Having problems with your Lenovo ThinkPad Z61t Notebook ?

Z61t overheating lenovo z61t overheats often the bottom gets very hot, the computer has issues then shuts off without warning. after it cools it reboots. a) will this harm my machine in the short term or long term? b) how can i fix it?

Answers :

IQuismO here...i posted this in the lenovo forums:

The Z-series laptops tend to have more of an overheating issue when\015\012compared to other thinkpads due to the vent design of the heatsink\015\012fan. The copper fins may look clean from the outside (rear and left\015\012corner exit vents). But since the z-series laptops are the only ones\015\012with an open vent on the underside of the fan, dust, dander, dirt, etc\015\012come in from the bottom and get stuck on the inner side of the copper\015\012fins which creates a blockage that you cannot see from the outside. \015\012Nor can you blow it clean from the outside.

Some of the\015\012main symptoms of this are as follows: Hot underside (especially near\015\012center of the laptop - where the CPU lies, and at the corner where the\015\012fan is), freezing, lock-ups of the laptop, unexpected shut downs, black\015\012screens (not all black or blue screens are results of overheating), MS\015\012Windows not fully booting, etc.

A new z-series laptop is\015\012not hot to the touch, at most, should be warm as a warm shower. One\015\012should remove the dust as early as possible. To do this, all you need\015\012is a small phillips screwdriver, compressed air or vaccum, a q-tip, and\015\012some CPU thermal compound (compound isn't mandatory, but suggested).

First,\015\012remove the keyboard and palmrest/trackpad. To do so, just turn your\015\012laptop over, and remove the screws that have a keyboard symbol next to\015\012them (small rectangle with dots inside).

Additionally,\015\012there will be 4 screws, 2 PER corner on the bottom-side near the screen\015\012hinges. Remove only ONE PER CORNER - CLOSEST to the corner.

Now\015\012flip your laptop right side up and open up the screen. Lift up on the\015\012right and left OUTSIDE edges of the palmrest near the seam (next to\015\012"Fn" and "right arrow" keys). you will hear clicks as you disengage\015\012each tab. Once you have disengaged all of the tabs, carefully unplug\015\012the trackpad ribbon cable from the motherboard (pull up on the edge of\015\012the board that the cube foam piece is on).

Now that the\015\012palm rest is removed, lift the bottom edge of the keyboard upward to\015\012expose the ribbon cable of the keyboard, unplug that one as well and\015\012then remove the keyboard.

Next, you must remove the\015\012speaker grills and top trim. Simply remove 2 screws, 1 near where the\015\012"Fn" key was, and another near where the "right arrow" key was...they\015\012are 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.

You\015\012can now remove the trim piece by lifting on the outside edges of the\015\012speaker grill (starting from where it touched the palmrest). There are\015\012clips that need to be disengaged here as well, so just lift up with\015\012some pressure.

After removing the trim piece and exposing\015\012the speakers, remove the 2 screws holding the LEFT speaker in place,\015\012one screw is on the top, and one on the bottom. After the screws are\015\012removed, lift the speaker out of place, and out of the way letting it\015\012hang by the speaker wire.


Near\015\012the center of the laptop, on top of the copper heatsink, you will see 4\015\012screws holding down to silver strips of metal, maybe 3-4 cm long and 4\015\012mm wide each. The 4 screws are also unmistakable because each one is\015\012numbered 1 through 4, which is also the order that the screws should be\015\012removed and replaced. REMOVE these 4 screws.

The fan is\015\012connected to the motherboard with a set consisting of 3 wires and 1\015\012plug, follow the wires to the white plug on the motherboard, and simply\015\012pull it out.

You can now lift out the heatsink and fan assembly, exposing the CPU (it should have the grey thermal paste on it).

The\015\012fan might not look clogged, but once you remove the SILVER screws\015\012holding it to the copper heatsink, you will see the clog. Thoroughly\015\012remove the dust with compressed air/vaccum, and clean out the fan as\015\012well. You can clean the fan fins using the cotton swab.

Clean\015\012off the used thermal paste using a lint-free cloth/fabric. Put a drop\015\012of thermal paste on the center of the CPU...then spread it evenly over\015\012the CPU...you don't have to be exact, as the copper heatsink should\015\012evenly disperse the paste as it is pressed onto the CPU. Wipe off the\015\012thermal paste from the copper heatsink, as you'd like only the new\015\012thermal paste to be used.

That's pretty much it, now just\015\012reassemble the laptop. DON'T FORGET TO PLUG THE FAN WIRE IN,\015\012otherwise you will get a fan error when powering on, and then you'll\015\012have to reassemble everything to get to that fan wire...what a pain

Rule\015\012of thumb, shortest screws are for the end pieces of the speaker grill\015\012trim, as well as the left speaker, medium screws are for the heatsink\015\012to the CPU as well as the black rectangular trim towards the top-middle\015\012of the keyboard area, and the longest screws are all from the bottom\015\012side.

I work on a lot of IBM/Lenovo laptops here at the\015\012office, but the z61t's at home as we have 2 in the house...after I did\015\012the above procedure, the temperature difference is like night &\015\012day. No longer hot to the touch, and you can truely use it as a laptop\015\012without burning your lap.

Keep in mind that this is\015\012common maintenance, so use your judgement in how often you should clean\015\012out the fan/heatsink. Major factors in your laptop environment include\015\012dustiness, whether or not you use it on a tabletop or on cloth/bedding,\015\012pets with fur/dander, etc.

Videos on disassembling the keyboard and palmrest can be found here. I hope this helps.

(a) Long-term, yep, it will harm the machine. So you do have to address it.
\015\012(b) Okay, first, is the internal fan spooling up? If it isn't, then send it in for repair rather than mess around with the innards of a laptop. If the fan is working, than (1) try blowing some compressed air into the fan slots to clear dust, and (2) get a laptop cooling pad to put under it when it's on.
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