Sunday, January 08, 2012

Saving Karo: making a 6 years old laptop alive again...

Karo is the second laptop I got, I bought in my second year of Uni, in 2005. Karo, diamond in Turkish, is an HP Compaq nx6110 business Laptop. I have used it through my Bachelor and my Master studies. During these 5 years, I upgraded its memory from 512MB to 2GB, and replaced the Harddrive a few times from 40GB to 80GB and then to 120GB and finally to 160GB.
On the last year of its business warranty the laptop had problems with the CD-ROM and one of the USB ports died as a result of bad wiring. So, HP took the laptop and installed a whole new motherboard on their expense.
About a year later, when I was between my Master and Bachelor, I was on a very shaky bus ride and Karo fell off the luggage compartment 2m down. Although it was in a special case, the screen splintered and was not readable anymore.
Just going out of school, I was not able to replace the laptop  so quickly, so for about 130 Euro, I bought a compatible LCD screen and replaced it myself. To my surprise it worked very nicely. HP have a very nice service manual which accompanied me since then.
So now Karo, had many new parts, and it was not worth buying a new laptop. I started studying a Master, and karo served me well. Until 4 months before I graduated, while I was writing my thesis, karo became extremely noisy.
It's fan was working non stop, and it was never able to cool itself down once it went over 65C degrees. I didn't feel like experimenting so much, and the only thing that bother me about Karo besides the noise was it's damn heavy weight. So I bought yenikaro, a new light weight 14" laptop which was nice and quiet with a weigh of 1.4 Kg.
Karo, moved away from the table, and was seldom turned on. However,  this weekend, I decided to revive karo, and see if I can fix the noise problem. I followed HP excellent guide on how to access the fan. Once I open the laptop, lo and behold, karo had between it's fan and the vent I found a huge bulk of fibers and dust, it was so big, I just had to take a photo of it:

I removed the fan, and than carefully cleaned all the insides of the laptop from dust and fibers and other fine particles. Then, I closed it, and rebooted into my Debian again. Karo, is silent again. Now it just needs a new Harddrive replacement for the 3 years old hard drive and it can be used again ...

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