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Heatsink/Fan


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#1 Dawter

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 09:54 PM

I have an Inspiron 1100 Laptop. Twice recently my computer has shut down. Both times I was running SpyBot.
When I'd restart the computer it would give me that message about temperature and M1004. When my computer was under warranty they replaced the fan part.
I read on the SpyBot site that the program will cause a computer to shut down if it gets too hot because it does use a lot of CPU's.
I ordered a heatsink/fan from Ebay and am waiting on it to arrive.
I ran the Dell Diagnostics and it said everything passed all the tests...even the fan.
I plan on changing it out myself. I have never taken anything apart on my computer before.
Today after getting and printing all the information I could find about replacing it I decided to give my newly acquired knowledge a test run.
When I got to the part about removing the ZIF CPU socket I got lost. I used some canned air and just blew out what I could see. I re-assembled it and it seems to be maybe running a tad cooler.
Right now it's at 61C. Then it goes up to 64C and the fan gets louder. When I started SpyBot it raised to 74C so I unloaded SpyBot.
Dell Diagnostics said the fan passed all the tests. Does that mean the problem is not the fan?
I was so scared and shaking...LOL...as I was taking my computer apart that I knocked the Escape key off. I thought I'd broken it but I got it back on.
What is this thermal grease? Since i didn't actually get to the part where I took the heat/sink assembly out I don't know where to apply this grease. What does it look like?
I couldn't find any pictures that really showed the grease and where to apply it.
Thank you so much for any help you can give me.

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#2 fairjoeblue

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 10:54 PM

First, Cogats on having enough self cofidence to start disassembling a laptop !

Thermal Grease, or more properly, Thermal heatsink compound, is a type of "filler" that conducts heat.
Since a CPU & heatsink arent absolutly,100%, smooth & scratch free, & arnet a perfectly machined match, a very thin coat of thermal compund is put on the CPU before the heatsink is installed to fill in any microscopic scratches or gaps.
That allows the heatsink to absorb the heat gererated by the CPU more efficently.
Too much thermal compound can actually act as a insulator & impede cooling though.

One big consideration when using a laptop is the surface it's on.
Never put a laptop on a blanket or other soft surface it can settle in to.
There are heat exhaust vents that can get blocked & cause the unit to overheat.

You might consider a USB powered "chill pad" to set it on .
That is a stand with a couple of fans that blow on the bottom of the laptop to help cool it.
You can actualiy improve cooling simply by raising one end [usually the back] of the unit off of the suface it's setting on so air can get to the bottom.
I have a old VAIO that has 2 little "legs" that fold down to prop it up.
Definatly makes a difference!
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#3 dpunisher

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 06:08 AM

Here is a piece of the Dell service manual:

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/syst...mal.htm#1084976

No need to mess with the CPU or socket. Rock the heatsink back and forth to break the thermal pad loose if needed. I use acetone to clean any thermal compound/pad remaining. This is the thermal compound I prefer (especially on laptops/notebooks):

http://www.svc.com/g-751.html

Good advice from fairjoeblue above. The first question I ask customers when working on overheating laptops is "where do you use it?" Most sit them on carpet, on their bed, couch etc and cover either the air intake or exit.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

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#4 Dawter

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 09:35 AM

It always sits on my desk. I have it elevated 1" at the 4 corners.
It's getting warmer here in the middle of the USA. When the room temperature gets to be 78F the computer runs hotter. When I get the room temperature down it runs cooler. Imagine that...LOL
Thank you for the Inspiron manual. I have that printed out but the page breaks weren't with the pictures so it confused me.
The pull tab was brittle inside and broke when I was looking in there. No big deal, I assume.
Thank you for explaining the grease better. I'll get some grease, I read Arctic Silver is good>Your opinion on that?
What is wrong with the computer (other than being dirty in there)? Dell Diagnostics say the fan is good. If that's true, should I get some grease, blow and clean the fan assembly out and try that? Or do you think the fan is bad?
Once again, thank you.

#5 Sterling14

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:04 AM

I don't think the fan would be bad, unless you heard weird noises coming from it, or if it was moving slower.

Clean out the case by blowing canned air through the heatsink and through the vents. You should clean off the old thermal paste completely off the processor and heatsink. Apply a very very small amount. So small that if you touch it more, it will show the bare processor.
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#6 fairjoeblue

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:19 AM

" I read Arctic Silver is good>Your opinion on that?"

It's over rated & conductive.
You have to be careful when applying it .
If you get any on the motherboard, or anything but the CPU, there is a good chance of shorting something out.

I've tried several different brands.
I finally settled on the Silicone Based Heatsink Compound from Radio Shack.

It's inexpensive, non conductive, & [as far as I can tell] works as well as any.
OCZ StealthXstream 700W,Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R , E8500, Arctic Freezer Pro 7, 3GB G.Skill PC8500,Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 OC [1GB ], Seagate 250GB SATA II X2 in RAID 0, Samsung SATA DVD burner.

#7 dpunisher

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:55 AM

" I read Arctic Silver is good>Your opinion on that?"

It's over rated & conductive.


Well, it is capacitive, and that is enough to screw up something if it gets where it shouldn't. Learned that the hard way in the Athlon days as a little dab getting on those top resistors/links could cause problems. I guess with integrated heat spreaders on most CPUs it isn't a big deal, but I don't forget easily. I always liked the Shin Etsu because it didn't separate like AS3/5 and it was absolutlely non conductive and non capacitive. PITA to apply but it sure does work well.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

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#8 Dawter

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 03:22 PM

Okay, I think I'm all set. I printed out this thread and will buy some compound tomorrow.
I really do appreciate all of your help and you responded very quickly!
I'll let you know how it all comes out.

#9 garmanma

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 04:19 PM

It is important to note that a little bit of compound goes a long way
Use a small drop about the size of a grain of rice
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#10 breeze1

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 08:51 PM

Can you guys help me? This is Dawter using a different ID because my computer won't load Windows. And I use Roboform so I don't remeber my passwords, etc.
Anyway, the new heatsink/fan is a bit different than the one I took out. I can't get either fan to work in my computer. I'm doing something wrong when I'm replacing it but I don't know what. It seemed to go smoothly although I'm still confused about the thermal compound. The new one had a little bit on it in a square...I don't know how to explain it. All I know is that my computer has power but stays blank. Any ideas?
I took picttures if that will help you.

Edited by breeze1, 13 May 2009 - 08:56 PM.


#11 fairjoeblue

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 09:27 PM

You needed to clean the old thermal compound off of the CPU & the heatsink.
I use a piece of a paper towel & rubbing alcohol.
Once both are clean put a very thin coat of copound on the CPU & the3n mount the heatsink,
Clean off the little square of stuff !

BTW, You did unplug the laptop & remove the battery ?
It's important you do both before working on it.
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#12 Dawter

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 05:33 AM

Yes, I removed the battery and unplugged everything. I'm replacing my old heatsink/fan.
I don't see any thermal compound anywhere. Probably because I don't know what I'm looking for. I know what the fan looks like. Is the other end of the fan the CPU? I'll try to get some pictures of it tonight. Thank you for your time and knowledge.

Edited by Dawter, 14 May 2009 - 05:34 AM.


#13 Dawter

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 01:27 PM

I'm running Spybot now and the temperature is 54-55C. It went up to 58C and the fan came on and it's back down to 56C. Does that sound normal?
I had the processor in wrong. I changed the heatsink assembly and all is well for now.
Thank you all for your help.

#14 fairjoeblue

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 01:59 PM

If you ran Spybot S&D & the temp didn't go over 60C you're good to go on that !.
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