How to remove CD from failed optical drive

Remove CD DVD disc from laptop

In this guide I explain how to remove a CD or DVD disc from a failed optical drive or not working laptop.

Let’s say the computer does not turn on but there is a disc stuck inside the optical drive and you want to get it out.

I think most people know this trick but some don’t.

Paper clip

All you need is a paper clip straightened out as it shown on the picture.

Remove CD DVD disc crom IBM laptop

As an example I’ll take my IBM ThinkPad T42 laptop.

There is a small hole located on the front panel close to the eject button. Insert the paper clip inside the hole and slowly push it in.

Open laptop CD DVD drive

The optical drive will open up. Now you can remove the disc and close the drive.

Remove CD DVD disc from HP laptop

All laptop optical drives are similar and most of them have this “secret” hole.

I took this picture from a HP Pavilion zv5000. The hole is marked with a white circle.

Remove CD DVD disc from Toshiba laptop

This picture was taken from a Toshiba Satellite A105.

In you have a slot loading optical drive, on the other hand, you cannot use this method. You’ll have to disassemble the laptop and remove the optical drive completely. After that you’ll have to disassemble the drive and remove the disc.

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IBM ThinkPad displays fan error message

IBM ThinkPad T42 fan

Let’s say you have an IBM ThinkPad laptop and when you turn it on all you get is a black screen with “Fan error” message. What could be wrong?

A few weeks ago, the fan in my trusty IBM T42 bought the farm. This resulted in the unit heating up considerably, as well as numerous “fan error” messages on bootup. It eventually became so bad that to boot up at all, I had to blow compressed air into the fan’s exhaust grill for 5-10 seconds, in order to fool the BIOS and make it believe the fan was actually spinning.

According to the IBM hardware maintenance guide (HMM) for ThinkPad T40, T40p, T41, T41p, T42, T42p this error message indicates a problem with the fan, you can find symptom-to-FRU index on the page58.

The symptom-to-FRU index in this section lists symptoms and errors and their possible causes.

Apparently it’s time to replace the fan assembly. The cooling fan comes together with the heat sink, that’s why you’ll have to replace the whole fan assembly.

You can easily replace the assembly after you remove the palm rest and keyboard.

1. Remove the battery and unplug the AC adapter.
2. Remove four screws marked with yellow circles. These screws securing the keyboard.
3. Remove eight screws marked with orange circles. These screws securing the palm rest.
4. Lift up the keyboard and upnlug the keyboard cable from the motherboard.
5. Lift up the palm rest and unplug the touchpad cable from the motherboard.
6. Remove three screws securing the fan assembly, unplug the fan cable from the motherboard. Lift up and replace the fan assembly.

IBM ThinkPad T42 take apart

You’ll find step-by-step laptop disassembly and fan replacement instructions in the HMM in the chapter “Removing and replacing a FRU” on the page 70.

You can find a new fan assembly using the FRU number located on your failed fan, it might look like 91P8393, 26R7860, 13R2919, 13N5442, or 13R2657. Just google the FRU number and find a place to buy it from. Different laptop types with different screen sizes use different fans, so you have to find the correct one witch fits your model. If for some reason your fan assembly doesn’t have the FRU number, you’ll have to refer to the HMM page 216-217. On these pages you’ll find witch fan belongs to your laptop.
For example, if have a type 2378-FVU laptop with 15.0″ LCD screen, then you need a fan assembly with FRU: 13R2657

IBM ThinkPad T42 fan FRU

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Replacing screen and inverter on Dell display

This guide explains how you can remove and replace the LCD screen, video cable and inverter board on a Dell display.

These instructions should work for many different Dell models.

Example 1. The inverter board is located under the LCD panel (not common).

In this example the display panel has been removed from the rest of the laptop case.

In most cases it’s not necessary to remove the display.

Dell Laptop Display

Remove three rubber screw seals on the top and two plastic screw seals on the bottom of the display bezel.

