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Notebook maintenance - Cleaning the fan

Discussion in 'Asus' started by coriolis, Jul 18, 2007.

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  1. coriolis

    coriolis Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    This is a thread made to be attached to the sticky. Feel free to comment however.

    Notebooks are tools of the trade, they are meant to be used. As mobile as they are, they also suffer from wear and tear, whether it be evident in such cases as keyboard and wrist rest wear, or tear from accidents. However, one of the most common cases of wear and tear is the cooling system in notebooks.

    Due to the size constraints, notebook fans are usually small and come in small amounts, usually one or two depending on the size of the notebook. It may not sound like much, but the fan is a vital part of a notebook, and can make a difference whether or not the notebook will function well and at times, the lifespan of the notebook.

    Often overlooked, there has been many questions and inquiries where the fan is the culprit:

    1) Why is my notebook so hot?
    2) My fans are too loud all of a sudden!
    3) Overheating notebook?

    Such cases is from these situations is because the fan is being clogged, as well as the air vents. The vents of a notebook let air ventilate the notebook, but where there is air, there is dust, particles, insects, and other various minuscule objects that may be sucked into the vents.

    This results in the fan being clogged and can not move hot air in the notebook effectively. As mentioned above, some of the situations there are only some symptoms of what can happen if a notebook is not cleaned enough, or thoroughly.

    My ASUS V6va has been maintained quite well, I own a few cans of compressed air and bi-weekly I spray some air into the vents and I could see dust and particles blow out. I would of thought this would be effective enough to clean my notebook and have it purring. It has been almost 19 months since I have bought the notebook and used it heavily wherever I go, be it at school, a coffee shop, the library or a friends house.

    This is a simple guide, a generic guide as most notebooks are not the same in where the insides are. If you find yourself unsure what to do, feel free to ask or contact your dealer so you do not harm your notebook.

    [​IMG]
    Bottom of notebook, there are a handful of screws to open up the back plate. The screws marked 'K' are for the keyboard removal.

    As of late, I found my notebook running excessively hot, and the fans would be on very often at max when I play games, or even when I'm watching movies. At idle, the CPU would be at 58-63, and under stress, it ht up to 80 degrees, with NHC warning me about the temperatures. At first, I did my regular routine, take off the back plate, the keyboard and clean the vents with a can of compressed air.

    [​IMG]
    Opening up the back plate, the fan is attached by 3 screws. Make sure there are no 'WARRANTEE VOID' stickers. IN my case, there was none except for the one on the CPU heatsink.

    However, being the curious person I am, I decided to take out the fan and see whats up. Well, I found what was the problem.

    [​IMG]
    The fan itself was caked in dust, which was pretty bad considering the maintenance I did with the notebook. Think of what would be the case if a person did not do maintenance with the insides!

    Looking further in, I saw the main source of the problem, and it wasn't pretty!

    [​IMG]
    Caked with more dust, hair, and whatnot, the other side of the main vent was pretty clogged. Think of what would be the case if a person did not do maintenance with the fans! Yikes!

    I used the can of compressed air to blow majority of the dust and particles away(outside of course), but there were still some that wouldn't come off. To further clean the insides and the fan, I used a handful of Q-Tips, some of them damp, to clean the insides. After a pretty nasty cleaning session, I put everything back together and let it dry for a bit.

    What I found inside were a mix of dust, small hairs, coffee grinds(I worked at a coffee shop for a year as a Barista) and lots of unknown bits I don't think I would want to identify.

    After a few hours, I booted up the notebook, let it run for a bit and now it's running much much better. The surfing temperatures fell down into the low 50's, gaming would peak at a bit over 70.

    Maintenance may seem like a hassle, but to improve notebook temperatures and a healthy lifespan, it's well needed. Like a vehicle, regular changes are necessary, and this notebook is humming away happily.
     
  2. redzapper

    redzapper Notebook Consultant

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    Awesome post.

    I'll be getting cans of compressed air on my way home today!
     
  3. patel7

    patel7 Notebook Enthusiast

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    hey just cleaned it like mentioned in the post before i used to only clean my fan but once i took it out completely and looked around where it sat saw alot of dust clumped together around the vents.. cleaned the vents with toothpicks to take out all the dust it even reduced the temps by like 5-10 degrees and laptops much quieter now...

    Great post
     
  4. coriolis

    coriolis Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Glad to hear it helps. And yea, as simple as it sounds, it can really benefit in the end.

    Updated thread with larger pictures.
     
  5. mujtaba

    mujtaba ZzzZzz Super Moderator

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    Thanks Cori :)
    I used this guide to clean my W3J and it matches.
     
  6. Wraith of Vern

    Wraith of Vern Notebook Consultant

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    Does anybody know if the fan set up will be similar too my ASUS F3 series because after 7 months of use at home and college i may have a similar issue since i have noticed high temperatures, at first i thought i may be due to the higher room temperatures so i bought a Notebook Cooler, but now i will be doing this.

    Would it matter what i used to clean the insides of it with? As in could i use cotton buds to clean it? Also where could i get cans of compressed air from?
     
