When you need something done on your laptop or a piece of hardware replaced, you can do it on you own – yes, laptops are a bit more complicated and intricate than a desktop, yet quite doable if you follow instructions and have all the tools you need. Here are a couple of step that might help you. Bear in mind that each laptop has different assembly and the steps may differ, how ever the principle is the same. Laptop used in this case is Asus K52 series and it shares the platform with K53 as well.

The Tools

The most important thing you need is a set of quality tools, including screwdrivers of various sizes – torx, cross point and flathead – as well as a prying tool, a pick and a suction vacuum opener. Alternatively, you can use a Swiss Army knife as a replacement tool instead of a pick. Also, use an organizer in order not to lose any screws and be sure to remember which go where.

Working tools

Removing the Bottom

Start by removing the battery and the bottom of the laptop. Turn it upside down, unlock the battery and gently remove it from its bay, and then unscrew the screws and simply lift the bottom. My intention was to replace the hinges on the screen because their cracks used to drive me crazy, so I ordered new for $5.6 from aliexpress.com and replaced them myself. While I was at it, I used the opportunity to boost my laptop’s parts a little bit.

Unscrewing the bottom

Removing Bottom Parts

Once you open your laptop, it is time to remove parts one by one. Begin with the RAM module as it is the easiest to remove: just spread both of its latches at the same time and it will pop right out. Then, move onto HDD module – remove screws and simply pull it out. The same method is used at the optical drive module, while removing wireless LAN unit requires removing the screw, detaching the antenna and then lifting the unit. Finally, remove the cooling unit and dust it.

Inside the Laptop

Removing Upper Parts

After removing these, move onto the upper part of the laptop. Use a pick to lift the keyboard and the top cover.

Keyboard removal

Top cover removal

Once all of this is done, you can detach the LCD and this is when hinge-replacement takes place. I removed the old squeaky ones, attached the new ones and reassembled the screen. It sounds tricky at first, but it actually takes less than an hour in total.

Screen cover removal

Hinges replaced

Additional Work

Once all parts are removed, you can dedicate a few minutes to each of them – clean them with a cotton swab and some high-percentage isopropyl alcohol, vacuum the dust and you can even replace thermal paste or stickers on the CPU and video card. Finally, this is the time to install some new components like SSD or additional RAM – as long as your laptop is wide open, take the chance.

Thermal paste cover

How to Reassemble and Not Lose Your Cool

The single most important thing when doing laptop repairs is not to lose any parts or screws! This cannot be stressed enough, and only if you manage to do this will you be able to reassemble your laptop quickly and efficiently. Just go the opposite way and start from the top – keyboard and top cover – and then move to the bottom part – cooling unit, LAN, HDD and RAM. This process is like driving a bicycle: you can never forget and it becomes easier and more successful after several tries.

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Posted by Marcus Jensen

Marcus is an Australian IT support professional. He's running his own business, working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. In his free time he enjoys SciFi books and movies.

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