Remove screw seals

After all five (or more) seals are removed, you can remove screws securing the bezel.

Separate screen bezel

Separate the bezel from the display assembly with your fingers.

There will be many plastic latches holding the bezel and the cover together.

Remove screen bezel

After all latches unlocked, you can remove the bezel completely.

Remove screws

Remove four screws on each side of the display panel. These screws secure the LCD panel to the display hinges.

Remove LCD screen

Carefully lift up and remove the LCD panel from the cover and place it upside down on your desk.

Disconnect video cable

Unplug the video cable from the screen and from the inverter board.

Laptop video cable

Remove and replace the video cable if necessary.

Cable part number

You can search for a new cable by the part number located on the sticker.

Replacement video cable

Alternately, you can search for a new video cable by the part number located on the connector.

Disconnect screen inverter

Remove two screws securing the inverter board. One screw is marked with the red circle, another one is pointed with the red arrow.

Disconnect the backlight lamp cable from the inverter board.

Remove screen inverter

Now you can remove and replace the inverter. You can search for a new inverter by the part number located on the old inverter.

Example 2. The inverter board attached to the LCD frame (more common).

Inverter beneath screen

In some Dells the inverter board is mounted into a metal bracket on the bottom of the LCD panel.

Before you can remove the inverter, you’ll have to remove the LCD panel from the display as it explained in the first example.

After that remove two screws securing the inverter (marked with red circles) and unplug the CCFL (backlight) cable.

Now you can remove the inverter from the bracket and replace it if necessary.

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Replacing broken hinges on Dell Latitude C640 C540

Dell Latitude C540 C640 broken hinges

In the following guide I will explain how to replace broken display hinges on Dell Latitude C640 and Latitude C540 series laptops. Replacing and removing hinges is not a difficult task if you are careful and pay attention to details. I’m not sure if you can use same hinges for both models but the following removal and replacement instructions should be the same for both.
1. Find new replacement hinges.
2. Follow the disassembly instructions below.

Before you start, remove the battery.

Remove keyboard screws

Remove five screws securing the keyboard. These screws are marked with a letter K stamped on the base.

Remove screws securing hinges

Remove five screws securing the display hinges. Three screws on the left side and two screws on the right side.

Remove keyboard bezel

Carefully lift up and remove the keyboard bezel with a flathead screwdriver or another sharp object.

Remove hinge covers

Lift up and remove both hinge covers.

Disconnect keyboard

Lift up the keyboard from the base. Be careful, it is attached to the motherboard via a flat ribbon cable.

Disconnect the cable and remove the keyboard.

Remove laptop keyboard

The able had been disconnected from the motherboard.

Remove screws from video cable

Remove four screws securing the video cable.

Disconnect video cable from motherboard

Carefully disconnect the video cable from the motherboard by the yellow belt on the connector.

Remove screws from LCD bezel

Remove six rubber screw seals with a sharp object. Remove six screws located under these seals.

Remove LCD screen bezel

Insert your fingers between the display bezel and the LCD panel and carefully separate the bezel from the display.

Keep separating the bezel from the display with your fingers until you can remove it.

Remove screws from LCD screen

Remove two screws securing the LCD panel to the display hinges. You’ll find two screws on each side of the screen.

Disconnect video cable

Remove the LCD from the display cover. Be careful it is attached to the video cable.
Unplug the video cable from back (Green Arrow).
Unplug the video cable from the inverter board (Red Arrow).
Remove the screen.

Remove screws from hinges

Now you can remove two screws securing both display hinges.

Remove broken display hinges

Remove both hinges from the display cover. Replace both hinges, or just the broken one.

Replace broken display hinges

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How to make a digital picture-photo frame

Digital picture photo frame

I have made this digital picture-photo frame from an old Toshiba Satellite laptop. This project took me half a day but the result was very rewarding. My new 14″ digital photo frame works just great and I have tons of space for all my pictures.

