The Coffee House

Full Version: CJ's Laptop Cleaning Troubles
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Ever wanted to know what 2½ years' worth of dust looks like :lol: ? Well, you're in luck - because I've had my laptop for 2½ years now!!!

Recently, I'd noticed that it was becoming increasingly loud, to the point where I couldn't ignore the noise any more. My dad suggested going over the vents wil compressed air... but sadly, this made no difference whatsoever :( . So, I shut the laptop down, unscrewed the case, and figured out how to lift it off. This revealed a load of dust and filth over the major components... it was particularly bad around the CPU and GPU fans -_- :

Click to enlarge
(Click to enlarge)

So, after cleaning off the worst of it, I put it all back together and started the machine up again. The good news was that the machine still worked... but the bad news was that the noise hadn't got away. So, I took the case off again, and started looking for problems. It didn't take long before I found the culprit: the GPU fan was struggling to spin:

Click to enlarge
(Click to enlarge)

As a result, I gave it a more thorough clean... but sadly, this didn't help much :( . My dad then took a look at the fan - and found there was a bit of play on it, as though it was just worn out. He suggested lubricating it... which helped a bit, but it was still a bit loud.

Unfortunately, when I put the laptop back together, I found there was an even bigger problem: the wi-fi wasn't working! If I plugged in an Ethernet cable, then I could still get internet - but the wi-fi was disabled, and I had no way to enable it. After trying all the basic things (like re-setting the router), I concluded that I'd probably knocked something during my cleaning... and I would have to dismantle the laptop again :facepalm: .

Since I'd never repaired this laptop before (and I had very limited experience of repairing my previous laptop), I didn't know where to look for any kind of switch, or anything else that might have been knocked. So, I went online, and started hunting around... and eventually, I found a review that told me where the wi-fi card was. Of course, it was next to the GPU fan - but it was hidden under something else, so I wouldn't have seen it when I first looked. But, once I found it, I took it out and back in again, and re-assembled the laptop. I then turned it on - and to my relief, the wi-fi was showing up :D !

But then... I had massive trouble getting connected. It took several minutes to establish a connection at all - and when it did, it dropped almost immediately. My wi-fi signal was very weak, and the only way in which I could maintain a connection was by putting my laptop right next to the router (at which point it was within reach of my Ethernet cable, so this wasn't really progress -_- ). Time to get back into the laptop, and have another look...

At first, I was mystified. The card itself seemed to be connected quite firmly - and I couldn't get it to go in any further. But then, just as I was on the verge of giving up... I spotted something else. The card was connected to two wires, which were simply taped in place - and one of them had come loose. After a bit of fiddling around, I managed to fix that connection, and...

At long last, the wi-fi was working perfectly again :D .

I suspect that, for someone who's proficient at fixing computer hardware, this wouldn't have been a difficult job. But I'm not proficient at fixing computer hardware: like I said, this was the first time I'd ever taken the case off this laptop, in 2½ years of owning it :lol: . As a result, this repair took me over four hours - and it was 1:15am by the time I finished it. Still, it was a valuable learning experience - and it was immensely rewarding when I saw the wi-fi signal came back at full strength, knowing I had fixed it myself :D !!!!

The fan, by the way, still isn't healthy. It's tolerable, but I decided I should order a replacement anyway. It'll probably be a few days before it arrives... but I'm not complaining, because taking the case off my laptop and fiddling around with it again is the last thing I feel like doing right now. I think I'll enjoy the wait :lol: !!!!
(12-05-2021, 03:16 PM)Kyng Wrote: [ -> ]Ever wanted to know what 2½ years' worth of dust looks like :lol: ? Well, you're in luck - because I've had my laptop for 2½ years now!!!

Recently, I'd noticed that it was becoming increasingly loud, to the point where I couldn't ignore the noise any more. My dad suggested going over the vents wil compressed air... but sadly, this made no difference whatsoever :( . So, I shut the laptop down, unscrewed the case, and figured out how to lift it off. This revealed a load of dust and filth over the major components... it was particularly bad around the CPU and GPU fans -_- :

Click to enlarge
(Click to enlarge)

So, after cleaning off the worst of it, I put it all back together and started the machine up again. The good news was that the machine still worked... but the bad news was that the noise hadn't got away. So, I took the case off again, and started looking for problems. It didn't take long before I found the culprit: the GPU fan was struggling to spin:

Click to enlarge
(Click to enlarge)

As a result, I gave it a more thorough clean... but sadly, this didn't help much :( . My dad then took a look at the fan - and found there was a bit of play on it, as though it was just worn out. He suggested lubricating it... which helped a bit, but it was still a bit loud.

