Below is a picture of the heat sink from a Gateway MX6124 notebook. Notice that there is a piece of silver foil stuck to the heat sink with thermal compound. When the assembly is locked into place, the foil contacts the CPU. There is no thermal compound between the CPU and the foil.
Should I remove and discard the foil, clean up the assembly, and apply new thermal compound? The computer may be experiencing heat-related problems. (It locks up randomly even though CPU Thermometer show the temperature constantly below 65C.) The fins are not clogged, so the air flow is sufficient. The fan turns normally.
Okay, thanks. Does a program like CPU Thermometer read the temperature from the CPU or is the sensor located on the motherboard? If it is internal to the CPU, the CPU is not overheating. If the heatsink is not in good thermal conductivity to the CPU, the CPU could be overheating without the condition being accurately reported. I'm pretty sure the sensor is internal to the CPU, but I thought I would ask.
It really depends on the model of the laptop and the processor type. Some have a sensor on the mobo just below the proc die, some have a sensor on the proc die itself, some don't have one at all. It just depends. :\