Maintenance & Upgrades

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.
Recommended
  • 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.

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.

Removing the keycaps is not recommended. The latches underneath are very sensitive and can be irreparably damaged when trying to pull the keycap off. The mechanical keyboards of the XMG FUSION and XMG NEO series are an exception here, where the keycaps can be removed relatively easily. You can find a video here (small keys) and here (space bar).

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 free device check-up”.

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.

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. The only exception is the XMG ULTRA 17, where 2 out of 4 RAM slots are located underneath the keyboard.

Safety instructions

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. Please observe the following safety instructions:

  • Use a suitable screwdriver with a suitable blade. You can find a corresponding repair and maintenance set here: iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit – tool set – alternatively, you can find a single “PH 0” cross screwdriver here, which is ideal for the case screws of all XMG laptops.
  • 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.
  • Place the screwdriver ideally perpendicular to the screw. Apply perpendicular pressure from the top of the screw to improve the hold. This sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true: you need to press on the screw from above, get a good grip, and only then turn to pull the screw out.
  • 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.
  • Keep sources of danger like candles and open drinks away from your working environment.
  • 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 “Submit for a free Tech Check Up” and contact us.

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.

Tools

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 (also called “heatsinks”). 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.

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:

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.

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 one-time free device check-up within the warranty period. Please read the following FAQ article about our free device check-up service.

Within the warranty period, we offer our customers a one-time, free device check-up via our pickup&return service. For devices outside the warranty period, we offer this service for a flat rate of 49€ (pickup within Germany) or 59€ (outside Germany) including shipping costs and 19% VAT.

Our technicians check the complete device for hardware defects. The device is completely cleaned (including the keyboard). We replace the thermal paste and clean the cooling system. We update EC, BIOS and other firmware. If desired, we can also completely reinstall the operating system on this occasion to restore the factory state.

To take advantage of this service, please contact us.

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