Old laptop with broken cover

My laptop was in a good working condition but the LCD cover was cracked and the laptop wasn’t powerful enough to handle some applications. Instead of selling it for $80-90 I decided to convert this old lappy into something useful.

New picture frame

First of all, I had to find a frame witch is big enough for my project. I found a really good wooden frame in a local Fred Meyer store for $20.

Laptop display panel disassembled

The display panel had been disassembled. I removed front bezel, LCD cover and hinges.
For this project you’ll need a laptop with a long flexible video cable.

Take apart photo frame

On this picture you see the back side of my frame. I removed both original wall mounting brackets and later I’ll replace them with more reliable brackets.
The LCD screen will be mounted under the black cover. In my case, I opened 8 locks and removed the cover.

Place LCD screen inside picture frame

The screen had been disconnected from the laptop. I positioned the screen inside the frame. In order to secure the LCD inside the frame, I had to cut off 4 pieces from the frame packing cardboard. These cardboard pieces will fit tightly between the LCD and the frame, so the screen stays in the same place all the time.

LCD screen inside frame

As you see, the inner paper frame is not big enough for my 14″ LCD.

Resize paper inner frame

I had to remove the inner paper frame and resize the internal part of the frame to fit better.

Secure LCD screen inside frame

After that I installed the inner frame back in place, placed the LCD inside the frame, installed four cardboard pieces and secured them with duct tape.

Frame cover

This black cover will be placed above the screen and will separate it from the laptop. Before I placed the cover in the frame, I had to remove 8 locks.

Cut off opening for cables

The laptop had been placed on the top of the cover. I had to cut off two openings in the cover, so I can run the video cable.

Secure LCD with duct tape

I secured the cover to the frame with duct tape. Now the screen is sealed pretty good and duct tape will prevent dust from getting inside.

Secure laptop inside frame

Finally, I secured the laptop base to the frame with a few wooden bars. Doesn’t look very sexy? Who cares! You’ll never see the back side of my frame when it’s placed on the wall. I also secured the power cable to the frame.

Picture phot frame assembled

My digital picture-photo frame is almost done. Now I’ll have to attach the wall mounting brackets.

Frame wall mounting brackets

I made two brackets from a 2mm wire. Should be strong enough to keep my frame on the wall.

Laptop digital picture photo frame

Before I placed my brand new photo frame on the wall, I uploaded all my pictures to the hard drive via wireless connection. I installed Google Picasa software (free) and set the screen saver to start playing all my pictures after 1 minute.
Now, when I press on the power button, the laptop loads Windows and after one minute the screen saver kicks in.

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How to take apart Sony Vaio VGN-FZ220

Broken power jack

These instructions explain how to take apart a Sony Vaio VGN-FZ220 series laptop.

I had to replace the DC-IN power jack because it was broken. The jack is soldered to the power harness and can be easily replaced if you have basic soldering skills. Use this guide on your own risk.

Sony Vaio VGN-FZ220 repair

I will be taking apart a Sony Vaio VGN-FV220E model but I think you can use them for entire VGN-FV220 line.

Taking apart bottom part

STEP 1.
Unplug the power adapter. Unlock and remove the battery.

Remove one screw securing the memory cover and remove the cover.

Remove one screw securing the hard drive cover and remove the cover.

Remove laptop hard drive memory

STEP 2.
Remove three screws securing the hard drive. Slide the hard drive to the left side and disconnect it from the connector on the motherboard. Remove the hard drive.

Remove both memory modules (spread latches on both side of the slot and carefully pull the module out).

Remove laptop DVD drive

STEP 3.
Remove two screws securing the DVD drive. Carefully pull the DVD drive out and remove it.

Remove screws from bottom

STEP 4.
Remove all screws (marked red and green) from the bottom.

If you are taking apart the whole laptop, you’ll have to remove all screws.
If you are using this guide just for removing or replacing the keyboard, you’ll have to remove just four green screws (they secure the keyboard bezel) and after that you can proceed to the steps 7-9.

