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De-Dusting a W541?

W530/W540/W550 series specific matters only
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Geophyte1
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De-Dusting a W541?

#1 Post by Geophyte1 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:55 am

I've been using a W541 with 32 Gb RAM for 4 years.
The Lenovo hardware tests on the RAM have been generally good through the years but periodically have indicated a bad test. The followup tests I usually ran immediately were always good.
Recently it has been showing bad tests every time but not always on the same test items.
I've also noticed the computer is generally running warmer even though I've done the usual blowing out with compressed air around and through the air inlets and outlets so that leads to the possibility that increased heat due to dust buildup is causing the bad tests.
I decided to remove the 32 gig and test each 8gig stick one at a time and they all tested good. Interestingly the test on one of the sticks, on its first run, did not finish the last two items because of what the log called a system event. When I ran it again it passed.
The fan seems to be working.
I'm writing this because I'm contemplating taking the W541 apart to clean out the built up dust inside, especially the fan, but I thought I'd ask and see if any one had knowledge of how to do that without having to tear down the machine to the degree the Maintenance Manual describes in order to get to the fan and other air passages to blow them out.
I suppose I'm looking for a shortcut:)
While I've been writing this another question has occurred to me. Using TPfan to measure the fan speed, what should be the maximum fan RPMs I should see on a 7 speed?
And, do fans ever "fail" by slowing down without actually stopping?
Thank you for any information.
Regards,

Geophyte1
Thinkpad W700ds 2757-CTO, T-400 2767AT6, W541 20EFCTO1WW

RealBlackStuff
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Re: De-Dusting a W541?

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:31 pm

You need to remove the fan, then clean it and it's surroundings incl. the CPU thoroughly from dust bunnies and other junk.
Then repaste the CPU, reattach the fan and put it all back together.
No just 'blowing out the dust'!
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Geophyte1
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Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:36 pm
Location: Rockdale, Texas

Re: De-Dusting a W541?

#3 Post by Geophyte1 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:55 pm

Thank you. I was hoping for an easy way out but understand why there isn't one:)
Regards,

Geophyte1
Thinkpad W700ds 2757-CTO, T-400 2767AT6, W541 20EFCTO1WW

axur-delmeria
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Re: De-Dusting a W541?

#4 Post by axur-delmeria » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:13 pm

You cannot just "blow the dust out". Here's why.

Here is a sample image of the W541 heatsink:
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1dOXrfAom ... 40x640.jpg

The air is sucked in by the fan, and blown through the cooling fins on the right side and at the bottom.
It also sucks in dust, which accumulates between the fan and the cooling fins.

Here is a sample image of a laptop heatsink that's clogged with dust:
https://www.efemt.com.au/images/laptop_ ... -large.jpg

If you just blow compressed air into the exhaust vents, the most you'll do is dislodge the dust, but it will still be stuck inside the fan. That's why the best way to clean it is to remove the entire heatsink, then separate the fan-- that way you'll have unobstructed access to the cooling fins, and can easily remove the dust that's built up through the years.

You also need to replace the thermal paste between the heatsink and processor (and GPU). Of course you need to remove all traces of the old paste first.
Last edited by axur-delmeria on Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Geophyte1
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Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:36 pm
Location: Rockdale, Texas

Re: De-Dusting a W541?

#5 Post by Geophyte1 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:00 pm

Thanks for the explanation.
Regards,

Geophyte1
Thinkpad W700ds 2757-CTO, T-400 2767AT6, W541 20EFCTO1WW

Geophyte1
Freshman Member
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:36 pm
Location: Rockdale, Texas

Re: De-Dusting a W541?

#6 Post by Geophyte1 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:43 pm

For anyone needing to clean the fan, heat sink and reattach the heat sink to the processors on a W541, here is a detailed video. It is not in English but you don't need sound to understand the process.

https://youtu.be/GtJnBYRX2Zc
Regards,

Geophyte1
Thinkpad W700ds 2757-CTO, T-400 2767AT6, W541 20EFCTO1WW

onespeedbiker
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Re: De-Dusting a W541?

#7 Post by onespeedbiker » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:26 am

I would really look into getting new RAM. Most RAM testers only do a fair job of testing RAM and usually need repeated tests. Here is one of the best RAM testers. https://www.memtest86.com/ Just because subsequent tests of your RAM turns out good, does not men your RAM is good. On the contrary, if during repeated tests you get any errors it's an indication of bad RAM.

Geophyte1
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Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:36 pm
Location: Rockdale, Texas

Re: De-Dusting a W541?

#8 Post by Geophyte1 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:23 pm

Thanks.

I'll try the RAM tester.
Regards,

Geophyte1
Thinkpad W700ds 2757-CTO, T-400 2767AT6, W541 20EFCTO1WW

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