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Fixing an IBM T43 with Fan Error (In Vancouver)

Updated on December 17, 2011
Inside had quite a bit of dust and the fan was stuck.
Inside had quite a bit of dust and the fan was stuck.
Fan was taken out for thorough cleaning.
Fan was taken out for thorough cleaning.
Thermal compound was applied to CPU.
Thermal compound was applied to CPU.
The T43 is back to serving again.
The T43 is back to serving again.

At boot up, this IBM T43 displayed an error message "Fan Error" and shut down automatically. As it was needed in a clinic at weekend, I agreed to help since I was free anyway.

I brought along a T42. If I could not fix it on the spot, I might be able to swap the hard drive and leave the T42 behind for usage. I removed the T43 keyboard and found that the inside had a quite a bit of dust. I powered on the T43, the fan could not move at all. I pushed the blade, the fan moved slowly and the "Fan Error" came back again. I could not fix it on the spot. I tried to swap the hard drive. The T42 started up with Windows recovery screen in Chinese, I selected normal start up but it had no response.

I had to take the T43 away and my T42 back home. At home, I vacuumed the fan and sprayed WD-40 to the center of the fan. The fan turned but still having the "Fan Error" at boot up. I needed to take the whole fan out and do a thorough clean up. However, the right side of the heat sink was glued to the GPD chip. I needed to pull the heat sink off carefully.

Once the fan was out, I vacuumed the fan and applied WD-40 from the other side. The fan turned smoothly again. I applied thermal compound to the CPU and put the fan back. The T43 could be booted up but it had loud buzzing sound. I adjusted the heat sink screws which have springs to remove the buzzing.

I found that the keyboard had a number 6 key missing. I found a key from an old keyboard and put onto it. The whole fixing took me about 2 hours. Luckily that a new fan was not required. Otherwise, it would take a few days to get it ready again.

The T43 was returned in the evening that it can serve on Sunday again.


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