Release latches in the battery bay

STEP 5.
Carefully disengaged three latches in the battery compartment. These latches secure the keyboard bezel. Push on latches with a small flathead screwdriver until they are unlocked.

Release latches in DVD bay

STEP 6.
Unlock two more latches in the DVD drive compartment. I wasn’t careful enough and broke one latch. :)

Remove keyboard bezel

STEP 7.
You can remove the bezel with a small flathead screwdriver.

Remove keyboard screws

STEP 8.
Remove two screws securing the keyboard.

Disconnect laptop keyboard

Unlock keyboard connector

STEP 9.
Carefully lift up the keyboard and place it upside down on the palm rest. The keyboard cable is connected to the motherboard.

First, unlock the connector. Remove clear tape securing the connector. After that slide the LOCK (this part of the connector secures the cable inside) about 1-2 millimeters to the left using your fingernails. This will release the cable. Now you can pull cable from the connector and remove the keyboard.

WARNING! If you break the connector the keyboard will never work again (unless you find a way to repair the connector or replace the whole motherboard). Be careful.

Disconnect display cables

STEP 10.
Disconnect cables pointed with red arrows.

Disconnect three wireless card antenna cables pointed with yellow arrows.

Remove screws from hinges

STEP 11.
Release all disconnected cables. Remove screws securing the display hinges (three screws securing each hinge).

Remove laptop display

STEP 12.
Lift up and remove the display panel.

IMPORTANT! You’ll have to go through steps 10-12 only if you want to remove the display panel.
In order to remove the laptop base cover and access the power jack, it’s not necessary to remove the display panel. I understood that only after I removed the display.

Here’s what you have to do. Leave all cables mentioned in the step 10 connected and go to the step 11. Remove only two red screws from each hinge and do not remove green screws. Now you can close the display and proceed to the step 14 (removing base assembly).

Display has been removed

STEP 13.
The display panel has been removed. I didn’t have to remove it but I did.

Remove laptop base cover

STEP 14.
Turn the computer upside down and remove the base cover.

Release DC-IN power jack

STEP 15.
Now you can access and replace the DC-IN power jack located in the top left corner.

Do you see the RTC (CMOS) battery? I’ll explain at the end why I mentioned the battery.

DC-IN power jack broken

STEP 16.
The DC-IN power jack was broken in many pieces. I unsoldered the broken jack and replaced it with a new one.

DC-IN power jack replaced

The power jack has been replaced. Now you can assemble the laptop following steps 16-1.

IMPORTANT! After I replaced the jack, I assembled the laptop back together, plugged in the power adapter, pressed on the power button and NOTHING! The laptop was dead! There were no LED lights or any activity at all. I tested power jack continuity with a voltmeter and didn’t find any problem. The motherboard was getting power but didn’t turn on. I thought the motherboard was fried. Just in case I unplugged the RTC (CMOS) battery from the motherboard, waited for 30 seconds and plugged it back in. Tested the laptop again AND it started like new!!!!

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How to disassemble Sony Vaio PCG-K

Sony Vaio PCG-K25 notebook disassembly

The following guide will explain how to disassemble a Sony Vaio PCG-K series laptop.

I created this guide while taking apart a Sony Vaio PCG-K25 model but I think you can use the following disassembly steps for all models in the PCG-K line.

The main reason for me to take it apart was replacing the broken power jack. Proceed disassembly on your own risk.

Before you start the disassembly process unplug the AC adapter and remove the battery.

Remove keyboard bezel

STEP 1
Carefully remove the keyboard bezel using a small flathead screwdriver. Remove it slowly, there is a flat ribbon cable connecting the power button board with the motherboard.

Keyboard bezel removed

STEP 2
Trun the bezel upside down. The red arrow pointing to the connector on the motherboard.

Disconnect keyboard bezel

STEP 3
Unlock the connector by lifting up the cable retainer about 1-2 millimeters. Be very careful.

After the connector is unlocked, you can pull the cable and remove the bezel.

