5 - 20 minutes
Recently, I augmented the RAM and put a new SSD hard drive into my old late 2006 core 2 duo white mac book.
I heard a guy at a computer store say that the best thing you could do was to clean out your computer, but I didn't believe him. Anyhow, I realised my computer was definitely overheating when it started shutting down from using Netflix and bugging when watching video on the web.
So I did a bit of research, and decided to try cleaning the whole thing out and see if it made a difference (it did).
The repair went very well, thanks to Ifixit guides and various Youtube videos.My macbook was really very dusty inside (even had alot of dog hair!) And it felt just like when you clean your kitchn our your car after you let the dirt accumulate for a while. Definitely ssomething I recommend. Also it was alot of fun to get to know and see everypart of my computer like that. It works much better now, I recommend this operation to anyone who has an aging computer, makes a world of difference (it works like new now!) It does not over heat anymore, which makes the fan less noisy, so it works faster, smoother and is very silent.
You'll need to be informed to do this, you don't want to mess anything up. It took me a lot of time before I felt confident to do this, especially because I depend on my comouter for work and studies. I did not want to have to buy a new macbook in a hurry! Also, do not hesitate to spend a little more money to get better quality stuff. For example, I first got the cheapest screwdrivers I could find. But they rapidly stripped the gentle screws in my macbook, and made taking it apart a drag. So I bought a better quality set, and had no more problems. I also strongly suggest to clean the heatsink and the fan completely, especially if your computer is as old as mine. I am pretty sure replacing the cooling paste and cleaning out the heatsink and fan was what made a major difference.
So basically, to those of you who are wondering wether you should buy a new macbook or try to fix your old one: fix youre old one! If it has a good cpu, it is good to go! That is pretty much what it boils down to. The core 2 duo intel cpu is very decent, and will allow you to do all Internet-word processing tasks you need to do. If you are going to take it apart, might as well also install SSD hard drive and RAM, which will also greatly increase performance.
Also, install an app such as Istat which will allow you to monitor your CPU temperature and regulate fan speed (this is super important). That will keep you informed on what is going on. Check the specs of your cpu on intel or amd website, and make sure it stays well below it's maximum official heat limit (intel core 2 duo can reach 100 degrees, and I realised it went up to 90 really fast when multi tasking). You can do this by augmenting fan speed and reducing multi tasking when you see it is working too hard.
This is a bit like your car. If you drive with the RPM at maximum all the time, it is going to overheat.
Good luck! (and trust Ifixit)
Silicone 2.5" Hard Drive Enclosure with USB 2.0 Cable
Anti-Static Wrist Strap
Arctic Silver Thermal Paste
Arctic Silver ArctiClean