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About a week ago my laptop gpu fan started making strange noises. Games werent running so good as they used to and my 3DMark score went way down. I think the fan is getting tired and will probably soon give in completely.

I have about one month left on the warranty but unless its really broken, it wont be replaced. Thats at least my guess but I will email the manufacturer about it.

Its a Zepto Nexus A15 with a Geforce 9600M GT. Is it possible to buy a separate fan and replace it myself? Do I need any extra tools besides basic screwdrivers of various sizes?

There is also a "computer repairing shop" nearby which I will visit and see what they say. Anything special I should tell them?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Contact the manufacturer of your laptop and get it fixed, for free

If it is still under warranty, then get it replaced. I am not sure what country you are from, but in Australia companies are required by law to fix any manufacturing defects. Unless you have shoved a pencil into the grills of the laptop (or disassembled the device), chances are it is still under warranty. Companies cannot simply choose not to replace your device (or fix the problem).

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This depends on laws of the country. – MicTech Aug 1 '09 at 11:44
Yes, I will send an email trying to get this fixed under the warranty. Problem is, it all feels so subjective. "The fan is making more noise" and "my games runs slower" is stuff I dont want to put in the mail. Is there a way to word this to make it sound more objective and definite? Also, are there any "proofs" that I could gather to help me? – mizipzor Aug 1 '09 at 11:57
Definitely contact them, and tell them your fan is defective. I see you are from Sweden, and I assume that you have decent consumer laws over there, so there shouldn't be an issue. I had Apple swap out the fans on my MacBook, even though the only issue was that one of them was rattling. – MJeffryes Aug 1 '09 at 12:13

Well here's my answer, it isn't completely safe but it's more than likely what you are actually looking for/want, because if you weren't looking for an answer like this you would have just taken your system into a professional for her/him to look at.

Please read all of this from start to finish before attempting.

The best way to fix the fan from whining is to follow this checklist (this is what I have done myself):

  1. Download and print the disassembly guide for your system. Your Google (or whichever search engine you prefer to use) search should look like this, "(enter your system model make) disassembly guide full". This should get you to where you the result for your system within the first top 5 results. Note: Sometimes going to your manufacturer's website can give you the guide but not always especially for older models and certain nameless brands grrr. why make it hard for us once the warranties done? In addition when you do find the correct information regarding your system write down the URL for future reference especially if you have gone though a lot of search steps to get there or make a hard-copy i.e., Print it. If you don't have a printer then it is wise to use a separate system to look at the guide while you are working I have found that when I do this screws do not seem to magically reproduce themselves due to being free. In other words I don't end up with a bunch left over after reassembling.

  2. Follow the disassembly guide for your system implicitly (if you can't find the exact guide you need for your system then contact me at neilmaclennan555 (at) gmail (dot) com (assemble the email and if you can't do that then a hammer should work lol) no offense meant I'm having some fun for once.

  3. If you are lucky then you won't have to totally strip your system down to the bare bones in order to work on the GPU fan If you are like me and S**T out of luck 99% of the time then you will have to strip it down to it's bare parts. Which invariably means bare system boards and parts everywhere. Ironically the best type of organizer to keep track of all the screws etc.. is a fishing tackle box. Which is ironic because I have found that computers do very poorly in wet environments on a whole. Another way to keep track of which screw goes where is to use an A4 sized piece of paper with a basic outline of the underside/or side you are working on and then to place the screws on to the corresponding areas they came from. The drawing does not have to be an engineers blueprint but should be concise enough to be read by yourself as it is you that is going to have to use it. The added benefit to doing this is that you don't have to remember every little thing which allows you to focus on the more important things, and remember this short screw in long hole = not too bad but, long screw forced into short hole = bad, most every time I have done it myself.

  4. Once stripped down, if you have a brushless fan (most are these days) then pull/jerk on the fan blades but carefully also so as not to damage anything (if your fan does not disengage then contact me and we can troubleshoot it together), the fan should disengage, the jerking motion is to overcome the magnetism holding it in place.

  5. Then use a q-tip lightly soaked in 99% isopropyl alcohol (70% has too much gunk in it from my experience, but you can use it if you have to) or use CD/DVD lens cleaner (from the little bottle you get with a head cleaner kit) to swab the inside of the fan and related parts. Once you have cleaned everything then use a q-tip lightly soaked with fine oil (Duck oil/WD40 is not oil it is a degreaser, which means once it fully evaporates the problem will return quicker) If you do not have access to something like "powdered graphite" (great for minimal build-up) or professional grade lubricants then use a honing oil for sharpening knives etc... for a substitute.

  6. If the fan still whines once you have put everything back together then it is more than likely a "seating" and you did all this for nothing lol. Just kidding. If this happens and may in all likely event do no matter how good you are. It will in all likely event right itself after no more than 7-10 days. Short of replacing the fan unit altogether I am unsure as to how to do this.

In closing, if anyone feels that I have either misstated or misinformed in any way then please edit this this answer.

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  • You can buy fan from manufacturer, but it will be expensive.

  • Next option is disassemble and look, what manufacturer made the fan.

UPDATE: Information, which help you to find fan manufacturer - Name, Type, SN, etc.

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Keeping the cost down is a priority, but not essential. Im trying to google to find out, given that laptop model and gpu card, what type of fan it is. But so far its hard. Assuming I disassemble, what should I look for? A string of letters/numbers on the fan? Or on the gpu itself? – mizipzor Aug 1 '09 at 10:31

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