I found an old laptop in my closet from the mid-2000s and decided to take it apart. Got onto the motherboard and the thermal compound was looking a little grim and in need of replacing. So that's what I'm doing tonight, isn't that exciting? Such a life I lead. Your guess is as good as mine why I decided to document this.
Removed Heatsink - Thermal Cake
Before - CPU
Before - Heatsink
Just an FYI for any other do-it-yourself freak shows like myself out there... You do not need to buy specialized cleaning products for the CPU. While I'm sure they probably do work well, in my opinion they are a waste of money, isopropyl alcohol diluted with about 25% water works perfectly fine. I recommend putting it on a microfiber cloth that you don't mind trashing when you are completed the cleaning. Anywhere that has an excessive buildup of old compound and is difficult to remove, a q-tip saturated in the alcohol-water mixture will usually do the trick. Just do not leave any cotton fibers from the q-tip on the processor, they will scratch the chip.
After - CPU & Heatsink - So Fresh & So Clean
Now I need to apply new thermal compound to the CPU (sparingly), and reposition the heatsink.
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