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I Want To Open A Laptop Case But Don't Know Where To Start!

Open a Laptop Case - after 25+ years notebooks are still a pain to get apart to do a repair...

Laptop cases unlike most Desktop cases take a lot of care and finesse to open.

Most are constructed to not break open when dropped. Some are just over engineered. Then there are a few that the actual design was thought out where almost everything is accessible by panels.

This is an excerpt from Self Computer Repair Unleashed 2nd Edition Manual for Laptop maintenance.


Most laptop cases come in two main parts, the video screen and the case proper.

The video is hinged to the case in different ways, the most popular is a hinge with a spring to hold the screen in the position you need to view the screen comfortably.

The main case has has two pieces, the upper section with the keyboard taking up most of the space and the lower half of the case that supports all the components.

Normally opening a laptop case is like cracking a walnut. If you apply to much pressure in the wrong place it will crumble, literally. But if you use some finesse the case will come apart and not be damaged.

When you open a case you have to have in mind that all the screws you take out have to go back in and in the same place as they came out of. Case screws vary in length and if you put a long screw where a short screw goes you may damage a component on the inside of the case.

The first time you take the screws out of your laptop case maybe it would be a good idea to make a map of the screws by laying a piece of paper over the case and pushing a screw driver through each hole. Then when you take the screw out of the case make a note beside the hole on the size or length of the screw. Works for me. It this seems like a lot of work then use some tape to mark the holes a long screw came out of.

Ok, you want to do something to the inside of a laptop...

The main thing about when you open a laptop case is if you can do your work by removing just the keyboard you lower the chance of damaging the case.

I upgraded my IBM T-30's processor and because it was located under the opening when the keyboard was removed I didn't have to open the case.

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I have two ASUS laptops and one ASUS Netbook. ASUS design is unique in that the lower case underside has a panel that slides off giving access to all the components inside from motherboard to memory to the power supply. The Netbook takes a little extra work because there are four little metal tabs in the bay for the battery that holds the battery bay to the underside panel.

Before starting your disassembly go to the manufactures web site and see if there is any documentation on how to open a laptop case. For my T-30 it was an experiment because it is over ten years old. For the Netbook the documentation doesn't show the four little tabs holding the battery bay to the access panel.

One of the hardest cases to open was the Toshiba Satellite, the case had locking tabs on the top portion and the bottom portion of the case, to get it open with out breaking one of the little tabs you had to press in the correct place either on the bottom of the case portion or upper then when it popped apart place something between the two parts to keep it from snapping closed again, I used plastic putty knives to keep the case open until all the locking tabs were unlocked.

This process takes some time because if you broke a tab the case would not seal properly thus making the whole job that much longer. Not to mention more expensive because the price of the case that had a broken tab had to be replaced also...

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You keyboard isn't thirsty, and it doesn't need calcium. Milk and other liquids will ruin a keyaboard!

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