How to Replace Laptop Motherboards
You can replace or upgrade your laptop's motherboard (main board or system board) if it cannot be fixed. The entire process may take up to two hours, depending on your experience with electronics disassembly. Before you start, make sure the new motherboard is compatible with your laptop, and that you have enough time to finish the entire process. If you are not sure whether your laptop will support a particular type of board, refer to the manual or go to the manufacturer's website.
Things You'll Need
- Compatible motherboard
Turn off your laptop, unplug it from the AC mains and take off the battery. Some laptops have a locking mechanism that holds the plastic battery cover in place; undo the lock and take off the cover to remove the battery.
Remove external components from the bottom of the laptop, including memory module(s), wireless card and modem. Some laptops may have locks that will have to be undone before you can remove the plastic casing covering the component.
Take the plastic shell off the laptop's body. Different models have different holding mechanisms, which hold the plastic casing to the laptop in specific parts. Locate where the casing is attached, and undo the locks to release the case. Do not apply excessive force as this might break or damage the lock.
Remove all screws from the bottom and gently raise the keyboard assembly from the frame. You may have to take apart a securing strip to remove the keyboard. Place the keyboard aside on a level surface and unplug all cables that connect the various internal components.
Release the display assembly by undoing screws that attach it to the body. Lift the unit and unplug cables that run from it to the motherboard. You will now have access to the motherboard; remove the screws and unplug the cables connecting it to the power board.
Remove the board and unlock the central processing unit (CPU) from its dock. Insert the CPU into the new board and place it into the motherboard slot. Connect the board's cables to the other components and put the screws back on. Replace all the components in the the order you dismantled them. Connect each component's cables as you replace them.
Tips & Warnings
- Put aside each component with its screws and cables, as you remove them from the laptop. If you are organized, and know which parts belong where, it will be much easier to put the laptop back together again. When you are done, you should have no leftover pieces.
- Never attempt to disassemble your laptop if it is still within the warranty period. All manufacturers will void the warranty if the unit is opened by anyone except their technicians. Replacing an internal component in a laptop should be the last resort; before you attempt to replace the motherboard, make sure that the device is genuinely damaged, and take all measures to troubleshoot it.