After a while, having a laptop overheats, and if that problem is not solved, it can lead to much older ones. The first symptom of this problem is obviously that the computer produces more heat than usual, although other symptoms may be the slowness and even that the screen is black (although this problem may also be related to the graphics card). To solve this problem we can always take our computer to a repair shop to change the thermal paste, but here I will explain how to turn it at home.
How to know when to change the thermal paste?
Apart from overheating, when disassembling the computer, you can observe when you need a change of thermal paste since sometimes we can not realize the change in temperature.
The thermal paste usually has a rather thick liquid texture. The best way to know if you need this change is to disassemble the computer (as I will explain later) and when you get to the thermal paste to see if it is hard. As I said before, it should have a thick texture, but never completely solid, since in this way it will not be able to perform its function adequately.
The time the thermal paste lasts depends both on the quality of the paste and the use of the computer. In general, I would recommend changing it more or less once a year if we use it regularly.
The first thing we must do to solve this problem is to have a good thermal paste. The choice of this is essential since, according to its quality, it can last more or less time and can generate more cooling. The best thermal pastes are usually those that contain silver, copper, or gold since these are the components that have higher conductive properties.
The thermal paste is an element that serves as an intermediary between the processor and the dissipator. If the thermal paste is in good condition, it creates an excellent thermal conductivity. This means that the computer is well cooled and has no overheating problems.
We must have tools for opening a laptop: some screwdrivers, a brush (to be able to clean and take advantage of disassembly), a spatula, and a time to help us remove some flex and components. We will also use a cloth or toilet paper to clean the thermal paste we want to remove.
Change of thermal paste
We close the laptop screen and turn it over. Before proceeding to remove screws, we must remove the battery from the laptop. When viewing the back of the computer, there may be a lid or just the full-back. If it has a cover, we will proceed to remove the screws of this one and later those of the whole rear part. In the case that it does not have a smaller cover, we will proceed directly to remove the screws from the back.
Once we have this cover open, the hard disk, the Wi-Fi card, and the RAM are usually there. Depending on the model, from here, we can remove the hard drive or not. If you do not let us remove it or there is a cable, then do not force it, and we will leave it to remove it from the front of the laptop. In this step, we must remove the RAM and the Wifi card.
As we can see in the image, the Wi-Fi card usually has one or two screws and two cables (typically one white and one black). Before removing it, we must pay attention to the position of each wire to later put each one in its place. We must also take particular care with these since the hitch they carry to the card is very fragile. I recommend removing them with the plastic spatula and very carefully.
We must make sure to remove all the screws from the back before proceeding to remove the keyboard, as well as those that may be in the area of the hard disk and the cards and that are on the motherboard.
When we finish disassembling the back, we flip the laptop and open the keyboard.
Once this is done, we turn the computer over and proceed to open it by the keyboard. When we see the opening, with the help of the pick, we will open carefully. When you finish opening the keyboard part, you have to be careful not to pull too hard because it usually has two flexes: one for the keyboard and one for the touchpad.
Once we have removed these flex from the board, we can separate the keyboard and set it aside. Each flex is removed in one way. In this case, the touchpad is removed by moving up the black eyelash that can be seen in the image and pulling without much force from the flex. The flex of the keyboard is removed by moving the white eyelashes (both at the same time) forward. Once removed, these flex that goes to the manual, we can remove the keyboard and leave it on one side.
Now we proceed to remove the motherboard because, in this case, the heatsink is on the back of the motherboard that we have not been able to access from the back cover.
The base plate carries some screws. Now I would recommend drawing on a sheet of paper an outline and removing each screw from the base plate on top of that diagram since some dishes do not have all the screws in the holes and others have screws of different sizes for each hole, and if we were wrong, we could damage it.
It is recommended that we draw a diagram of the screws of the motherboard so as not to make mistakes when putting them back.
We proceed to remove the screws of the base plate, the necessary flexes to be able to lift the base plate ( when lifting it take care and do not pull too much sense from the back, you can also carry flex). As the fan and the heatsink go together, and these, in turn, go to the motherboard, it is not necessary to remove the fan connection with the motherboard. Still, it is necessary to be able to remove the motherboard, remove the screws that engage the fan with other parts of the computer.
Once removed the base plate along with the fan, we can turn it around and see the heatsink (usually copper, or as in this case, copper and black).
Once we are in the back part of the plate, we will have to remove the screws that join the dissipator with the plate. To be able to remove the heatsink, or we can remove it from the fan (depending on the model of a laptop in some it can be done and in others not) or now, remove the screws of the fan to the motherboard and the connection of the fan with the motherboard. Now we can see the squares that were previously covered by the dissipator; in one of these squares, there will be thermal paste.
When we reach the thermal paste, if we notice that it is dry, it is that it has to be replaced.
As I mentioned at the beginning, the thermal paste can be either thick or dry, if it is dry it means that we have to replace it, we remove it with the cloth or the toilet paper of both the plate and the dissipator, and we leave everything clean. In this step, we can use to clean the fan with a brush since it usually accumulates dust and dirt.
Apply the new thermal paste on the part of the plate where the other was located; it should never be put on the dissipator. The quantity is usually less than that of a pea, and it is not necessary to scatter it since when putting on the heatsink and the screws, it will spread alone. If we spend quantity, to put the sink, we will see how the thermal paste goes out on the sides, in case this happens we should clean everything and put it back, although this should always be avoided.
We must put a small amount of thermal paste because if we spend quantity will come out the sides when putting on the heatsink.
We put back the heatsink and place its screws, screw the fan to the plate and put its connection. Once this is done, we can proceed to close the computer again, just as we have opened it but in reverse order. First, we put the motherboard where it was (we must remember the connections that had underneath and connect them before putting it), we screwed it exactly where the screws were before, we put all the flexes, and now we can put the keyboard. We connect the two flexes of the manual and close it firmly (do not worry if it is a bit lose when screwing the back part should be closed completely).
Now we turn the computer to see the back; we put the hard drive, RAM, and Wifi card with their cables as they were. We close the small lid and screw it. Now we can put all the screws on the back, and our laptop will be closed again.
We have already changed the thermal paste and cleaned our laptop.