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Question Tightening screws when fastening HSF


Golden Member
Mar 15, 2003
I just cleaned out my laptop's HSF, and applied new thermal paste. My temps have improved noticeably.

However, I'm wondering how "important" it is to tighten the screws on the HSF as they are numbered (on the HSF, they're numbered 1 through 4, though I forgot about this until after I had already tightened all the screws).

Note: I tightened the one farthest from the copper pipe first, then closest, etc. (I tried to "even it out" as I went as well, not tightening each screw all the way until others were comparatively tightened).

In the end, I suppose it doesn't matter, given my improved temps. I'm really just wondering if my temps would have been even better had I tightened the screws as they are numbered (or are the numbers there for people who would otherwise be clueless as to how to tighten the screws?).

It's a Dell Vostro 1400, if it matters. I don't think it does.


Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
I've never seen a case where it really mattered, as long as you don't tighten down one corner and especially not 2nd screw on same side all the way so it squishes out all the TIM instead of spreading more evenly.


Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
I think it only matters for the thermal paste application. If your temps are great, I wouldn't worry about it. If after a few weeks or months they get worse again, you might consider repasting and then retightening the screws in order.
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