DIY Laptop Repair: Do It Yourself and Save

DIY Laptop Repair- Do It Yourself!

Laptop computers are great- they are easy to move and store and they contain all of the required components in one unit. Laptops have the keyboard, trackpad, screen, and computer all in one item. However, this means that there are more pieces that can break and need repair. The portability of a laptop also exposes it to more opportunities to get dropped or damaged.

When a laptop stops working, you need to consider how much money it is worth spending to repair it. Sometimes the best option is to do an inexpensive repair yourself. Over the years,, I have made many repairs and adjustments to keep old laptops running.

This article will describe some cheap laptop repairs and work-arounds so you can keep using your laptop and avoid buying a new one. Learn cheap ways to handle:

Bad laptop hard drive Broken laptop display or laptop screen Broken laptop keyboard Broken laptop trackpad Bad laptop power supply Bad laptop battery Bad Laptop Hard Drive Disaster struck last week. My son called me at work to describe a problem he was having with his laptop computer. He dropped it, and now it was not finding a boot disk. When he turned on the laptop, all he got was a black screen indicating that there was no boot disk. Not good.

When I got home, I checked it out. I tried removing the hard drive and plugging it back in. My hope was that the hard drive connector simply came loose. No such luck.

I tried running some bootable disk repair tools, but none of the tools could even find the hard drive. You can find bootable disk repair tools for free and make your own bootable disks by burning CD's. You'll need to go into the BIOS settings on the computer that you are repairing and set it to boot from CD by changing the boot options. You can move the CD drive to the top of the boot order in the BIOS menu. Most computers allow you to reach the BIOS menu by pressing F12 during bootup.

The fact the bootable disk tools could not even find the hard drive was bad news- the hard drive was toast. I looked around on eBay and amazon and found a used 500GB 2.5 inch SATA hard drive for $40. I decided that it was worth spending $40 to get a 3 year old laptop going again.

The good news is that I had backed up the laptop using Windows Backup, so I had an image to load onto the blank replacement hard drive. If you don't have a backup, you'll need to find the Windows installation disks. If you didn't get Windows installation disks, you can contact your computer manufacturer to request them- you may need to pay shipping and handling to get them.

When the new hard drive came in the mail yesterday, I used a small phillips screwdriver to remove the broken hard drive. The original hard drive had a metal carrier to hold it in place in the laptop. I unscrewed this from the original hard drive and attached it to the replacement hard drive. Since it was a 2.5 inch SATA drive, it fit right into the space and the connector worked fine. I put the screws in place and now had a blank hard drive ready to format and load with Windows 7 and my son's files from Windows Recovery.

I went into the BIOS menu by holding down F12 during boot-up. I set the computer to boot from CD and used a Windows 7 Recovery boot disk. I plugged my external back-up hard drive into the USB port. Using the Windows recovery tools, I found the recovery files for my son's laptop and selected these files to be installed on the blank hard drive. The Windows Recovery Tool formatted the drive in NTFS format and installed Windows 7 and all of the archived files. This process took a couple hours.

I was relived to see the computer boot up again in Windows 7! This was well worth $40!

Broken Laptop Trackpad or Trackpad Buttons Laptops typically have a built-in trackpad that serves as a mouse to position the cursor on the screen. The trackpad and its buttons get a lot of use and a lot of wear and tear. I had a laptop that I let my kids use for playing games. They actually wore out the left button- it broke off!

There are three ways to repair a broken trackpad:

1. Replace it. You can order a replacement part and replace it, or have a computer repair shop replace it. This would cost $50 or more at a repair shop. You could do it yourself if you are willing to order the part and disassemble your computer. I decided not to go this route.

2. Work around it. This is the option I selected. I used a pair of pliers and wiggled the left button back into place. I then used the Windows control panel to switch the mouse buttons to a "left handed" configuration which uses the left button much less. I was lucky that the left button still works. I was able to work around the issue for free.

3. Plug in a mouse or trackpad. You can get a computer mouse or trackpad for about $10 or $15 and plug it into the USB port of your laptop. There are wireless options and products that have a cord. This is not as convenient as using a built-in trackpad, but it is easy to do and doesn't cost much. This can be a good way to keep your laptop going without spending a lot of money to repair the trackpad.

