I am happy to say that after a day of fiddling with it, I am now using my laptop again! Yes, the roughly 24 hours without it were unbearable. I think it is fixed now. I THINK. Inshallah…but wait, lets go back to the beginning of how we got here…
I’ve had this laptop (Lenovo Z580) for at least two years, I don’t remember exactly when I got it to be honest. Recently it has been having a tendency to overheat. It didn’t shut down or anything like that, but I could barely even touch the fan without nearly scalding myself. Hubby is familiar with computers and we knew what the problem was immediately- the heat sink!
Now, the heat sink acts like a kind of radiator, moving the heat generated from the CPU to the fan, where cool air is blown in and hot air is blown out. Where the heat sink touches the CPU is a grey paste called thermal compound. The thermal compound works as a transfer medium, it moves heat better than air does, so it is able to transfer the heat from the CPU to the heat sink fast enough that the heat doesn’t build up. When your computer (or any electronic device almost) gets super hot, that usually means you need to refresh the thermal compound, or clean out the fan. Better yet, we like to do both.
*this isn’t the thermal compound we used, just a picture
So we took apart the entire computer (as one must to reach the heat sink), cleaned off the old thermal compound with q-tips and nailpolish remover, applied a fresh coat (it should be applied very very thinly, with a dollop and something sturdy to spread it, like a plastic card), and put everything back together…
and it wouldn’t turn on.
Again we took the computer apart. Mind you, taking apart a computer and carefully managing the screws and procedure takes about an hour, let alone putting it back together again.
We discovered a cable that had not been properly plugged in. This is a ribbon cable and we struggled with it for almost an hour- I kid you not. We were trying hard to be careful! These things are delicate!
Then we put the computer together again, and it turned on! YAY!!!
But it got very hot, very fast, and the fan wasn’t working.
At this point it was 8pm, and I said screw it. This morning we did chores, went to the pazar (farmers market, which I will blog about probably next week), and got back to the computer. We took it apart AGAIN (as seen on insta) and lo and behold…
we didn’t plug in the fan.
SMOOTH MOVE, US!!!
While we were there, we put fresh thermal compound again, because I had put too much before. We put everything back together again, and here we are. So far I am not feeling any heat issues, the fan is working, and best of all…it turns on. I hope to get a few more years out of this old girl!
Another thing we learned while taking apart the computer… I am incredibly impatient.