Remove keyboard screws

STEP 4
Remove three screws from the keyboard.

Disconnect keyboard from motherboard

STEP 5
Lift up the keyboard and place it upside down on the palm rest so you an access the cable underneath.

Unlock the cable connector. Disconnect the cable and remove the keyboard.

Removed screws from cover

STEP 6
Remove all screws securing the metal cover.

Remove cover

STEP 7
Remove the cover.

Clean notebook cooling fans

STEP 8
After the cover has been removed, you can access and clean both cooling fans. You can clean fans with compressed air.

Remove hinge screws

STEP 9
Remove two screws securing the display hinges to the back side of the base.

Disconnect display panel

STEP 10
Remove four screws securing display hinges. Unplug the video cable from the motherboard. Unplug both wireless card antenna cables from the wireless card.

In one of the next guides I explains how to replace LCD screen with inverter.

Remove notebook display panel

STEP 11
Lift up and remove the display panel.

Remove hard drive memory modem covers

STEP 12
Remove the hard drive cover, memory cover and modem cover from the bottom.

Each cover is secured by one screw.

Disconnect remove notebook hard drive

STEP 13
Here’s how you can remove the hard drive.

Remove four screws securing the hard drive caddy to the base assembly. Slide the hard drive down to disconnect it from the motherboard. Lift up and remove the hard drive.

Remove memory modem card

STEP 14
Removing memory modules (if needed).

Carefully spread latches on both sides of slot. The memory module will pop up at 30 degree angle. Pull the module from the slot by the edges.
Removing modem card (if needed).

Remove two screws securing the modem card. Lift up the modem card to disconnect it from the motherboard and unplug cable from the side.

Remove all screws from the bottom.

Remove top cover screws

STEP 15
Remove two screws securing the top cover assembly. Disconnect the touch pad cable connector on the motherboard and unplug the cable.

Remove notebook top cover

STEP 16
Lift up and remove the top cover assembly.

Remove notebook DVD drive

STEP 17
Push the CD/DVD drive to the right side with your thumb. Remove the CD/DVD drive.

Removing plastic cover

STEP 18
Remove three screws securing the plastic cover.

Remove cover

STEP 19
Remove the cover.

Remove power jack bracket

STEP 20
The power jack is hidden under the metal bracket. Remove one screw securing the bracket.

Access power jack

STEP 21
Lift up the bracket. Now you can access the power jack.

Remove replace resolder notebook power jack

Release the power jack.

Now you can remove the broken power jack (unsolder from the harness) and replace it with a new one.

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Taking apart Fujitsu LifeBook V series

Fujitsu LifeBook V series notebook

This guide will help you take apart a Fujitsu LifeBook V series notebook. It will show how you can remove the hard drive, memory modules, DVD drive and keyboard.

Also, I’ll show how you can clean up the heat sink. I have created this guide while taking apart a Fujitsu LifeBook V1010.
The badge on the front said “LIFEBOOK V Series” so I assume this guide should work for other modes in the LifeBook V line.

Remove notebook battery

STEP 1

First of all, remove the battery. When the battery is installed, you cannot remove the hard drive cover.

Remove hard drive cover

STEP 2

Remove one screw securing the hard drive cover. Slide the cover to the the right site and remove it.

Remove notebook hard drive

STEP 3

Remove two screws securing the hard drive caddy. Slide the whole assembly to the left and remove it.

If you are replacing the hard drive, you’ll have to transfer caddy to the new drive.

Remove memory cover

STEP 4

Remove one screw securing the memory cover. Remove the cover.

Remove notebook memory

STEP 5

Now you can remove both memory modules. Spread latches on both side of the slot until the module pops up at a 30 degree angle. Remove the module by the edges, do not touch chips.

Remove notebook CD DVD drive

STEP 6

Remove two screws securing the CD/DVD drive. Push the CD/DVD drive out. Remove the drive.

