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Dell Inspiron 6400 fan cleaning...

OK, so I hate having to strip a laptop down just to clean the accumulated crud off the heatsink and fan...

There are 32 screws on my Dell that need removing in order to get at the assembly without risking damaging the casing... that includes the 2 fan screws themselves, as well as the ones that hold;
  • the display,
  • the harddrive (ok, slight fib; those two weren't actually there to start with cos I never put them back when I upgraded to a bigger drive... but normally they would be),
  • the keyboard
  • and the button/LED circuitboard

ok, so perhaps 5 of those aren't strictly necessary (maybe even 7 if you're a *lot* braver than me... that button/LED circuitboard could maybe stay screwed on, but I wouldn't like to; its really flexi-flimsy and has a block connector on its underside to locate)... but its definitely safer (and easier) not to have the hdd and display panel attached when you're trying to get the case apart.

Consequently, I've ended up spending the better part of an hour getting the damn thing apart (ok, so 5 minutes of that were due to me being excessively tired and missing one of the screws that was kindly hiding down a hole on the inside and not being able to get the back edge of the case to split...!) and back together again.

As a contrast, my Fujitsu Amilo A has 2 or 3 screws (including the 1 or 2 that hold the fan... there's only 1 screw on the outside holding down a nice little panel specifically for this job!) and takes about 5 minutes to do the whole job (including de-crudding all the fan blades)!!!

Still, I haven't managed to get the CPU temperature to go above 54^C since I did my little bit of spring cleaning, even when it was running flat for 5 or 10 minutes! (it was hitting 70+^C under less load previously!!)



( 2 Mobwebs — Spin A Cobweb )
26th Jan, 2010 20:09 (UTC)
Back when he was still a hardware engineer my dad had a colleague known as two-screws, since he always had at least that many left when he was finished. :)

Sounds like a job well done, even if frustrating. Did you find one of those disassembly websites to help? (PS, broken close emphasis after maybe in last para.)
27th Jan, 2010 16:13 (UTC)
-giggle- yeah, I've been known to have the odd screw left after taking things to bits... seem to do pretty well on not having any these days though :-)

didn't end up with any of those broken plastic clippy bits either... which are the bits I always dread... and the main reason it annoys me having to take the machine so far apart... I mean, there's a plastic section that runs across the back of the keyboard and covers the panel-hinge assemblies, that you have to unclip/wiggle/lever-off... its quite a bendy plastic too... always gives me palpitations doing that bit!

disassembly website? what's one of those?? ;-)

seriously though, i always find lappies are pretty easy to get to bits (so long as you take all the screws out... ;-) ) and I'm just about meticulous enough to get 'em back together, although it does mean I end up with screws laid out in the same pattern as the holes they came out of all over the worktop/bed/whatever...

the worst one is probably my old Apple Mac PowerBook 540C... cos most stuff is done through the keyboard space... like getting the floppy and scsi drive out for a start... bloody fiddly, especially as there's a metal cage/frame/doo-dah in there too! its built like a tank that machine!... oh, and it uses torx-head bolts... but that particular peeve is just cos I have to hunt out father's torx drivers to take that machine apart!

(ta for that... wrong way round pointy thing... was rather tired yesterday... wasn't really paying attention to my typing... oopsie! still, atleast the >/em< didn't end up eating the rest of the entry!)
( 2 Mobwebs — Spin A Cobweb )