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Some bit of paper must have been swallowed into it. Some days no noises at all. Others days it goes on and off.

I can't get access to the fan, there seems to be glued plastic parts involved.

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If you are concerned, you may want to order either a replacement fan assembly (usually around £30-£50, model depending), or take it to a professional.

In my experience, a lot (but not all) of the time random noises like this are down to age of the fan and the ball bearings are slightly ground down, or the motor is off centre, Not always, and wouldn't recommend it, but a nudge or pressure in the right place can be a temporary fix.

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Is a vacuum a good solution? I am under the impression that the static that can be caused with this tool can be dangerous to memory, and I don't mean personally. Regards. – Xavierjazz Jan 23 '10 at 17:00
TBH, I have never had a problem and have been using Vaccums for years (typically industrial ones, a little bit away from the surfact) I have no scientific proof, but I have never broken anything or seen any problems.... I prefer it compared to air duster as it actually gets rid of the problem instead of moving it around. – William Hilsum Jan 23 '10 at 17:27
Thanks............... – Xavierjazz Jan 23 '10 at 18:06
You should not, under any circumstance use a vacuum on your computer or any other ESD sensitive device. I have personally replaced thousands of dollars worth of motherboards, power supplies, etc. from customers doing this to their computers. It is something that you can do several times with no problems, but that one spark on a motherboard causes hundreds of dollars worth of damage. – Chrono May 14 '13 at 15:17

Laptops are constructed so they can be serviced, even if it's only by "authorized technicians". Honestly, I think your "glued" parts are either

  • held in place by screws you haven't found/removed yet, or

  • glued to some piece that's held in place by screws you haven't found/removed yet.

So don't be afraid -- get back in there, find those screws, and remove them so you can get to the fan.

I disassembled a 5-year-old eMachines laptop a few weeks ago in order to clean its fan and apply some fresh thermal paste. I couldn't find a service manual online, and naturally Google didn't turn up any pictures, so I started taking things apart. There were 10 screws on the bottom, 2 on the back on the LCD hinges, 2 more on the hinges underneath the plastic covers, and 3 under the button panel that were holding the keyboard on. (All but 2 of the bottom screws were unrelated to this particular job. I could've left them in place, but I didn't know that going in.)

Search Google by model# for your laptop's service manual (or a photostream of someone taking one apart). If you can't find one, just start unscrewing all the screws you can find. Be gentle when pulling things apart, examine the assembly thoroughly before pulling hard on anything, and don't lose any pieces.

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+1 ... how much did you charge the guy? probably more than anything eMachines is worth after 5 years :) – Molly7244 Jan 24 '10 at 0:54
@Molly: that job got me a nice bottle of red and the loan of some Tom Waits cds. friend prices, ya know. – quack quixote Jan 24 '10 at 2:02

Do not use a vacuum cleaner for the inside of your computer as it generates a lot of static electricity that can damage the internal components of your computer.

If you want to use a vacuum to suck up dirt, dust, or hair inside of your computer, use a portable battery powered vacuum designed to do this job, but they're not really powerful.

Get a can with compressed air in a DIY store near you for the job at hand.

alt text

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Ok, so you blame me of copying, yet you do this ~8 hours after I say the same thing, then you say I am bad for also recommending a vacuum cleaner, but have provided no proof of it damaging a computer, despite the fact I have been using one for many years? – William Hilsum Jan 24 '10 at 13:15
@Wil - You're asking for proof how static electricity can damage electronic devices? don't be ridiculous! So you're using one for years? good on you! but advising others to take chances with their equipment is unsound. something goes wrong, what do you tell them then? "Uhh, i don't really know, hard to tell how that could happen, never happened to me, strange." Not much of a consolation, now is it? – Molly7244 Jan 24 '10 at 19:05
I never said to prove that static electricity damages electronics, I said show me where a vacuum cleaner has caused damage to a computer. – William Hilsum Jan 24 '10 at 19:20
Vacuum cleaner generate static electricity: true or false? True! Static electricity can damage electronic equipment: true or false? True! What you do with your own stuff is irrelevant, here you're playing 'va banque' with the belongings of others who come here for advice and that's just not on. – Molly7244 Jan 24 '10 at 19:55
@Molly, you seem to miss some important steps your attempt to prove that vacuums are dangerous. For example T/F air is a very bad conductor of electricity. True! T/F components installed in the computer are properly grounded, True! To be clear, I am not saying a vacuum is always safe, only that your argument is not convincing. Requesting you provide actual proof that a typical vacuum damages, will damage installed components seems reasonable. – Zoredache Jan 25 '10 at 0:16

The glued parts aren't glued. They are plastic snap-ins.

So like an box. You first pull out one side and the other can come out bit if you pull out the other side first the plastic will just snap.

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