Is it okay to open up my new laptop?

by on May 23, 2009

Q: I have a brand new (maybe 6 wks old) Toshiba P305D-S8900. It is under warranty, of course. I tipped it as it was starting up to take off a dust sticker and it started to make a funny noise. I thought it was the DVD drive because it was a similar noise to when my XBOX 360 got kicked over and scratched my game inside. Checked the DVD and it was fine, but the noise started up again so I realized it was the fan.

My problem is, I’m currently deployed overseas and won’t be home for a few months and it’s so loud. Am I okay just getting a Leatherman and taking the screws out that look like it would remove that panel so I can check the fan out? I think maybe a hair might have gotten in and it wrapped around the fan or something. A lot of people over here are “computer buffs” but won’t touch someone’s personal laptop for fear of messing it up.

I have already tried blowing the canned air into it and it didn’t seem to help, it just confirmed that it was the fan (I got it spinning with the air and it still made noise). I just want to make sure I won’t do something totally stupid that will definitely ruin my computer because I take online classes. Thanks.

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3 Responses to “Is it okay to open up my new laptop?”

    A Leatherman is not a proper tool for working on laptops. I recommend that you NOT open your laptop.

    If you are currently stationed in Germany, Japan, South Korea, etc, you should be able to find a Toshiba-authorized service center for your laptop and/or quickly ship the laptop to a Toshiba location in your region. If you are stationed somewhere like Iraq or Afghanistan, shipping your laptop to a Toshiba location in Europe for repair is probably your best option.

    I recommend that you contact Toshiba; their USA phone number is 1-800-457-7777. If you are instructed to send your laptop in for repair, it can’t hurt to ask Toshiba to temporarily provide another laptop for you to use while yours is being repaired.

    Please keep me up-to-date on this issue. Thanks!


    Someone had a small set of screwdrivers, but before we did more than loosen a couple screws, we were pretty sure it would void the warranty. I don’t have the best phone out here (I use a Magic Jack and depending on our network the reception is terrible), so I’m probably going to try ordering a cooling base to use out here til I get home and can take it back to the store, so maybe the fan won’t run as much. If there are suggestions for a good cooling base, I would love it. I only found one to fit a 17″ laptop, and the price was fine but I’m not really willing to pay a fortune for something to use out here for a couple months (honestly $30 or less). Thanks for the response, Robert.

    Picked as best answer

    A cooling base will probably keep the motherboard (main circuit board) in your computer cool enough, but a malfunctioning fan could permanently damage the inside of your laptop.

    While your warranty will probably pay to repair your computer’s fan, your warranty may become void if Toshiba learns that you continued to use your laptop despite suspecting a broken fan. Regarding returning the laptop to the store where you purchased it, that’s probably not an option unless you purchased some sort of product protection plan — most electronics/computer stores have a very short return period and/or charge a restocking fee.

    If you cannot contact Toshiba or a Toshiba-authorized service center near your current deployment, I recommend that you send your laptop to your friends/family and they can work with Toshiba on your behalf to repair it. You could then share a laptop with someone in your unit until your laptop has been repaired and returned to you.