If you have never disassembled a laptop before, you should read thought the following tips and procedures before jumping to the disassembly guides.

Static electricity

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) can permanently damage your laptop. Ware an ESD wrist strap when you work with the internal components. If it's not available, get rid of the static by touching grounded metal objects (grounded appliance) once in a while.


Use good quality tools

Get yourself a set of good quality precision screwdrivers, preferably magnetized. I've been using Wiha's for years and couldn't be happier.

Wiha Scredrivers

A bad screwdriver can easily strip a screw and make it very hard to remove.


Be organized

Keep all removed screws organized because they are all different. You can use small paper cups or a simple screw organizer like one shown on the picture.

Organize screws

Use name tags, for example: hard drive screws, keyboard screws, bottom screws, top cover screws etc...

You can draw a diagram for removed screws. As an example I show a diagram of screws removed from the bottom of a laptop. This will make your life much easier during the reassembly process.

Screw diagram

Using a wrong length screw in a wrong place can damage the laptop case or even short and fry the motherboard.


Removing memory modules

The memory module secured inside the slot by latches located on both sides of the slot.

Unlock RAM slot

In order to unlock the memory module spread both latches with your fingers just enough to release the module.

Memory module released

When the memory module is unlocked, it will pop up at about 30 degree angle.

Remove memory

Pull the module from the slot by the edges. Do not touch gold contacts.


Disconnecting cables

On this picture you see a very typical cable connector. This type of connector frequently used for keyboard cables.

Keyboard connector locked

The ribbon cable is secured inside the connector by a locking clip. You unlock it by lifting up the locking clip with your fingernail. The clip opens up at about 90 degree angle. After that you can pull the cable out.

Screw diagram


Here's another type of connector commonly used in laptops. In this connector the ribbon cable seated between the base and locking clip.

Slide locking clip

Unlock this connector by sliding the locking clip about 1/16 of an inch to the shown direction (2 yellow arrows). After it's unlocked, you can pull the cable out.

Remove keyboard cable

Do not apply too much force or you can separate the locking clip from the base, it must remain attached as shown on the picture above.


Here's a smaller version of the connector we discussed in the very first example.

Touchpad connector locked

This type frequently used for touchpads, power button boards, audio boards etc...

Remove touchpad cable

Unlock the connector by lifting up the locking clip and remove the cable.


On the following picture you can see the most common type of the display cable connector.

Display cable

Unplug this connector by the edges.

Display cable disconnected

In the next example you can see a very common DC power jack connector.

Power jack cable

Unplug the male part from the female part.

DC jack cable disconnected

The following connector frequently used for the fan cable. This connector positioned vertically and very similar to the DC power jack connector but smaller.

NEVER pull by the wires! Unplug it by the edges.
Fan cable

Here's how you disconnect it from the motherboard.

Fan cable disconnected

The speakers, media control board use even smaller connectors. Usually they are positioned horizontally.

Speaker cable

Removing the processor

In most newer laptops the processor is soldered to the motherboard and cannot be removed or replaced. If it's not soldered, you can remove the processor by unlocking the socket.

Unlock the socket by turning the locking screw 180 degrees from the "Locked" mark to the "Unlocked" mark. It's hard to see on the picture but normally you find these marks stamped on the socket.

Processor locked

Carefully lift up the processor by the edges and remove it from the socket.

Processor unlocked

Do not leave the processor outside the socket if you don't have to. It has lots of very thin pins that can be easily damaged.

Do not forget the lock the socket after the processor installed back in place. Otherwise your laptop will not work.


Replacing thermal grease

If you have to apply new thermal grease on the processor, do it while the processor is secured in the socket.

To remove the old thermal grease you can use a paper towel and 96-99% isopropyl alcohol. Clean up the shiny surface that faces the heat sink. If there is some old grease left on the sides, it's OK. The sides do not have to be perfectly clean.

Clean up thermal grease

Also, remove the old thermal grease from the heat sink.

Clean up heat sink

Apply a small drop of new thermal grease in the middle of the shiny surface on the processor. It has to be just enough to cover the surface when the heat sink installed back in place.

Apply thermal grease

Cleaning the cooling module

If you removed the cooling fan for cleaning, you can blow off dust using an air compressor or canned air.

Block the fan vents with your finger while cleaning it. Very high RPM can damage the fan bearings.

Cooling fan blocked

If your laptop runs hot, in most cases you can clean up the cooling module without taking it apart.

On the bottom of the laptop (most models) you will find the cooling fan grills. Blowing air into the grill on the bottom (green arrow) will remove most dust from the cooling module. After that switch the direction and blow air into the grill on the side.

This cleanup should be enough to cure the overheating problem.

Blow off cooling module

If the cooling module clogged very badly, you'll have to disassemble the laptop and clean up the fan manually.