Some time ago, I removed the thermal pad from my CPU and applied some thermal paste instead. I also removed dust from the fan. It's a Dell Studio 1735 Laptop. The laptop got MUCH quieter and cooler.
Three months later, it's loud and hot again.
There is no dust. I just removed the cooler, and all of the thermal paste still sits there. Maybe while travelling, the CPU cooler wiggled around a microscopic amount, thereby reducing the effectiveness?
How do I apply the thermal paste so that the cooling efficiency persists? Could it be that a thermal pad would work better in the case of a laptop, as it is rigid and won't move under mechanical stress?
Update: Re-applied thermal paste today, temperatures dropped from about 50°C to 40°C in Idle. Let's see how long that lasts.