 in the 2nd half of 2015. The new Windows 10 OS will be able to run Android and iOS apps.<br> <strong>4.</strong> Don't fix something that is not broken.&nbsp;<br> The only reason I can think of why you would is that Windows 8 is lighter on resources, starts up slightly faster and has better security.<br> <br> Now, for your overheating problem. Your laptop is full of dust. Open it up. Blow out the dust and lint. Replace the thermal paste of the CPU. It should then be fine. Please only do this if you know what you are doing and backup your data before opening your laptop.<br> You can find the service manual<a href="http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/product-support/product/vostro-1015/manuals" rel="nofollow"><strong> HERE</strong></a>.
<p>Hi, I have Hp1000 notebook for my personal use but after installing windows 8, heat sink started to exhaust severe kind of heat. What should I do?</p>
Hi malik3744,<br> Windows 8 is optimized for touch screen enabled devices, so if you do not really need to Windows 8, go back to your previous OS. If you cannot do this, clean out all the dust out of you laptop as per my instructable, (See <a href="http://www.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c03762978.pdf" rel="nofollow"><strong>HERE</strong></a> for the HP 1000 service manual). If you have done this, I suggest using a fan driven cooling pad to help with the air flow. Windows 8 overheating like this normally happens when the GPU (graphics card) starts working harder. You can investigate Windows 8 options to reduce GPU (and CPU) usage. This will reduce the temperature on the laptop.&nbsp;
<p>I have dell inspiron N5010 ,all time my laptop over heat quickly within 5 minutes ,but there is no interruption in running programe and working on my laptop,but I need solution how to cooling system.</p>
Hi biraj.debbarma.9<br> <br> If you are not blocking the cooling vents by working on a blanket or piece of material then you have dust and lint in your system. Even a cooling pad will only go so far to help if the system is clogged with dust and lint.<br> <br> Your laptop will have dust collected in the fan. See this<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSQOzQ6UyTI" rel="nofollow"> video</a>&nbsp;to see how much dust can collect and where. This <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YXGa5rTw1o" rel="nofollow">video</a>&nbsp;shows you how to take apart your laptop to clean out the dust in the fan and heat sink.&nbsp;
<p>I have a Dell Latitude D530, and was wondering how i would clean the vents.</p>
Hi CandyS,<br> If the vents on the computer are covered with dust and not allowing air to pass through and you want to clean them, then:<br> <br> <strong>1. </strong>Turn off the System<br> <strong>2.</strong> Unplug the AC Adapter<br> <strong>3.</strong> Remove the Battery, for instructions on how to remove the battery see the <a href="http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/product-support/product/latitude-d530/manuals" rel="nofollow"><strong>Service Manual</strong> </a><br> <strong>4.</strong> Use air (compressor, can, vacuum cleaner, etc) to blow the dust out of the vents.<br> <br> (The<a href="http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/product-support/product/latitude-d530/manuals" rel="nofollow"> <strong>Service Manual</strong></a> also shows you how to remove the back cover so you can clean the fan with a brush.) &nbsp;
<p>Thanks for the advice, bt it was a gift from a friend so i have no manual.</p>
<p>Hi CandyS,</p><p>Not to worry, just click on the words<strong> <a href="http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/product-support/product/latitude-d530/manuals" rel="nofollow">Service Manual</a></strong> in my previous post (and this one ;-) ) and you will be taken straight to the manual section for your laptop.</p>
<p>This blog is very informative as laptop overheating <br>has become the common problem of our day to day life. To resolve this we <br>usually use cooling pads. But I would like to suggest that you can also take <br>laptop repair service from any of the experts. You can also go for the services <br>of AskPCExperts. Their experts provide quick and effective services.</p>
<p>hello sir </p><p>i am using lenevo sl400c laptop, and it producing more heat can tell me what i have do</p>
<p>Quaseema,</p><p>Which of my suggestions did you try and what was the result? You can find the manual showing you how to take your laptop apart and clean the fans on the Lenovo site here: <a href="http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mobiles_pdf/43y6762.pdf" rel="nofollow"> http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mo...</a></p>
<p>hello sir </p><p>i am using lenevo sl400c laptop, and it producing more heat can tell me what i have do</p>
<p>Quaseema,</p><p>Which of my suggestions did you try and what was the result? You can find the manual showing you how to take your laptop apart and clean the fans on the Lenovo site here: <a href="http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mobiles_pdf/43y6762.pdf" rel="nofollow"> http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mo...</a></p>
<p>hello sir </p><p>i am using lenevo sl400c laptop, and it producing more heat can tell me what i have do</p>
