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How to clean and fix your laptop

Recently my Asus F3H started to behave very strange. Symptoms were:

  • everything started to work loudly, especially fan being very noisy while performing actions which required lot of processor power
  • upper right part of keyboard started to heat up a lot, sometimes being VERY HOT
  • after few hours of work, efficiency dropped dramatically

So I decided to do some laptop-cleaning. I’ve bought HEAT CONDUCTIVE PASTE, some CPU AND HEATSING CLEANER and a CAN OF COMPRESSED AIR (remember not to use it upside down – air will start freezing things). Before you start, turn the computer off for a while to let it cool down – otherwise you can damage it when using cold air on very hot computer parts. Same when you assemble it – let any moisture to dry out. If you don’t want to buy the air, you can use your vacuum cleaner (but be very caution!)

HEAT CONDUCTIVE PASTE and CPU AND HEATSINK CLEANER CAN OF COMPRESSED AIR

Once you open the computer (see article here, lots of photos!) it’s time to do some work…

DISCLAIMER: Everything you do, you do on your own risk! I don’t want to hear you crying that you broke something! Ok, let’s continue…

Take a look at the motherboard: in the left top corner there is a fan (made of black plastic), connected to the processor with copper tube to remove heat from it. So first we unscrew fan from the silver case (don’t forget to unplug the wire from motherboard!) and clean it using compressed air (eventually you can use some cloth – I used toilet paper and cotton buds).

After cleaning the fan, we remove it’s case from the motherboard and we should see something like this:

After removing fan and it's case Lot of dust, which blocks air flow

This is the main cause of our troubles – completely clogged heat sink, and therefore the hot air cannot be sucked by a fan. So we gently remove the dust from heat sink (you can use some tool like small screwdriver) and wipe everything around, then we assemble the case and fan back (unless you want to do some advanced cleaning – see below).

Clean heat sink Dust from heat sink

Now is the part for advanced (or silly) users – we are gonna replace original HEAT CONDUCTIVE PASTE with our own. PLEASE NOTE: before you start unscrewing processor, make sure you have HEAT CONDUCTIVE PASTE and CPU AND HEATSINK CLEANER, otherwise you’ll be in troubles!

Look where copper pipe goes – there is the processor. VERY GENTLY unscrew the screws and remove the pipe and heatsink (GENTLY!). We should see something like this:

Heatsink with old conductive paste CPU with old conductive paste

Use something plastic to remove the old paste (I used the handle of nail file) without scratching the surface! The remains we remove using HEATSINK CLEANER, then we wait for few minutes and clean with a soft cloth (or toilet paper, which is probably not the best idea but worked in my case). We treat the processor with much more care – soak cloth(!!!) with HEATSINK CLEANER and VERY GENTLY remove the past. DO NOT pour the HEATSINK CLEANER directly onto processor! After removing the paste make sure that the surfaces are ideally clean. Then we put VERY THIN(!) layer of paste on processor (just to cover PROCESSOR CORE) and then we assemble heatsink and the case back. THEN WE WAIT FEW MINUTES (10-15) and turn our laptop on – I think you will be surprised how quiet it is (unless it’s quiet because it’s broken by the whole procedure haha)

After cleaning CPU temperature doesn’t exceed 55 degrees C, and you cannot hear the fan at all. That’s what we wanted to achieve!

This post is also available in: Polish

Posted in Featured, TechBlog.


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