Maintenance & Upgrades

Slots for system memory and mass storage are generally accessible via unscrewing the laptop’s bottom case. Case screws are always placed in such a way that the user can immediately recognize them and remove and reinsert them as often as desired. Screws are neither hidden behind rubber feet nor behind warranty labels. Please mind the exception for the laptops with support for XMG OASIS in the following paragraph.

If done properly, removing the bottom shell of XMG laptops does not void the warranty. Corresponding instructions are linked in PDF format in our download portal or available as video instructions on our YouTube channel.

Disassembling the keyboard is not necessary for removing the bottom shell. There are usually no pluggable components underneath the keyboard. Exceptions:

  • XMG ULTRA 17 (until 2021), where 2 out of 4 RAM slots are located underneath the keyboard
  • SCHENKER WORK 15 (2021/22/23), where you need to remove the keyboard before you can disassemble the bottom shell because this model has a very tight screw layout.

For all other models, simply dismantling the bottom shell allows convenient access to all installed components.

Please take care not to cause any mechanical damage to your XMG laptop during maintenance procedures. Mechanical damage is usually not covered by warranty or guarantee.

Caution: laptops with support for XMG OASIS may have extra screws in the back

Usually you will see all chassis screws by just flat-out looking at the bottom case from the top (with the laptop flipped on its head before you). However, those XMG laptop models that support the XMG OASIS liquid cooling system may have additional screws that are not immediately obvious. These screws are located right next to the water ports on the rear. You have to remove these screws before you can remove the bottom shell. See this example picture from XMG NEO 17 (M22).

Whether and how many screws are present on the back depends on the model:

Number of screws on the back side

XMG CORE 15 – M22
XMG NEO 15 – E22
XMG NEO 15 – M22
XMG NEO 17 – M22

Three screws

XMG NEO 16 – E23
XMG NEO 17 – E23
XMG NEO 17 – E24 (with RTX 4080/4090)

Two screws
XMG NEO 16 – E24No screws

When reassembling the bottom shell on these models, make sure to carefully align the shell with the water ports first. The water ports are sealed by rubber “O rings” that can become squished or damaged when the bottom shell is improperly aligned during assembly. We therefor ask for extra caution when reassembling these models.

Laptops without support for XMG OASIS do not have screws on the back of the laptop.

Appropriate tools

A full set of repair and maintenance tools can be found here:

The by far most important tool for maintaining your own laptop is an appropriate screwdriver. With unsuitable screwdrivers, you risk increasingly damaging the screw heads. Once they are damaged, it can be very difficult or impossible to remove the screws non-destructively from the chassis.

Since the screws in the laptop are relatively small, the screwdriver must have a correspondingly precise blade. Large screwdrivers from the DIY home improvement sector are not suitable. Even those screwdrivers that might be convenient to use on desktop PCs are usually not suited for typical laptop screws.

Fits perfectly: “PH 0” screwdriver

Wera PH0 screwdriver

The “PH” here stands for “Phillips” – a common name for cross-shaped screws in the English-speaking world. The “0” and “1” stand for different sizes. These sizes are usually engraved or printed on the side of the screwdriver. The designation “Phillips” goes back to the original distributor: Henry F. Phillips (written with two L). He has no relation to the commonly known electronics brand Philips (written with only one L).

Rule of thumb for our laptops:

  • “PH 0” is irreplaceable. It really does fit all the chassis screws in our laptops. If you only want to buy one screwdriver, this is the one.
  • “PH 1” is optional. This size can give an even better grip on some screws. However, the slightly wider shaft of “PH 1” screwdrivers might not reach those screws that are sunk quite deeply into the chassis of some laptop models. “PH 0”, on the other hand, can really reach any screw.

If possible, you should be in possession of both versions and then use the size that fits best for the respective screw. We sell these two sizes individually on bestware:

The use of other, non-compatible screwdrivers is strongly discouraged.

Correct use of the screwdriver

Even with the right screwdriver, you need a certain awareness of how the force of the screwdriver acts on the screw in order to handle it safely.

