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ThinkPad released in 2011. This version of the T420 is thicker than the T420s and lacks integrated USB 3.0. The T420i uses the same chassis, so most T420 repair guides work interchangeably.

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Is there a way to troubleshoot the thermal issues without parts?

I have a Lenovo T420 and the thermals of the computer are not exactly accurate. I am wondering if I can try anything before I buy new parts, since I'm closer to comfort then I want to be with the expected part costs to repair the entire system as it is. It would be nice if I could recalibrate the tempreature sensors and seeing what that does, but I can't find a clear way to do it.

As of now, I have tried the following fixes:

  • Heatsink removal (dusting purposes)
  • New TIM (Artic MX-4)

Neither of these fixed it, so I took the keyboard off to get an average on how hot the heatsink measures vs. what the computer reports, and this is why the readout is highly suspect.

Before I mention the readout from the measurements I took without the keyboard, this is what I get with Aida64:

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As far as measurements from the heatsink itself, this is what I get with an IR thermometer:

  • Vent: 57.6-67.8c
  • Rear vent: 60c
  • CPU plate: 61.2-66.6c
  • Heatpipe: 35.2-52.4c

I have also measured it with a thermalcouple and did some datalogging from my multimeter, and this is what I got:

CPU plate:

  • 32-53c

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Heatpipe area 1:

  • 42-49c

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Heatpipe area 2 (opposite side measurement)

  • 42-48c

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CPU vent:

  • 52-55c

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I see that you cleaned it, but did you clean out and add new thermal paste?

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Yes. I have new thermal paste on it.


since you still seem, to be experiencing heat issues, your fan may need to be replaced(I know this is, not what you want to hear)


It needs ~$70 in parts to get it back to 100% health, so a fan is FAR better then a heatsink issue. I know for a fact those are much cheaper then the heatsink.

I have the Dual GPU model, so the heatsink I need isn't as easy to find as the IGP only model.


Proper airflow is important, the fan seems to be the culprit at this time, replace it, and I forsee your issues going away


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Nick sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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