Lenovo E220s freezing without symptoms after renewing fan and thermal pad

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baskak

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Hello,

I recently renewed a rattling fan in my E220s. Since then I get permanent freezes every time, starting from ca. 5 to 40 minutes on. I checked with Sandra, and to my understanding no temperature sensor shows anything abnormal.

Since the thermal pad on the chip to the left from the CPU (northbridge?) seemed worn, I renewed it also with a 1 mm 7W pad. After dismantling again it does seem not the whole (but no less than 80%) of the chip's surface is hard pressed to the pad. I understand it's all the screws that keep the structure tight, but I have no more ideas on how it can be wrongly fit - or improved. Please note I have dismantled the laptop including the fan assembly several times before, without any noticeable issues. Yes I do use thermal grease/spread for the CPU.

Many thanks in advance,
 

managed

Allan
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Can you confirm the new fan is spinning ok ?

I had a look online but can't find a picture showing where the thermal pad goes. Can you post a pic or a link to one and show where it is please ?
 

baskak

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Many thanks for the reply.

I'm away from the laptop (in the countryside for the weekend), but:

I confirm the fan is spinning, and seems to work correctly.

The thermal pad goes on top of the encircled chip. It is then covered by the casing panel that includes a metal plate which is pressed to the chip via the pad, by means of the main screws, during reassembly. There's a E220s hardware maintenance manual here: http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/docs/migr-77265, maybe it can help, too.

Please note the pic is from elsewhere on the net.

 

managed

Allan
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Ok, thanks for the information.

If the pad is definitely thick enough ie it looks a bit compressed, all I can think of is to try a larger pad to make sure all of that chip is covered.
 

DaveBurnett

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No, no. no,
Ideally what you want is metal to metal contact. That conducts the maximum amount of heat away from the chip.
The ONLY purpose of thermal compound is to fill in the microscopic imperfections in the metal surfaces NOT to form a barrier.

Pads are just a convenient way of applying compound and once the chip has heated up the first time it will have been squeezed out to leave the minimum required in the gaps. You cannot re-use either pads or just compound. The surfaces need to be cleaned with proper alcohol that leaves no traces or oily stuff behind (like finger prints).

Too much compound is as bad as none.
 

baskak

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Finally I got back to the city and I can go on. Warm thanks for your help!

First of all, I wanted to boot the faulty laptop and make note of the temperature sensors reported in Sandra (of which it seems none is getting critical readout). But the disk gives problems now after using it for a week on OS X via ntfs-3g. Rats.

I dismantled the laptop and made photos. You can see the pad I cut positioned on the chip, turned upside-down (actually there's a clear mark of all the chip's surface now), the chip itself, the covering metal sink, and the packaging of the pad (it says &W and that's what the vendor claimed. It wasn't the cheapest).











I did clean the pad and surfaces with contact cleaner alcohol. Perhaps I can do it better.

The original pad was smaller, but had margins too, and it was nearly disintegrating in the pressed area, very thin. All in all it wasn't thicker than the new one (1 mm).

But, the point is it's only my guess. Can't something else be wrong with such symptoms?
 

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Allan
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Try leaving it in the Bios setup and see if it freezes then, that will eliminate any chance it's a OS or software problem and if there's a part of the Bios that shows temperatures you could leave it on that and see how high they go.
 

baskak

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Thanks. Sorry I wasn't very available today.

I think I did this a few days ago and noticed it freezes under some load only. And no temperature sensor (and there are four) seemed to indicate something alarming.
I somehow don't trust it might be the OS, even though it's not in the best state; the ocurrences started directly after renewing the fan (dismantling).

Do you think I can still learn something from BIOS anyway in this aspect?

BRG
 

DaveBurnett

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Is it the fan starting and causing the power supply to struggle because it is either faulty or no powerful enough.?
 

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Allan
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Thanks. Sorry I wasn't very available today.

I think I did this a few days ago and noticed it freezes under some load only. And no temperature sensor (and there are four) seemed to indicate something alarming.
I somehow don't trust it might be the OS, even though it's not in the best state; the ocurrences started directly after renewing the fan (dismantling).

Do you think I can still learn something from BIOS anyway in this aspect?

BRG
I don't know if you will learn anything but you've nothing to lose by trying it.
You could just leave it in the Bios without watching it, say overnight. If it freezes the temperatures should still be visible.

EDIT : after reading Dave's latest post meant to ask does it still freeze with the battery out and only powered by the charger OR powered just by the battery alone ?
 

baskak

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Apr 17, 2015
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Thanks again.

I've used a new, smaller piece of thermal pad and cleaned all the relevant surfaces with contact cleaner.

Under Ubuntu Live DVD the laptop generally works without problems. I attempted to stress-test it, but the built-in System Testing software was a bit too complicated for me to configure it to run a long CPU-intensive test. It does, however, include CPU-load test module, so I ran it four times: without problems. A report from one of the runs is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kPK4GSnnKDiWXAblgavFCVgfA4VOdW9Bva6X9TpdleE/edit?usp=sharing
Everything here seems okay to me.

I also ran it overnight without symptoms. Sleep mode, however, resulted in crash/freeze, but this might be because of generic Linux drivers.

I will attempt to test it again with the original Windows HDD, however unfortunately it's now error-laden because of using it with OS X via NTFS-3G.

Regards,

PS. No battery/power supply test attempted. Note the battery is non-detachable in this model.
 
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