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Access to fan on HP ze4900

I have acquired three (one through purchase and two from friends who'd moved on to Macs) different HP laptops. All of them have suffered from chronic overheating. It appears that the fans still work however there is next to no airflow. Finally in frustration, I opened the back of one of them and discovered a thick build-up (it looked like a piece of felt and was about an eighth of an inch thick) of lint within the fan assembly. After removing it and reassembling the case, the computer worked better than it had in years. Unfortunately, this only worked on one of the three HP laptops currently in my possession. Try though I might, I have been unable to even get the other two to open up enough to reach their fans. Unscrewing everything that I could see on the sides and back which seemed to attach the case, there remains on both of them at least on mystery screw which is keeping the back from opening up enough to get at the fan. In both cases, there appears to be something just about dead center in the back of the case which is still attached but there is nothing visible from the outside. Is there some special trick? Has HP cleverly assembled these particular models with a drop of super glue to discourage repair? Am I coming at it from completely the wrong direction--instead of opening the back, should I instead dig down (with shovel and pick ax perhaps) through the keyboard? Any suggestions, especially if accompanied by pictures would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted on Jul 25, 2009

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