Broken Laptop Keyboard The thing about a keyboard is that you really need all of the keys to work to be able to type effectively. I suppose there are some rarely-used keys you can do without, but unfortunately it seems that the commonly-used keys are the ones that break. The space bar gets a lot of use and can wear out. With age, the plastic that laptop keys are made of can get brittle. I once had a space bar crack.

Some keyboard issues can be addressed by gluing broken pieces back together, or by snapping pieces that came off back in place.

The other class of keyboard issue is if the keyboard is really no longer effective. For example, if you spill something on your keyboard, it can make the keyboard sticky and less responsive. You may want to replace the keyboard in your laptop. Keyboards are usually pretty easy to replace- you can do it yourself for around $50, or have it done for about $100 at a repair shop.

As with trackpads, you can also work around a bad laptop keyboard by simply plugging in a USB computer keyboard. You can buy a keyboard for about $15. It is not as convenient as using the built-in laptop keyboard, but if you can work around it easily without spending much money, it may be worth the hassle.

Bad Laptop Power Supply There are a couple things that can go wrong with a laptop power supply. One is that the power supply itself can go bad. It no longer produces power and must be replaced. If your battery no longer charges when your laptop is plugged in, first verify that the outlet is working. Plug a light into the same outlet and make sure it turns on. Next, plug the power supply back in and make sure the plug is firmly plugged into your computer. Check that the A/C cord is firmly plugged into the power adapter. If your laptop battery is still not charging, it is probably time for a new laptop power supply.

Fortunately laptop power supplies are not very expensive and can be easily replaced. You can get a replacement power supply for about $20.

When ordering a replacement laptop power supply, make sure to get adequate power capacity and make sure the plug matches what is used on your laptop. You can look at the label on your power supply to find this information. For example, my Toshiba Satellite takes a 19V supply at 3.95A. The diagram shows that the center pin is positive and outer connector is negative.

If you get a replacement power supply that does not have enough capacity or has the wrong pin configuration, it can damage your laptop.

Another issue I have encountered with power supplies is that the power connector in the laptop can break off. This can happen due to stress and strain from stretching the power cord while it is plugged into the laptop. One repair shop wanted to replace the motherboard to get a new power connector- very expensive! I ended up taking the laptop to a different repair shop and having them glue the broken piece together. It has held together for 5 years now with no problems.

Bad Laptop Battery After a few thousand charge and discharge cycles, a laptop battery will lose most of its capacity. If your laptop can only run for 10 minutes of so without being plugged in, then your battery is nearing the end of its life.

I had a battery like this, but decided to keep my laptop plugged in all the time so I wouldn't have to replace the battery. Eventually the laptop would not turn on at all. I was able to order a replacement laptop battery for about $40. Laptop batteries are easy to replace.

Broken Laptop Screen Broken laptop screens are bad news. Laptop screens usually cost a couple hundred dollars to repair. If you have an older laptop with a broken screen, it may not be worth replacing.

You can work around a broken laptop screen by using an external monitor if you have one available. This can be handy for saving your files from a laptop with a broken screen to a memory stick. You can also use a laptop with an external monitor. This can be a workable situation if you use your laptop at home, however you probably would not want to haul an external monitor with you to a coffee shop...

Should I Repair My Laptop or Replace It?

It is always worth considering the value you get from spending money to repair an older computer. Looking at laptops for sale on eBay, I would estimate that my son's laptop is worth about $200 when it is in good working order. Buying a new laptop would cost about $350 to $600, depending on the kind of laptop. When I found a hard drive for $40 that would get the old laptop going again, I decided that spending $40 would be a good move. Eventually, something else will go wrong with the laptop, but it may last a long time without spending more money.

However, if the repair would have been more expensive, such as replacing the screen for $200, I would have used that money toward a new laptop instead of an expensive repair. It would not make much sense to spend $200 to repair a laptop that would be worth $200 after the repair. Computers depreciate rapidly, and after a few years, the new laptop models begin to look more and more attractive due to their increased speed, processing power, storage capacity, and new features.

