Monday, 7 October 2013

DIY (or how to deal with an annoying X61 CPU fan)

Sometime in the spring, I bought a used, refurbished (?) laptop from a private source in Vancouver.  The price was definitely right. The little beauty below, with a matching docking station, and with Windows 7 Pro & Microsoft Office 2007 installed cost me $340 without having to add taxes to that.

not my picture

Then this laptop accompanied me on this summer's bike & foot tour through Ireland, Germany & France, and again on the trip through England, sometimes in a backpack, sometimes in a saddle bag, but never treated like a sensitive piece of high-tech equipment should be treated.

Either some French bread crumbs found their way into the fan cage or some of France's bike routes were a bit too shaky, because at some point the cooling fan in the computer started making noises.  Not just regular noises, but noises that a fan would make if it was subjected to water-boarding in Guantanamo !  This fan sounded like it was suffering !  And it was getting worse over time.  For a while now I had planned to take it into a shop to have them do something about the fan, but other things always claimed priority.

But today I finally made some time to go to a computer store (Frontier PC) and have the fan replaced.  Firstly I have 3 computers on my motel desk and secondly, I have a rather large translation to do, which could benefit from a quiet fan ;-)

The very polite and empathizing service employee informed me that once the warranty had expired (no warranty for me having bought it used) the part (ordered directly from IBM) would be $200 and the cost of the labour to install it would be $85. Add taxes to that and you're over $300.  WOW.
not my picture
Since I only paid that much for the entire laptop WITH software installed, I respectfully declined their offer and took my laptop with me.  Not expecting much luck, I caught up with my usual routine of checking Ebay before visiting any brick-and-mortar store.  And what do I find? A fan for my laptop, of course.  Shipping free. Cost of fan:  $4.32.   I just saved $195.68 + tax !  Next step:  A Google search for "X61 fan". There is two Youtube videos on how to replace the fan, but I prefer THIS step-by-step picture instruction page.  Since I'm quite good with my fingers and a screwdriver (+ Reading Glasses lately), I just saved another $85 + tax.   

At least in theory. The practical part will have to wait until after I burn all my relevant and important files to DVD (in particular the pictures of my travels on which this laptop accompanied me)

This post will be updated from time to time on how this newest project of mine proceeds.

October 8:  A new fan has been ordered on EBay.
October 31:  A package containing the new fan arrived from Singapore.

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