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Model A1297 Unibody: Early 2009, Mid 2009, Mid 2010, Early 2011 & Late 2011

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Overheating A1297 thermal paste replacement?

Yo, experts, I have 2 machines of the 2009 A1297 series. I ran ASD on both, and both show “Failed” due to Thermal Interface TIM test (test4) . It says “ Check heatsink is properly attached, using product specific theta dh+75% guardband” .

That is quite a mouth-full!

Moving past the lingo, I am thinking of replacing the thermal paste, but not sure if I can use one or either of the two products I have on hand: namely 1) Arctic MX-2 or/and 2) K5-pro .

Also one of the machines had 2 more errors:

1) ERROR 72- Fill rect Video 2D acceleration failed

2) ERROR28 Mux switch failed…did not switch error Video controller internal Gmux to EG and verify (test 41)

Can you please let me in on what is the best paste and how to remedy the other two exquisite inconveniences?

BTW, both machine behave just fine, aside from turning into heating elements after 30 minutes of videos….but that should stop, I do not want to contribute to global warming.

Update (12/18/2018)

Thank you all for your input on the heat issue

Can anyone shed some light on these other 2 errors shown in the ASD of one of the machines:

1) ERROR 72- Fill rect Video 2D acceleration failed

2) ERROR28 Mux switch failed…did not switch error Video controller internal Gmux to EG and verify (test 41)

Besides the overheating, which I now fixed thanks to your help, with a non leaking heat pipe and new thermal paste, it also had shown these two errors, which I did not address yet. The only thing that is noticeably odd still with that machine is the very weird startup chime, sounding like a croak of a Blue heron on life support.

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Chosen Solution

Evading your question about thermal paste, look at the logic board in the area where the heat sink ends are crimped. You are looking for a small oily type of stain where the heat sinks may have leaked and become ineffective.

MacBook Pro 17" Unibody (Early-Mid 2009) Heat Sink MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Heat Sink Replacement

MacBook Pro 17" Unibody (Early-Mid 2009) Heat Sink图片


MacBook Pro 17" Unibody (Early-Mid 2009) Heat Sink


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Thanks for the photos of the solar set up. Looking at the last photo, do both the hydro and the solar feed into it?


The hydro plant has its own charge controller down by the tail stock, where it makes sure that I will not overcharge the bank, and where the diversion occurs in case of voltage going above set point. But ultimately the power comes into the same battery bank, you can see the cables come in on the left side in the pic.

The solar input goes through the MPPT Outback regulator.

Thank you for the lead on the heat sinks. I have read that leaking heat sinks also account for a good percentage of the infamous iMac A1225 GS8800 graphic card issues ( which I also have 2 of here awaiting repair) Can these heatsinks be fixed ?


Don't know how you would fix it because I have no idea of what the liquid is or how you would get it in. So I posted the part on my original answer.


Thank you mayer, I have 2 more logic boards of that type, and I could conceivably take one from a donor board, until a new (used) one from ifixit arrives.... Is there a way to tell, aside from ASD, if it has leaked? Maybe weight? I did not see any the first MBP I opened up...


Correction: I did find some stain after all, right in the fins. You hit the nail on the head again, mayer!!! And I have one without stains for now. But will order replacement from ifixit, now that I have a US post box the cross border shipping price will no longer kill that option. Are ifixit heat sinks used?


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If you want a good quality thermal paste use arctic silver, you should be able to pick it up for under 10… I wouldn’t worry about getting the most expensive version the basic one is more than you should need. The reason it works so well is the silver content, it helps transfer the heat at a higher rate. If your a little nervous and you want to go all out, thermal grizzly it’s a liquid metal… Anything that I take apart with a CPU that’s a couple of years old I’ll usually refresh the thermal paste anyways, and with the old iMacs I hit the gpu as well.... I didn’t notice you already have the upgraded version of arctic silver… Good luck with your repair.

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Gerard - I would stay clear of liquid metal TIM in any laptops!

I would stick with Arctic Silver thats all I use. Other TIM products can be conductive causing big problems!


Thanks Gerard. Since I have Arctic on hand I might as well use it. But the K5 you would consider basic paste, and adequate here as well then? I think I bought the K5 back when I fixed an iMac GPU to use on the RAM around the GPU... At any rate, I think that the heat sinks can use all the help they can get, since I now discovered a total of 3 leaky one out of 4 boards I have here.


Dan they’re all 100 percent non conductive these days it has something to do with the silicone mesh that binds all the atoms together… I just use it when an overclock can cause high thermals… But we all have are favourites regardless.


Well... I wouldn't make that claim ;-} I would agree more are less conductive these days. I would put it closer to 80% But that still leaves 20% out there.

Conductivity is not like a copper wire its more capacitive when the paste is touching the SMT components on the chip which messes things up.

Liquid metal is very conductive! As well as corrosive! In a desktop it can be effective if you leave the system level. If you place the system on its edge over time the TIM will seep out!


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Jurgen will be eternally grateful.
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