The saga of the Toshiba Satellite P35 notebook computer woes continues, but this time I have high hopes that things have turned around such that we will get our money’s worth of work out of this machine, yet. Its warranty has expired. It was working OK most of the time, at least running Ubuntu Linux, but it still flaked out at times. It seemed to be thermally sensitive. The environment I’ve been running my computer in has been a consistent 20 to 23 C, which shouldn’t be a problem at all, but at 2,425 meters above sea level, which might challenge the cooling system a little. This model of computer is notorious for overheating due to the heat sink over the CPU getting clogged with dust. I found instructions for disassembling and cleaning it, but didn’t want to perform that major surgery until I had a viable backup plan and ALL critical data was off of the computer. All the important data is mirrored to an external hard drive at least every other night, but it wasn’t until I had Linux set up on my desktop computer with all of the same applications and had another notebook computer that I felt that I could risk disassembling the computer.
What I found surprised me. The heat sink wasn’t clogged. The canned air treatments that I had given it had effectively cleared out most of the dust, dog hair, and other junk. However, when I lifted the heat sink up, the CPU just fell out of its socket with no resistance. The latch on the zero-insertion-force socket was set about half-way between “open” and “closed.” No wonder the machine had been flakey! It had a loose brain! I’m amazed that it had done as well as it had, to be honest. The top picture in this article shows the CPU properly latched in place.
After smearing on some fresh thermal transfer grease and attaching the heat sink, and putting all of the parts back together again, this computer has run flawlessly, so far, doing normal stuff like downloading pictures from my digital camera, reading and writing email, and and writing this article. I have high hopes that it will keep running well. 🙂
Praise God! It almost feels like getting a new computer!