Noisy toshiba fan
March 8, 2005 1:36 PM   Subscribe

I've had a Toshiba 5205-S119 laptop for a little over a year now. About a month ago the system fan started to periodically make a grinding noise (or as one person on usenet described it "like running a matchstick up and down a comb"). Is there an easy way to make this stop without opening up the laptop case?
posted by cmonkey to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Can you see any obstruction? Do you have a small flashlight to take a look?

A long needle could help unstick whatever is hitting the fan. You could also try a can of compressed air, to blow it out of the way.
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:40 PM on March 8, 2005

Response by poster: There doesn't appear to be anything jammed in there.
posted by cmonkey at 1:46 PM on March 8, 2005

You may need to open up the case to look for an obstruction, if it isn't visible from the outside. Sorry-- I know how much of a PITA it is to open one up, too. :(
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:56 PM on March 8, 2005

I had an old Compaq laptop that started doing this after about 2 years. It happened pretty frequently for awhile, but I never did anything about it. Eventually, it stopped making the noise. The laptop is still running just fine, and (as far as I can tell) is no worse for the wear (now almost 6 years old).

If the noise doesn't bother you, and it's not constant, you might just want to ignore it.
posted by uncleozzy at 2:07 PM on March 8, 2005

You can fix your computer without opening the case only if all of these conditions are met:

A. You have a replacement fan, preferably one that doesn't have bad bearings, like the current one.

B. The fan can be removed without opening the case.

I suspect you aren't going to meet one or both of these criteria. Is it really that hard to open, or are you just afraid of doing so? Laptop disassembly is a finicky art, I'll admit, but not even close to impossible.
posted by majick at 4:54 PM on March 8, 2005

You can always try a little graphite into the fan intake pointed towards the bearings. Not good on all machines but I've used it for years on Dells and it usually will quite the sound for 6 months or so. You need to make sure it's the dry graphite spray for lubrication.
posted by white_devil at 7:43 PM on March 8, 2005

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