When you want to upgrade the memory, clean the fans, or replace the Wi-Fi adaptor of your Gateway laptop computer, you will need to disassemble the motherboard and base unit completely. The entire disassembly process can be performed with some basic tools and typically takes between 1 and 2 hours.
Prepare the laptop for disassembly. Shut down the laptop completely, then wait a few minutes before removing the battery and unplugging the AC adapter. Turn the laptop over and lay it down on a flat surface so that the battery area is facing away from you and the hard drive is located at the bottom left corner.
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Remove the hard drive cover. Remove the two screws located on the left side of the hard drive cover, then lift the cover to remove it completely from the unit.
Remove the memory cover. Unscrew the eight screws holding the memory board in place; this cover is located above the Gateway product sticker.
Disconnect the Wi-Fi adaptor. Remove the Wi-Fi cover by unscrewing the single screw holding the Wi-Fi adapter in place; this is located directly above the hard drive. Remove the two cables connecting the wireless card to the adapter and snap the card out of the holder.
Remove the memory modules. Gateway computers typically have two memory modules located in the center of the motherboard; lift these out gently with your fingers and set them aside.
Release the heat sink. Unscrew the four screws around the heat sink assembly; this unit is located to the left of the ventilation fan and is surrounded by a copper base. Carefully lift the heat sink and the cooling fan off the unit and unplug the cable attaching it.
Remove the CD/DVD drive. Unscrew the small screw located to the left of the CD/DVD drive, then push the drive out to remove it from the laptop completely.
Remove all screws around the base of the laptop. You will now be left with a total of 18 screws located around the edge of the base of the laptop, and in between the stickers and hardware components in the center. Remove all of these carefully and set aside in a safe place.
Prepare the cover for removal. Turn the laptop up on its edge so that the back of the laptop is facing you; you will see two screws on the hinges of the computer. Unscrew these and set them aside.
Remove the hinge cover. Open the laptop so that the screen is laying flat; use the flathead screwdriver to pry open the hinge cover and pull it off gently with your fingers.
Remove the keyboard. Lift up the keyboard and reach behind it to release the cable. You will need to tug gently on the cable to unhook it from the motherboard.
Unhook the LCD screen from the notebook. Unplug the Wi-Fi antenna cables located on the right side of the motherboard directly under the screen, then unplug the video cable located directly under the hinge cover. Remove the pair of screws located to the left and right of the LCD screen and gently lift the LCD screen off the notebook's base unit.
Remove the system board. Turn the base unit over and unscrew the five screws securing the motherboard to the base. Two of these are located near the hinge cover, and two are located beneath and to the right of the hard drive unit. The fifth is located a few inches below the top right edge of the laptop.
Disconnect the motherboard. Lift the system board, then unhook the cable connecting it to the base unit.