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Solutions: Buy a computer part for less online

I have a 3-year-old Dell hard drive, and my fan motor is on its way out. It's rumbling and grinding. I need to find a reasonably priced resolution to the fan motor problem without sacrificing the integrity of the system. I've contacted Dell and the price for the fan alone is $100. My nontechie idea is to find a used fan from the same Dell model and have a professional install it. However, I don't know where to buy a used fan. Do you? I want to do the right thing for the long run to repair the fan economically, but I don't know what my options are in terms of after-market fans, etc. Please offer advice regarding this issue, even if it's: "Just do it and buy the new Dell fan."

I'm assuming that you're speaking about a fan that is attached to the hard drive (which some have), as opposed to the entire power supply unit that the fan is a part of. The fan part itself should cost nowhere near $100 — you could buy a new hard drive for less. Since you plan on paying to have it installed, I would stick with new parts that will last.

As long as you know your exact part number, you should have no problem finding one online. The ones I've browsed were in the $40 range. Check out www.discountelectronics.com.

Somehow, a document became my global template: Each time I open Microsoft Word, the same document is present. I have two knowledgeable neighbors who have tried to assist me with no success. We have tried Tools>Templates, etc., to no avail. Any help would be appreciated.

First, make sure you're not pointing to that file as your default. From within Word, click Tools, Templates and Add-ins. On the Templates tab, make sure that the Document template is not the file that keeps opening upon starting Word. If it is, change it to "Normal" (without the quotes). If it is already set to Normal, you need to find the Normal.dot file and delete it. It is a hidden file and you'll need to enable the "View hidden files" option under the Tools, Folder Options, View tab in File Explorer. Find and delete any Normal.dot files you find. The next time you start Word, a new Normal.dot file will be generated.

Send questions to personaltech@sptimes.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Buy a computer part for less online 12/26/08 [Last modified: Friday, December 26, 2008 9:43pm]
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