Months ago I purchased an Intel NUC mini computer to use as a low power SVN server. I soon realize that it has a serious issue – overheating that causes the user interface to disappear and freezes the entire system.
I searched the web and found out many people are actually having similar problems like this. What really happened was the heat generated by the machine itself was not able to release quick enough and causes the hard drive to stop functioning. Intel NUC does have a built-in fan, but it’s on the upper side of the machine, while the lower side has no fan at all to release the heat effectively.
Intel solved this issue recently by adding a built-in thermal pad to cool down the hard drive, but it’s only available if you purchase a new machine. For older machine like mine, we need to find other solutions.
No where can I find a thermal pad as thick as what Intel is using for their newer NUCs. However, I do find a smaller one – Thermal Conductive Pad 10x10x1.0MM 20pcs. I bought a package of these which costs me only RM10 (USD 3). Looks good enough!
Here you see it’s only 12 pieces because the original 20 pieces length was too long so I cut it shorter, save the other half for future use. Then, just stick it to the back of the cover using a double-sided tape, and viola! When I put back the cover onto the machine, the thermal pad is barely touching the hard drive, which I wondered if it will work at all.
However, I tested the machine again by turning it on for few hours and the issue never occurred anymore. Cheap and easy fix!