<p>Quaseema,</p><p>Which of my suggestions did you try and what was the result? You can find the manual showing you how to take your laptop apart and clean the fans on the Lenovo site here: <a href="http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mobiles_pdf/43y6762.pdf" rel="nofollow"> http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mo...</a></p>
<p>The fact that its not overheating doesn't mean you didn't use too much paste though, all it means is you got lucky this time and seem unwilling to take advice from someone who has been doing this stuff for 20+ years. Even if the effects of too much thermal paste can be minimal, its costing you money, since GOOD paste is expensive.</p>
Dear BryanL2<br> It seems then that I have been very lucky for over 30 years applying the paste like I do. <strong><em>(I built my 1st 4.77 Mhz PC from scratch in the early 80's and continue fixing and building PCs today.)</em></strong> Although the cap of my thermal paste is broken and it is nearly empty, I still have the same tube of thermal paste I bought 10 years ago. People do not have to follow my advice. None of the more than half a million people who have read my instructable have to. They can decide for themselves, supported by the extensive descriptions, comments like yours and external website links, if they want to follow my method or not. It is not that I am unwilling to accept your advice, however you comment is contradicted by Intel and lab tests. Have you looked at the photographic procedure supplied by the CPU manufacturer that I included? I have attached photographs from Intel and supplied the <strong><em><a href="http://www.intel.com/support/processors/sb/CS-030329.htm" rel="nofollow">link</a></em></strong> to the information on the Intel website at the end of the instructable. Select &quot;How to Apply TIM&quot; from the top of the Intel page to see their procedure. Here you will see the amount of paste Intel recommends. They empty the complete tube, that was supplied, on to the middle of the chip and do not even spread it thinly. According to you, Intel then also use too much paste. So how can I accept your statement as fact when they contradict the manufacturer's recommendations. Take a look at <strong><em><a href="http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/thermal-paste-performance-benchmark,3616.html" rel="nofollow">Tom's Hardware</a></em></strong> where they explain in detail <strong><em>everything</em></strong> that you need to know about cooling. Then check out the <em><strong><a href="http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/thermal-paste-performance-benchmark,3616.html" rel="nofollow">tests</a></strong></em> they did on the type and brand of thermal paste used and see how much that contributes to an increase in temperature. Even if you applied the right amount of paste the type and brand also matters. It matters much more than if you applied the paste thickly or thinly. Remember the thickness is a perception because some people believe there should barely be paste and it should be spread, others want a bit more paste but not spread, etc. Tom's really does an excellent job of explaining <strong><em>everything</em></strong> about cooling. Even the fact of blobbing the paste in the middle and let the heat sink spread it for you, the way Intel recommend. I supplied the links to this at the end of the Instructable. I am sure you probably knew this already. I am also sure that people that revive their overheating laptops will be so grateful that the few $ that was wasted on thermal paste will not matter to them. A few people have told me I use too much thermal paste but nobody has read the Intel description or the Tom's Hardware information. The manufacturer's information and lab test contradict the statements that I use too much paste. However, you can please all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you cannot please all the people all of the time. Thank you for your positive and constructive comments. I am sure your contribution will help others make informed and correct choices.
<p>Waaaaaay to much thermal paste on that small area, you need like 1/4 that amount.</p>
Hi BryanL2,<br>Thanks for your comment. This topic is covered extensively in the description and the comments. The myth buster that the laptop has been operating for more than two years without an overheating problem should be proof enough that there was not too much past on.
<p>Hi, Great post and Thanks for sharing this nice post...</p><p>see : http://www.geeksonsite.co.nz/</p>
<p>hello, i cleaned the heat sink, no more dust there, i applyed a new layer of thermal compound (arctic sylver) and my laptop pc is same as before .. slugish and shuts off wih no warning .. what should i do?</p>
<p>right bottom hand corner right click on your battery icon choose change setting then go into advanced settings turn your cpu max power to 60% this should stop your computer from over heating</p>
Hi taz99taz,<br><br>Cleaning the dust and re-applying thermal grease is only part of the solution. What you also need to do is make sure your laptop has good airflow going through it. Some have badly designed ventilation and a cooling pad (little tray/stand with fans on) might help solve your problem. Do you know if it is temperature? Have you run any utility to monitor if the CPU temperature is rising or not? You BIOS settings might also be set quite low and then the laptop will shut down even if it is not really overheating because you &quot;told&quot; it to in the BIOS. Check your airflow and monitor the temperature and get back to me with your findings.
