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Laptops

Discussion in 'Technical Board' started by Nettdata, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. bewildered

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    That would be super! I bought my supplies this morning (couldn't find solder with silver in it, settled for "small electronic solder") but I am about to take off and deliver the food. I plan on working on it this afternoon.
     
  2. bewildered

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    I think I done fucked up.

    I have been using this, where he takes apart a similar model laptop: <a class="postlink" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp90M_N6dzs" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp90M_N6dzs</a>

    At 5:40ish, where you need to delicately remove that little thingy? I think I popped it off and ripped some of those little fine metal thingies, left one metal thingy attached to the board.

    Aaaaand now I own a really expensive paperweight.

    (Sorry about the photo quality, I had to resize with paint)
     

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  3. Binary

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    Yeah... the connector slides in sideways, not top-down. What you pulled off was the entire header that the connector snaps into. I've done it, too. Feels awful, eh? Kind of a pit-of-the-stomach, oh-shit moment.

    So, while that sucks, you are again no worse off because the "fix" for your problem was to replace the motherboard anyway. That piece that you ripped off? You can pop the beige piece with the metal fragments off the end of the white cable end (with the black/red/white wires attached), and the cable is still intact so you or whoever replaces the motherboard can just snap the cable back into the right place.

    Soldering headers back into place is pretty difficult, though since you're at the it-can't-get-any-worse place, you could look up some YouTube videos and try to learn. It might be difficult to try and find a replacement header, though. In theory, you could actually solder the 4 wires directly back onto the board, depending on how ghetto you want to get here.

    I assume that circuit board we're looking at is the big, main board in the laptop - the motherboard itself?
     
  4. bewildered

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    Shit, I just realized from your description while looking at my picture up there how I was supposed to remove it. In the video he says something about working under the corners...so I did that. Fuck!
     
  5. Binary

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    You could trace out where that cable goes. If you're really, really lucky - and I don't mean just regular kind of luck, I mean the kind of karma that comes from giving your car to a homeless man on the street so he'd have a place to live - it could plug into something not totally necessary, like your speakers. In which case you can just pull that header off the cable, bend that last solitary metal pin back and forth until it breaks off, and go about your business.
     
  6. bewildered

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    So maybe I gave a homeless dude a car in another life? Because I am pretty sure that it traces to the speakers. Since I haven't messed with the sound card, I should still be able to use my headset for sound, right?
     

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  7. bewildered

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    Ok, I continued on. I've got everything disconnected except 2 things that I am having issues with. One, these two wires that run from the screen, through the board, to the processor. They don't look like they are supposed to be disconnected from the processor. Second, this tabbed piece. I have tugged at it and it's not coming off. Should I keep tugging? I am scared of having a repeat of the speakers.
     

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  8. Binary

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    It's possible it'll all work. I mentioned the speakers because often they're red and black cables. Keep going with the repair. Worst case you'll learn how to do the repair and have a broken laptop. Better case you'll have a functional laptop with a completely useless sound card. Best case you'll have a laptop with functional sound but no speakers.
     
  9. Binary

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    The tabbed piece should come out. Work it side to side, and see if the black header tabs on either side can be pulled gently away from the white cable - it looks like they snap on either side of the white connector.

    Can't see where the black and white wires go...
     
  10. bewildered

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    The black and white wires go from the processor, through a small hole in the board, into the hole by the hinge inside the back of the screen. I can't see how to detach them, but I don't think that's a big deal for now. As for that blue tabbed piece, I could not get it off so I just unscrewed the piece the opposite end disappeared into. Now I can freely move the board about. It is still tethered to the screen by those 2 wires but like I said, not a big deal, right?





    Now I get to figure out what I'm actually supposed to be soldering....
     

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  11. Binary

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    Ah... the B&W wires literally just pull straight off that little card. That's your wireless card and those wires lead to whatever antenna the manufacturer has put in the laptop.

    That's an unfortunate connector design for self-service. You're going to need to really closely inspect the piece that comes off the back there, flip the board over and see if there's any blackened area or anything that looks loose. It's hard to tell from the picture but it appears that the pin that comes off the back of the power connector might be loose inside that blob of solder - it looks like there's a dark ring where the solder should be bonded to the metal pin.
     
  12. bewildered

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    Derp, I should have known it was the wireless card since it had the -N label.