DIY Laptop Repair: Do It Yourself and Save 1

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Optimal Laptop Lcd Screen Size
Optimal Laptop Lcd Screen Size
It is easy to take the quality of laptop for granted. But when you consider that you probably spend more time using your laptop than any other device or tool, you realize that the screen you stare at every day is a vital part of your computer system.The laptop screen size is one of the first things that is worth to choose before considering other laptop parameters. As a matter of fact, screen size is a key factor in the laptop's overall performance, size, and weight. The laptop screen size also is one of the most important factors when it comes to how long your battery is going to last. The most popular laptop screen diagonal sizes range from 12 to 17 inches. The most popular screen resolutions are 1024 x 768, 1280 x 800, 1280 x 1024, 1680 x 1050, and 1440 x 900.Some people would never consider any laptop below a 14.1-inch screen. The laptops with 17-inch screen or even bigger are not so convenient for traveling. However, they combine the power of a desktop and the benefits of a laptop (that is why some people call them as desktop replacements). The battery life is short for such big laptops. Another disadvantage is that these laptops may be too heavy and too big.What screen resolution is optimal? A higher screen resolution reduces the size of items on your screen and increases the relative space on your desktop. But on the other hand, you may feel uncomfortable if fonts are too small to read a text. Another parameter is aspect ratio (the relative numbers of horizontal and vertical pixels). Traditional screens built with 4:3 aspect ratio. For example, a native resolution of 1280x1024 indicates an aspect ratio of 5:4, which is the most used format on 17" and 19" LCD monitors in the recent years. New wide-screen monitors may use almost 2:1 ratio. Wide-screen monitors use a special aspect ratio control to resolve the problem of "unnatural" displaying video with different formats. Normally, a native resolution should allow displaying without any distortion. The best way to find the perfect resolution that is optimal for you and your screen is to try different settings.Most people like the laptops with 14-inch or larger LCD screens with preferred Windows resolution of 1,024x768. These laptops are not too heavy. They are prone to have a long battery life and charge-cycle capability (run time more than several hours). Also 14-15-inch laptops are the most reasonably priced. The experienced computer users also consider this choice as the best compromise between viewable area and overall portability.If you prefer to have the laptop screen with size less than 15-inch, it could be reasonable to use an internal display only when you are on the road. When you at your desk, your laptop can be connected to an external monitor (for example, with a spacious 19-21-inch screen) for better view and more professional works. At desk also it could be good to use an external ergonomic keyboard and mouse (that are connected to laptop).
How to Replace Your Dell Laptop Screen
How to Replace Your Dell Laptop Screen
Dell laptop parts are long lasting only to a certain extent. Same is the case with Dell Laptop Screen, if your laptop falls down or you press its display screen too hard, then for sure the screen will break. Improper cleaning may also spoil the screen of your Dell Laptop, which commonly results in dark spots and black spots. It's like a blessing that just because of damage in laptop screen; you don't need to replace the whole laptop. What you have to do is get a Philips screwdriver and a new Laptop Screen, which you can easily buy from a nearby store or through an online store. Read on, as here is an easy to understand guide, which may assist you in the task of replacing your laptop screen:1. Unplug the Laptop AdapterFirst of all, turn off your laptop, unplug the adapter, if plugged in a socket and disconnect all other cables, if connected to your laptop. 2. Remove the Laptop BatteryNow turn your laptop, so that you are able to remove the battery. All you have to do simply slide the latch, the battery will be released and can be removed by lifting it upwards. 3. Remove Plastic Parts and Seals Now turn your laptop and stretch open the laptop screen as much as possible. Around the frame of the Dell Laptop Screen, you will find screw seals made of plastic as well as rubber. Remove the seals by using a sharp object and then, with the help of Philips screwdriver, take out the screws covered under them. Some of the Dell laptops have screw covers even on the outer edges of the laptop lid. 4. Remove Display CoverNow, gently start from one side to detach the frame from the display cover. Remember, when separating, do one side at a time. Like, first from the top and then from the bottom or vice versa and now remove the screen bezel now.5. Remove Laptop LCD ScreenYou will find that the LCD screen of your laptop is held with the help of screws, to the metal brackets on the left and right side. Remove all those screws from both sides. now detach your Dell Laptop Screen from the display cover. On the palm rest of your laptop, place the laptop screen in upside down position. You can now see a green ribbon cable, which is basically the video cable having two connectors. One connector is joined with the LCD screen and another connector to the inverter board. On both sides of LCD connector, you will see two latches, simply push them and release the cable to disconnect it from the laptop screen. Now pull the second connector up and separate it from the inverter board.You are now able to remove the laptop screen along with the inverter board. Inverter board is usually attached with the screen, at the bottom. You can replace it separately. 6. Replace the Laptop ScreenYou are now ready to replace your damaged Dell Laptop Screen with the new one. Just follow the steps from bottom to top in reverse order, fixing everything in the same manner as it was before and you are done!
