I thought I’d post this in case it was handy to anyone.
I’ve had a problem with my NUC overheating (in the sense of becoming very hot to the touch, noisy fan on all the time) for a long time now.
Finally, it died. So I resigned myself to replacing the Nuc, hopefully salvaging the drives and RAM.
But before I this, I figured I’d clean it and have close look at it.
I connected it to a monitor and keyboard. I then discovered the SSD had failed - the NUC lived!
So I bought another SSD, together with some extra RAM, a PC tool kit, a can of air, some thermal paste and isopropyl alcohol.
I managed to take the NUC apart, following some online instructions (which was a bit painful but could have been worse) and expose the CPU. There was a reasonable amount of dust, but I had expected more, given how hot it was getting. The existing thermal paste seemed to have completely deteriorated though. So I cleaned it up with the alcohol and a qtip, then re-applied the paste.
I then reassembled, add 16gb of ram (so 24gb total) then disabled turbo boost in the bios and reinstalled rock.
Enormous difference, touch wood! Now running pretty cool - minimal noise. Completely different than the last several years.
So, what was it? Probably original poor application of thermal paste, I guess - together with the dust and perhaps the failing ssd, as well.
Any, touch wood, I seem to have saved myself the cost of a new NUC and learned a few lessons!
This topic does come up occasionally, so thought I’d post this in case it helped anyone.