Last night I completely disassembled and reassembled my laptop computer. I’ve been having some struggles with Best Buy’s Geek Squad. The condensed version is that it involved restoring my system twice and reinstalling all my software, losing a bunch of email and eventually, after a misdiagnosis, a new hard drive. Quite maddening.
I had just one more complaint. My laptop’s fan makes a clicking noise like a tiny diesel engine in need of better fuel or a tune-up. The geek-boy listened for 4 seconds and pronounced the fan just fine. I protested, "You can’t hear it in this noisy store. I sit with this laptop all day in a tiny Wizard Cave beneath my front porch in Nebraska. I assure you it makes exactly the noise I’m describing."
Geek Boy wouldn’t budge. The fan is fine. I got the subtle message that perhaps he thought I was some kind of techno-hypochondriac.
Got the laptop home. Did I mention that I must drive nearly 3 hours one-way just to be treated like I’m losing my marbles?
I decided to try getting a smarter Geek on the phone using their call-in service. They answered promptly and I explained the entire story to the woman on the phone. My only option was to lose at least another week of computer down-time by returning to the store, handing over my computer and they would ship it off to California where someone with better ears would listen, and if appropriate, replace the fans.
I decided to take matters into my own hands. I purchased a fan housing directly from the manufacturer and got out my tiny screwdriver set and tore my laptop apart. What I thought would be a simple matter of taking a cover off the back of the machine turned into a complete removal of the mother board just to get at the final screws holding the large fan assembly. Turns out that the fan assembly basically holds the entire computer together.
I got it all put back together and I only have two extra screws. Not bad. The fan is quiet. The laptop is working just fine. I’ve got a grand sense of accomplishment, even with 2 loose screws.
I’ve gotta get a bit more mileage out of this machine before I buy another. The next will probably be a Mac. I won’t buy another computer from Best Buy. Too much hassle when you live a long distance from the store.