First of all, apply the screwdriver perfectly perpendicular to the screw – i.e. not at an angle.

At the beginning, when the screw is still very tight, apply vertical pressure from above to improve the grip. In other words, press down on the screw before you start to unscrew it!

This may sound counter-intuitive, but it is true: firm pressure from above is what allows the screwdriver to find sufficient grip. That firm grip is necessary to overcome the initial material resistance when rotating the screw.

Once the screw has loosened a little, you can release the pressure and continue screwing with reduced pressure (but still vertically!).

Reminder: turn left to remove screw

All screws in our laptops are right-handed, just like virtually every other screw in the world. This means:

  • Turn left to remove the screw
  • Turn right to fasten it

Screwdriver direction left out Screwdriver direction right in

Additional safety instructions

Please observe the following safety instructions:

  • Keep sources of danger like candles and open drinks away from your working environment.
  • Avoid static discharge by grounding yourself before performing maintenance. To do this, touch a radiator, heating pipe or bathroom fixture, for example. Theoretically, you can also ground yourself at the protective contact of an earthed socket (as long as this contact is actually connected to the protective conductor and does not carry any voltage), but for safety reasons we expressly do not recommend this.
  • Make sure you have a good grip on the screws with the screwdriver before you start turning. If you slip several times while turning, you will damage the screw head and worsen the grip even more – a vicious circle.
  • Once you have removed the bottom shell of the laptop, make sure that no foreign objects get into the laptop. If you have a laptop with a built-in battery (this now applies to almost all XMG models), it is recommended that you disconnect the battery cable from the mainboard to cut off the power to the mainboard.
  • Make sure that you don’t slip with the screwdriver when removing other screws inside the laptop (e.g. the screw of the M.2 SSD slot). Avoid any contact of the mainboard with the screwdriver and other hard objects.
  • We strongly advise against disassembling the cooling system. Improper disassembly of the cooling system carries a high risk of voiding the warranty. You can find more information about this in the following FAQ sections about “Cleaning the cooling system” and “Reapplying the thermal paste”.
If you need help, please ask us!

If you are unsure about how to apply these tips or would prefer to have the cleaning and maintenance performed by our technical staff, please see the instructions below under the heading “RMA return for a voluntary device check-up” and contact us.

The necessity and frequency of surface cleaning depends on the type of use, the duration of use and the intensity of use. Generally, it is recommended to keep the device free of grease, dust and nicotine at all times. Only clean your laptop when it is switched off and cool, disconnected from the power supply. Please note the following instructions.

Not recommended
  • Do not use wet rags or wet cloths – do not allow water to enter the laptop.
  • Do not use alcohol or ammonia-based cleaners, glass cleaners, abrasive cleaners or polishes – these can wear down surfaces over time.
  • Do not spray cleaning solutions directly onto the screen or surfaces – the liquid may enter crevices or cause localized discoloration.
  • Do not use too much force. The screen of your laptop in particular is delicate and should only be treated with very gentle pressure spread over a large area.
  • Do not use kitchen towels or sponges, nor paper towels or toilet paper – their surfaces are too rough and they leave scratches and lint.
  • Do not use hard or sharp objects, e.g. do not use a fingernail to remove coarse dirt – you may also damage the surfaces.
  • Use a slightly damp cloth for cleaning. The cloth should be made of soft material.
  • For hard-to-reach areas, you can use a cotton swab.
  • For in-between use (about 1x per week), it is recommended to use a clean microfiber cloth (e.g. eyeglass cleaning cloth) for the screen to prevent dirt from accumulating.
  • If possible, clean the screen in movements from top to bottom. Circular movements only spread the dirt unnecessarily.
Further advice

For stubborn dirt on the screen that cannot be removed with a damp cloth and cotton swab, you can make a gentle cleaning solution from distilled water and pure white vinegar. Mix the two liquids in a 1:1 ratio and spray it onto your cleaning cloth. The same goes for the vinegar cleaner: do not spray it directly onto the screen, as it can enter crevices or cause local discoloration.

