Help taking apart laptop

Posted on 2005-04-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I am tring to take apart a sony pcg-fx370 laptop.  My question is there any type of diagram or instruction that i could follow.  It seems there are a lot of hidden screws and what not.  I tried lookin everywhere on the sony site, with no luck.  Maybe someone knows a website or something that might have some useful information on it!

Thanks in advance
Question by:securi-tech
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Accepted Solution

Callandor earned 200 total points
ID: 13887720
You might want to check out this site: http://repair4laptop.org/
(formerly known as http://tuxmobil.org/disassembly_laptop.html)
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 13892043
There is a service manual, but good luck getting your hands on one (some brands are easier than others, but Sony is one of the more difficult ones).  When someone without specific laptop training takes a laptop apart, there is about a 50% chance that the laptop will suffer major damage costing hundreds of dollars to repair (and it doesn't go anywhere near zero even if they have the service manual).  What are you trying to do?


Expert Comment

ID: 13896217
If you feel comfortable trying to take it apart I say go for it, you have to start somewhere. You are not going to find a manual or service diagram for it. I work at a service center and we dont even have any for any notebooks. The best thing to do is to draw boxes on a piece of paper and put the screws in the coresponding boxes, labeling each box of course. Some of the screws are a lot longer then others and you don't want to get them mixed up. Getting them apart is a lot harder then getting them back together. Once you get it apart 75% of your work is done. You will probly end up backtracking a bit in the rebuild process as you will miss screws and have to go back. If at the end you have 4 or less extra screws you did a very good job. Don't worry about it too much, I think they have deals with screw manufacturers to buy extra stock. I do about 5 units a day and have never had a problem due to a missing screw. If you get all the ones in for the monitor, keyboard, mouseplate and backpanel you will be set.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 13899201
RE: "we dont even have any {service manuals or diagrams} for any notebooks ... If at the end you have 4 or less extra screws you did a very good job ... I do about 5 units a day and have never had a problem due to a missing screw"

Where do you work?  I really want to know.  I have a very specfic reason for wanting to know.

Re: " you have to start somewhere".  Agreed, but the best place to start is with an old, inexpensive laptop.  In the past month I've picked up perfectly good, complete and working laptops (A Toshiba 430CDT and a 490CDT) for less than $35.  Something like that is a better place to start than with a valuable laptop.  You can get dead laptops for less than it will cost you to ship them.  In fact, quite often, you can get live laptops for about the same price.

If you don't have a service manual, and you are going to start taking it apart, a digital camera can come in very handy.  The caution about screw length is very important, if they are too long, they will go right into something beyond whatever they are going into.  I've seen shorts, damaged motherboards and holes in lids because someone reinstalled the LCD panel using the wrong (too long) screw.

Also critically important is understanding about the proper use of "flex cables" (the flat ribbon cables used extensively in laptops.  Most of these terminate in ZIF (zero insertion force) sockets, and if you are not familiar with them and the sockets (of which there are a half-dozen different styles), you will damage these, they are proprietary (e.g. essentially unreplaceable) and they are often an integral part of assemblies like the keyboard, etc.  This damage is usually catastrophic, thus you must understand how to lock and unlock the ZIF sockets.


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