How to best replace my laptop fan
July 23, 2013 8:44 PM   Subscribe

My laptop (Fujitsu LifeBook PC Tablet, model T5010, refurbished) fan is suddenly dying, making sad whirring sounds, and not breathing hot air on my lap like it used to. What is the best way to replace the fan?

I bought this tablet PC back in November, and it's been running well since I bought it. As it was refurbished, it only had a 90 day warranty. Just a few days ago, I noticed it was noisier than usual, and tonight, the fan is clearly trying to spin, but failing to do so at any speed. It keeps trying, bless its electric heart.

Anyway, I see replacement fans for a range of prices from a range of dealers. Given that this model is no longer made, what's the best way to get a replacement fan? I had decent luck buying a really cheap replacement power supply for another laptop from an Amazon reseller, but I'm not sure if trying to save on a replacement fan is a great idea. I live in the Albuquerque, NM area, for what it's worth.
posted by filthy light thief to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
ebay is usually the way to go for random parts like that. A search for "t5010 lifebook fan" brings a bunch of results for very reasonable prices.
posted by jjb at 8:53 PM on July 23, 2013

Coming at this from a slightly different angle... have you opened up the laptop to make sure that the fan and heat sink are free from dust and debris? It wouldn't be the first time a laptop with an apparently failing fan actually turned out to simply have a dust ball the size of a mouse.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:08 PM on July 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Here's a musical tutorial on how to clean a fan on a laptop: link
posted by fzx101 at 4:27 AM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Here's a musical tutorial on how to clean a fan on a laptop: link

oh god, even on the HP elitebook "pro" line (of that era) you literally have to disassemble the entire laptop (also, ZIF sockets can come in surprising configurations and are very easy to damage...let's not get into it) to get at the fan, and then you have to pry off the heatsink (and then have to get thermal paste to reattach it.) it's truly shocking if you are used to thinkpads...

make sure you actually can replace the fan reasonably... the part appears to be about $10 on ebay. it's probably difficult to get a new actual OEM part, although some of the fans on ebay will be used parts from working machines. the worst that can happen is that you'll have to replace the fan again.
posted by at 6:11 AM on July 24, 2013

I fix computers sometimes (part time job at my school). We usually order parts by either searching Newegg, Amazon, or Ebay for the model number of the computer and the part type, or by opening the computer up and searching by the part number on the part itself. We haven't really had problems with parts sourced like this, but if you do, you can just replace it again with a slightly less sketchy iteration of the part.
posted by topoisomerase at 11:20 AM on July 24, 2013

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