What parts are in your laptop? What can you replace?
Laptops are made of just a few "parts" of which nearly all of the are rarely repaired by owners and even most repair shops. Let's get a list of the biggest parts so you can see what's inside. This is by no means the complete list but just the major items you'll change out to get a dead laptop to work again.
1. The power brick, adapter or charger as it is called by many.
- This unit is fairly easy for us to test. We use a Volt Meter and see if that output is reasonable. So far all adapters I've seen where the power LED is out have been dead.
- Try another AC cord from the wall to the brick.
- There are no user serviceable parts inside.
2. The LCD or display panel.
- That's the part you stare at.
- Very few user replaceable parts. Usually available from the laptop maker as a FRU.
- On older LCD's there is a power supply for the CCFL tubes that is sometimes "blown." Cost ranges widely but under 50 in most cases. Cheap and easy to replace but as you know, all laptop repairs at board level will be considered advanced repair skill.
3.The main board.
- Holds very few replaceable parts. If you suspect this part try a new "CMOS or BIOS Battery" first.
- Some CPUs are soldered in. A visual is needed to know as makers may drop the socket from first to some run of manufacturing.
4. Keyboard, touch pad, sticks, etc.
- These pointing devices are usually not too hard to replace.
- Prices run under 100 dollars and usually worth it since it's cheaper than a new laptop.
- TIP: Research how to operate the flat cable retainers before you dive it. The two types I encounter at a slide version and a flip up one.
- CD/DVDRW drives are going to be the hardest parts for some to replace due to how these drives fail. You will see drives that read CD/DVD fine but write on CDR media but no longer write to DVD recordable media. There are far too many failing combinations to list here but the fix remains constant. Replace the drive.
- CD/DVDRW drive failures and what to try first. Baring software issues which are not addressed here you always try the CD/DVD Lens Cleaner, unplug and plug the drive in and try name brand media.
- Drives fail and have no user serviceable parts. Be kind to the owners and help then get over that with a demo of an external drive or if they pay, swap in a new drive for a demo.
- TIP: For shop owners, never do that swap until you record serial numbers of the customer gear. You know why.
6. Cables and the other tiny bits.
- Sometimes you find a damaged cable or such bit. Difficult at times to locate so be ready to call it "totaled" if spares are not found.
7. Cards, memory, or things in sockets.
- If you find parts like RAM, Wifi cards that are in sockets then its likely you can find replacement parts.
- TIP: Don't get suckered into thinking it's a driver issue with those Wifi cards. If the owner insists, quote a hourly fee for the efforts.
- TIP 2: There are well known machines that have Wifi failures a few years out. Learn about those and present the option to remove the failed card then install a replacement PC-Card to stand in. Never warrant those machines after replacing the Wifi card as they usually fail within a few months. You could lose your business over this issue.
8. Repairing Power Jacks, and other things connecting to the motherboard.
- Yes. Do that if you have excellent staff.
- Inspect your staff's work since you will feel the consequences if they get sloppy.
---> This post may be updated as I have time to expand it.
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