How to Clean Fans in a Dell Deminsion 5100

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    Heat-Sink Removal

    • 1). Turn your Dimension 5100 off and unplug any cords connected to the computer. Lay your computer's tower on its side and pull back on the latch found on the top panel to remove the cover.

    • 2). Unscrew both screws holding the computer's heat-sink in place. In order to access the fan, you need to remove the heat-sink.

    • 3). Pivot the heat-sink toward your computer's back end and gently lift it out of the computer before laying the heat-sink on its side. Do not set the heat-sink upright or touch the thermal interface, as that could damage the unit.

    Cleaning the Fan

    • 1). Locate and press the release tab on the fan cable's connector.

    • 2). Press down on one of the fan release tabs on one side of the fan while pulling up on the other tab located on the opposite side of the fan. Slide the fan toward the computer's back and gently pull it out.

    • 3). Use your compressed air to blow the fan free of dust. Use a dry cloth to get any excess dust you can before looking over the fan to make sure it's free of dust. You may also want to check and clean other internal PC components while you have easy access.

    Restoring the Computer

    • 1). Replace the fan by snapping it back into place the same way it came out. Reattach the fan cable connector.

    • 2). Place the heat-sink back into position and screw it back in. Again, exercise caution not to touch the thermal parts, which could damage the unit.

    • 3). Snap the computer cover back on and turn the computer tower upright. Plug in your cords to finish the process.

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