Fixing a first generation GuruPlug’s cooling problems

[Doragasu] had been using a hacked Xbox as his file server but upgraded to a single board Linux device when the GuruPlug was released. Unfortunately the first run of these devices had an overheating issue, which resulted in reboots even at moderate CPU load. The design was changed from a passively cooled heat sink to an internal fan, but that didn’t really help those who already had one of the early models. Above is [Doragasu's] method of cooling down the overheating computer.

The original sink — which was really just a fin-less metal plate — was removed and replaced with a proper heat sink. This makes contact with the ARM, RAM, and Ethernet chips. They were all coated with thermal compound before installation and a silent fan was added to help whisk away the heat. This still fits inside of the original case, but to make way he did remove the original power source and cut a hole to allow for air movement.

The post also details an external LCD screen used to display system information. It’s along the same lines as this USB LCD screen project which inspired him to send us a link to the project.

Comments

  1. Hirudinea says:

    That first picture on his site was the original heat sink!? No wonder it overheated. Nice work on the mods.

  2. Kemp says:

    I was tempted by the GuruPlug at one point until I realised that almost everyone that had one was reporting overheating. If I recall, the update with the fan didn’t really do much to help. Nice to see them getting use, even if the manufacturer hasn’t been the one fixing the issues.

  3. Bill Gander says:

    Too bad the company wasn’t taken to task over this. Surprised anyone supports them after crapping on everyone like that. I guess good on him for fixing the thing and keeping it out of the landfill :)
    I generally just shake my head at how difficult some of the HaD makes it to just have a home server lol.

  4. John says:

    Wow. That guy really knows how to pick hardware that runs hot. Or that’s some really crappy luck on his part.

  5. henry says:

    Good hack.

  6. Kris Lee says:

    Dont be so harsh against Marvell.

    They are the pioneers of the low power computing and showed to the wider general public that small PCs do have the potential.

    Much loved Seagate Dockstar is a derivative of this product.

    I’m sure that also RPi got its inspiration from here.

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