Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Mystery Of The Sealed Laptop

Today I had a brilliant idea - I'll take an old laptop that I've had
lying around for years now and throw Linux on it.

Step 1: find laptop. Check.

Step 2: open it up, give it a good cleaning, and assess the situation.
Uhh...not Check?

I've now taken out every screw, peeled back every sticked and generally
attempted to pry the laptop apart, but alas, no luck. While I can see
that the corners of the laptop aren't connected any more, the base
simply won't seperate to reveal the inner goodies of the laptop.

I figured my next step should be to sit tight and give the problem some
time to cook in my head. That last thing I want to do is to get over
eager and break something.

Though, in the end, if that's what it takes, I'm willing to do that.
I'm getting to the guts of this laptop if it takes renting compressor
powered tools from Home Depot.



  1. Most of the laptops I've torn apart have a combination of bottom and top screws holding them together. Often there is some sort of trim bezel on the top surrounding the keyboard that will give you access to additional screws.

    You didn't mention what Make/Modle this laptop is, it looks kinda like an IBM? If I recall correctly, the last Dell I tore apart had bottom screws that attached the keyboard. After removing those, I was able to remove the keyboard, disconnect it's ribbon cable, thus revealing additional screws holding the thing together.

    Also, I generally remove the screen, or at least remove the screws attaching it. Sometimes the top bezel cannot be removed without the screen peeled away.

    Another thing to consider before proceeding -- see how much this broken laptop is worth on eBay. I sold my last broken laptop on eBay for over $200! Just search for completed auctions for "broken dell XXX" or whatever it is.

  2. Thanks for the tips Mark!

    I'll poke around tonight and be sure to post some additional details.

  3. Anonymous11:43 AM

    You can normally get the bottom to separate from the top a little bit before you need to remove the screen.

    I concur with the keyboard removal. This is oftentimes essential to getting at the top screws.

    Dells quite commonly have that keyboard bezel which must be popped off first, not so sure about IBMs.

    If you are still stuck after tonight maybe take some pictures of each side of the thing as well as top and bottom and perhaps someone can help.

    I once started an MP3 player project by disassembling an old laptop and buying an anqique radio on ebay to put the guts inside. Problem was the wireless card didn't want to work with linux. So I had to revert to using WinXP on it. It was a cool project, but only made it to the %50 point and then didn't make the cut when I moved. (But I did save the cool parallel port LCD screen I put together)

  4. Anonymous9:27 PM

    any progress? don't leave us hanging! :P