smelly laptop

  mad1234 09:17 22 May 2009

hi guys
i have a laptop at work which was in a slight accident. the roof leaked during a rain storm last year & the laptop was right under it so it got a bit wet. we dried it out & it still works but when the cooling fan comes on there is this nasty smell which i can only assume is from it getting wet.
anyone got any ideas how to get rid of the smell without killing the laptop?


  Pineman100 09:26 22 May 2009

What kind of smell? Is it a "hot electrical" smell? If so, then I think I would be a bit worried about whether something is going to fail.

  Graphicool1 09:43 22 May 2009

Get a can of compressed air for computers, and blow out the Air Intake duct. Computer off, AC adapter unplugged, (Charger), and battery out!
MAKE SURE the laptop has NO electricity going to it!

Hold the laptop up on it's side, on a table. It the Air Intake duct is on the bottom, (Most of the time it is), hold the intake duct towards you. If it's on the side, (Not so much anymore. Usually older laptops. Now the Exhaust duct is usually on the side), hold the laptop so the duct is facing out towards the side.

Attach the plastic 'straw' to the can. Hold the straw about two finger digits, from the Air Intake duct grille.

USE 'SHORT' bursts of air! Press the trigger down all the way, but let go quick! Why?
Because inside the laptop is a small fan. The Air Intake duct starts out as a large opening, then usually narrows down to a Cooling Tube.
This Cooling Tube is about the diameter of your finger, but is slightly flattened.

The small fan is only designed to spin so fast. Using a long blast of air, can make it spin faster than it was designed for.
This can lead to premature failure of the fan's bearings!

  mad1234 09:50 22 May 2009

Pineman100 - no it is like a mouldy smell :(

thanks Graphicool1 i will pick some up over the weekend & give it a try

  mooly 11:28 22 May 2009

Possibly damaged components, thinking in particular of electrolytic caps that have leaked. Any liquid damage causes long term problems. The problem is any voltage causing an "electroylitic" effect when the moisture was actually present, which eats into stuff.

  keef66 11:57 22 May 2009

I'd just remove the battery and leave it running on mains power for a couple of days, that should dry it out completely and dissipate any pondlife odour. Either that or it will go POOF! and you put in an insurance claim.

  woodchip 12:47 22 May 2009

I would say its dust on Heat Exchanger that is on extract side where the hot air comes out, this will have got wet and now hence the smell. Only way is for it to be taken apart to clear the goo that's collected. or you could use one of those house smelly things near extract vent, change one smell to another

  woodchip 12:50 22 May 2009

the dust collects like lint on the Heat exchanger fins, so its like damp cloth, or old floor cloth smell

  mad1234 07:40 23 May 2009

thanks for all your advice guys
woodchip you hit the nail on the head thats exactly what it smells like.
i have never taken a laptop apart before. is it easy or do i need to watch for components which are attached to the bottom of the case?

  woodchip 12:46 23 May 2009

Use a Smelly near to Ex-Vent. you may demolish the Laptop otherwise

  robin_x 12:59 23 May 2009

Chuck it out...are you sure there is not a fish in there?

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