Is your laptop suffering from overheating issues? The answer could be to fight fire with fire. One programmer tried fixing his MacBook Pro's cooling issues by baking it, and the results weren't quite what he expected.
Before you dash to the kitchen with your laptop, you need to hear this story out. The programmer, Sterling Hirsh, who works on the tech site iFixit had a MacBook Pro that was constantly overheating.
His MacBook was one of the models that was notorious for overheating, and his constant use of it for programming, games and music didn't help. But what good is a laptop if you can't use it?
Hirsh said that he tried the simple fixes first: getting a laptop fan, using canned air to clear out the inside, and installing a program that allows the fans to run at top speed. Sadly, this was all to no avail, and the MacBook finally died.
Hirsh recalled the day his beloved MacBook Pro finally bit the dust:
"I was working on it when the screen suddenly went black. When I powered it off and on again, the power light lit, but I got no boot chime and the screen alternated between glitchy and black — it all screamed that something on the logic board was busted. Probably the water-boiling temperatures had caused the board to flex, knocking solder loose from its ball grid arrays. The likely fix? Reflow it: Heat it up until the balls of solder melt back into their assigned spots."
Now, this goes without saying, but definitely do not try this at home! Hirsh's drastic measures could have ended up melting his laptop in his oven.
The intrepid programmer knew that he could send his MacBook Pro out for repair, but he wasn't willing to wait that long. So Hirsh went to his kitchen and prepped his oven to 170 degrees Celsius - that's 266 degrees Fahrenheit - and removed the logic board from his laptop.
Hirsh cleared off the thermal paste - a conducting paste that's crucial to keep the MacBook from overheating - and added new paste before popping the logic board into the oven on a cookie sheet. He then baked the logic board for "seven nerve-racking minutes."
When the board was cool, Hirsh added more thermal paste and popped the logic board back into his computer. And it worked!
The baked laptop ran smoothly for another eight months, then died again about two weeks ago. Hirsh tried everything to get the laptop to come back to life, including the use of aluminum foil, a heat gun and more thermal paste.
He ended up popping the troublesome logic board back into the oven for seven minutes and 30 seconds. And he took a drill to the bottom of the case and drilled 60 holes around the fans in the Macbook.
And the results? Amazingly, this do-it-yourself approach fixed the MacBook Pro again.
"There’s noticeably increased airflow—when I put a piece of paper on the bottom of the computer, it sticks to the case. Its average temperature is down in the 40s and 50s, lower than it’s been since before March.
It’s a little early for a final verdict, but the computer has now been running without incident for fifteen days. Unconventional electronics repair tools they may be, but that’s how I saved my MacBook Pro with a drill and an oven."
Remember folks, don't try this at home!