<p>Hello mr. Andre, thank you for the reply. I used Everest Ultimate to check the CPU temperature. It goes up to 92-93*C then it just shuts off.. the only way i can use it now is flipped over with the covers removed and connected to a tv. But if i try to play a game or watch a movie or video it shuts off. It was working fine until suddenly it started to do this (about 2 and a half weeks ago it started).. Should i start looking for a new one? (I have an Acer Ferrari One 200)</p><p>Thank you.</p>
hello taz99taz,<br>sometime oil from fingers and even dust can cause issues, even a very little amount. This may be a very stupid question, is the fan even running? When a CPU gets that hot, it should sound like the CPU fan is ready for take-off. I would be willing to take a look at it if you are willing to pay for shipping. Or if you don't want it, I would be happy to take it. I could even trade you for a netbook I have if the laptop has the right specs. (if you are willing to) if you are interested, my email is zappybear@gmail.com.
<p>Hi taz99taz, it seems as if your laptop is overheating if it reaches the high 90s in &deg;C. It also seems to be the graphics card that is causing the overheating because it happens when you do graphic intensive operations. The graphics processor (GPU) might also have a heat sink that needs to be cleaned and re-greased. So lets put down the steps you should have done so far for your Acer Ferrari One 200:</p><p><strong>1. </strong>Removed / Uninstalled all unused / not needed programs that run resident in the background. These programs cause higher CPU usage and thus contribute to heat build up.</p><p><strong>2.</strong> Defrag your hard drive. When the heads jump around a lot looking for data it generates more heat.</p><p><strong>3.</strong> Make sure the air vents under and on the sides of the laptop are clean, clear and open. Even when you use the laptop, make sure something is not blocking the air vents. Feel around the laptop to make sure the air flows out easily. Some people even take a Dremel tool and make the vents slightly bigger to promote better air flow by cutting away every alternate vent &quot;bar&quot;. <em>Remember that this will void any warranty, should be done with the laptop off and at your own risk</em>. Does your laptop still have little rubber feet that raise it slightly off the surface it's on? If not, get some!</p><p><strong>4.</strong> Get yourself a cooling pad. This is a small cheap stand with a fan or two on to help pull air through the laptop. There are easy and cheap ones you can make yourself here on instructables.</p><p><strong>5. </strong>Clean out all the dust in the laptop and all its fans. You can use a vacuum cleaner to suck out the dust on a weekly basis so you do not have to open the case every time. Blow the dust out if you opened the case. The Acer is very touchy about dust and even a little bit prevents air flow and slows the fan down. <em>[</em><em>Turn your laptop upside down. Unscrew the 4 small screws and remove the large panel. Disassemble the fan / ventilator by unscrewing the 3 screws ( do not bother to remove the fan plug) Remove the accumulation of dust between the fan and the cooler. Blow out the dust through the gate of the cooler.]</em></p><p><strong>6.</strong> Re-apply the thermal grease on the CPU and GPU.</p><p><strong>7.</strong> Operate the laptop in a cooler/colder environment like closer to a room fan or air conditioner. The ambient room temperature can also contribute to overheating as the air drawn in to cool down the CPU is already warm.</p><p><strong>8.</strong> Have the fan run all the time on the laptop and not just when it overheats. This is normally controller in the BIOS or operating system.</p><p><em>NOTE: Remember: You use the laptop to run games and movies and this will cause the laptop to run hotter because the hard drive is working harder and the graphics card is constantly on at a higher resolution. Some of the above suggestions might void your warranty and should be done with the laptop turned off, unplugged and the battery removed at your own risk.</em></p><p>Let me know if this helped you.</p>
<p>Has anyone heard, that if your laptop overheats too much, it's probably bugged?</p>
Hi dopendead,<br>Although anything is possible and should a laptop be bugged the device might contribute to a small increase in power consumption and heat, but not enough to cause overheating. If somebody got hold of your laptop and was able to take it apart, it would be very easy to install a little FM transmitter that runs off the laptop battery. Many years ago, when Apple was still a seed in Steve Jobs's pocket, I used to build small FM bugs from transistors. They could fit into half a match box and have a signal range of about 100 to 150 m. You would use a normal FM radio to tune in to the frequency to hear whats going on. Now days it would be a very small IC that would be installed. What you must ask yourself is why would somebody do it?