Some XMG laptops have surfaces that are covered with a rubberized layer. We call it “Grip-Touch” – e.g. the palm rest in the XMG NEO 17. Treat these areas as gently as possible with a damp, soft cloth. Avoid rubbing the rubberized surface with too strong or fast movements. For heavy soiling, using dishwashing detergent will help: mix a small amount of dishwashing detergent with water in a small bucket or pot. Dip your cloth in the water and wring it out vigorously several times. For the shot, you should have a cloth that is just damp, no longer dripping, and does not leave any water drops on the laptop. Gently wipe the rubberized surfaces with this cloth and repeat the process until the contamination is removed.

Compressed air sprays are spray cans with a mixture of air under high pressure. These are well suited for cleaning hard-to-reach places – such as the heat sink fins inside the keyboard. These cans have a small plastic “trunk” or tube that allows the air to be sprayed very specifically on the desired areas.

Safety note

Compressed air spray is not a breathing air, but a mixture of various gases, including hydrocarbon alkanes, such as butane, propane, isobutane, and hydrofluorocarbons (PFCs). Moderate indoor use is safe. However, compressed air spray should not be inhaled directly as it can leave permanent health damage.

Further information on this topic can be found here: Air Duster Addiction (website of a rehabilitation clinic in the USA).

In general, it is recommended to open the window or perform the application outdoors before and after using compressed air spray. If compressed air spray is used for dust cleaning of cooling systems, it is recommended to use it directly at the window or outdoors anyway, otherwise the dust particles will spread inside the room.

Important: Always hold can vertically

A can of compressed air spray must always be held vertically – with the trigger button at the very top. As soon as you tilt the can, a liquid will come out instead of air. It is true that this liquid evaporates quickly. But you should still avoid liquid getting into the cracks or inside your laptop.

Now, if a vertical tilt of the compressed air spray isn’t enough to get to certain places, then you’ll have to tilt the laptop instead. Instead of holding the laptop in the air with one hand (which might cause it to fall down), it is recommended to:

  • Place the laptop with its outer edge on a soft surface and lean it against a wall or heavy object. The laptop should have a secure footing and not be able to fall over on its own. Position the laptop so that you can reach the desired areas with the “trunk” of the compressed air spray without having to tilt the compressed air spray can.
  • Enlist a second person to help you with this cleaning. One person can hold the laptop with both hands and, with mutual agreement, turn it so that the second person can clean all the desired areas with the compressed air spray held vertically.

If you follow these instructions, compressed air spray is a suitable, safe and efficient means of cleaning electronics and mechanics. If you have any further questions, please contact us.

General instructions

With the keyboard, you have to be especially careful that no water drops get into the surrounding cracks of the keyboard. At most, use a damp cloth or cotton swab – do not use a wet cloth and do not spray any cleaning agents directly onto the keyboard.

Otherwise, the same instructions apply as for the other surfaces of the laptop.

Remove particles from inside the keyboard

Over time, particles (e.g. grains of sand) can penetrate the keyboard and interfere with the mechanical triggering of individual keys. This can manifest itself in the fact that individual keys require more force or that they sit crooked.

The gentlest method for removing such particles is the targeted use of compressed air spray.

Please note: Compressed air spray cans must always be held vertically. The escaping gases must not be inhaled directly. Please refer to the detailed instructions in the FAQ article above: Instructions for use of compressed air spray.

To use compressed air spray for keyboard cleaning, we recommend the following steps:

  • Set up the laptop as described in the previous section so that the keyboard is tilted as perpendicular to you as possible. The easiest way to do this is to place the laptop on its side with the monitor opened to well over 90°. You should avoid an exactly right-angled opening angle, as the laptop can then fall over too easily in one direction or the other.
  • Use a fingernail to gently lift the key cap of the key in question. Be as careful as possible. The goal is not to remove the keycap, but only to open a small gap for the application of the compressed air spray.
  • At the same time, spray the compressed air spray into the opening gap. Make sure that you always hold the compressed air spray can vertically. You do not have to force the “trunk” directly into the gap, but simply place it close in front of the gap so that the compressed air can distribute well below the key cap.
  • After applying the compressed air spray, check whether the key’s release behavior has improved. If necessary, repeat the process from several angles until the key releases normally again. This may also require you to reposition the laptop, for example by placing it on the flat back of the display lid with the display lid open at 90°.
  • If you are unable to gently lift the key cap with a fingernail, you can alternatively use a flat precision mechanics screwdriver. However, you should use maximum caution when using such a tool, as applying too much force can damage the material of the keycap or the latch underneath.

