My Lenovo X200 died and spent a few weeks in pieces lately. The fan gave up after 3 years, not long after the warranty expired.
I bought a replacement laptop (an X220 with 8Gb RAM) earlier than I wanted to because I couldn’t afford any downtime, then I set about trying to revive the X200. I ordered a spare fan from a UK supplier but they sent the wrong thing entirely, and it was the last they had in any case.
Next I stumbled on and tried PC Hub in Singapore.
It took a while (regular mail), but I got what I needed. My X200 is now running Ubuntu, quietly. Total cost: $33, with free shipping.
Fortunately I had some thermal paste as the fan is attached to a copper heatsink that is fitted directly over the CPU. The replacement was a recycled, not a new unit (it had some old thermal paste on it). This was not clear from PC Hub’s site.
I encountered two problems.
I had no idea at the outset how hard it would be to replace the X200′s fan — especially when I made it a bit harder by not keeping a careful record of where every screw came from! I ended up with a desk covered in bits and little piles of screws, 4 here, 2 there and so on. When the first fan turned out to be the wrong thing I had to just tidy up and hope I’d remember or figure it out later. Let’s just say I ended up with a few screws left over, somehow, later.
Annoyingly, the default with Ubuntu was for the fan to run a maximum speed, making an insufferable noise and threatening a need to repeat the fan replacement sooner rather than later. I found a solution, an application called Thinkfan, eventually, with some instructions in German here.
For a while I feared that this story would end badly but it turned out all right in the end, thanks to PC Hub.
PC Hub has an interesting back story.
The X200 has only two moving parts: the hard drive and the fan; one replaceable in seconds and the other… grrrr
It makes a bit of a mockery of this