Easy Laptop Computer Repairs

Anyone who has sent their laptop to a computer repair center to be repaired is all too familiar with just how expensive it can be. Even if you get a quote for the repair costs first, which you should, the bill can often come to more than the cost of a new computer. The problem with laptops is that the parts are far more integrated than they are in a desktop computer. A laptop motherboard, for example, is almost always designed for a specific model and designed to fit into the manufacturer’s case. Other components including the CPU and graphics card are also difficult, if not impossible to replace. Even if the damaged parts can theoretically be replaced, it is often not financially viable. Computer repair centers have to track down very specific replacement parts which can be costly and take a long time.

If you have a damaged laptop, be it from a spillage, dropping the machine, or anything else, it is still worth looking into repairing it before immediately writing it off. There may be one or more damaged components that you can replace yourself or, if you do not feel comfortable with a bit of computer DIY, send to a repair center. The following steps will provide a few worthwhile things to consider before forking out for costly laptop repairs. Before you begin, you should also find out if your computer is still under warranty and if the specific nature of the damage is covered by it. Some problems are very easy to diagnose for anyone familiar with the basics of computer hardware. Others require exhaustive testing and are rarely feasible unless you are an expert in the field.

What to Do if You Spilled Water on the Laptop

One of the more common issues is spillages. Laptops, like any electronics, are fragile things and unsurprisingly, they do not take kindly to spillages. Worse still, this kind of damage is rarely covered by the warranty. If your laptop stopped working due to a spillage, it should be turned off immediately. The battery should then be removed and the laptop should be left to dry out thoroughly for around a week. Since water is a conductor of electricity, even the smallest globule of liquid getting inside the machine can cause a short-circuit. If this has already occurred, then you will be faced with a damaged laptop which may or may not be repairable.

If the laptop still does not work after being left for at least a week to dry, it should be disassembled. First, remove the cover from the bottom of the machine. Every machine is different, but with the correct size screwdrivers, you should be able to do this yourself. Be sure to keep the screws safe.

Water damage on printed circuit boards (PCBs) is normally very obvious, especially after some weeks. If you notice any corroded sections of the motherboard or other components, they will need replacing. If this damage is confined to either the memory, processor or add-in card (such as a mini PCI network card or MXM graphics card), then the component can often be replaced with relative ease. Replacement parts can be hard to track down, but there are specialist suppliers to be found on the Internet as well as on online auction sites where people often sell components and damaged laptops for spares and repairs.

If the motherboard itself is damaged, then it will be far more complicated. With a lot of luck and a good knowledge of laptop hardware, you may be able to track down a replacement motherboard for that model. In most cases, however, you will be left with the sole choice of buying a new machine.

Check the Power Supply to the Laptop

Power issues are another common problem with many laptops. Fortunately, these are often cheap and easy to repair. The connector at the end of the power cable which plugs into the computer is often the offending part here. This is especially true of the straight connections as opposed to the L-shaped power connectors. A loose connection can occur which can cause the computer to intermittently lose power, especially when the power jack is wriggled around. If this is the case, a new power pack either from the manufacturer or a compatible one will solve your problem.

What to Do if the Case or Screen is Physically Damaged

If the case of the laptop is damaged, then it is highly unlikely that you can do anything about it. You may be able to track down a second-hand damaged laptop of the same model and, provided the case is in good condition, use that to replace the case of your damaged computer.

If the screen is damaged, you will have to do something very similar. If this is the case, it may be worth tracking down a replacement screen for your computer. Again, you may find someone selling a damaged laptop of the same model as your own which still has a perfectly good screen.

Installing a replacement screen will vary depending on your particular computer. You will need to access the cables where the screen connects to the inside of the computer. To do this, you will need to dismantle much of the laptop, removing the sections of the case that cover the hinges and top rear corner of the machine.

Dismantling a Laptop Computer

As above, many more advanced laptop repairs require dismantling the machine. The exact layout and schematics of your computer depend on the model you have. It is also highly unlikely that you will find more specific information pertaining to your particular machine. However, dismantling the computer, for the most part, requires that you remember how to put it all back together again. You will need a very small Phillips screwdriver and it is essential that you do not lose any screws or other parts. Some components may also be soldered into the motherboard. In this case, you will need a soldering iron to remove them.

What to Do if the Laptop is Beyond Repair

As previously mentioned, it is often not viable to repair a severely damaged laptop. If you cannot find the required parts, then your best bet is to strip down the computer to all of its component parts. If you are sure that certain components, such as the monitor, hard drive, optical drive or any add-in cards are undamaged, you can sell these on online auction sites as spare parts. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, then you will probably be able to sell the whole unit for spares and repairs.

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