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Released April 2010 / 2.4, 2.53 GHz Core i5 or 2.66 GHz Core i7 Processors

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Computer heats up fast and slows down; is there a fix?

Dear IFIXIT,

I maintain my macbook pro(2010, 6,2, OS X10.95) with Disk Warrior and Drive Genius, clear the cookie cache regularly, using task manager in Chrome to lean out CPU load, use Memory Clean during heavy browser loads, and Apple’s Disk Utility to repair permissions. I have done all the “troubleshooting” tricks in the internet for speeding up performance to no avail. As the machine has gotten older it heats up faster and slows down more quickly.

Recently it started failing to boot, just shutting down. I let it sit for a couple of months while looking at options. Then on a whim I booted up on Disk Warrior, again, ran the director repair, and presto; was able to start up completely and run. No more problems like that since(1 month), but the heating up even under moderate work load is significant.

Is there a fix or a maintenance process to fix these issues? It’s a great machine and I feel like it still has a lot of service left in it..

Having watched a number of Louis Rossmann’s mac repair videos I kinda think that it might be a problem with some component on the logic board….

Thank you for your time and expertise.

RP

P.s. While the heating and performance issues have been building in recent years, one year ago, I did partition the drive(leaving headroom on each partition) so I could run software that required a later OS(10.13). After several months it seemed to create some difficulty returning to the OS x10.9 partition; slow starting. My solution was to move the 10.13 drive to an external bootable drive and to wipe that partition clean. It still exists; it’s just empty. This shouldn’t effect the main partition, but I thought it might be worth mentioning.

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Let’s get a better view of things, install this gem of an app! CoconutBattery take a snapshot of the apps main window and post it here for us to see 在已经存在的问题里加入图片

I'm suspecting your battery is holding you back.

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CoconutBattery huh? you're assuming I'm on battery power, right?

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@tenyearsgood - This is an app to see what your batteries status is as well as the charger. click on the blue link to discover what it can do!

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Running os x10.9.5 on this laptop, CoconutBattery 3.6.3 downloads will not install. I get the white circle with the diagonal cross. Do you have a link to a download that works?

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Check for a greasy looking spot on the logic board under the crimped ends of the heat sink. If you find it, replace the heat sink as it has leaked.

2010年中MacBook Pro 15" 一体化机散热槽替换

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That sounds like a dying spindle drive! As hard disk drives age, they tend to lose data and performance, as the components that drive them start to fade away. A buddy of mine had a 30 year old 7200RPM SATA drive that could barely do 5400RPM…

You might want to swap to a SSD at this point. It’ll be eons faster! If it’s not an SSD, then… comment.

Good luck!

Update (10/06/2020)

Ok, I’m dumb. I assumed the issue was not being able to boot properly, but after re-reading your issue, I now understand you’re worried about thermals.

Try cleaning out the fans and heatsinks (and possibly the rest of the laptop), replacing the thermal paste. That should help.

If not… comment.

Good luck!

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Hard drive is not old, maybe two years, Western Digital with plenty of headroom. It should have years of service ahead.

Are you an SSD salesman?

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Nope. Just suggesting.

The reason why I suggest replacing the drive is because the boot issues you mentioned sound like a dying hard drive (or storage controller. Let's hope it ain't that.)

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In their defense @tenyearsgood SSD upgrades are an excellent way to breathe new life into the unibody generation MacBook Pro's. Not that the HDD is related to your original issue, but if/when you make the switch, you won't regret it.

To better your thermals, I second Rosa's suggestion to crack open that bottom case and give it a good dusting, as well as replace the thermal paste on your CPU if you're able. It's good measure to do this once or twice per year, especially if you're a power user. It is also worth noting that an aging battery can create more heat in your system as well, so I'd check its cycle count and inspect for any swelling when you're inside the machine.

Cheers bud

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Ah. These details are useful. I stays in a very clean environment and every time I've opened it up to swap a hard drive or replace a fan, etc. the inside is immaculate aside from a litte dust around the vents. I've heard about the thermal paste issue, so I'll look into that. I'm capable of swapping out parts, but not a tech. The battery is an OWC aftermarket replacement but the computer stays plugged in most of the time. The heat is not coming from the battery. It is specifically coming from the motherboard quadrant near all the ports. I've just cracked it open and there is more dust than usual. I'll try a cleaning to see if that reduces the heat. Does that sound like a trademark thermal paste issue?

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I pulled up the fans and found a shed load of dust blocking the heat sinks. I've never seen it that bad. It must be Global Warming. That could have been the issue. I'll soon find out. Sorry about the fake fire drill. I should have checked the exhaust ports first. Just had never been a problem over the years. Yes, an SSD upgrade is on the upgrade sheet but my HD is still functioning and I want to make sure there are no deal-breaker issues before I spend the cash. + I'd need a 750GB-1TB drive, so not cheap. :: I loaded it up with a massive Google Chrome session and now it appears to be handling the heat much better. I can feel the air induction through the keyboard again. Thanks for the reminder!

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replace CPU thermal paste

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Please elaborate why this is the fix.

Thanks.

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If your CPU runs hot, it will thermal throttle (slow down) itself to prevent damage. If it overheats, the computer may freeze up or shut down completely. Replacing the thermal paste is usually a good baseline procedure when you have a problem with temps.

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Ah. That appears to be what was happening. I didn't know that function was built-in but it makes perfect sense. Thoroughly cleaning the heatsinks and fans appeared to fix the lagging performance issue. I keep the laptop on a 1-inch wood frame that allows air circulation underneath. This prevents heating from becoming worse, all things normal, but what the macbook pro's really need is a heatsink that physically contacts the unibody and pulls heat away, as air actually functions as a barrier, not a great conduit. During the Summer I often set the laptop on a flat "ice pack" which cools it down wonderfully and improves performance significantly. Thanks for that detail Cory.

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i think you will find the fan is clocked up clean it and replace the thermal past

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