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3 year old laptop computer with motherboard fan failure; can this be repaired?

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  • Greg Wilkins
    Greg Wilkins May 11, 2010

    What kind is it? most computer repair shops could do that. I don't know what they would charge thats another thing.Does it heat up? Minde don't work either and it don't seem to effect it any.But today's computers probably get hotter. Mineis an old IBM notebood with a pentium lol. God Bless you Greg

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Yes, that is an easy repair, but it is better to have it done at a repair shop.

You can buy an heatsink at any repair shop for $10 or $20, and have it installed for $40 or so.

When you buy the heatsink you ask one for your CPU, not the computer mode. You ask for example an heatsink for pentium 4 2.2 Ghz., check what CPU is installed on your PC.

Here is an example:

StarTech.com Heatsink + Fan For 1U Servers ...

$10 to $25 - 109 stores StarTech.com 1U AMD Opteron CPU Heatsink with ...

$23 to $34 - 111 stores StarTech.com Universal AMD 64-bit CPU Heatsink ... $9 to $21 - 93 stores

Posted on Nov 30, 2008

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The fan can be replaced, but it should be done by a tech as it requires experience in opening the case and installing the fan properly. don't try it yourself. the damage you can cause may be worse than the cost of a tech.

Posted on Nov 30, 2008

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1 long beep 2 quick flashes on power button


Flashes & beeps indicate a start up failure on the motherboard. You'd need to google the trouble codes for your particular make & model to determine which mother board system is the problem. It might be simple like a mother board battery failure or something more complex like unreadable bios. If the computer is a few years old, it's not good. If you are curious, bring it to a repair shop but I can tell you 95% of the time you end up buying a new computer after you pay the shop fee. Why? Because you find out the repair costs almost as much as a better replacement on Amazon. Do yourself a favor. Get the replacement and have the computer shop recover your files from the old unit or pay $23 and get the DIY kit on EBAY. Good luck.

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Had start up problems, thought it was cr2032 batt, but now all i get is orange neon on start button, and high speed whizzing from fan


It sounds like you have the dreaded capacitor problem. The motherboard is shot. From Wikipedia

Capacitor Issues[edit] Older OptiPlex models (mostly produced in 2003 and 2004), notably the GX270, suffered from frequent failures due to faulty capacitors supplied by Nichicon. These capacitors would bulge and leak, resulting in product failure after only a few years of use. As of June 2010, there is still ongoing litigation regarding this problem, alleging that Dell knew that the computers were likely to fail, and continued to ship them.[1]
Sorry for the bad news. Its pretty common with these old Dell OptiPlex computers

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Know If It's a Failed Processor or Motherboard Diagnosing computer hardware problems can be one of the more difficult aspects of PC repair. If your motherboard or processor have failed, often your computer will not fully boot up, which makes troubleshooting a frustrating process. Your motherboard runs a program called Post, which essentially checks your essential computer components for errors upon start-up. Post will provide a series of beeps that can be used for error reporting and to help you determine what is wrong with your PC.

Turn off your computer and unplug the power cord from the back of your power supply. WARNING: Before you start troubleshooting remember that you are dealing with electricity that can KILL. http://www.kitchentablecomputers.com/static.php - rules Only work inside the computer case when the power has been switched off and disconnected. Never open the power source. Some of the below steps recommend removing physical parts within the computer. While in the computer it is highly recommend that you be aware of ESD and its potential hazards Open up the side of your case and remove all expansion slot cards such as your sound and video. Reconnect your power cord back to your power supply. Power up your PC and listen for a beep or a series of beeps. Post will run a basic diagnostic and check your RAM, motherboard, and processor for errors. If these three basic elements are working properly, you will hear one beep from your computer's speaker, and you can be assured your processor and motherboard are still working. Count the number of beeps you hear (if more than one) as this will help you determine if your processor is functioning properly. If your computer is reporting errors, you will hear more than one beep. If you are running Phoenix BIOS, count and write down the beep sequence. Consult your motherboard's BIOS instruction manual; there will be a section on the "post" start-up that identifies each problem associated with the number of beeps reported. Five beeps means a processor error for most standard AMI BIOS systems. Identify the problem associated with the number of beeps to accurately determine what problems your CPU and motherboard are experiencing.
Motherboard or the Processor is Bad in a
Diagnosing the source of a computer problem usually involves a process of elimination, evaluating each part. In a desktop computer, this is easy, since each part can be removed or replaced with little difficulty. Taking apart a laptop isn't quite so easy. Unlike a desktop computer, they aren't really designed to be disassembled by the average consumer, and in many cases, taking apart a laptop can void its warranty.

