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Repairing Noisy Notebook Fan

The fans in old notebooks often become disruptively noisy. The repair-operation, which deals with an “open heart surgery” of the computer, can take a long time. For this tutorial, we used a notebook manufactured in 2006 to show you how you can get to the fan. If it starts rattling loudly, you should just get it replaced. Replacements can occasionally be found on eBay. If the fan sounds normal, but constantly revs itself up, it usually helps after cleaning up the fan grill and applying some new thermal grease.

Fixing Notebook’s Fan Step by Step

1. Disengage the screws

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Step 1

To disassemble the device, disengage all the screws on the underside of the computer. Remove all the removable parts (battery, DVD-burner, hard drive, RAM, WLAN card etc.). Turn the computer around and swing the display out all the way. Unclip the cover above the keyboard, as well as the keyboard itself.

2. Dismantle the display

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Step 2

A thick monitor-cable and two thin WLAN antennas lead from the display to the motherboard. Pull the WLAN antennas out of the casing (make sure the WLAN card has been removed). Disengage the monitor-cable’s plug not by pulling on the cable, but by pulling on the black plastic lug that’s below another flat cable. Disengage the three screws that have been used to attach the two hinges of the display to the body of the notebook.

3. Remove the face plate

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Step 3

Detach the flat cable of the switch panel that is above the keyboard, and then remove the panel that has been fastened using three
large screws. Remove the remaining plug of the cover-sensor from the motherboard and unclip the face plate on all sides without
using too much force. If it gets snagged at a point, check whether you have missed a screw on the underside.

4. Remove the mainboard

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Step 4

Remove all five plugs from the motherboard and extract the loudspeaker unit on the left. Then disengage the two screws that have been used to fasten the mainboard in place, and lift it out.

5. Remove the Cooler

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Step 5

Remove the plug of the fan that is on the upper side of the mainboard. Turn the board around, disengage the cooling element’s five screws and lift it out.

6. Replace fan

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Step 6

The fan is attached to the cooling element with the help of four screws. Unscrew it, use a table vacuum cleaner to vacuum the fan
grill from the inside, and replace the fan, if necessary. Use a microfibre cloth that has been soaked in propyl alcohol to clean the processor and the cooling element’s contact surface, and sparingly apply new thermal grease. When the device is being assembled, check whether you have re-attached all the screws and plugs, in order to avoid the need to make frustrating corrections.

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