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Lorin Thwaits A geek says what?

Did you know that a laptop can double as a vacuum cleaner?  At least that's what it feels like when you go in to clean out the heatsinks around the fan(s), and find what seems like a vaccuum cleaner bag's worth of junk stuffed in there!  Especially if you take your machine just about everywhere, the dust stacks up.  Mine is nearly constantly on, frequently doing video compression, which spins the fan a bit faster to keep the chip cool.  With all the hours of uptime, a bunch of furry lint collects on the heat sink.

Every six months or so I open the system up to clean it out, and this morning it was again due for a cleaning.  Here's a video showing the approach:

Video: Cleaning lint out of a Dell D600 (5:35, 18 meg WMV)

The model is an older Dell D600, and virtually every modern laptop in a dusty environment will collect a wad of fur in the same way.  If you've never cleaned your laptop then you're probably in for quite a surprise as to how much is stuffed up in there.

Once cleaned you will probably notice the fan running less often or at slower speeds, and better airflow coming out of the exhaust area.  Also slightly longer battery life not having as much power drain to keep cool.

Disclaimer: Of course this kind of approach could void some warranties, and carries with it the inherent risk of damaging the machine.  I assume no responsibility for the ultimate outcome if you decide to clean your own laptop.  I present this instructional video only as what I think is a good idea, geared for those daring souls that are comfortable in taking the risk of opening their laptop.  You would want to back up valuable data on the system before embarking on this procedure, and certainly you would want to make sure the unit is turned off first (!)

 

Posted on Monday, June 12, 2006 11:26 AM Performance | Back to top


Comments on this post: Cleaning the lint that collects in your laptop's navel

# re: Cleaning the lint that collects in your laptop's navel
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Did a Google on dell d600 clean fan and came right to your site. Watched the video, dove into my laptop, and hauled a small kitten out of my fan. Your instructions were dead-accurate.

My ears have bled from my fan screaming for about 2 months - fan's running now and I can't hear it at all.

MUCH Appreciated!
NetGuyTim

Left by NetGuyTim on Jan 04, 2007 2:32 PM

# re: Cleaning the lint that collects in your laptop's navel
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Thank you for posting this. I found it, much the same way as the previous poster, followed directions and extracted an entire family of hamsters from the fan heatsink. I'm so happy.
Left by Kurt on Jan 15, 2007 11:15 AM

# re: Cleaning the lint that collects in your laptop's navel
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Lorin,

The above video link seems to be broken. Can you check what is wrong? Thanks
Left by Nehad on Feb 26, 2007 9:02 PM

# re: Cleaning the lint that collects in your laptop's navel
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This was more fallout from GoDaddy's supposedly-static IP. Links are now updated. Thanks for letting me know, and if you decide to open the hood of your machine then I hope you have great success!
Left by Lorin Thwaits on Feb 27, 2007 11:20 AM

# re: Cleaning the lint that collects in your laptop's navel
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Great writeup and video!
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# re: Cleaning the lint that collects in your laptop's navel
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My laptop thanks you for the tutorial.
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My mac is purchased in 2006 ,it still looks brandnew.
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My mac is purchased in 2006 ,it still looks brandnew.
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# re: Cleaning the lint that collects in your laptop's navel
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I recently cleaned the touchpad + button section from the outside. My sweaty hands etc had gotten into the crevices and had started to change to a green grey color. I can't imagine the dust inside the laptop though. I cleaned out my desktop after 5 years of college and it had mounds of dust inside.
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