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How not to water cool an elitebook


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The title says it all... how not to water cool an elitebook.

As some might know I own an rather old HP elitebook 6930p which Is really difficult to break, but I finally managed to do so...

Actually it happened a while ago, but I decided to share this with you when I stumbled across the pictures I had taken when it happened.

It all began with a fan noise that was unusual. The fan was spinning fast even though CPU load was low, the fan was spinning at full capacity. I realized that it must be a heat related problem, so I figured that it was time to repaste CPU and GPU. However I quickly realized that not the thermal paste was the problem, but the heat sink itself. One one end it was almost 100°C (212°F), while the other end remained cold even with the fan off. Heat sinks can break and you might not even see where, the problem is not the small air gap in the heat sink, but the crack through which the fluid, that is actually transporting the heat inside the sink thanks to phase change, can now escape.

I quickly ordered a new heat sink, but it would be days before it arrived and I really needed the laptop!

The picture should speak for itself. But I need to add a word of advice, DO NOT try this at home! I used distilled water and even that is slightly conductive to electricity thanks to autoprotolysis of water. So make sure you can keep the water away from the electronics if you ever attempt something similar...


The setup worked pretty well, though not as efficiently/silently as the new heat sink.

Also you need an external keyboard, since you have to remove the internal one to get access to the motherboard.

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