Laptop Hardware Breakdowns & Maintenance Tips
Laptop Hardware Breakdowns & Maintenance Tips
Manufactures build laptops for company sales and profits; they adjust not build laptops for longevity. Manufactures market/advertise these laptops as what consumers are looking for, which is style, lightweight further the convenience of mobility. What I'm onerous to estimate here is,, laptops or subdivision computer should not impersonate mobile, for they bequeath not run on very crave. But that's ok, since the manufactures also understands once you clench a laptop you'll change into "hooked on" the convenience of, the "need" of, and the mobility laptops. They further charge the hardware components much higher on laptops, since they introduce more money when you comply a new laptop. For that is there sales, further company fair over I see it.95%of the computer repairs that come to Take-1 are laptop repairs:*Cracked, damaged, broken laptop LCD screens: Just guidance persists in 3 months; approx 40 laptops came to Take-1 for nurture estimates from customers within a 20 mile radius of Augusta GA. I run a Google Adwords campaign, within the same radius of my area show a high cipher 200 per month on average for the successive search queries: "laptop screen", "laptop screen repair", laptop lcd replacement", "and cracked laptop screen"Reasons: Manufacture defect in LCD lid design (slim & lightweight), accidental damage, laptop mobility. Some of these laptops lcd lids are so lightweight, they flex, twist, torque the screen a bit when closing the go underground lid by the corner only, resulting in a deranged theme, the name, or the "bells & whistles" that draw you to the laptop fool you!* If the laptops are on display, and turned on, lift the laptop up; again put your hand on the bottom of the laptop. Does sincere ambience delicate just sitting there on their unrelated at idle speed on the underside, with nothingness biting running? Life span you are underneath there, check the cooling vents on the bottom, are they large enough to properly cold shoulder homeless that laptop? Run your hand over the keyboard from secluded to right, do you feel heat thru the keyboard area.............. if you sign interest on, you are not prejudiced weight that laptop.*Grab the LCD lid, is it so thin does existing flexes the lie low? Slowly close it by one of the corners, does the lid flex or mindset a scene? If embodied does, move on, you're not really into agency that laptop either. Last Christmas I was in Wal-Mart here in town, they had 8 laptops turned on, and on display, they were also clot lock to the counter for security. 5 of the 8 laptops they had on the shine counter, turned on had whacko screens,,, I don't understand they fell off the counter, I think they cracked from customers moving or closing the lid.* besides if you get the right laptop, and they present an extended warranty, find out what stable covers, and take it being the extreme length.In general, to quota it up here, laptops are VERY superb machines that are not designed very well to all last. IF you take very good care of it, follow regular maintenance, follow user maintenance practices (keeping it cool), again sustenance your fingers crossed, it might well-suited rest you ok.
The Benefits of Mini Keyboards
The Benefits of Mini Keyboards
In today's computer intense work environment, workers need all the help they can to maximize productivity. Much of the computer work requires heavy typing or repetitive motions that can cause strain on the human body. The new mini keyboards, ergonomically designed to comfort, can minimize pressure and muscle strain, allowing a worker to perform a job without pain and injury.Mini keyboards are more compact than a regular keyboard. This reduces the amount of muscle movement required for each key stroke. Because the keys themselves are more compact, there is also less straining to press the higher keys. The mini keyboard's ergonomic design allows the wrist and the hand to rest on the same surface, minimizing pressure to the wrist.For those who use their mouse frequently, mini keyboards can include a built-in touchpad instead of using an external mouse. This eliminates the movement from the keyboard to the mouse and back, which can cause stress on the shoulder and arm. It also lowers the muscle strain on the hand that results from using a standard mouse.Natural body posture is the most effective way to combat the pressure on a human body caused by extended time at a keyboard. The mini keyboard can significantly improve posture due to its compact and portable design. With the flexibility of the small and wireless structure, a user can easily place the keyboard at any angle that provides for the most neutral hand and arm positioning.The flexibility of placement for the mini keyboard makes it ideal for laptop users as well. This small keyboard remains as easily portable as a laptop, but creates a more ergonomic typing position by disconnecting the screen from the keyboard. With this separate keyboard, a laptop user can maintain a neutral hand position and eliminate the muscle strain on the neck caused by looking down at the laptop screen.
