Tag Archives: heat sink

How-To: Cleaning the heat sink of my laptop, a Blue Radon-NWX / Arima W310-DI1

I bought my laptop about 2 years ago. For the past few months, it’s been running a little bit hot… clearly an understatement, given that it’s been forcefully shutting down itself to avoid getting fried.

My first guess was it could be a heat sink problem, specifically, dust-clogging-the-heat-sink problem. I can only imagine the amount of dust collected by the heat sink for the past two years. Just a though, maybe if somebody will examine the dust, it could reveal the places I’ve been to.

I observed the problem a few months back, but because of my laziness, I did not clean the heat sink right away. I just looked for ways to minimize the heat by sacrificing speed. But today, my laptop was idle, no spike in CPU usage, it just went off… I figure, my laptop is already screaming, “just clean the darn heat sink already!”

So clean the heat sink, I did…

One of the reasons I like about my laptop is how easy it is to open it if you’re replacing/adding user-replaceable parts. I loosened up the 3 encircled screws below. A #1 philips screwdriver would do the job.

The screws will stay with the lid, which is a good thing, you won’t have to worry about lost screws. Once I got it opened, I removed the 7 screws below that fastens the heat sink assembly.

Removing the screws are easy, the hard part is removing the heat sink assembly. Before removing the assembly, I detached the fan’s power cord from the board, encircled in yellow.

Since It’s the first time I’m removing the assembly, the thermal paste glued it to the CPU and the GPU, I gave it a slight pull to detach it. Once detached, I have to fiddle it a bit to totally separate it from the system board.

Now that the heat sink assembly is removed, the GPU, encircled in orange, and the CPU, encircled in blue, is now exposed.

I can even read the ATI Mobility Radeon label of the GPU and the T2250 mark of the CPU.

The fan is attached to the heat sink assembly. I have to remove the fan to expose the heat sink opening, this is where most of the dust accumulate. I removed the four screws below to detach the fan, a #0 philips screwdriver would do the job.

At this point on, prepare to get dirty. Once the fan is removed, It’s quite obvious why my laptop is running hot,the fan is literally eating dust…

… and the heat sink is clogged…

I used a vacuum cleaner to clean the heat sink, since I don’t have a portable one, I used this …

As for the fan, I used a brush with soft bristles to clean it. Then, I used the vacuum to clean the remaining dust.

Once I’m satisfied that both fan and heat sink are clean, I reassembled it and put it back to the system board.

I did not change the thermal paste yet, I’ll replace it this weekend, once I acquire it. In normal load, my system is now running at 52 degrees, before the clean-up, it was running at 68 degrees, the difference is quite significant.