Unfortunately, when I put the laptop back together, I found there was an even bigger problem: the wi-fi wasn't working! If I plugged in an Ethernet cable, then I could still get internet - but the wi-fi was disabled, and I had no way to enable it. After trying all the basic things (like re-setting the router), I concluded that I'd probably knocked something during my cleaning... and I would have to dismantle the laptop again :facepalm: .

Since I'd never repaired this laptop before (and I had very limited experience of repairing my previous laptop), I didn't know where to look for any kind of switch, or anything else that might have been knocked. So, I went online, and started hunting around... and eventually, I found a review that told me where the wi-fi card was. Of course, it was next to the GPU fan - but it was hidden under something else, so I wouldn't have seen it when I first looked. But, once I found it, I took it out and back in again, and re-assembled the laptop. I then turned it on - and to my relief, the wi-fi was showing up :D !

But then... I had massive trouble getting connected. It took several minutes to establish a connection at all - and when it did, it dropped almost immediately. My wi-fi signal was very weak, and the only way in which I could maintain a connection was by putting my laptop right next to the router (at which point it was within reach of my Ethernet cable, so this wasn't really progress -_- ). Time to get back into the laptop, and have another look...

At first, I was mystified. The card itself seemed to be connected quite firmly - and I couldn't get it to go in any further. But then, just as I was on the verge of giving up... I spotted something else. The card was connected to two wires, which were simply taped in place - and one of them had come loose. After a bit of fiddling around, I managed to fix that connection, and...

At long last, the wi-fi was working perfectly again :D .

I suspect that, for someone who's proficient at fixing computer hardware, this wouldn't have been a difficult job. But I'm not proficient at fixing computer hardware: like I said, this was the first time I'd ever taken the case off this laptop, in 2½ years of owning it :lol: . As a result, this repair took me over four hours - and it was 1:15am by the time I finished it. Still, it was a valuable learning experience - and it was immensely rewarding when I saw the wi-fi signal came back at full strength, knowing I had fixed it myself :D !!!!

The fan, by the way, still isn't healthy. It's tolerable, but I decided I should order a replacement anyway. It'll probably be a few days before it arrives... but I'm not complaining, because taking the case off my laptop and fiddling around with it again is the last thing I feel like doing right now. I think I'll enjoy the wait :lol: !!!!

I am enjoying hearing about what you have been up to during your break so keep the posts comming. Personally I prefer to use an ethernet cable but that's due to me watching lots of videos and doing video calls and personally wi-fi doesn't cut it for me. I appreciate wi-fi is getting better but I still prefer having a hardwired connection myself. If I didn't have a smart alarm and securtiy cam that relied on wi-fi I would turn it off completely.

Anyway massive kudos for perserveering and resolving the problems, I don't think the time taken should matter since it's about the end result (which in this case was good).
(12-05-2021, 03:39 PM)loves2chat Wrote: [ -> ]I am enjoying hearing about what you have been up to during your break so keep the posts comming. Personally I prefer to use an ethernet cable but that's due to me watching lots of videos and doing video calls and personally wi-fi doesn't cut it for me. I appreciate wi-fi is getting better but I still prefer having a hardwired connection myself. If I didn't have a smart alarm and securtiy cam that relied on wi-fi I would turn it off completely.

Anyway massive kudos for perserveering and resolving the problems, I don't think the time taken should matter since it's about the end result (which in this case was good).
Yeah, I can certainly understand that. Sadly, it's not practical for me most of the time, since the only place I can plug in an Ethernet cable is in the dining room (and I don't want to do recreational internet stuff in there, because that's where I work, and I want to maintain a psychological separation between 'work' time and 'play' time).

Thanks, though - and I'll see what else I can post :D !
(12-05-2021, 03:42 PM)Kyng Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-05-2021, 03:39 PM)loves2chat Wrote: [ -> ]I am enjoying hearing about what you have been up to during your break so keep the posts comming. Personally I prefer to use an ethernet cable but that's due to me watching lots of videos and doing video calls and personally wi-fi doesn't cut it for me. I appreciate wi-fi is getting better but I still prefer having a hardwired connection myself. If I didn't have a smart alarm and securtiy cam that relied on wi-fi I would turn it off completely.

Anyway massive kudos for perserveering and resolving the problems, I don't think the time taken should matter since it's about the end result (which in this case was good).
Yeah, I can certainly understand that. Sadly, it's not practical for me most of the time, since the only place I can plug in an Ethernet cable is in the dining room (and I don't want to do recreational internet stuff in there, because that's where I work, and I want to maintain a psychological separation between 'work' time and 'play' time).

Thanks, though - and I'll see what else I can post :D !

