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Don’t sweat the smoke

If you are familiar with electronics you may be familiar with the line “Don’t let the smoke out”… the idea being that electronics run on smoke and if you let electronics smoke… well you let out the working essence out and they cease to exist.

That’s all very cute, and you don’t want your kit to stop working but I wonder how much the fear of letting the smoke out keeps us from actually risking to fix our kit.

Bottom of the laptop along with replacement fan

Bottom of the laptop along with replacement fan

Case in point, the laptop I’m using now slowed way down… the issue – well it’s about four years old and the fan failed and that really kills performance.  Now it would have been easy to drop a few hundred and get a new unit.

But, if that is the alternative – giving up what you’ve got, where’s the risk in trying to fix it?  Let the smoke out and… well I’m no further back than I was if I had to get another machine.

So that”s what I did… I picked up a replacement fan off Amazon for a whole $7!  I backed up my files, removed the back of the laptop unscrewed the old fan and unplugged it.  Then I swapped in the new fan.  The job took about five minutes… and saved me somewhere around $250.

Replacement fan installed in the laptop, ready to replace the rear cover

Replacement fan installed in the laptop, ready to replace the rear cover

The computer is back to clipping along and that money is still in my pocket – actually it’s paying off my mortgage.  I’d consider that a pretty sound and low risk investment.

So the next time some of your kit starts to malfunction give some thought to repairing it rather than trashing it and buying another.

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