  7. Silentheero

    Silentheero Notebook Consultant

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    Quick tip: Use a clean toothbrush to get some of the hard-to-reach areas. And if you need to use a liquid to clean anything, use rubbing alcohol (BUT NOT ON THE SCREEN!!!!). It will evaporate quickly. Use a water-moistened cloth to clean the screen. No chemicals, no windex (seen it done :eek: )
     
  8. sanpabloguy

    sanpabloguy Notebook Deity

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    Great info, Coriolis. Silentheero makes a good point too.

    I usually use a 50/50 mix of isopropyl alcohol and water when cleaning small areas with q-tips. Breaks down some of the gunkier gunk and drys quickly.
     
  9. patel7

    patel7 Notebook Enthusiast

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    yeh its basically the same i got my f3ja about 7 months ago as well and started getting fustrated with the high temps so gave it a good clean. the main area to concentrate on is the 3rd picture after you unscrew the fan.
     
  10. coriolis

    coriolis Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    I used a QTip, but I made sure to loosen up the cotton at the end. I also used a tiny bit of water to help clean off the harder particles.

    Compressed air can be found at any electronics stores, even Staples or Best Buy carries it.
     
  11. Wraith of Vern

    Wraith of Vern Notebook Consultant

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    So what on the F3 the place that gathers the most dust is the fan and heat sink then? Were there, or is it likely there will be void warranty stickers on the fan itself which i will be exposing when cleaning?

    patel7, there may be a flaw with the model in that the fans get clogged up easily because after 7 months i too have been having heat spikes where i didn't before. Can anybody else verify a heat increase after several months using this model..?
     
  12. versusqc

    versusqc Notebook Consultant

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    About the compressed air can, NEVER do it directly to the fan...Making the fan turning like this can unballanced your fan, making it noise and sometime dead...
    Try to direct the compressed air to the mounting of the fan, so that the air go throught the fan withouth making it turn too fast. If you cant, try to do some burst on the fan insteed of long shot.
     
  13. Fiah

    Fiah Notebook Guru

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    You can use a pencil or something to stop the fan from turning.
     
  14. djembe

    djembe drum while you work

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    it depends a lot on usage and environment. For instance, I've cleaned out the fans in my Z71v a couple times in 2 years, but I've needed to clean out under the keyboard every 3-4 months (I'm messy :eek: ) If you think you've got some dust accumulation, it never hurts to check.
     
  15. Wraith of Vern

    Wraith of Vern Notebook Consultant

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    I just cleaned mine out and what a difference!!

    I was on world of warcraft and had been for about 2 hours, not a demanding task for my notebook and shouldn't cause it to get hot but when i put my hand in front of the vent the air was almost at a burning temperature. This imidiatly worried me, as i was using an Antec Notebook Cooler as well with those extraction fans on maximum. So i shut most programs down and installed Everest Ultimate again (since it was lost when i re-formated). The Temperature Idling were at a staggering 55 degree C (Cooling pad on Max). Now when i last measured these they were at about 50 max(cooling pad on Max) on standard usage.

    Anyways i turned it off and decided to crack the case off and have a look. I didn't find much until i took the fan off and saw the heat sink and exhaust vent. Over half of it was covered in dust, and when i got it out, i looked like it had been there a while and was mainly hairs of varies sizes with a dust coating over the top and instantly i thought "Problem Solved" so i just cleaned out the fan blades and used lung power to blow excess away (as i still have no canned air). I then careful put everything back together.

    Now turning it back on i noticed my fans were quieter and when i got Everest up i was somewhat thrilled to see that my surfing temperatures were on 45 Degrees C and that is with my cooling pad on its low setting.

    I have noticed a huge difference and i would recommend if you have had your notebook anything longer than 5 months to do this.

    ---

    Incase you are wanting some background desciptions to what i do and this is used for... most of the time it is sat on my desk in my room and i cart it off to college too, but all the surfaces i am putting it down on are cleanish.. i dont leave it on the sofa to get clogged with fluff either. Its general and careful usage and after 7 months i get such huge effects.

    So i think the exadurates the fact this is a must for most people even careful users like myself.

    I would also like to say thank you to coriolis, your guide has been a great deal of help to me.
     
  16. Runeknight95

    Runeknight95 Notebook Consultant

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    Take care when cleacning with compresed air, it may come out liquid if not used properyl!
     
  17. E.B.E.

    E.B.E. NBR Procrastinator

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    Best to just spray a little bit in the air before using, like that the condensed liquid will be sprayed out and it'll be safe to use.
     
  18. benlg

    benlg Notebook Guru

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    Nice info coriolis, usually overlooked. Cleaning the fan worked great for me as well. I noticed today that I was idling at 65C and gaming topped out at 87C, undervolted too. Roughly 10C higher than normal. I had no compressed air but I unscrewed the fan, cleaned it with a q-tip and blew out the vents. Also another tip, use something called an interdental toothbrush (I had one lying around the house), perfect to clean right between the gaps of the fan. Temps are now 3C lower than my norm so it worked. :)
     
  19. Firecrak

    Firecrak Notebook Guru

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    Use cleaning alcohol instead of water.
     
  20. Alston251

    Alston251 Notebook Consultant

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    can you use those squige pump thing for cameras instead of compressed gas.
    Coz I have no idea whatsoever where to get compressed air in hong kong.
     
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