Solving the Overheating problem

Often in older generation CPUs, the issue of fans blowing hard making rattling sound and CPU restart on its own with sometimes giving reason as heating are caused by overheating of processor. It can be because of three main reasons-

  1. Dusty interiors and bad ventilation.
  2. Damaged layer of heat sink compound.
  3. Damaged processor heat sink fan.

Here we take a systematic approach to solving the problem, expecting the least damage and proceeding step by step.

Step1. Open the cabinet and clean the dust settled in it. Use a brush or a vacuum cleaner for better results. Clean the chassis fans and the ventilation meshes and the heat sink fan to the extent you can.

Step2. Dismount the heat sink from the processor. It may be mounted using clamps or using screws. After you have removed the heat sink, you can see the processor top exposed. Clean the area from any traces of dust.

Step3. Clean the dust and dust swabs from the heat sink fan using a brush. Use tweezers to pull off dust swabs struck in fins of heat sink.

Step4. You will notice some layer of white or silver paste on the processor top and on the bottom surface of heat sink. This is heat sink compound. Its function is to transfer heat from processor to the heat sink, so that it can be dissipated through the heat sink fan. When this layer gets worn out due to time or usage, the heat isn’t transferred effectively. Hence the processor sensor senses heat and makes heat sink fan blow fast, but heat isn’t transferred. Hence processor makes the fan blows even harder and harder until a limit is reached where vibrations are induced and a large rattling sound is heard.

Clean the old layer of heat sink compound from the processor surface. Use a cotton cloth dipped in white petrol or nail polish remover for better results. Also clean the bottom surface of heat sink in the same manner (step 5).

Step6. Apply a reasonable quantity of heat sink compound to the centre of processor. Take caution not to add excess quantity that may spill when heat sink is fixed. Use Arctic silver or ones from Cooler master for best results. Place the heat sink back in place and fix it.

Changing the heat sink compound...

Changing the heat sink compound...