• 4000002: Fix shutdown from overheating

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    AKB4000002: Fix shutdown from overheating

    By @CanadianTech

    Published 5 Feb 2017 rev 1.0

    If your computer is shutting itself down often, and possibly telling you it did it to protect the computer, it is quite possible the problem is caused by the thermal paste between your computer’s processor and the heat synch (dissipater) on top of it.

    If your computer is a desktop type, the following could be the solution to your problem, particularly if it is in excess of 5 years old.  If it is a notebook computer, you will likely need the services of a competent technician to do this task.

    My suspicion is that the thermal paste between the CPU and the heat synch was not applied correctly or has dried out.  CPUs produce a huge amount of heat.  That is why that heat synch is there with the fan on top.  I can tell you how to fix this.  It is not actually very difficult.  First, open the cover and check to see the fan on the case and the one over the CPU are working.

    1. Buy a small tube of thermal paste at the computer store.  Should  not be more than about $10
    2. While you are at the computer store, buy yourself a can of compressed air.
    3. Unplug the power cord.  Hold the on button in for at least 7 seconds. Remove the cover of the PC
    4. Use that can of compressed air to blow out all the dust bunnies that have accumulated.  Pay particular attention to the heat synch fins over top of the CPU.  Also the case fans.  Remove the front panel and blow the dust out of there too.
    5. Using a long Phillips screw driver slowly loosen the 4 screws on the corners holding down the heat synch to the main board.  They are spring loaded.  Loosen the screws a few turns at a time on each corner and keep rotating till you remove them or at least you can tell they are loose.
    6. Remove the small plug from the fan to the main board — note where and how it fits
    7. Pick up the heat synch/fan assembly.  Examine the surfaces between the bottom of the synch and the top of the CPU.
    8. Using rubbing alcohol very, very sparingly and a small soft cloth patiently remove the paste that is on both surfaces.  Make sure the surfaces are now clean and dry.
    9. Place small dots of the paste on the 4 corners (not at the edge) of the underside of the heat synch.
    10. Press the heat synch in place (do not attach yet), pull it back off.  You should see an even coating of paste on both surfaces.  NO paste over flow.  If you see blank spots, apply more paste there.
    11. Test again
    12. Re-attach the heat synch and plug.

    Power up, boot up.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    Viewing 2 reply threads
    • #90753

      Re Step 5
      I’m not sure that everyone could automatically recognise a “heat synch” unless it had a little sign on it, saying what it was. (Gee, I thought it was a heat sink, so that shows how much I know!)
      Could you describe it a little please, for novices like me?

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #90759

        A heat sync is a big hunk of metal, often shaped in fins. It is attached to the processor (CPU) with a heat transferring paste and functions to carry away the heat the CPU generates. (Heat is not good for CPUs). In addition, there is usually a fan that blows across the whole area to help remove the heat.
        A heat sync works to cool the CPU like putting a spoon in a cup of coffee works to cool it.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #90908

        Its probably the biggest thing you will see when you open your computer up. It looks like a radiator – a finny kind of thing — usually alumnium — with a fan mounted on top of it. I am talking about a desktop PC here….

        Does that helP?


      • #90940

        @ Kirsty

        (Gee, I thought it was a heat sink, so that shows how much I know!)

        I’m pretty sure you are *correct*–I tested *heat synch* on Google and it threw up a tantrum asking if I meant “Heat syncope”, and tried *hear sync* and Google had another tantrum, asking if I meant “heatsink”–when I said *No*, I’m looking for *heat sync*, Google said “Showing results for heatsink”!

        I wonder if it’s a *Canadian* thing?

        The whole concept of a *heat sink* is that the piece of equipment is acting as a *sink* (as in perhaps–sink hole) for heat to be drawn *into* it, and so it can then be radiated away usually by a series of fins that may use passive (no fan) and active (yes fan) to pass air over them flushing the heat away.


      • #90975

        So, we’ve got some ORIGINAL spellers here…. Maybe we weren’t born with dictionaries in our back pocket. They didn’t have spell-check when I grew up – not even computers, Internet, smart phones,… OOPS! I’m dating myself!!

    • #90936

      ‘heat synch and plug’
      Heatsink & fan assembly for folks in other countries 😉

      An additional step which is important is:
      4.5 Earth yourself to avoid static electricity charge destroying your system components!
      Touch a home radiator or use an earthing strap before attempting to remove the Heatsink & Fan assembly.

      No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT- AE
    • #91692

      Some comments:

      1. Try to get good-quality thermal paste. The good quality ones transfer a lot more heat than the poor quality ones.

      Here’s what I use:

      2. In my opinion, four dots (one in each corner) isn’t enough. Put enough to almost cover the face of the CPU, and don’t put it very thick. The goal is to get it to just cover the CPU, with no overspill, when you press the heat sink down on it.

      3. The heat sink is the piece of metal which is stuck to the CPU. Its purpose is to draw heat out of and away from the CPU, and then either dissipate the heat inside the case (desktop), or dissipate the heat outside of the case through the vents in the side of the case (laptop). The heat sink sticks to the CPU by means of the thermal paste.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
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