    Thanks for all the help and feedback. I am still working on this but it is on the backburner until Monday.

    One thing that I did see on the connector is that on the back, the little flat metal studs (I am not sure what these points all over the board are called) are not shiny, they are matte and worn looking. Possibly corrosion? I will keep poking around to see if I can tell of any flaws on the connector.
     
  13. Binary

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    Corrosion is unlikely to be a problem. What you're seeing on the bottom is little solder blobs, where there's a pin stuck into a hole in the motherboard, and it's soldered in place. Unless that solder is actually being eaten away and you can see it maybe cracked or flaking off (highly unlikely), it should be okay.

    The most common failures from those power connectors are coming loose from their connections to the motherboard, but it's not impossible that the connector itself has some kind of internal failure. You can investigate it for cracks, or broken pieces. If it comes apart, that can help you investigate but many of those kind of things don't come apart, so don't force it.
     
  14. bewildered

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    Here is the back of the board with the only visible flaw I can tell (kind of hard to even see in the pic), but you said it probably wasn't it. The heads of the solder blobs look dull instead of shiny. None of the pins on the AC power connector are loose and nothing seems visibly amiss from what I can tell. I also can't remove/take apart the connector.

    Is there anything else I can do or steps I can take before throwing in the towel and looking for deals on motherboards?

    PS what is that black button? Because I totally pressed it a couple times.
     

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  15. bewildered

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    This guy looks like he was experiencing the same thing I was and was able to solder the pin back. <a class="postlink" href="http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=287991" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmes ... _id=287991</a> Is it possible that there is an imperceptible looseness causing a problem?
     
  16. McSmallstuff

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    I got a mac book pro for my birthday last week (I have to have it for school). So far its taking its fair share of adjusting but I'm getting used to it. My question is, for mac users, are there any functions or features I should be aware of that you have found helpful? And are there any apps that you highly recommend for either fun or function?
     
  17. Binary

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    It is definitely possible. You could try putting a small amount of solder right where the current blob is. It's also possible that the problem is internal to the power connector - de-soldering components can be a little messy and requires an extra tool but if you're willing to put more time into it, you could try de-soldering the connector and seeking out a replacement. It could have a part number written on it, or you may be able to look up the model on Asus' website and find small parts. I know Lenovo/IBM has a lot of good small parts documentation, not sure about others. You could contact their support group.

    The black button is very likely just a power interrupt for that power connector. I bet if you have a functional one and you hit the button, it kills the power.

    You can replace the motherboard, of course, and since you've taken it apart you have no labor costs. You could also try dissecting the power connector as it sits on the board - there are two little metal tabs I see wrapped around the back, to remove the front of it, and see if anything is broken inside.

    edit: Just want to mention, I tend to keep poking at shit like this until I figure out exactly what's wrong, regardless of the amount of time I spend, and troubleshooting a problem like this can go on forever. I'm just providing suggestions, here - at some point, you may want to chalk it up to an experience and buy a new motherboard.
     
  18. bewildered

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    I really, really do not want to buy a new board. All your suggestions are very helpful and I am willing to put the time into figuring it out, I just don't have any experience so I need a bit of guidance along the way. Thanks again! I'll continue to poke around this week.
     
  19. Binary

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    No problem.

    You have your volt meter, right? Try an experiment. You could try turning it to the resistance setting (looks like a horseshoe):
    [​IMG]

    First thing, tap the black and red connectors together and see what it does. It will beep, or numbers will flash on the screen, or something like that. That's what happens when you have completed the circuit - i.e. resistance is not infinite, the way it is if you separate the two connectors.

    Make sure the motherboard is resting on something non-conductive, like a wood desk or the sofa. Then put the black and red connectors on the pin of the power connector, and the metal surround on the face. Give it a few seconds. Does the volt meter read anything, like when you tapped them together?

    There are a bunch of YouTube videos on testing power, I just discovered. If you're more of a visual person:

    <a class="postlink" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrsUsyxzk1M" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrsUsyxzk1M</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyLEJVTK23s" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyLEJVTK23s</a>
     
  20. ssycko

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    I'm looking to pick up a new laptop, ad my old Dell Vostro is on its last legs. I haven't kept up too well with anything, so I'm wondering what brands now are good? Looking for Windows, and I already have a tablet I like so I don't think I need any of those convertible things. Just something with reasonable specs that will last a good amount of time.