Remove heat sink cover

STEP 7

This cover gives you an easy access to the cooling module.
If your laptop runs hot and shuts down without any worning, probably it’s heat realated problem. Most likely the heat sink is clogged with dust and because of that the CPU overheats.

Clean notebook heat sink

STEP 8

Remove the cover. You can clean the cooling module with compressed air.

Spray air inside the opening until there is no dust inside the heat sink. That’s an easy way to fix the overheating problem.

Removing notebook keyboard

STEP 9

Now we are going to remove the keyboard. In order to remove and replace it you don’t have to go through steps 2-8. Remove the battery and then jump to the step 10.

Lift up keyboard bezel

STEP 10

Start removing the keyboard bezel with a sharp object, you can use a small flathead screwdriver.

Lift up the right side of the bezel (move 1) and then slide it to the right (move 2).

Keyboard bezel removed

STEP 11

Remove the bezel.

Remove notebook keyboard

STEP 12

Now lift up the keyboard.

Place it upside down on the palm rest. Be careful, the it is still attached to the motherboard.

Disconnect keyboard from motherboard

STEP 13

Unlock the cable connector on the motherboard as it shown on the picture above.

Pull the cable out.

WARNING! If you break the connector, you’ll have to replace the whole motherboard.

Replace notebook keyboard

Remove the keyboard and replace it with a new one if necessary.

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How to disassemble HP Pavilion dv9000

HP Pavilion dv9000 laptop

In this guide I will disassemble a HP Pavilion dv9000 laptop.

These instructions will help you remove the hard drive, memory, wireless card and keyboard.

All these components, except the keyboard, can be accessed through on the bottom of the computer.

Remove covers

First of all, remove the battery.

Remove screws from the 1st hard drive and memory covers. Remove both covers.

Covers removed

Under the memory cover you will find the wireless card and RTC battery.

Remove laptop hard drive

In order to remove the hard drive, lift up the right side of the drive assembly (move 1) and then pull it to the right (move2).

If you are replacing the hard drive, you’ll have to transfer the caddy and connector to the new drive.

Disconnect wireless card antennas

Before you remove the wireless card, you’ll have to disconnect both antenna cables pointed with green arrows. Simply unsnap both antenna cables from the wireless card with your fingers. After that remove two screws securing the wireless card and pull it from the slot by the edges.

Remove second hard drive cover

Some HP Pavilion dv9000 models have only one hard drive installed. As you can see, in my computer there is no second hard drive under the cover.

If you would like to install a second hard drive, you’ll have to purchase a new 2.5″ SATA HDD, SATA connector and drive caddy.

I refer to all HP Pavilion dv9000, dv9100, dv9200, dv9300, dv9400, dv9500, dv9600 & dv9700 notebooks as the “dv9000” since adding a hard disk drive (HDD) to all above mentioned models is similar.

Remove laptop CD DVD drive

In order to remove the CD/DVD drive you’ll have to remove the securing screw (1) and then carefully pull the drive from the case.

KEYBOARD REMOVAL INSTRUCTIONS

Remove laptop screws

Remove six green screws securing the bezel and one red screw securing the keyboard.

Remove keyboard bezel

Carefully start removing the bezel with a small flathead screwdriver.

Keyboard bezel

Be very carefull, the bezel is attached to the motherboard with a flat ribbon cable. The cable location is pointed by the green arrow. Do not disconnect this cable. Simply place the bezel as it shown on the picture below.

Remove keyboard screws

Remove three screws securing the keyboard.

Laptop keyboard

Lift up the keyboard. Be carefull, it’s connected to the motherboard.

Unlock keyboard connector

In order to release the cable you’ll have to unlock the connector as it shown on the picture above.

1. Slide the connector lock to the direction shown by two green arrows with your fingernails.

2. Pull the cable from the connector.

Remove replace laptop keyboard

Now you can remove and replace the keyboard with a new one.

In the next guide I will explain how to disassemble laptop display and remove inverter board with LCD screen.

Also, you can read how to replace broken dispaly hinge in dv9000 model.

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