Unless you were to run a long cable to where you do recreational browsing but appreciate this isn't practical either unless you were to add cable trunking but that's probably too much hassle for you. Just food for thought though. I have a long cable running to my bedroom but as it's only me livinig here it doesn't matter having a long wire running on the floor. Eventually I think I may get the floor boards up and run the cable under the floor.
(12-05-2021, 03:50 PM)loves2chat Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-05-2021, 03:42 PM)Kyng Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-05-2021, 03:39 PM)loves2chat Wrote: [ -> ]I am enjoying hearing about what you have been up to during your break so keep the posts comming. Personally I prefer to use an ethernet cable but that's due to me watching lots of videos and doing video calls and personally wi-fi doesn't cut it for me. I appreciate wi-fi is getting better but I still prefer having a hardwired connection myself. If I didn't have a smart alarm and securtiy cam that relied on wi-fi I would turn it off completely.

Anyway massive kudos for perserveering and resolving the problems, I don't think the time taken should matter since it's about the end result (which in this case was good).
Yeah, I can certainly understand that. Sadly, it's not practical for me most of the time, since the only place I can plug in an Ethernet cable is in the dining room (and I don't want to do recreational internet stuff in there, because that's where I work, and I want to maintain a psychological separation between 'work' time and 'play' time).

Thanks, though - and I'll see what else I can post :D !

Unless you were to run a long cable to where you do recreational browsing but appreciate this isn't practical either unless you were to add cable trunking but that's probably too much hassle for you. Just food for thought though. I have a long cable running to my bedroom but as it's only me livinig here it doesn't matter having a long wire running on the floor. Eventually I think I may get the floor boards up and run the cable under the floor.

Yeah, true. Still, that would be quite a lot of hassle - to the point where it's easier just to use the wi-fi :P .

(Still, it would've been worth considering if I had been unable to fix the wi-fi on my laptop - and I'm glad it works for you :D !)
Well, the replacement fan arrived in late December. However, I did nothing at the time, since: a) the original fan wasn't being so noisy any more, b) I was busy with other things at the time (e.g. preparing for Christmas), and c) after the problems I'd had before, I still couldn't face opening my laptop again. So, the replacement fan just sat in a drawer, still in its packaging :P .

However, over the past week, the noise from the original fan started to get worse again :( . Therefore, it had to come out:

[Image: 5bjjZkv.jpg]

In contrast to my previous headaches, this was a rather simple job. Unscrew the case; unscrew the fan; unplug it and pull it out; then plug in the replacement and put everything back together. Thankfully, I didn't run into any troubles this time - and within 15 minutes, I was up and running again :D .

The new fan is running much more smoothly than the old one - and it's a lot quieter. I might attempt to pull the old one apart to do a post-mortem - but, other than that, I have no further use for it. I'm quite happy to see the back of it, to be honest :lol: !
Well, I opened up the fan, in order to investigate what had happened - and, this was what I found:

[Image: kZ5ONXH.jpg]

As you can see, part of it is buckled and bent :lol: . I don't know whether this was like this before; or the damage was caused while I was cleaning the dust off; or even whether it broke while I was taking it apart (but I suspect it's not the latter, because this would explain why it was making so much noise :P ).

In any case, it's of no use to me in this state - so, it's getting thrown away now.
Thanks for the update I have enjoyed reading this thread including you taking the fan apart. I find it interesting you like to know why things aren't working I am simialr to you in that department (to a ceratin extent that is). I also like to try and do things myself instead of getting others to do it. For example last year my uncle was visiting and I wanted to disconnect my old alarm system since it was no longer being used due to me getting a smart alarm. So since I am not that good with my hands when it comes to doing tasks with small screws I got some help since we needed to disconnect the alarme siren. I am please to say it was successful. Anyway I digress but I like your pserverance with this cleaning and fixing of your laptop.
(01-15-2022, 12:47 AM)loves2chat Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks for the update I have enjoyed reading this thread including you taking the fan apart. I find it interesting you like to know why things aren't working I am simialr to you in that department (to a ceratin extent that is). I also like to try and do things myself instead of getting others to do it. For example last year my uncle was visiting and I wanted to disconnect my old alarm system since it was no longer being used due to me getting a smart alarm. So since I am not that good with my hands when it comes to doing tasks with small screws I got some help since we needed to disconnect the alarme siren. I am please to say it was successful. Anyway I digress but I like your pserverance with this cleaning and fixing of your laptop.

You're welcome :) !

Yeah, I like to know why things failed - since I figure that knowledge will help me if I ever run into a similar problem in the future. (Hopefully I won't, but if I do, then it shouldn't be a four-hour job :lol: !!!)

And I'm glad you were able to get your alarm disconnected in the end :) .
it's too bad you didn't have any superglue.

that would fix that real quick, a pair of nippers to cut it lose then glue it where it's supposed to go.
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