<p>What`s about If I don`t use any thermal compound?</p>
<p>If you do not use any thermal compound your CPU could over heat. This will affect performance and your computer will start working slower and slower. Earlier CPUs would burn out. Newer CPUs step their speed down when they over heat. They eventually shut down when they get too hot to prevent damage. However over heating is not a good thing and could permanently damage and even destroy your computer. </p>
You seem to apply too much thermal paste. You will only need the size of a pea or less if you are doing on a laptop.
Actually that is not totally accurate. In my 30 years of replacing thermal grease on chips I have tested thin layers and thick layers with very little difference (+/- 5%) in the temperature of the unit. The reason for this is that the pressure applied between the heat sink and the CPU by the retaining springs will spread the grease around and force excess paste out. See Step 11 Afterword of the instructable for more on the grease thickness as well as an 2013 update with info from Intel.
<p>There are 2 problems with using too much grease/paste.</p><ol><li>If you are using a conductive paste, (silver based) too much can short out the tiny resistors/caps on the top of the CPU/GPU when it gets squeezed out.<li>Grease is not nearly as conductive as copper. The purpose of thermal grease is to fill in any voids between the heatsink and the die. The thermal transfer of metal to silicon is better than metal to grease to silicon.(But metal&gt;grease&gt;silicon is better than metal&gt;air&gt;silicon.)</ol><p>The worst thing you can do with any grease is to pre-spread it. This just creates air pockets in the grease that get trapped under the heatsink.</p>
<p>Hi Freezier,</p><p>Here is Intel's guide to applying thermal grease: <a href="http://www.intel.com/support/processors/sb/CS-030329.htm" rel="nofollow">http://www.intel.com/support/processors/sb/CS-0303...</a></p>
<p>Yes, I know what intel says. If you notice, the chip they were using in that demo is a desktop chip with an integrated heat spreader. You, however, were greasing a laptop chip without a heat spreader, and were using plain silicone grease. (Which is probably the best grease to use if you are going to overdo it, as it wont short out the caps like the silver stuff will.) If you are using a heat spreader the amount of thermal grease can be higher, due to the larger surface area of the heat spreader. When using bare chips its best to use proportionally less grease for the fact that you have less surface area. (Basically use a grain of rice worth of grease for bare chips and a pea worth of grease for a heat spreader chip.)</p>
<p>Yes, you are right in that I am using plain, non conductive, silicone grease. This kind of grease does not short out components like other conductive grease does. So even if I did overdo do it, which everyone seems to suggest I did, it had very little impact on the temperature as I explained in one of my other comments after tests I did. The temperature difference was actually less than the tests done here <a href="http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-air-pressure-heatsink,3058-8.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-air-pr...</a> by Tom's Hardware showing that even correctly applied thermal grease can have a difference of 10 &deg;C from one brand to another. There is also quite a good tutorial here <a href="http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/thermal-paste-heat-sink-heat-spreader,3600-5.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/thermal-paste-...</a> also from Tom's Hardware showing how to apply thermal grease. </p>
By the way, you don't need to spread the paste manually. As the heatsink goes back into its place, the paste will flow into a suitable position that works well. Also, if you spread the parse manually, you may eventually end up with gaps between the heatsink and the paste, which you won't want to have.
Yes, this seems to be the advice from Intel as well. Again, 30 years of spreading paste on scores of chips has taught me to make sure you get the maximum contact between the heated and cooling units. Again, if you create a small area with no paste on, the pressure applied by the retaining spring on the heat sink should cause the paste to spread and cover it as you have also suggested in your comment.
This is a great instructible with very clear step by step instructions. Although i didnt do this, at least i know how :) A logitech cooling pad solved my Acer Aspire from overheating. Good job!
Great! I am glad you liked the instructable and you could solve your overheating problem by a simple cooling pad. Overheating has mostly to do with air flow. If you increase the air flow by not blocking the vents (or enlarging them with a tool), adding a fan (like a cooling pad), then the last step would be replacing the thermal grease or other extreme measures.
I found the best way to avoid overheating, my laptop had the same issue, after following instruction in the video, worked great ! check the video <br> <br>http://www.allht.com/top-3-most-common-computer-problems/
Yep, there are setting in Windows and other operating systems that allow the laptop to run &quot;cooler&quot; BUT they come at the cost of performance. So, if you make your laptop run &quot;slower&quot;, it will run cooler.
Refer to the article &quot;Make a removable laptop water cooler! And other cool devices&quot;, I think that is a <a href="http://www.laptopcoolingpadworld.com/thermaltake-massive23-lx-laptop-notebook-cooler-oversized-230mm-blue-led-fan-usb-cln0015/" rel="nofollow">high efficiency</a> way.

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