The day I took my laptop apart! There is a point to this…

My laptop broke down and learning how to successfully repair it myself taught me 3 valuable lessons about blogging and what we have to offer the world.

There IS a point to this apparently pointless article.  In fact there are three points I want to make.  Sometimes we all ramble on and on with a good intention, but there is always a reason why and the random ramblings here are no exception. The point for me – my laptop stopped working and I needed it fixed.  That’s where I started with this, but come the end of my trials with screwdriver, I realised there was more to this than just the necessity of repairing something that was broken.

So it all started when I answered a few emails and then stepped out to hang out the washing.  Nothing unusual in that except this time when I came back to the computer, everything on the screen was flashing like crazy.  Things were popping up and down, random letters and numbers were being typed into random emails and documents and it was altogether crazy.

Panic set in!  What was happening and why?  The keyboard wouldn’t respond, and the mouse was near impossible to control because of all the flashing and phantom keystrokes.  Eventually I got all of the windows closed down using the mouse with some careful timing and quick clicking. Phew, no more flashing.  Except the keyboard wasn’t working, anything I pressed started off all the flashing again and the phantom keystrokes.  Looks like the keyboard was the source of all the troubles.

Nervously getting ready to work. The towel underneath is going to stop any screws from rolling away!

Nervously getting ready to work. The towel underneath is going to stop any screws from rolling away!

Living on a small island as I do, there isn’t somewhere you can just take your laptop to and get it repaired, get any spare parts, or even buy a reasonable new laptop computer so I was on my own to sort this out.  Luckily hubby has a laptop too so I was able to use his and search for solutions.  Google and YouTube to the rescue.  So with some of hubby’s old tools I set to work taking the laptop apart.

My first time looking at the insides of a laptop. Interesting.

My first time looking at the insides of a laptop. Interesting.

The video I had found on YouTube was the exact model for the laptop that I had and also perfectly described the problem I was having and how to solve it.  Or at least I hoped it would solve it.  I figured my laptop was unusable as it was so I wasn’t going to make it any worse than it was already. This was laptop CPR.

Taking out the drive and all the screws for the cover. So far so good.

Taking out the drive and all the screws for the cover. So far so good.

The video showed me exactly how to remove the drive and where to find and remove all the screws that were holding the cover in place.  If you’ve ever tried to take something apart like there, isn’t there always one screw you can’t find that stops the cover coming off?  I would never have know that I had to remove the drive to find screws underneath if it wasn’t for the video.

Removing the keyboard was a bit like pulling out the cooker for your Spring cleaning. Yikes!

Removing the keyboard was a bit like pulling out the cooker for your Spring cleaning. Yikes!

Then turning it over I was able to unsnap the keyboard.  Well will you just look at that!  I’m really getting into the innards of the machine now.  And YUCK!  Look at all that gunk and dust in there.  Maybe that’s part of the problem. Much of the problems actually are caused by corrosion in our house.  We rent a room in a shared house on the sea here in Cayman and the sea breeze blows constantly which is lovely, but it does mean everything here corrodes in no time with the humid salty air.  We are almost constantly changing the locks at home because that corrosion gets everywhere!

So I took off the entire cover, got my cleaning supplies and set to work.  There was a lot of work to do!

Better get spring cleaning then. Feeling ashamed ...

Better get spring cleaning then. Feeling ashamed …

I gave everything a very good clean with some small make up brushes and cotton swabs dampened with alcohol, taking care not to get any of the electrical parts too wet.  It was actually pretty rewarding to see it all gleaming again on the insides.  While I was in there, I disconnected the laptop hot key buttons as instructed because it looked like it was one of these buttons malfunctioning that was causing the ‘flashing’ problem.  I never used them anyways.  Then everything goes back together.

Giving the keyboard a final clean before reassembly. Look at all that gunk I cleaned out!

Giving the keyboard a final clean before reassembly. Look at all that gunk I cleaned out!

So now the moment of truth.  I put everything back together (didn’t have any ‘spare’ screws left over), popped the battery back in and pressed the power button.  I held my breath.  Would it even start?  Would it be repaired?  Would I have to explain to my husband that I’d taken the laptop apart and now it wasn’t working?  I SO needed this to work.

All shiny like new and working like a dream :-)

All shiny like new and working like a dream 🙂

SUCCESS!  It was working.  I’d rarely been so happy as when I opened that Word document and started to type and all of the right letters and numbers came up on the screen without all that intense flashing and danger of a seizure.  I was absolutely delighted, and so proud of what I’d done.  So now we get to the point of all this.  Well the three points really.

What you can learn from this pointless article

  1. For goodness sake backup your computer/laptop etc.  You never know when you might suddenly find your computer unusable or have a hard drive failure.  If you need important documents, photos, downloads or blogging/business files on your computer you would be devastated to lose them.  I’ve got a new back up drive.  This thing is genius.  Just plug it in and leave it attached to the computer and as you make changes to the computer, it automatically backs them up onto the drive.  Now I have complete peace of mind.
  2. No matter what your subject, what you know about, what you know how to do, there is always someone else out there who wants or even needs to know that too.  You have important and valuable information and insight to share.  No matter what your niche, interest, skill or target audience, there is an audience out there just perfect for what you want to share.  I cannot tell you how grateful I am to the person who put up this video on YouTube for how to take apart my laptop.  It made such a huge difference to me. That video might only get 300 views but to those 300 people, it was priceless.
  3. YOU CAN DO IT!  Need to know how to do something?  Then learn it and try it.  Even if you are starting completely from scratch, like I was with this laptop, you can learn a new skill, put it into practice and make your life/blog/business/family/health/wealth etc better this year. The internet has given us so many opportunities to better ourselves, and get access to information that when I look back at how it was before, I can’t quite believe it.  Set a goal, set your mind to it and focus and you can DO IT this year.

So I’m back online, back with a working laptop and with a new achievement tucked under my belt.  I feel good 🙂

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The ramblings

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