We hope that these tips have helped you clean your keyboard. If you are unsure about how to use these tips, or if you would prefer to have the cleaning and maintenance done by our professional staff, please see the instructions below under the heading “RMA return for a voluntary device check-up”.

Removing the keycaps (only for repair)

Removing keycaps is tricky and can be quite risky on most keyboards. Therefor, it is not recommended for regular maintenance.

The latches underneath are very sensitive and can be irreparably damaged when trying to pull the keycap off from the wrong angle.

There are 3 main keyboard types with three difficulty levels.

Keyboard type
Laptop models
Membrane keyboards (difficult)This includes the vast majority of our laptop keyboards. Carefully slide a thin plastic card under the top edge of the keycap, gently lifting it. Gradually work the card around the keycap’s top corners to fully remove it. To insert the keycap again, align the keycap on top of the switch and press until it clicks into place. For large keys (space, backspace, return), be cautious when lifting completely, to not displace the metal support bars underneath. See this video.All models except the ones listed below.
Mechanical keyboards with Cherry MX Ultra-Low-Profile switches (very difficult)Removing keycaps from mechanical keyboards in easy in desktop, but very difficult in laptops. This is because the Ultra-Low-Profile switches follow a totally different design logic to fit into this tight space, making them much more complex. Removing these keycaps is not recommended for end-users. Safe removal requires a special tool and very precise method. We currently do not provide video instructions for this. Please contact support.XMG NEO 15 – E23
XMG NEO 17 – M22
XMG NEO 17 – E23
Opto-mechanical keyboard (easy)The alphabetical keycaps in these keyboard can be removed with relative ease. The instructions are similar to the membrane keyboard, except that it can be done safely with just the fingernails, not needing a flat tool. For large keys (space, backspace, return), be cautious when lifting completely, to not displace the metal support bars underneath. See this video for small keycaps and this video for large ones.


XMG NEO 15 – M18
XMG NEO 15 – E19
XMG NEO 15 – M19
XMG NEO 15 – E20
XMG NEO 15 – E21
XMG NEO 15 – M21
XMG NEO 15 – E22
XMG NEO 15 – M22

XMG NEO 17 – E19
XMG NEO 17 – M19
XMG NEO 17 – E20
XMG NEO 17 – E21
XMG NEO 17 – M21

Reminder: laptop keycaps should only be removed as last resort, not for everyday cleaning. This is especially true for the membrane and Cherry MX keyboard. If keyboard switches are irreversibly damaged during inappropriate keycap removal, this damage is not covered under warranty.

Frequency of cleaning

The necessity and frequency of cleaning the cooling system depends on the type of use, the duration of use and the intensity of use. Especially in households with pets, carpets or when using the laptop on dusty surfaces, relatively frequent cleaning may be necessary. In smokers’ households, soiling of the cooling system can also occur relatively quickly, as nicotine and other components of cigarette smoke bind or agglutinate the dust, causing it to accumulate more quickly on the rotor blades and cooling system fins as it “travels” through the cooling system.

In general, we recommend cleaning the cooling system at least once per year. In case of intensive use, we also recommend every 6 months.


To clean the fans and heat sinks, we recommend the use of compressed air spray, if necessary combined with a brush, tweezers, or cotton swabs.

The largest accumulation of dust in the cooling system is not on the fans, but on the fins inside the heat sinks. This dust layer is not immediately visible to the naked eye, as the inside of the heatsinks is covered by the cover plate of the respective fan.

