Lenovo T420s is it difficult to replace the fan ?

The current one is fairly noisy

Considering changing it, but is it very time consuming / difficult ?

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Moderate difficulty.

1. Turn the machine OFF, remove the AC Adapter.
2. Remove the battery and hard drive (if one).  No need to remove SSD (if one).
3. Remove the Keyboard (screws underneath).
4. Remove the Keyboard bezel.
5. Now you see the board.
6. There are screws holding the Fan and Heat Pipe. Remove the assembly, replace and then follow the above in reverse order.
7. Be sure to have high quality thermal compound for replacing when reinstalling the heat pipe. Clean first before reinstalling the heat pipe.

8. FOR SURE:   Get the manual (PDF file) from the Lenovo Support site for your model and serial.

I have done this, replaced wireless cards, Bluetooth daughter cards, add/replace memory.

Work carefully
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Also, you need to purchase the FAN/Heat Pipe (one assembly normally). and so you may wish to pay the modest service charge to have it replaced.  You can schedule, let them get the FAN, they will have the correct thermal paste, replacement screws if necessary and can do the job professionally. May be worth it.
David Johnson, CD, MVPRetiredCommented:
You might be interested in this user contributed tool.

It may just need a proper cleaning rather than replacement.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I looked through the article (Thanks David).  You still will need to take the computer apart to do this and may wish to replace the thermal compound while in there.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
Laptop fans tend to be fairly noisy as compared to desktop units, because they need to move quite a lot of air through very small case openings.  Even though CPUs in laptops are reduced speed/power models, laptop fans make a fair amount of noise when the CPU heats up and the fan tries to move a lot of air through areas that are really too small to move air efficiently.

So ... if the fan is noisy from the moment the power is turned on, then it's not a thermal issue and perhaps swapping out the fan will do some good.  However, if it's only noisy when the system has warmed up and the CPU is cranking a bit, then a replacement fan may not change the situation much.

Before doing anything, though, get a good bright light and look into the vent openings.  Clear any dust, lint or dirt using a dental pick.  If there's no air going through the vent openings then the fan will howl because it will run at full speed and still can't pull enough air through to bring the temperature down.  Do not use canned air!  This tends to jam lint and dirt in place and can make a bad situation worse.
it may take about 1/2 hour if you're used to such work; but count 1 hour if it s the first time
in that case, be sure to hold the screws apart, and remember the locations (take pictures)
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