A Guy Fixed His Overheating MacBook Pro By Putting It In The Oven And Baking It At 170 Degrees

A man managed to fix his struggling MacBook Pro by putting it in the oven and baking it.

Sterling Hirsh, a programmer for tech website iFixit, published an article on Dec. 29 chronicling his trials and tribulations over the last year with his MacBook Pro and the outlandish method that he used to try to fix it.

According to the post, Hirsh started noticing “heat issues” about a year ago. He explains that his particular model of MacBook Pro is notorious for running too hot. And because of his job, as well as his love for games and electronic music, he uses his laptop a lot.

Hirsh says he tried a few “simple fixes” on the MacBook to tackle the problem. He blew out the inside of it with compressed air, bought a laptop stand, and enabled a program that allows its fans to be run at maximum speed all the time.

But all of his efforts were fruitless: his beloved MacBook eventually died.

Hirsh recalls:

I was working on it when the screen suddenly went black. When I powered it off and on again, the power light lit, but I got no boot chime and the screen alternated between glitchy and black — it all screamed that something on the logic board was busted. Probably the water-boiling temperatures had caused the board to flex, knocking solder loose from its ball grid arrays. The likely fix? Reflow it: Heat it up until the balls of solder melt back into their assigned spots.

So Hirsh took drastic measures. Instead of sending his laptop off for repair (which can take a while), he decided to take it apart, disconnect some of the parts from the logic board, and turn the oven up to 170 degrees C. He applied some thermal paste (something that can be purchased in most hardware stores) placed it on a cookie sheet, and baked it for seven “nerveracking” minutes, he says.

And guess what? It worked!

“After it cooled, I reapplied thermal paste, put it all back together, and cheered when it booted. It ran great for the next eight months,” Hirsh says.

“The speed holes worked,” Hamish declares. “The boot chime rang. The screen glowed. The fans blew.”

But that wasn’t the end of Hirsh’s troubles. In the same post, he says that his laptop died 2 weeks ago. He tried all sorts of weird ways to bring it back to life. He used more thermal paste, a heat gun, and aluminium foil to doctor troublesome areas.

It all ended up with Hirsh putting his MacBook back in the oven, this time for for 7 minutes and 30 seconds. It was then he decided to “drill 60 holes in the bottom case, under the fans,” he explains.

It was fixed.

“The speed holes worked,” Hamish declares. “The boot chime rang. The screen glowed. The fans blew.”

And worked well:

There’s noticeably increased airflow — when I put a piece of paper on the bottom of the computer, it sticks to the case. Its average temperature is down in the 40s and 50s, lower than it’s been since before March.

It’s a little early for a final verdict, but the computer has now been running without incident for fifteen days. Unconventional electronics repair tools they may be, but that’s how I saved my MacBook Pro with a drill and an oven.

We applaud Hirsh’s efforts, but should note that while tech support people have special ovens to fix chips, it’s not a normal practice to put your laptop in a domestic oven. Proceed with caution, better yet, talk to Apple first if you’re having issues with your laptop.

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