Please take a look at this picture for a typical example:
Clogged Heatsink, Example 1The fans look clean but a large amount of dust is collected in front of the fins of the right heatsink. This will not be visible from outside, but can be easily cleared with compressed air spray. Additional examples: [1]

Safety note

Compressed air spray cans must always be held vertically. The escaping gases must not be inhaled directly. Please refer to the detailed instructions in the FAQ article above: Instructions for use of compressed air spray.

Use of compressed air spray
  • You can clean the heatsinks with compressed air spray from the inside to the outside as well as from the outside to the inside.
  • In case of very stubborn dust build-up, it is recommended to loosen the dust layer over the entire width of the heat sink first from a larger distance from the outside to the inside. It will then be easier to move the dust from the inside through the fins to the outside.
  • The fans do not have to be disassembled for this procedure. With the “trunk” or tube of the compressed air spray, it should be possible to reach between the rotor blades of the fan and apply the compressed air directly to the inside of the heat sink. You can carefully rotate the fan to work on the entire length of the heat sink with the tube of the compressed air spray.
Cleaning the fans
  • Please be careful not to turn the fans unnecessarily. A few revolutions are no problem – but if you e.g. use compressed air spray or a vacuum cleaner to turn the fans very fast for hundreds of times, their electric motor becomes an electric generator, which in turn can overload certain circuits or capacitors on the mainboard.
  • To avoid this, you can disconnect the fan’s power cable from the motherboard before cleaning. However, this requires quite a little bit of small finger movement and is not really necessary in combination with moderate and targeted use of compressed air spray (without unnecessary fan rotations).
  • Even with the power cable disconnected, rotating the fans too vigorously, too quickly or at an angle can damage the ball bearing mechanics and thus worsen the fan’s operating noise. Therefore, the use of a vacuum cleaner is only recommended under certain conditions (see below).
  • If you want to clean the fan’s rotor blades with compressed air spray, please hold the fan gently by holding a fingertip on the opposite side of the fan to the edge of a rotor blade, thus preventing the fan from rotating. The opposite side does not mean the bottom of the fan, but the 180° rotated area on the top of the fan. Once you have cleaned the first rotor blade, you can rotate the fan a few degrees to face the next rotor blade.
Can I use a vacuum cleaner?

Cleaning the fan and heat sink with a vacuum cleaner is only recommended to a very limited extent. Vacuum cleaners are usually only effective when the dust has already been loosened sufficiently using a compressed air spray, brush, cotton swab or tweezers.

If you choose to use a vacuum cleaner, please follow these tips:

  • Set the vacuum cleaner – if possible – to the lowest energy level.
  • Remove the metal tube of the vacuum cleaner and use the short end of the bent plastic tube on the upper handle of the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not touch the hardware with the vacuum cleaner.
  • If you turn the vacuum cleaner on while the tube is already in close proximity to the hardware, the tube will get stuck to the hardware. Avoid this by first turning on the vacuum cleaner from a safe distance and then approaching carefully.
  • Using the gentle hold of a finger as described above, block one of the fan’s rotor blades before approaching with the vacuum cleaner. By doing this, you can prevent the fan from being set in motion by the vacuum cleaner. Avoiding rotation also keeps the airways clear at the same time, preventing sudden suction of the vacuum cleaner tube. This also makes the vacuum cleaner better able to capture the remaining dust from the heat sink.

We hope these tips help you clean your cooling system quickly, efficiently and safely. If you are unsure of how to apply these tips or would prefer to have the cleaning and maintenance performed by our professional staff, please contact us and see the instructions below under the title “Submit for a free Tech Check Up”.

Sometimes it is advisable to perform a clean Windows reinstallation. This is especially the case if you have installed quite a lot of software over time, which deeply interferes with the system or which is of poor quality.

