Anyone that has worked in the Computer Repair field will know that laptops are a very different animal than your average desktop PC. Although they share a lot of similar concepts, in terms of hardware, repairing them is a whole different art. This article includes a lot of laptop specific tips that I used including laptop repair videos.
When I started in computer repair, it was laptops that I was primarily interested in. It was more of a niche market that I thought would be good to get into. So I bought a few broken/spares/repairs laptops off ebay to practice taking them apart, and see what was inside.
You very quickly learn that although the general concept of taking them apart tends to be quite similar, each model of laptop can have it’s own problems. Tiny screws hidden under rubber bumpers, cables that have to be fed through a hole in the motherboard, the list goes on..
Here are some laptop repair tips based on my experience.
Check Out the Manufacturer Website. You might be surprised how often the manufacturer actually has a detailed disassembly guide on their website. For example, Dell are particularly good at providing these. Just go to the Support section of the website, find your laptop model, and check for any Service Manuals.
Practice on broken laptops. Like I described earlier, you can pick up broken laptops off ebay for very little money. Sometimes these might be laptops that couldn’t be repaired and are being sold for parts. But these will still be useful to you. Get used to the order you need to take the parts off. It is much better to try these things out, and make your mistakes, on cheap rubbish laptops than your customer’s laptop.
If you feel resistance, there’s a screw you haven’t removed. When you get used to taking laptops apart, you will know how much pressure you can use to pull at something before realising there’s another screw somewhere that you’ve forgotten about. Maybe it’s hidden under a sticker, or it’s on the other side of the laptop. But if you’re pulling away at something and it just won’t budge, or you can see that it’s being held tight in one location, there’s another screw…
Do your research. If you are repairing laptops, you are part of a community that likes to help each other and share information. A quick search on Google will usually answer any question you have. Or there are several websites or forums where you might find an answer. Compare that with the TV repair business, for example – those guys are good at what they do, but you will find it almost impossible to find out their secrets!
On the topic of research, here are a couple of resources that I found really useful.
Technibble – Technibble is a website that has been running for many years, setup by Australian Bryce Whitty. Bryce runs his own computer repair shop and his website concentrates on the unique area of setting up and running a computer repair business, along with writing articles on specific aspects of computer repair and useful software tools.
Podnutz – Setup by a former computer repair technician, Steve Cherubino is now a full time podcaster. Check out the massive archives of podcasts and interviews with other computer repair shop owners. They cover everything from hardware to software, Windows to Linux to Macs, virus & malware removal, hard disk problems, you name it, it’s on there.
Podnutz – Laptop Repair Videos – An offshoot from Podnutz, Steve Cherubino has put together a fantastic collection of in-depth, high definition quality laptop repair videos showing all aspects of common repairs. Taken from his website, here are a list of topics covered,
•How to replace a motherboard
•How to replace an LCD Screen
•What to do when the laptop keeps shutting down
•How to fix DC power jacks
•The crucial difference between a bad screen and a bad inverter board
•How to replace hinges
•Where I buy all my parts
•The best way to go about taking a laptop apart
•How to solder
•The art of fixing AC adapters
•How to handle a laptop that has had liquid spilled in it
•what to do when a laptop overheats
•how to replace CD/DVD drives, RAM, processors, hard Drives and wireless cards
•and much, much more
Naturally a quality resource this good costs money, but you will more than cover that outlay if you are able to put those tips in the laptop repair videos that he will show you into action and repair a customer’s laptop.
I don’t think laptop owners can repair a broken laptop themselves. Repair a laptop is not an easy job; you’ll need knowledge, experience, time and tools. Don’t just waste your time and energy trying to repair your laptop with just a little knowledge you learnt from the Internet. You can make the situation even worse.
Prevention is always better than cure. If you travel a lot, you may need a vehicle laptop desk to protect your laptop from falling into the floor and damages.