How to fix a noisy, rattling, laptop fan

If you have a laptop, and it begins to make a horrible, rattling, clacking sound, and if you are certain it is the fan, forget canned air. Your laptop has an intake and an exhaust port for air. Today I learned that blowing air into them is nearly useless. All it does is make the sound change. Here’s how I ended up fixing it:

1: Disconnect your laptop from everything, including the battery, and pick it up in your hands.
2: With laptop powered down COMPLETELY, press and hold the power button for a complete minute.
3: Proceed at YOUR OWN RISK.
4: Setup a light so that it shines across the openings
5: Swallow and get your mouth as dry as possible. Take a deep breath, place mouth on exhaust, and BLOW.
6: repeat process, alternating between intake and exhaust vents, until such time as you or your cohorts see no dust appearing in a fantastical plume whenever you blow.

That’s it. It should fix the sound (it did on mine). If you think your laptop runs too hot all the time, you should just do this anyway. Do not overuse this procedure – you could probably also make a seal around each vent, with your hand and a small shop vaccuum set on exhaust, and get the same (probably better) result.

Again, if you electrocute yourself doing this, don’t blame me. If you use a shop vac, you want to use the exhaust so that you can see when the air blows clean as you alternate between vents. Short bursts are best – a long burst may just wedge dust deeper into the laptop fan parts and stall the fan completely. My preference is to do this with the fan running, so that you can hear and so that the rotation assists with the cleaning. Again, at your OWN risk.

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