Backup and reinstallation

A clean Windows reinstallation basically follows this scheme:

  • Create a backup of all important files on an external data medium.
  • Possibly also backup important application and configuration data (e.g. browser profile, password lists, bookmarks) – these can be found most quickly via the shortcut %APPDATA% (Win+R or Explorer address line)
  • Boot from a new Windows installation medium via USB
  • During Windows installation: “Custom installation” and delete previous system partitions on the system SSD
  • Create new system partition, select it and follow the on-screen instructions

In the penultimate step, you should pay close attention to delete the correct partition. For example, if you have your backup on a separate data partition or a second SSD in the system, you should make sure that he or she does not delete the wrong partition. The same applies if a backup medium is still connected via USB.

Preparing the installation medium

Even if you already have an older Windows installation medium (DVD, USB stick, ISO file, e.g. from the university or the employer): it is better to first create a cutting-edge medium – then all Windows updates are already included from the beginning.

A current USB stick for the Windows installation can be created directly with a tool from the manufacturer. There are two different tools – one for Windows 10 and one for Windows 11:

Potential stumbling blocks

There are some stumbling blocks in Windows installation on some models, but they are very easy to resolve. These are dealt with in our FAQ section “Troubleshooting” as follows:

Please read the respective FAQ article if you are affected by one of these stumbling blocks during the new installation.

System drivers

The drivers for your XMG laptop are on a USB stick in the shipping box – but this is probably no longer up-to-date at the time of your new installation. All driver updates and corresponding changelogs can be found in our download portal:

The principle is always the same: Unpack the ZIP files and install all drivers one by one. If the ZIP files are numbered, you can follow this order. If they are not numbered, you should tend to install the drivers of the CPU manufacturer (Intel or AMD) first – starting with the chipset driver. Otherwise, the order of driver installation doesn’t matter.

Exception: audio drivers sometimes come with two to three numbered subfolders with equalizers and effects: there it is actually important to follow the given order.

After installation: Internet connection and Windows updates

At the latest after the installation, you should connect your laptop to the Internet, because further, smaller updates may be downloaded. Some applications that belong to drivers (e.g. Thunderbolt Control Center, Soundblaster Cinema, THX Spatial Audio) are only downloaded from the Microsoft Store when the internet connection is intact.


A complete image of the system SSD is a good way to retain a clean and fully set up system and to save it as a backup without having to rely on Windows-internal mechanisms (“System Restore”, “Reset”). On the one hand, this can serve as a backup, but it can also make it easier to quickly set up several identical systems in a small-to-medium business environment.

This is also referred to as creating an “image”. This means that not only logical files and pointers from the NTFS file system of a single SSD partition are copied, but the content of the SSD as a whole, including all partitions on it (such as the “boot” partition). This means that a complete image of the mass storage device is created, including any empty spaces, metadata, partition tables etc. – this method is fully agnostic as to what kind of data is stored on the SSD. Even multi-boot systems (with Linux and Windows running in parallel) can be cloned and restored in one fell swoop.

Interfaces and programs

There are many programs that offer this service. As a rule, such a program is booted within its own mini-operating system (usually WinPE) directly from a USB thumb drive, so that it has unrestricted access to the now dormant system SSD.

With UEFI replacing BIOS, GPT replacing MBR, NVMe replacing SATA and the dominance of PCIe connected SSDs, many classic interfaces in the PC have changed over the years, but the principle of cloning mass storage has remained the same at its core. Even today, any reasonably up-to-date program should be able to boot on a UEFI system from an external disk and pull an image from the system drive or SSD. This does not require “Legacy boot” or MS-DOS. Good programs are also able to compress the resulting image file sensibly and without loss, so that empty capacities of the SSD do not unnecessarily inflate the image file with lots of zeroes. Hence, the less space is used on the SSD, the smaller the resulting image file will be, despite the fact that the SSD is cloned in its entirety.

To ensure that the backup is a success and to avoid unwanted stumbling blocks and side effects, we would like to provide the following tips.

Consider partition sizes during a new Windows installation.

