My Thinkpad T60 Is Overheating

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If your IBM Lenovo T60 laptop computer is beginning to overheat, you should address this problem immediately. Letting it go for any extended period may cause irreparable damage to the processor (CPU), the hard drive, the motherboard or other vital components. An overheating T60 may be the result of any one of several problems or component failures.

Cleaning

  • The T60 is designed to be light and portable. It is important to keep it clean, especially if you use it outdoors. If it is unavoidably exposed to dirt or grime, clean it thoroughly. Use a clean dry cloth for the exterior, a can of compressed air spray for the keyboard and hinges and a mild lens cleaner for the screen. A dirty T60 will overheat and can cause other malfunctions within the unit.

The BIOS

  • The basic input/output system (BIOS) operates on firmware built into the BIOS chip on the motherboard. The BIOS activates the CPU and loads the operating system. Occasionally, updates to the operating system will cause various BIOS commands to be misinterpreted leading to increased load factors on the CPU. This can result in overheating. The solution is to check the Lenovo website for BIOS firmware updates. If your BIOS requires an update, download and install it as per the Lenovo website directions.

The Fan

  • If the problem persists, check the fan. Put your fingertips over the exhaust port located on the left rear side of the chassis. You should feel hot air coming from the port. You may have to wait a few minutes while the T60 warms up. Put your ear near the exhaust port. You should hear the sound of spinning fan blades. If not, turn off the T60, unplug the AC charger cord and remove the battery. Close the screen and turn the unit and remove the screws. The fan is in the upper right hand corner immediately to the left of the exhaust port. Remove all visible dust and dirt collected in and around the fan with a can of compressed air. Spin the fan blades. If they are sticky, spray or lubricate such as WD-40. If the fan blades are locked tight, replace the fan.

The CPU

  • If you still experience overheating, check the heat sink covering the CPU. Look for cracks or spaces between the base of the heat sink and the top of the CPU. Try to wiggle the heat sink lightly with one finger. If you detect any movement, carefully remove the heat sink by unscrewing the fastening screws and using a thin bladed instrument to pry the heat sink loose from the top of the CPU; clean the surfaces and reseal the heat sink to the CPU with a thermal compound like Arctic Silver. Make certain the CPU is firmly attached to the motherboard by gently pressing down on the top of the heat sink after using the thermal compound.

References

  • Photo Credit Steve Mack/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
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