iQuismO here...i posted this in the lenovo forums:
The Z-series laptops tend to have more of an overheating issue when
compared to other thinkpads due to the vent design of the heatsink
fan. The copper fins may look clean from the outside (rear and left
corner exit vents). But since the z-series laptops are the only ones
with an open vent on the underside of the fan, dust, dander, dirt, etc
come in from the bottom and get stuck on the inner side of the copper
fins which creates a blockage that you cannot see from the outside.
Nor can you blow it clean from the outside.
Some of the
main symptoms of this are as follows: Hot underside (especially near
center of the laptop - where the CPU lies, and at the corner where the
fan is), freezing, lock-ups of the laptop, unexpected shut downs, black
screens (not all black or blue screens are results of overheating), MS
Windows not fully booting, etc.
A new z-series laptop is
not hot to the touch, at most, should be warm as a warm shower. One
should remove the dust as early as possible. To do this, all you need
is a small phillips screwdriver, compressed air or vaccum, a q-tip, and
some CPU thermal compound (compound isn't mandatory, but suggested).
remove the keyboard and palmrest/trackpad. To do so, just turn your
laptop over, and remove the screws that have a keyboard symbol next to
them (small rectangle with dots inside).
there will be 4 screws, 2 PER corner on the bottom-side near the screen
hinges. Remove only ONE PER CORNER - CLOSEST to the corner.
flip your laptop right side up and open up the screen. Lift up on the
right and left OUTSIDE edges of the palmrest near the seam (next to
"Fn" and "right arrow" keys). you will hear clicks as you disengage
each tab. Once you have disengaged all of the tabs, carefully unplug
the trackpad ribbon cable from the motherboard (pull up on the edge of
the board that the cube foam piece is on).
Now that the
palm rest is removed, lift the bottom edge of the keyboard upward to
expose the ribbon cable of the keyboard, unplug that one as well and
then remove the keyboard.
Next, you must remove the
speaker grills and top trim. Simply remove 2 screws, 1 near where the
"Fn" key was, and another near where the "right arrow" key was...they
are the only ones holding down the BLACK trim piece.
You will notice a black rectangular trim piece near the top of the keyboard area which has FOUR screws. Remove the four screws.
can now remove the trim piece by lifting on the outside edges of the
speaker grill (starting from where it touched the palmrest). There are
clips that need to be disengaged here as well, so just lift up with
After removing the trim piece and exposing
the speakers, remove the 2 screws holding the LEFT speaker in place,
one screw is on the top, and one on the bottom. After the screws are
removed, lift the speaker out of place, and out of the way letting it
hang by the speaker wire.
YOU ARE NOW READY TO REMOVE THE HEATSINK AND FAN.
the center of the laptop, on top of the copper heatsink, you will see 4
screws holding down to silver strips of metal, maybe 3-4 cm long and 4
mm wide each. The 4 screws are also unmistakable because each one is
numbered 1 through 4, which is also the order that the screws should be
removed and replaced. REMOVE these 4 screws.
The fan is
connected to the motherboard with a set consisting of 3 wires and 1
plug, follow the wires to the white plug on the motherboard, and simply
pull it out.
You can now lift out the heatsink and fan assembly, exposing the CPU (it should have the grey thermal paste on it).
fan might not look clogged, but once you remove the SILVER screws
holding it to the copper heatsink, you will see the clog. Thoroughly
remove the dust with compressed air/vaccum, and clean out the fan as
well. You can clean the fan fins using the cotton swab.
off the used thermal paste using a lint-free cloth/fabric. Put a drop
of thermal paste on the center of the CPU...then spread it evenly over
the CPU...you don't have to be exact, as the copper heatsink should
evenly disperse the paste as it is pressed onto the CPU. Wipe off the
thermal paste from the copper heatsink, as you'd like only the new
thermal paste to be used.
That's pretty much it, now just
reassemble the laptop. DON'T FORGET TO PLUG THE FAN WIRE IN,
otherwise you will get a fan error when powering on, and then you'll
have to reassemble everything to get to that fan wire...what a pain
of thumb, shortest screws are for the end pieces of the speaker grill
trim, as well as the left speaker, medium screws are for the heatsink
to the CPU as well as the black rectangular trim towards the top-middle
of the keyboard area, and the longest screws are all from the bottom
I work on a lot of IBM/Lenovo laptops here at the
office, but the z61t's at home as we have 2 in the house...after I did
the above procedure, the temperature difference is like night &
day. No longer hot to the touch, and you can truely use it as a laptop
without burning your lap.
Keep in mind that this is
common maintenance, so use your judgement in how often you should clean
out the fan/heatsink. Major factors in your laptop environment include
dustiness, whether or not you use it on a tabletop or on cloth/bedding,
pets with fur/dander, etc.
Videos on disassembling the keyboard and palmrest can be found here
. I hope this helps.