If you want to clone your system onto other machines, but the source system has a larger SSD than the target system, then you may want to limit the size of the system partition to a reasonable size when you first set up Windows on the source system. The remaining space on the SSD can be left “unallocated” for the time being. For example, if the source system has a 1TB SSD, but the target system has only 500GB, then we would recommend limiting the Windows partition on the source system to something like 240GB. The remaining 260GB on the target system can then be set up as a second partition (D:\) after rolling out the image. This discrepancy between the source and target SSDs can also be eliminated with programs that are capable of enlarging and shrinking partitions. But there is a certain elegance in avoiding this additional work step (and the associated uncertainty as to whether it really works reliably) – moreover, such partition management programs are usually in the somewhat higher-priced segment.

Install all drivers and complete Windows updates.

You should perhaps not pull the image when Windows has a few updates in the queue that will be installed the next time you restart. The best thing to do is to click on “Check for Updates” again and run through the updates including reboots. Updates declared as “optional” or “preview”, on the other hand, do not have to be installed.

Clean up before cloning.

Before pulling the image, you should clean up the SSD again. Empty the recycle bin, possibly clean up the download folder, possibly empty the browser cache. If all Windows updates have already run through, you may also empty the system folder “C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution”. Other places with large space consumption can be found very quickly and easily with the software TreeSize.

Get an external SSD.

SSD images are large, but USB thumb drives and magnet-disc hard drives are slow. A large and reliable external SSD is highly recommended – preferably with USB-C Gen2 (10 Gbit/s) interface. For advanced users, we recommend an easy-to-maintain external SSD enclosure that can accommodate standard M.2-2280 SSDs (with PCIe/NVMe support). Recommended example:

With such a standardised solution, you are more flexible in the long term than with a proprietary mini-SSD from the usual brand manufacturers. For example, such an enclosure can also be used to conveniently rescue data from a non-bootable system SSD by removing such an SSD from its host PC or laptop.

Use NTFS on the external disk, not FAT32, not exFAT.

FAT32 can only store files with a maximum size of 4GB. exFAT removes this limit, but due to the lack of resilience-enhancing features such as journaling, it is not necessarily recommended for long-term use on large external drives. So make sure your external drive is formatted in NTFS before you start using it for such heavy tasks.

Reboot; don’t shut down. (avoid Hybrid Shutdown)

If you are now ready to boot the backup program from the USB stick, you should specifically restart the laptop/PC, i.e. not simply shut it down and then cold start it. Reason: when “shutting down”, Windows puts the operating system kernel into a “hibernate” state – i.e. not all services are completely switched off and the connected storage drives are not ejected (unmounted). Although this Hybrid Shutdown system would still power down (Hibernate, S4), cloning such a half-asleep system can have weird side effect when booting it for the first time on another machine.

If, on the other hand, you perform a “restart” in Windows, everything is actually terminated, ejected and shut down. You should then boot the USB data carrier directly within this reboot, i.e. you should get your finger ready on F2 (BIOS Setup) or F7 (Boot Media Select) during reboot.

Recommended programs

Recommended and successfully tested by us are the following programs for cloning:

The following programs are suitable for adjusting partition sizes afterwards:

What all these programs have in common is that they can be used independently of the operating system installed on the PC or laptop – they thus bring their own runtime environment with them. Furthermore, these programs are compatible with all current PC interfaces (UEFI, GPT, NVMe, etc.) and all modern mass storage devices (SSDs).

Can I unscrew the heatsinks to replace the thermal paste?

We strongly advise against disassembling the cooling system as this can have many unforeseen consequences and there is a high risk of voiding your warranty.

If done improperly, the following parts, among others, can be damaged:

  • Heatpads (lost, crushed, displaced or replaced with wrong thickness heatpads).
  • Heat pipes (bent due to gravity, improper hold or accident)
  • Cold Plates (scratched, contaminated with fingerprints, not properly cleaned before use)
  • Heads of screws (ground off by wrong screwdrivers, wrong torque, force)
  • Mounting screw threads/bases (damaged due to excessive pressure)
  • CPU and GPU die (damaged due to excessive pressure)
  • Surrounding components on the mainboard (dropped parts, slipping with tools, short circuits due to electrically conductive materials)
  • Fan cables (torn out, pins bent)

This list doesn’t claim to be complete – there can be other factors that lead to a reduction of the cooling performance and thus carry the risk of a warranty loss.

