Resolving “FAN ERROR” on IBM ThinkPad T61

A funny thing happened during work. About 3 hours before leaving for home, my IBM ThinkPad T61 failed to start up from Hibernate mode. The screen was black with a message, FAN ERROR. Oh My God, WHAT THE F###????????.
What a nightmare? someone wake me up…. OK so I quickly made a plan, get some help from Google… Still no good answer, So I thought to myself why would the BIOS give me such a message… I guess the Fan was having a problem, Most probably it didn't get to enough RPM rates to be OK for the BIOS to go ahead and boot.
So I had to take apart my laptop and get to know my laptop even better.
1. Hardware Maintenance Manual - ThinkPad R61, R61i and T61 14.1inch widescreen – CLICK HERE – 6.24MB pdf.
2. Patience – like a very gifted few you should try to get good quality to have, besides without that you might end up through the laptop from the roof of your building.
3. Just check out page 41, Error Messages, Item 7 says FAN ERROR, notice that that there are 3 possible causes, Fan, Thermal Grease and System Board.
4. I am thinking the problem is related to the fan since it is a mechanical part. There are several reason for it to malfunction or fail, most common is due to dust inside of the work area of the fan. Best thing to do is try to take the fan and copper heat sink out and clean it with WD40 – very good contact clean plus its non-conductive so its electrical safe.
5. Just follow the steps on page 84, 1140 Fan Assembly, the page should also point out to several other pages to remove certain parts before getting to the fan assembly.
6. Spray WD40 on and make sure that every craves is soaked in it. Especially the motor area of the fan where you get the actuator (Motor).
7. Then use an industrial blower to blow the fan. Make sure it is moving freely. If the fan tends to slow down instantly then there maybe some dust still in the actuator. Then repeat step 6 and tried again with the blower.
8. After it starts moving freely. Attach the Fan Assembly and reattach the rest of the assembly without fixing any screw.
9. Plug the power cable and turn on the laptop and see if it gives the same error again. If it don't then all is well. You can put everything else in place and fix it together.
In case the error does show up then re-try step 8 . If after this the error keeps coming, it means that the Fan is failing, then your should try to get a replacement.
Here are some places you can try. You should remember its FRU No. 42W2821 - CLICK HERE.
Its usually costs from $ 40 to about $ 95 depending on delivery charges and warranty.
Well for me it worked, i didn't have to buy any new parts, i just need WD40 and some patience to get the job.
Leave a comment if you need any further help. Hope this helps you.
Just recently the very same laptop that I resolved for the "FAN ERROR" had to have the fan replaced anyway. The above method resolved the problem temporarily. So if u get this problem please get the FAN replaced ASAP.

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