Attempting to Repair My Cooler Master Notepal U2 Notebook Cooler with Two Fans (R9-NBC-8PBK-GP)

So I bought a Cooler Master Notepal U2 Notebook Cooler on Amazon.com ($20.99 with prime shipping) with two fans in the first week of January 2011. I ran really well almost constantly for about a year. In the last few months it has been making clanking/bumping noises and the fans clearly needed either greasing or replacing. It appears that replacement fans cost almost as much as the whole unit itself so I figured I’d give it a go myself before I went and bought an entirely new laptop cooler.

So I watched this video on Youtube about greasing ball bearing fans. As I was taking apart my fans I noticed that it was lacking a hole for inserting grease easily as found in ball bearing fans. So I read about ball bearing vs. sleeve fans here. Realizing that my fans were sleeve fans, I figured that I could pry the fan off of the underlying gears/electronics and hopefully grease up the cylindrical column that was underlubricated (and therefore causing the grinding and noise problem). In the process I also discovered that a few of my longer hairs were stuck in the assembly, probably not helping the fans sub-par performance. This process is detailed below:

Tl;dr: I fixed one and it worked very well, and then broke the other one.

Here are the two fans as removed from the metal cooling stand:

So first, I took off the protective metal cover of the fan:

Then I removed the fan from the casing that allows it to snap into the metal stand:

This was the tricky part; I had to remove the plastic fan blade cover from the whole fan apparatus. This worked the first time, and didn’t the second time. The successful attempt is seen here:

Here is the inside of the fan, after I added a few drops of WD-40 (since I was lacking other mechanical lubricant at the time):

And here is the plastic fan cover with blades. You can see it looks pretty dry and then there were also stray threads of some kind of fabric. I made sure it wasn’t a strand of copper wire:

After greasing it up and reassembling the one fan, I tested it out. The one that I had re-greased worked really well and, of course, the fan I had yet to fix made the same noises and was in general pretty useless. The problem arose when I tried to pry off the second fan cover. The first one was pretty tricky but I managed to wiggle it off in the end. The second one snapped under pressure, unfortunately:

I guess the take home message is to be as careful as possible when taking off the plastic fan blades from the fan. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find a laptop cooler with ball bearing fans but if I do, I’ll post here as an update. For reference, the part # for the fan was: a8010-20ra-2jn-f1. Good luck if you have the same problem!

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About faerielfire

Hello Everybody! I'm faerielfire and I live in Chicago, Illinois, USA. I'm a PhD student of bioengineering love to cook, craft, learn, create and adventure! Exploring other cultures through language, culture, craft and travel is one of my hobbies- making kanzashi and doing henna is my way to share something of my experiences and creativity!
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10 Responses to Attempting to Repair My Cooler Master Notepal U2 Notebook Cooler with Two Fans (R9-NBC-8PBK-GP)

  1. anon y mouse says:

    Hi my notebook is overheating and I searched and came across your website. It’s useful to know the fan construction, and how the fans are not built to be re-oiled easily. I also think many people say to NOT use WD-40 as that is not a lubricant; it actually dissolves stuff and will damage the fan eventually. Many of the same people recommend silicone grease if it’s pure and thus plastic/rubber-safe, or a cheaper alternative is sewing machine oil. (Example link: http://www.dansdata.com/fanmaint.htm and there are many others). I am trying desperately to find a non-Antec ball-bearing notebook cooler after hearing too many problems with sleeve bearing fans.

    • faerielfire says:

      I’ve heard this too; however, since I didn’t really have high hopes for this fan I went ahead and used WD-40 because I was more curious as to whether or not I could actually take it apart successfully. I’ve heard that a lubricant of either machine oil or a graphite combination lubricant is better.

  2. espresso says:

    Hello.
    I had the same problem with mine and I regreased it succefully. You should have approached the fan from the opposite side. After removing the Cooler Master sticker you should see a sealed plug. The tricky part is to remove this seal as it is hard plastic. I did it with a scalpel. It took some time and effort but eventually….
    After that I removed the white washer displayed on your picture and finally pulled out the blades. Since there was some manufacturer’s grease left on the bushing and the shaft I used a degreaser spray to remove it. Mixing different kinds of grease can make things even worse.
    And the final step was applying CRC High Temperature Grease as a new lubricant.

    I am glad you actually posted these images and gone through the effort.

    • faerielfire says:

      Yep, I kind of figured it might not work so I was glad to just get as far as I did honestly. Did the seal come off without you cutting through it? And thanks, I’m glad the pics were useful =)

  3. espresso says:

    Unfortunately I had to dig with a scalpel. The seal seems to be tougher than the fan body itself :)

  4. Gibbs Hu says:

    Actually, you can get a fan package which is exactly the same with the original one in the Cooler Master Notepal U2 Notebook Cooler. Its name is Notepal U series Fan accessory and charges only 189 NTD equal to about 6.5 dollars. Comparing to the price 30.6 dollars of U2 cooler, I think it’s worthy.

  5. Kyrillos13 says:

    Excellent article :) Well done! Very informative!!

  6. Dr. Tom Blinn says:

    Just FYI, the twin fan replacement from the Cooler Master USA web site is $7.99 with free shipping, at least as of July 4 2013. I will probably try repairing my noisy fans once I have the replacement I ordered in hand.

    http://www.cmstore-usa.com/notepal-u2-notebook-cooler-fans-oem-package/

  7. Chris says:

    Mine made this ticking noise (seems unbalanced) I just lifted the crevice between the fan and the whole package with a screwdriver a tiny bit and sprayed some silicon lubricant in between. Works silent now but I’ll probably have to replace it soon, perhaps a papst fan might fit.

  8. petebacher says:

    Thanks for writing this up – I just finished oiling mine after reading your post and taking a close look at your photos. One of mine came apart cleanly, and the other broke just like yours. After oiling, I used hot glue to carefully re-fasten the circuit board on the back of the motor to the remaining plastic, and reinforced it with a THIN layer of hot glue on the other side as well. Both are now working great!

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