2 of 3: Diabolical Dust Bunnies of DOOM
Two Sundays ago, the day before I went back to work, I sat down at Starbucks to enjoy an afternoon of D&D study.
Instead, I was horrified to see that my core temperature reading was skyrocketing a few minutes after I turned on my laptop. There was no air coming out of the exhaust at all, despite my dad having vacuumed it just a few weeks prior.
Nothing I did stopped the frightening display. The temperature hit 80 degrees Celsius, and kept going. To prevent a meltdown, I pulled the plug.
I texted my father, and he replied: “Time to bring it to Acer.”
Without a car and time, I wouldn’t be able to go to the service center. Even worse, I’ve heard horror stories about how long our local service center took.
Since I had nothing to lose (warranty was expired anyway), I decided to take a knife screwdriver to my laptop and see what was going on inside.
I bought a cheap set of multi-bit screwdrivers and easily found my way into my laptop’s innards.
True enough, the fan seemed to be stuck. I tried spinning it a bit, and it yielded after a while. Then I discovered why it was stuck.
Lodged in the space between the heat sink housing and the vent was the most monstrous dust bunny I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t anything like the cute gray fluffballs you find under couches.
This one, as you can see, was black, fibrous, dense, and spongy. As I used my Swiss knife’s tweezers to pull it out, it stretched and stretched and did not even break.
It took me about 5 minutes of intense concentration to pull the whole thing out.
True enough, when I tried turning my laptop on again, the fan began spinning without problems. This simple operation saved the pile of time, money and heartache that is usually associated with computer difficulties.
Take note that my laptop is already over 2 and a half years old and has never been repaired. Furthermore, the environment both at work and at home is extremely dusty and polluted. Finally, my laptop’s construction (Acer Aspire 5102WLMi) has a cooling system that is quite open and loose. By comparison, my mother’s laptop (a Twinhead) has a tightly-sealed fan housing, which keeps most dust out.
In any case, this is only recommended if your laptop’s warranty has expired and you have nothing to lose by trying.