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Yes, you can fix your laptop!

Fixing a laptop isn't nearly as scary as you might think.

Summary

Most traditional "clamshell" laptops are relatively straightforward to disassemble and repair. Although they don't contain as many standard parts as a desktop computer, most parts can be replaced and some can be upgraded.

If you decide a laptop is beyond repair there may still be the possibility of reusing a few of the components.

Unfortunately, newer ultra-thin laptops offer less scope, and a few are virtually unrepairable.

Safety

Warning03.png
Backup important data before you start. Things don't often go badly wrong, but why take the risk?
Before starting work, disconnect the power and remove a user-replaceable battery if there is one.
Consider whether you need to take antistatic precautions. Brushes and vacuum cleaners can create static.

Before you start

For any but the most basic tasks, the first thing to do is to search for an online repair or disassemble guide or video. One of the best places to look is iFixit.com but a search engine will give others. Many laptops come in several variants so if you can't find your precise model then take a look at a the guides for the closest match and it should give you a very good idea how to proceed.

The only tools you will normally need are a set of small screwdrivers and a prying tool - a thin-bladed tool for prying open the clips which very often hold the case together. The iFixit Jimmy is ideal. A knife, preferably with a round end and not too sharp will do if you have nothing else.

For the intermediate level tasks you will also need a means of organising the screws. Pill boxes are an excellent choice but egg boxes will do. Be sure to make a note of which compartment contains the screws from which disassembly step. Another good solution is to stick the screws to a sheet of paper with Blu-tac, and to write against each blob of Blu-tac where those screws came from. So long as you only use half the sheet you can fold it over in order to keep the screws reasonably safe if you need to come back later to complete the job.

What can you do?

The various tasks you can undertake are listed below, grouped roughly according to difficulty for a typical laptop. However, some tasks may be harder for some laptops.

Easy

  • Battery removal or replacement.
  • RAM replacement or upgrade.
  • Replacement of a damaged or faulty keyboard.
  • Hard disk replacement or upgrade.

Just a little harder

  • Cleaning the fan.
  • Replacing the power connector.
  • Replacing the WiFi adapter

More difficult

  • Fixing a broken hinge.
  • Replacing or upgrading the processor.
  • Replacing the screen,

External links

  • External links (if any) as bullet points.
  • If non, delete this section.