Easy fixes for common laptop problems
BRIAN NADEL and JON L. JACOBI have the answers
We live and work in a cold, cruel world where our laptops can take a lot of abuse. Regardless of how gentle we try to be, our notebooks will probably be dropped, spilled upon or worse – sooner, if not later.
But if you think that all notebook damage can be repaired only by the manufacturer or a computer shop, think again. Many problems can be inexpensively and easily fixed with common tools, spare parts, and a little
effort. Some repairs are no harder than high school art projects. That said, there are modern laptops that are very difficult to open and repair. If you can’t see any screws, you’re in for a tough time.
Using a couple of old, beat-up mainstream notebooks, we’ll show you how to fix everything from a broken case and frayed charger cord to a bad fan and scratched screen. Each restoration project has time and cost estimates, as well as what materials you’ll need to do the trick. Just follow the basic directions we’ve outlined for each repair.
Fair warning: your system might be a little different, require special parts, or need a slightly different approach. YouTube is your friend.
One additional note: while we applaud improvisation and recycling old parts (especially AC adaptors), there’s nothing like having the precisely correct part to do the repair. In fact, while fans and notebook keyboards may look similar, they can be very different. Each repair features links to where you can get the right parts, but they are just a sample of what’s available. If all else fails, try online to get what you need.
Problem: Frayed AC adaptor cord
Price: £5 to £15 Time: 1 to 2 hours Materials: Silicone sealant, painter’s tape (which is less sticky than regular masking tape), protective gloves (optional) Because a notebook that travels needs to be plugged in and unplugged several times a day, the cord and