I've done a lot of browsing in this forum specific to CPU temperatures, overheating, etc. before I decided to post my story here for all to see. I've found some good information w/ regards to cpu-world.com for this specific CPU's temperature range, cleaning out the fans, etc.
Anyways, I decided to resurrect this netbook (dead thanks to a broken WD HDD) the other day. I replaced the HDD with a Crucial 128GB V4 SSD and have a 2GB stick of RAM to throw in eventually. Also of note, I ditched Windows 7 Starter edition in favor of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. All through the installation procedure my netbook would randomly shut down. I was finally able to do a full, uninterrupted install. I noticed the system's fan would kick into super high gear (really loud) with minimal load from the OS (for example, I would open Firefox or the Software Center and try to install something). The System Monitor would show the CPU @ 100%. The random shut downs continued but I started getting notifications from what I assume was Ubuntu saying thermal limit exceeded (briefly) and then shut down. So, my first step was to open it back up and blow out the fan. Quite a bit of dust came out, but no change in the performance. I installed software called psensor to monitor CPU temps and load. After this was installed I could see the CPU (idling) would run around 120 deg. Fahrenheit (48 C) - when I started additional processes the temps would go up to 170-190F (pushing 90 C). Anyways, I also noticed that I could run indefinitely on battery power but once I plugged in the netbook it would start its random shut downs again (I'm assuming this is because on battery power the CPU is throttled to decrease battery usage).
So, a few questions that are plaguing me:
1) I think this truly does look like a heat issue, am I correct?
2) Is it the fan or the thermal pads? The fan gets really loud when the system is working (I can't remember what it used to sound like) but it doesn't sound like its 'dying'.
3) I have torn it apart down to the heatsink/fan and inspected the thermal pads - how do I know if they are truly worn/bad? (Image attached)
4) If it is the thermal pads, should I replace with thermal paste or buy new pads?
Phew. I'm sure there are other questions floating around in my head... but that's all I've got for now. It's been a small project turned into a beast!
Thanks for all your help.
Asus EeePC 1005HAB
Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz CPU
1 GB RAM
Crucial V4 128GB SSD