We’ve all had that pop-up or blue screen on our computer at some point. You know, the one that tells you stop what you are doing and prepare for impending disaster. Somehow, even the most harmless notifications give off the vibe that your computer is about to go bye-bye. Luckily, just like fixing your phone problems, a little research and hands on work can keep your computer up and running and cash in your wallet.


I got this warning a couple of months ago while doing some work. As suggested, I promptly saved my work and shut down the computer to figure out what was going on. Obviously, a problem with the cooling system means trouble. If your computer overheats, the internal components can be damaged. This could lead to slow computing speeds, a shortened lifespan, or even data loss. All things you want to avoid.

The first step was to confirm what the error was telling me– a problem with the cooling system. Though this warning can be caused by a few things, it most likely means the fan is not running properly. Turning the computer back on briefly to verify, the fan was definitely not turning on. Removing, cleaning, and re-installing the fan can often solve the problem. If not, replacing with a new one will do the trick.


Taking your computer to a repair center will likely set you back $100 or more. If you are up for doing the job yourself, you should be able to replace your fan for under $20. Though simple, it’s a bit of a process to access the fan. Because of this and the fact that each computer is a little different, I’ll spare you the step-by-step. (But Laptop Inventory has a good video tutorial that I used for our Toshiba Satellite L775. You can find your model and a number of other DIY repair videos on this site as well.) I removed the fan (which wasn’t visibly dirty), cleaned it (compressed air and/or a clean paintbrush work well), and re-installed to see if that solved the error message. After getting the computer put back together and turned on, the fan was turning on and there was no more error messages.


Success! Free repairs are the best. Even if cleaning doesn’t work out, $15 to $20 for a new fan doesn’t sound so bad. Plus, Ashley and I think the motherboard is pretty sweet to see (yeah, we’re nerds). Looks like a little electronic city.

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  • Reply
    July 17, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    Alternate solution: invest in a MacBook. ; )

    • Reply
      July 17, 2014 at 11:14 PM

      Won’t argue with that, but think I’ll see how much run I can get out of this Black Friday steal before I start shopping 🙂

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