The fan is necessary for the computer to remain in operation during normal use. Overheating of any important laptop parts could result in catastrophic failure. Unfortunately, it happens to be the hardest component to access and remove.

  1. Ensure your computer is shut down.
    • Ensure your computer is shut down.

    • Removing the battery while the laptop is still on may corrupt your files.

    • Remove any power adapters and cords connected to the laptop body.

    • Turn the computer over so the bottom is facing up.

    • These pictures show no battery, but your battery should still be in your computer at this point.

  2. The battery release is below the bottom right corner of the battery bay.
    • The battery release is below the bottom right corner of the battery bay.

    • Slide the switch to the right until the release clicks.

    • Remove the battery.

    • The release switch may need to be held down while removing the battery.

    • Remove the two 5mm Phillips screws on the hard drive cover using a Phillips #00 screwdriver.

    • Remove the plastic hard drive cover.

    • Pull up on the two plastic flaps on the hard drive enclosure to remove it.

    • Gently lift the ribbon cable away from the hard drive enclosure to free the drive.

    • Locate four 2mm Phillips screws on the side of the enclosure and remove them using a Phillips #00 screwdriver.

    • Slide the hard drive out of the enclosure to complete the removal process.

    • Locate the wireless card and the two wires attached to it.

    • Caution: Prying on the WLAN card wires in the wrong direction could damage your wireless card. Make sure to lift straight up when removing the wires.

    • Using a plastic spudger tool, carefully lift up on each wire connecting the card to unsnap the connectors.

    • Locate the 2.5mm Phillips screw on the corner of the WLAN card and remove it using a Phillips #000 screwdriver.

    • Upon removing the screw, the WLAN card will pop up. Keeping a natural angle, slide the card out of the slot.

    • The card is now free from your computer.

    • Locate two 3mm Phillips screws on the CMOS panel cover and remove them with a Phillips #00 screwdriver.

    • Remove the CMOS panel cover.

    • The optical drive is now ready for removal. Using a plastic removal tool, lift the optical drive away from your computer.

    • Using your hands, slide the remainder of the drive out of the computer.

    • Remove these two 4mm Phillips screws on the back panel using a Phillips #00 screwdriver and remove the cover to reveal the CMOS battery

    • Locate the CR2032 watch battery

    • Using a 2.5mm flathead screwdriver, carefully pry up the battery using the tab to the right of the battery

    • The CMOS battery is now removed from your system.

    • Remove the one 4mm Phillips screw from the RAM cover using a Phillips #00 screwdriver.

    • Remove the RAM cover to reveal the module's underneath.

    • Make sure to ground yourself before touching the RAM modules; they are very sensitive to static electricity.

    • Push the two metal tabs on the side of the RAM module outwards, towards the battery and CMOS compartments (up and down).

    • Once the module is released, gently pull the module upwards.

    • Repeat for the RAM module underneath the first one.

    • Begin by unscrewing the three 3mm Phillips head screws inside the battery bay with the Phillips #00 screwdriver.

    • Remove the five remaining 2mm screws using a Phillips #00 screwdriver.

    • Unscrew the 4mm Phillips screw inside the hard drive bay.

    • Make sure to keep track of which screw goes where. The sizes are different for each set of screws!

    • Locate the hole in between the hard drive and RAM compartments.

    • The hole is marked by a small keyboard symbol in the plastic (see the second picture).

    • Unscrew the 4mm Phillips head screw from this hole.

    • Flip the laptop, and use the plastic opening tool on the side seam to remove the top cover.

    • You may need to use the opening tool on both sides of the cover.

    • Be careful not to break the ribbon cables under the cover.

    • Use a 2.5mm flathead screwdriver to remove the four 3mm screws on top of the keyboard.

    • Dislodge the keyboard to access the underside.

    • Do not fully remove the keyboard. It is still attached by a ribbon cable, and forceful removal could break this necessary connection.

    • Locate the ribbon cable connection between the keyboard and motherboard.

    • Pull upwards on the small black bar to release the ribbon cable and remove it.

    • Do not yank on the ribbon or try to pull it out. This may break the cable or motherboard.

    • The keyboard is now ready for replacement.

    • Locate four 3mm screws in the upper corners of the keyboard tray and remove them using a #00 Phillips screwdriver.

    • Locate the two ribbon cable connectors that attach the speaker assembly to the motherboard.

    • Using your fingers, carefully detach the ribbon cables from the motherboard by pulling them straight out on the connector.

    • Remove the speaker assembly from the keyboard tray.

    • Locate the large display ribbon connector near the upper left corner of the keyboard tray and remove the ribbon by pulling straight out on the connector.

    • The display should now be loose, but make sure to remove all ribbon connectors before attempting to take off the display.

    • Locate the two final ribbon connectors for the display on the motherboard and remove them similarly by pulling straight outward on the connectors.

    • You are now free to remove the display from the computer.

    • Remove the three 3mm Phillips head screws on the top of the frame using the Phillips #00 screwdriver.

    • Using a plastic opening tool, carefully pry off the top plastic cover by lifting it up at the seam at various points around the edge, then remove it completely.

    • Remove the two 2mm screws on the bottom right of the motherboard using the Phillips #00 screwdriver.

    • Using the Phillips #00 screwdriver, unscrew the spring-release fasteners on the modem card and remove it from the board.

    • Do not try to remove the modem card from the laptop, it is still attached to the modem connector on the underbody.

    • Remove the power cable and two ribbons on the top right side of the board.

    • These ribbons can be removed by simply pulling to the right of the connector.

    • Remove the ribbon on the bottom left of the board.

    • Remove the one 3mm Phillips screw on the bottom left corner of the board using the Phillips #00 Screwdriver.

    • Make sure to ground yourself to a metal object before attempting to remove the motherboard. Static charge build-up is dangerous to electronics and may ruin your motherboard if not properly grounded.

    • Remove the motherboard from the laptop body, being careful to keep the modem board from dislodging itself.

    • Your motherboard is now removed.

    • Flip over the motherboard to expose the fan assembly.

    • Before working with the motherboard, always ground yourself by touching a metallic object, such as the keyboard tray.

    • Using the Phillips #00 screwdriver, remove the two 2.5mm screws on VGA adapter on the side of the motherboard.

    • Using the Phillips #00 screwdriver, unscrew the three spring releases on the heatsink part of the fan assembly.

    • These will remain attached to the heatsink, so there is no need to keep track of them.

    • Gently pull the fan assembly out from the board.

    • The fan assembly is still attached by a cable to the motherboard, so do not try to fully remove or yank it away.

    • Unplug the fan power cable from the motherboard.

    • Than fan assembly is now ready to be replaced or cleaned.


To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order. Make sure to keep your screws separated and ensure the ribbon cables are plugged in correctly.

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Nick Loey

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Cal Poly, Team 9-15, Regan Spring 2014 Member of Cal Poly, Team 9-15, Regan Spring 2014


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How to effectively clean the fan

Omar Khaled - Reply

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