fixing an acer travelmate 2420 with high cpu temps

i have owned an acer travelmate 2420 for about 5-6 years or so and i have noticed, especially more recently, that my cpu temperatures were pretty high. the cpu would idle around 60-65°C. a couple years ago, i started taking the laptop apart to see if there was access to the processor to reapply the thermal paste. turned out that it wasn’t so easy to get to so i simply gave up since i couldn’t find a service manual for it anywhere online. since the temps seemed to keep getting worse, i decided to try to look again.

this time i was able to find the manual (Aspire 3620/TravelMate 2420 Series Service Guide). it took quite a while, but i was able to disassemble the laptop using the service manual as it has pretty decent step by step instructions including screw locations. in order to gain access to the processor, almost the entire laptop must be disassembled and the motherboard removed. from there, i was able to remove the heatpipe from the processor and northbridge, clean them and then apply some new arctic silver 5 thermal paste. another thing i noticed was that there was quite a gathering of dust on the heat sink of the heat pipe which certainly can’t help the temps. cleaning that out with an old toothbrush did the trick.

reassembly of the laptop went much quicker than the disassembly phase. it certainly helped that i used a piece of paper and made note of which screws went to what location. acer is one of those manufacturers that uses multiple screw sizes for anything and everything unlike many dells i have come across where there are typically 2-3 types of screws or so for most things. now that i have gotten the laptop back together, i am seeing temps around 50°C with it on my laptop. this seems to be about a 10-15°C drop in temps and the thermal paste hasn’t had any time to cure.

reapplying thermal paste on an older laptop can definitely help out if you are having overheating issues. i would just make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before trying it yourself as some laptops are much more difficult to take apart than others. most manufacturers publish service manuals that can be found online. you just might have to do a bit of digging to find them.