Thursday, June 24, 2010

Replacing the fan and computer memory

I was up and at that fan by the stoke of 9 AM this morning, since I was afraid that they might renege on the "new fan for broken" deal.

It took me about an hour and a half to get it taken down and reassembled with all its parts.  I left the control box up on top of the box so the melted fan capacitor was in plain sight.

Once over at Lowes, I asked for Clinton like the email had said.  He came out from an office and was very courteous.  The problem that presented itself was  I had a 6 blade fan with 5 lights on the bottom, and they no longer carry that fancy of a fan.  So it became fairly evident, that I was going to have a little setback in features.

They had a white fan with 5 blades and 4 lights, so since I was getting a brand new fan, I readily agreed.  He opened it up and looked it over to see that it was all there and handed it to me.

And yes Gypsy, he kept the old fan stating that he was going to get some credit for it.  I'm not sure if he was getting credit from the supplier, or from corporate where the products are shipped to the individual stores.  Point was that he did not intend to toss it out until he got credit!

I gathered the new one and quickly left the store.  Once home, assembly began and it became obvious that I had a little problem.  The new blades were held onto the brackets by torx screws.  T20's, but that wasn't the problem.

These torx screws had a dimple in the middle that wouldn't allow my torx screw driver to go into the screw.  So it was back to the car and Lowes to find the right tools.

It turns out that there is a second kind of torx that is called a security torx, so the tool guy says.  It has the raised center dimple and is common on computer and electronics applications.  I guess that is to keep the average guy from taking it apart.  But I now own a set of security torx bits, for only $10.

I spent the early afternoon getting the fan reinstalled, and it worked right away.  And interestingly enough, the capacitor in its control box was exactly like the one I needed for the old fan.  I didn't point that out at the store though......

Much later in the afternoon, I was working on the computer and decided that the reason my Ubuntu machine was way too slow, was the newer heavier program required more ram memory.  I only had 256 meg, and the machine was caching about another 100 meg on the hard drive.

No wonder it works and works on seemingly nothing.  So a trip to our local computer store where I bought the old junker box in the first place, and for $39  I had a nice new stick of 512 meg.  I inquired if I could mix the sizes and put them both in, and was told to put the big one in first and it should work.

Well now, with 768 meg  under the hood, it perked up rather nicely.  Its still a ten year old machine but it has 160 gig HD and 768 meg of ram.  Not too shabby for an old pentium 4.

Tonight after a scooter ride at dusk, and a threatened rain storm to chase me home, it is time to call it a day.  We made 96* here in the afternoon, so the question is, will the heat ever break?

Retired Rod


  1. Whatever happened to the old standby Phillips screw or better yet that dastardly Canadian screw head the Robertson, seems like just when my screwdriver drawer is overflowing somebody decides they need a slightly different shape.

  2. Went through the same thing and I too own a set of torx and a set of Security torx, about the only thing I use the rox for anymore is changeing a headlight on the wifes car, seems like they don't use either one much anymore.But as oon as you throw them out they will be the rage again. Glad you got your fan going, heat index of 105-107 yesterday here in Dardenne Prairie MO, hope KC is cooler.Be sfae out there, Sam & Donna..

  3. It sounds like you got a lot done - the fan and the computer. If it doesn't take a phillips or a flat head, then I find someone else to do it for me.

    I added some internal memory to my desktop, but the internal workings of the computer must be so old and obsolete there really isn't much I can do for it. I do intend to reformat the hard drive and reload XP one of these days. I still don't understand what will happen when I reload XP, which won't have the 2 or 3 million security updates they have issued over the last few years.

  4. The same capacitor in the new one as in the old one? Too bad you couldn't have bought the old one back from Lowes!! So, you only had 256MB in your Ubuntu computer? No wonder it wouldn't run!! I'm surprised it even booted for you! I guess I'll have to check on the 'torx' bit thing as I don't believe I have any of them and sure as shooting I'll need one now that you've gone and mentioned it!


Anonymous comments had to be eliminated.... For the most part this has removed unwanted responses.. If you can't post your comments, please email me and we will make other arrangements...