HP Pavilion Dv7 Laptop Screen Replacement Diagram
HP Pavilion Dv7 Laptop Screen Replacement Diagram
Step 1:What do you needSmall cross screwdriverRemove the rubber feet on the laptop with a small pointed object or x-ato knifeA soft towel cloth is placed on the keyboard of the laptop to fix the screenA plastic card (I used an expired credit card) or a thin flexible object inserted between the screen and the laptop frame. For the new laptop screen, the price I get here is about $78 (they now have the function to enter the model in it). Your laptop screen matches exactly. I suggest you do this before you order a replacement screen.The first thing to do is to flip the laptop back and pull the locking tab to release the laptop battery.Step 2:Next, you will use an X-knife or a small pointed object (I just used a very small flat screwdriver) to pry the rubber feet on both sides of the bottom (or even the top) of the laptop screen. inspectStep 3:The rubber foot hides the two screws you need. Remove the front panel of the screen housing before removing it.Use a small Phillips screwdriver.Step 4:Next, use plastic or a thin flexible object to stick between the panels and move along the bottom of the laptop. You should hear a lot of clips get stuck and walk around the panel. There is some adhesive on the top, so it should be soft but firm. The only way to fix the front panel is these clips.Now remove the front panel from the panel. On the screenStep 5:It should be like this. The next step is to unplug the small power cord at the bottom of the screen. It will be on the left. Gently pull out this difficult thing, so I used a small pointed nose pliers and a small flat head screwdriver because my fingers were too big.Step 6:Next, you will loosen the screws on both sides of the bracket. In this way, you can use the mounting bracket without completely falling off, which makes the rear of the installation painful. I gave me three small turns on each screwStep 7:Now turn to the top of the bracket and remove the two screws on both sidesStep 8:Now that you have unscrewed the top and the bottom to loosen some of the game space, gently push the rear of the frame away from the bracket so that you can unscrew the bottom screw on the bracket that holds the monitor in place and operate from side to sideStep 9:Next, unscrew all three top screws on the bracket, and now you should hold the screen with your other hand.Step 10:Now remove the bottom two screws from both sides of the bracket/ p》Step 11:Put a soft towel on the keyboard (if not). Now, leave the screen free, and then gently place the screen on the towel at the top of the keyboardStep 12:You will see the laser ribbon connected to your screen on the right side of the display. You must disconnect this connection. However, before performing this operation, there is a transparent tape on the top of the connected ribbon, which is partially stripped and used to disconnect the ribbon. These are very fragile. If you pull it, it will break. They work too hard. Moreover, if you press hard when reconnecting, the micro pin in the connector will be bent / broken.Step 13:Now, carefully remove the new screen and place it where the old screen is (on the keyboard with a towel on it), and then reconnect the laser ribbon cable to the screen.When I tell you to use the new features of the website to find the screen, remember? That's why I found that when I opened the screen for comparison, they were exactly the same, except for the laser band connector on the side of opisite!!! The small power cord I disconnected is no longer connected to the opposite connector.If this is the problem, no, if I want to disconnect the wire cutters, wire strippers, speaker wires and heat shrinkable tubes, and then fix them, the problem is that it only supplies power to the small HP logo on the back of the laptop screen. I don't care if it works, so I keep it as it is.This may be because the screen is an aftermarket unit, or I didn't order the exact screen. Don't worry.Reinsert the screen into the bracket and replace all screws in reverse order.After tightening the two screws loosened during tightening, push the rear panel into the bracket while doing thisStep 14:Now that all the screws are back in place and the screen is fixed to the bracket, it's time to put the front panel back in place and continue.Just move along the frame until you no longer hear a click.Now it's time to put back the two screws at the bottom and put on the sticky rubber foot pad.Now, still unplug the battery, grab the wall charger, plug it into the wall and laptop, and then press the power button.Once you see the startup screen, you know that you have installed it correctly and that it is the right screen of your laptop.Unplug the charger and put the battery back into the battery.Shoot yourself back and turn on the cold crack battery!Precautions for first startup.My screen seems a little dark or not as bright as the original device. It will disappear permanently after the screen is turned on for 10 minutes, so it is recommended that you turn on the screen for at least half an hour.
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