Lenovo Thinkpad T500 - overheating and shutting down


Jan 2, 2014
Hi all,

As of late, my Lenovo T500 has been running very hot and shutting down. I'm in the process of running the hardware diagnostics tests to see if all of the hardware components are good - particularly the CPU fan.

My next troubleshooting step is to pull up the T500 manual remove the keyboard and run some compressed air over the components - again focusing on the fans.

I was just wondering what others had done when they've run into this issue, especially for the Lenovo T500 models. If the above fails, my next thought was to remove the CPU heatsink and reapply the thermal paste. However, while I have the technical skills necessary to do this, I'm not sure I have the willingness to. I'm a bit hesitant to start removing and replacing inner laptop components. I'm wondering if perhaps it's time to start looking at a replacement since this unit is six years old.

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts or recommendations at this point. I guess I'm just reaching out for some other opinions as I decide my plan of action. Thank you as always for your time, it is appreciated!
Yes you should start thinking about replacing it. The Skylake laptops are starting to show up, so Broadwell models should start showing up on clearance sales if you want to save money. I know how you feel though. The Thinkpad T40 I was using in 2004 still works (boss lets her kids use it).

That said, usually blasting the fans and vents with compressed air fixes any overheating problems. Don't be nervous about repasting it. It can be a fun/educational experience, and a replacement CPU if you screw up is a few bucks on eBay. If you totally screw up the laptop, it's a good excuse to buy a new one.

Intel made substantial improvements in the CPU up to Sandy Bridge (i3/i5/i7 - 2xxx). After Sandy Bridge, the improvements have been rather small each generation aside from the integrated GPU. So that's usually the cutoff-point where I recommend people replace or stick with their computers. Sandy Bridge or newer, keep using it. Older than Sandy Bridge, replace it.


Jan 2, 2014

Hey Solandri - thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it!

I removed the palm rest and keyboard from the laptop and hit everything with a can of compressed air.While I had it opened, I visually confirmed that the CPU fan was operating and it was spinning while OS was on (at first it looked like it only momentarily powered on during boot, but seemed to work normal after that). I put everything back together and have monitored temps. Still seem a bit high - in the 60c range while idle.

I have a Lenovo T510 a family member no longer uses. I was originally going to dedicate that laptop to convert VHS tapes to digital files (especially my parents wedding tape). I'm thinking now that I'll take my current T500, stick a cooling board under it and see if it can handle doing those conversions (maybe open a window since it's getting colder too lol). Then I'll take the T510 for myself and wait for sale (Black Friday/Cyber Monday?) I know video conversion can be CPU-intensive but I'm hoping the T500 can withstand it. I really want to get all these family videos off VHS and preserve them digitally.

Sorry for the long reply - I don't have anyone else in the household to bounce thoughts off of, so I really appreciate your time and any feedback you (or anyone) may offer. Thanks again!! :D

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