How to Diagnose Without Disassembly
Obviously, since disassembly of a laptop is beyond the skill of most users, diagnosis of hardware problems requires the ability to recognize common problems that can be caused by specific computer parts. Overheating is usually a sign of a failed fan or heat-sink, rather than a problem with the computer's processor. Constant crashing is a sign of bad memory much more often than a failed motherboard or processor. These little indications can be a lifesaver when dealing with sealed hardware like laptops. When diagnosing whether it is the motherboard or the processor, there are a few basic things to look for. Processor damage is usually pretty obvious; the computer will completely fail to operate, unable to even run the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) firmware. This can also be caused by memory failure. Replace the memory with known good memory, and see if the problem persists. Motherboard problems are a little more difficult to detect, as a motherboard is not a single piece of silicon. Typically, a motherboard failure is actually a failure of one of the components soldered to the motherboard, such as the USB controller, or the hard drive controller chips. But often, the problem is with one of the main controller chips on the motherboard, which will cause to the computer to stop functioning altogether. There isn't any good way to discern this from a processor failure, other than to replace the processor; this isn't always possible. b> Problems With Laptop Repair A basic problem with dealing with laptops is the fact that many laptops are built with the processor soldered directly to the motherboard rather than connected with a socket, like most desktop computers. This means that any problem with either the motherboard or processor will require the replacement of both. A side effect of this is that the motherboard and processor will have to be ordered as a single unit; you can't mix and match, and only the parts that the manufacturer of the laptop is willing to supply can be used. To compound the problem, if the laptop is still under warranty, any repairs have to be done by the manufacturer, or a manufacturer-certified repair shop. This often will lead to a cost of parts and labor that will actually exceed the cost of the laptop, especially if the failure is caused by something that the warranty will not cover. Finally, if the laptop is out of warranty, it may be altogether impossible to repair it, as most manufacturers do not stock parts for older machines that they no longer need parts on hand for warranty repairs.

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2 Answers

Dell optiplex 270 startup


sounds like power supply failure. You can try removing all of the ram and pressing the power button again. If nothing happens, its either a bad power supply or a bad motherboard.

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2 Answers

I have a Lenovo A61 Thinkcentre that is about one year old. I am now hearing a fairly loud noise that comes and goes. When the system starts, the noise appears and lasts 10 - 20 minutes, then disappears....


Ok it still sounds like an fan. look for fans, one in power supply, one on cpu, one in case(frount or back), one on video card. before you start from cold unplug the fans that you can. and stop the one in power supply. then if there is no nosie you have to start pluging them back in till you hear the noise. **NOTE!!** don't run it long without fans!!( 40 secs) is long enough..

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1 Answer

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Hi Im Rain.
I may have bad news for you. Its a very bad sign when your keyboard and monitor are not working at the same time. Sounds like the technician was right.
I also think its your motherboard. If you really just like the computer you can invest in another motherboard.

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1 Answer

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1 Answer

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Failure of motherboards is usually due to breaking capacitors. A few years ago a capacitor company stole the "recipe" for making capacitors from another company and tried to make their own, unfortunately they did not get the ingredients right and the capacitors started breaking after 2-3 years of use. They sold these capacitors at very cheap prices and a lot of computer companies and power supply makers bought them. This is easy to diagnose. Look for capacitors (caps) (they look like little tiny soda cans) on your motherboard (mobo). They should be perfectly flat on top and not bulged or swelling or leaking anything. The dead giveaway is the fact that you are not getting a monitor signal and if you listen to your computer as it starts up, a few of the devices may not start (hard drive, etc). A failed video card will also give you "No signal message", but the computer should sound normal when starting up. Mobos are usually expensive to replace because the computer makers have them made especially for them and only order so many. They usually do not have a lot of extras laying around. There are a few companies that will repair broken capacitor issues. Hope this explains why they can fail. They can also fail if overheated (like when a case cooling fan fails), the cpu is overclocked and not cooled down (which raises temps), the power supply fails or by lightning and power surges. Also if you add a bunch of extra components without upgrading the power supply you can suffer underpowered situations.

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1 Answer

Here's more info to my problem: Gateway laptop is 4 years old. Now getting message that says "System Fan Error!! !!Please turn off system and checkyour system fan!!" Computer was purchased...


Your CPU fan has failed! your heatsink overheats quickly and then shuts down to protect itself from burning up. Your motherboard is Not the problem, the fan is. This fan can be replaced by any compotent laptop technician. Make sure the tech has access to Gateway or has a source that supplys Gateway parts, as the part must be made for Gateway laptops and your model exactly! 90% of this type of problem can be repaired! Don't let non-techs at Best Buy or any other dept. store tell you your PC is "No Good". Take the time like your doing and do some research the problem before giving your hard earned cash to a 16 year old "Technician/salesman/commision/bonus" person.
If the Harddrive is undamaged and it can be mounted yes, your stuff can be saved to DVD or such. Be prepared though, this type of service can be costly so ask around and get quotes.

Nov 30, 2008 | Gateway PC Desktops

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