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Time to replace my laptop fan?


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#1 southhill773

southhill773

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 10:47 PM

So I have a 3- to 4-year old laptop and the fan has recently been acting very erratically. Sometimes, it works just fine; other times, it makes a significant amount of noise and DOESN'T blow any air out of the laptop. It's split at about 50-50 at all times, changing from functioning fine to not functioning fine every few minutes. And restarting it is just like flipping a coin too; heads means it'll work fine and tails means it won't. I sent it to a repair shop and they said all the connections are fine. What they did was disable the automatic fan speed control; now, they said, the fan would constantly blow at maximum rpm. Needless to say, I wouldn't be posting this if that had worked; it's still going on exactly the way I described. I brought it back to them and they offered to have a new fan shipped here for me from Hong Kong (I live in the Philippines, and passing through customs in the Philippines takes FOREVER!). So do you guys think I should get a new fan and that that is indeed the problem: an old, dying fan? Or do you guys think it's some sort of other problem with my laptop?



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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 06:03 PM

A fan working normally, with no faults, should make a gentle 'whirring' noise.

 

When fans get noisy it is usually because of worn bearings. This can produce anything from a 'rumble' to a 'whine' to a 'squeal' and different users have varying tolerance for such noises !  But a fan worn to where it makes noises like these is still spinning, therefore it should still be blowing air out out the vents.

 

The fact that you say the fan gets noisy AND the airflow stops suggests to me that there is something falling into contact with the fan and blocking the passage of air at the same time. I am thinking of some loose piece of 'something' or foreign body very close to your fan. I can imagine a scenario where you carry your laptop in a vertical position in say a bag and this 'object' falls out of its blocking position. Then when you place the computer flat to use, sometimes it falls into the blocking position, and sometimes it doesn't. This would fit with the symptoms you describe.

 

All I can suggest is that you remove the power supply, turn the computer over and remove the battery. Then remove the bottom of the case so as to get at the fan and cooling ducts and take a long careful look for anything loose lying around in this area. If you are in doubt as to how to take the bottom of the case off, search YouTube for your computer model + teardown.

 

If my analysis is correct, this may save you the cost (and delay) of getting a new fan. Let us know how you get on.

 

Best of luck,

 

Chris Cosgrove






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