Which thermal compound do you usually use?

We use high-performance silicone-based thermal paste from international brand manufacturers, including Shin-Etsu (Japan) and M.G. (USA). These products are used in the industrial field, so they do not have well-known names in the public. Nevertheless, their high thermal conductivity and particularly long service life guarantee optimal and long-lasting cooling of your high-performance laptop. The nature of the thermal conductive pastes we use is particularly well suited to preventing the so-called “pump-out” effect. This means that the cooling performance remains constant for many years compared to the branded products commonly used in the PC/enthusiast sector.

Our heat conduction pastes are applied and sealed by machine in a standardized manner by the manufacturer of the cooling components. They are subject to complete quality control and offer the best balance between performance, longevity and production tolerance.

Laptops with liquid metal

XMG laptops that use the liquid metal contact medium for cooling contain a “Warranty Seal” sticker on one of the screws of the heat sink. Disassembling the heat sink is particularly risky with such laptops because the liquid metal can spread over the mainboard and trigger short circuits there if not done correctly. We therefore strongly advise against removing the heatsink from laptops with liquid metal.

If you should hand over your laptop to an independent service technician for maintenance, repair or upgrades (possibly after the warranty has expired), please explicitly inform them that the laptop uses liquid metal.

Why is changing the thermal paste such a risk?

In a system with combined CPU and GPU heatpipes, even the slightest bending of the heatpipes (due to improper holding) can negatively affect the mounting pressure of CPU and GPU cold plates – even before you start accounting for manufacturing tolerances. The larger the chips and cooling system, the greater the potential risks and problems. Large chips (graphics chips and desktop CPUs) are particularly susceptible to uneven mounting pressure.

The manufacturing tolerances of the thermal system are designed to be used with relatively flexible, silicone-based thermal compounds. High-performance thermal conductive pastes such as liquid metal, carbon pads and certain extremely high-grade pastes (e.g. those with added silver or diamond particles) are particularly poor at compensating for such manufacturing tolerances.

Recommended action

Please make sure to keep your laptop’s heat sinks clean as described above under the heading “How to clean the cooling system”.

If you are still unsure whether your laptop’s cooling system is (still) working properly, please first refer to the FAQ article “How can I tell if my system’s performance and temperature are within expectations?” in the Tips category.

RMA sending in for renewal of the thermal paste

We offer you the possibility to have your cooling system checked and repaired by means of a voluntary device check-up. This service is also available after the warranty period has expired. Please read the following FAQ article: RMA return for a voluntary device check-up

As the owner of an XMG laptop or PC, you can purchase* a check-up at any time and send your product in for cleaning and maintenance. The service costs 69 €** (VAT included) plus shipping and insurance fees, depending on country of origin. This service is fully available both before and after warranty has expired.

The PC or laptop is checked by our service technicians, cleaned (including keyboard and cooling system), the thermal paste is replaced and the firmware is updated. If desired, we can also carry out a clean Windows reinstallation with the latest Windows and drivers. A migration or backup of your personal data does not take place. Please make sure that you create a local backup of your personal data before sending it back to us.

To benefit from this service, simply contact the customer support and ask them to send you the documents for return shipment.

* This equipment check-up was offered free of charge within the warranty period until July 2022. The change to only offer this service for a fee to new customers from 1 August 2022 came with an update to our warranty terms in July 2022. The decision to no longer be able to offer this voluntary service free of charge was primarily for accounting reasons. We ask for your understanding in this matter. The device check-up is still free of charge for customers who ordered their PC or laptop before 1 August 2022 – once before the warranty period expires.

** The price for the voluntary device check-up until 1 May 2023 was 49 €. Since 1 May it is 69 €. The price adjustment is due to an adjustment for inflation, increased labour costs and general market conditions. The price of €49 was previously valid since 2017 and remained unchanged for 6 years.





im Wert von über 3.800€!