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Disassembling a HP Laptop Computer

written by: C.D. Crowder•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 4/30/2010

To perform upgrades or repairs on your HP laptop, you must disassemble the HP laptop. With the proper tools and a little caution, HP laptop disassembly can be done easily at home.

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    Preparation

    Before you begin, you must have the proper area and tools. Ideally, you should have an anti-static mat to stand on while you work on any computer. Since most users don’t have anti-static mats lying around, a non-carpeted area is a great substitute. The area should be clean, with no liquid or dirt. Also, you will need an electronics or computer toolkit with small gauge Philips and flat head screwdrivers. Toolkits usually provide you with a small storage box for screws. If this isn’t included, get a plastic bag, cup or bowl to place screws in.

    As a side note, every HP laptop model is slightly different. If you notice discrepancies between the disassembly instructions and your model, please visit HP’s website to download your model’s manual. This is a great addition to use with the below steps as well. If you have questions during the HP laptop disassembly process, do not hesitate to consult your laptop’s manual, which includes HP laptop disassembly instructions for each internal component.

    Shut down your HP laptop and disconnect it from the AC adapter. Shut the lid and turn the laptop over. Remove the battery by sliding the slide latch and lifting the battery upwards. The battery is located near the hinge area.

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    Hard Drive, Optical Drive and Memory Modules

    These three objects are the three most upgraded and replaced hardware objects in an HP laptop. To remove the hard drive, which is a large square or rectangle near the battery, remove the screws holding the hard drive cover in place. Depending on your model, either lift the tab to remove the hard drive or remove the screw holding the hard drive in place and lift the drive to remove.

    Remove the single screw holding the optical drive in place. Slide the drive out from the side of your HP laptop. If you cannot slide the drive out easily, use a flat head screwdriver to gently pry the edge of the drive from your laptop. This will give your fingers a handhold.

    For memory modules, remove the screws holding the memory module cover in place. The memory modules are located near the battery compartment on most models. Lift the module or modules up until they are at a 45 to 90 degree angle, depending on your model. Press the latches to either side of the module and pull firmly to remove.

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    Wireless, Network Card and Modem

    To remove your wireless unit, network card and modem, locate the remaining covers on the back of your HP laptop. Depending on your HP laptop model, you may need to remove the keyboard before accessing the network card and modem. If this is the case, continue to the “Keyboard” section.

    Remove any screws holding the covers in place. Remove the cover and remove the screw holding the wireless unit in place. Detach the wireless antenna cable. Press gently on the latches securing the wireless card to detach one end of the card. Pull the card out.

    Remove any screws holding the network card and modem covers in place. Lift the cover and remove the single screw holding the card in place. Disconnect the card’s cable and lift the cards to remove.

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    Keyboard

    Remove all screws holding the keyboard in place. For the exact number of screws, consult your HP laptop manual. Disconnect the keyboard connector from the motherboard. Do not jerk the connector or you may damage the connector and motherboard. Lift the keyboard gently to remove. Some models may require you to remove one or two screws on the other side of your laptop. If so, turn your laptop over, lift the lid and remove any remaining screws.

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    Screen

    This is the final component to remove. Any other components, such as the system board will be easily accessed once all other components have been removed. Turn your laptop over so the top is facing up. Open the lid and remove all screw covers around the edges of the screen. These are either rubber or plastic. Remove all uncovered screws.

    Gently pry the LCD screen’s frame from the screen. Start at the top or bottom. Some models have a small latch at the bottom of the screen. Tilt the LCD screen itself forward at least three inches. Remove all screws holding the metal brackets to the sides of your LCD screen. Carefully lay the LCD screen flat against your keyboard or empty laptop frame. To prevent damage, lay a clean, lint free cloth down to lay the screen against.

    Disconnect the inverter cable. First remove the single screw holding the inverter cable in place. Grip the connector firmly and pull to disconnect. Disconnect the video cable by pulling the connector from the LCD screen.

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    Final Tips

    To prevent losing parts, lay all parts of a component together, such as cables, screws and covers. Also, write down the order in which you removed components. You will need to replace them in reverse order. Also, if you do not need to remove a component, don't. Only remove components if absolutely necessary. Always use extreme caution when working with the internal components of your HP laptop to prevent damage.