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DV 6000 laptop CPU heatsync foil was cooked, repair or replace?

Posted on 2011-09-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi, I have a friends DV6000 laptop (has a broken usb port and the wifi stopped working due to overheating, due to being placed on top of a blanket (so vent holes were covered). I am going to attempt to heat the Nvidia chip to see if I can get that to fix it but when I put it back together I dont know if I should get a new heatsync because the original apparently got pretty hot- it burned the foil on the heatsync.

Below are some photos, my question is should I just replace the whole thing, should I just clean the residual foil off and apply thermal paste, or should I order a copper shim and then use thermal paste? Any info is appreciated!

 pic 1 pic 2 pic 3
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Question by:hydrive1902
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nobus earned 250 total points
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it looks heavily cooked - i doubt that will ever work again
imo - the chip should be replaced
of course, since it is now bad, it does not hurt to try if it still works
i would clean off all heat paste first, then you can decide better on the next steps
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by:rindi
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Heatsink foils should be available at any good electronic parts store. Just try to find out first what the thickness should be, and try finding one that has the best thermal conducting capabilities.

The CPU does look quite damaged, you may have to replace that (but there's nothing against trying it with a new foil first, but make sure the CPU surface has been thoroughly cleaned first).
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by:hydrive1902
ID: 36506158
yeah I agree it does look very damaged, however it works fine!

The only reason I took it apart was to repair the broken USB and reheat the Nvidia chip (not the CPU) in hopes of making the wi fi work once again (on google it shows some people reflow the chip with a hot air gun which I have and that fixes it lots of times) so I figured I would give it a shot. Other then that the computer works fine but I am sure it wouldnt be fine for long had I not opened it, as I hardlty even see any residual thermal paste (not even dried up thermal paste- there is just no paste residue at all). Thermal paste should hopefully keep it going a while longer, allthough I do agree it has been heavily stressed, but amazingly it still works!

I tried locating heatsink foil but cant find any (not even on ebay) so I am not even gonna try the local stores (they never have anything to make a quick cheap fix anyways...last time I went there to buy a laptop charger port and they tried to sell me a new motherboard...got the new port for 99 cents off ebay and it worked fine).  

However in searching google for heatsink foil I came across a post http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=634092 and several people say the artec thermal compound is better then foil and some actually sugested removing it right from the start, so I think I will just remove it and give it a try (obviously I will clean it off with isopropyl first). After all if its thin enough to break apart so easily, chances are the thickness is minimal and the thermal paste should be an ok replacment I would think. Thanks for the info everyone!
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by:hydrive1902
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Thanks!
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by:rindi
ID: 36508372
The problem when replacing foil with paste is usually the distance between the chip and the heatsink. The foil has a certain thickness and therefore closes the gap between the heatsink and the Chip, as on notebooks these often don't come in direct contact with each other, like they do on Desktop PC's. To get optimal cooling there shouldn't be any gap within the two. Thermal paste also isn't for closing the big gap, but rather it is there to compensate any uneven parts of the 2 surfaces. You also should never add too much, a very small drop is usually more than enough, and as I mentioned the 2 surfaces should touch each other. If there is too much space between the surfaces and you try to compensate that by filling that space with thermal paste, you won't get any improvement in cooling, on the contrary.

Here in Switzerland we have outlets of the German conrad electronic shop group. They have a web-shop and in there I can check what they sell, like a catalog. Once I have found the article I need I either write down the part number and go to the shop with that. Often they don't have what I need in stock, but they'll order it for me and send me a short message to the cell phone once it has arrived, I then pick it up. I'm sure you have similar options in the US.
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by:nobus
ID: 36508486
i had also to use a copper shim in a case, they're sold separately :
http://www.ebay.com/itm/laptop-CPU-GPU-Video-chip-cooling-Copper-Shim-Heatsink-/290503103912
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