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Over the last days, my laptop's fan is making a constant grinding noise all the time, as soon as it starts to spin, except maybe for the first minute or two after turning my laptop on. It's a constant, loud noise and can be heard in this video:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwjYARtEfuKgczlOQ3FXZGJabGM/view

Initially, I had suspected it was a dust issue, so I disassembled my laptop to clean the fan and found it in the following state:

Fan before dust cleaning

Nevertheless, the noise did not go away after that, as it's evident from the video.

I am very confident in replacing laptop hardware parts, but I have zero experience with fans. Is this grinding noise indicating my fan needs replacement? Would you recommend any hardware/software checks beforehand? (Debian Testing user, if that matters)

If my fan does need replacement, which is the correct process of doing so? For the RAM I would find a similar type and frequency, for example; what would I look for, in this case? Do I also have to disassemble the whole heat sinker that the fan is connected to? (see picture below)

Motherboard (before cleaning)

  • Have you changed power options recently? – vembutech Apr 20 '17 at 13:15
  • @vembutech Nope, I haven't changed anything. Just to be on the same page, what "power options" are you referring to, for example? – Adama Apr 20 '17 at 15:06
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That fan ought to just lift away from the heat exchange assembly; two screws.
Some variants you can unclip the top for better access [picture isn't clear enough.]

Behind it will be a 14-tog duvet of fluff.

Don't attempt to remove the fan-blade moulding itself from the assembly, you'll just break the motor bearings.
Replacements are approx $£€10-12 on eBay from China - search by the serial on the sticker.

  • Looks like I'm out of luck here. Didn't find any listing on e-bay for my serial number: FCN3NZYWTMTN2045W13B. Guess I should check by my laptop model. Quick question: would disassembling the fan to check its path be out of the question as well? This is what others are suggesting. Or is it different from removing the fan-blade moulding? – Adama Apr 21 '17 at 11:22
  • searching by model would work too. Essentially with that fan type, the entire assembly will lift away from the exchanger in one go; if the flat back top also clips off, that's as far as you can safely disassemble. In theory you can pull the blade moulding off & replace afterwards; in practise you will break the motor. – Tetsujin Apr 21 '17 at 11:32
  • sorry - flat black top – Tetsujin Apr 21 '17 at 13:46
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It sounds like either :- there is something small touching the blades inside, OR the bearing has failed.

I would remove the fan from the machine, and disassemble it as much as possible to check for something in the path of the blade. If you can't find anything, I would definitely recommend getting a new one.

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