Our Dell Inspiron 1100 Has Overheating Problems Again
Our Dell Inspiron 1100 notebook computer has been working pretty well since I cleaned it and added more thermal grease last summer. But these past few weeks, it has started to shut off again occasionally. I opened it up and cleaned it just as before. This time, the heatsink was completely clogged up with dust; while I was at it, I cleaned the old thermal grease off and added some more. I also installed the Dell Inspiron 8x00 fan control software to monitor temperature. Below are a few photos of the disassembly process.
As in photo 1, use a screwdriver to pry the top plate off. Remove the screws holding the keyboard down (photo 2). Lift out the keyboard, remove the center screw, then lift out the right-hand cover--what you'll see is photo 3. Remove the four screws holding the heatsink down and the fan connector; you'll be able to lift the assembly out for cleaning, as in photo 4, where I've added some new thermal grease.
As Jordan notes below, remember to unlock the ZIF CPU socket before trying to pull the heatsink out. Often the heatsink is sort of "glued" to the CPU from over-dried thermal grease. Unlock the CPU to let the CPU/heatsink come out easily, where you can carefully pry them apart with a small screwdriver. Similarly, remember to lock the ZIF socket after re-inserting the CPU.
2005/07/30 Update: Our Inspiron has been running well for a few months again. I really appreciate all of your comments, and others appreciate them, too. To that end, below is a short list of comments that are particularly helpful. (Of course, reading all of them could help with your particular case.)
- Wendy writes that these instructions also work for the Inspiron 5100.
- Fred writes that updating the BIOS was important in his case.
- Several are reporting that after taking the fan/heatsink/CPU apart, the laptop doesn't boot anymore. Both Robert and AK detail how to reassemble and solve this issue.
- Dan reminds us that oils from our hands affect the cooling ability of the heatsink.
- Voytec details his experience, and links to some documentation of the procedure.
- Guillermo writes about some best practices we should observe.
Lastly, a little disclaimer: this process worked for me, but I can't say that it'll work the same for you. You're probably voiding the warranty by doing this. You're doing this at your own risk!
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