I had a very productive day today. Not only did I get stuff done, I had fun doing it. Most of the time I hate computers because of their tendencies to fail, so I enjoy dismembering them into a pile of separate electronic guts.
Taking apart a laptop is so much fun! If you manage not to break anything, that is. My friend's Acer Travelmate took a knock a while ago and finally gave into constantly being beaten on a day-to-day basis. Plugged in the charger and nothing happened. No light, nothing. I absolutely hate when stuff just stops working and I have no idea what went wrong. Fortunately there was a telltale chunk missing from the case where the AC plug is. Now we know where the problem is, all we need is "what" and "how".
The problem we had with getting to the AC power socket in this thing was that we ended up literally dismantling every component inside the laptop. After much unscrewing and unnecessary brute force (which may have resulted in a few missing pieces of plastic, thanks to me) we had separated it into seven significant figures: chassis, cover, keyboard, motherboard, hard drive, optical drive, and screen.
The problem was evident once we noticed a tiny piece of metal fall out of the laptop half way through unscrewing the chassis. It so happened it was the pin from inside the AC power socket! Encouraging news for us that the problem was only a misplaced piece of metal about a centimeter long, but we still had to take everything apart. Sigh...
When we finally got to the socket, all we had to do was put the pin back in. I set it in place, plugged it in and kazam! A nice shock and a spark and nothing happened. I thought I had blown the motherboard. Nevertheless I realized my mistake and placed the pin the right way around. All very well, I slotted in the battery and inserted the AC Power cable and, w00t! Lo and behold the long-awaited orange "charging" light lit up. Great work now I stuck a piece of stickytape to keep the pin in place and put everything back together :)
Reassembling the laptop was quicker than taking it apart, I don't know why. Once every component was plugged in there were five little screws left over. oops...
The scary thing was that it didn't appear to switch on when I pushed the power button. Don;t you hate feeling when you spend half your morning fixing something only to find you made it worse? Turns out there was a broken screw just under the little circuit board on which the power button is situated. It seems I fixed one problem and introduced another one. Thankfully the new problem doesn't stop the laptop from being useful. All it needs is a push down in the right place and the power button will function.
Problem is now that if the screen switches off after a few minutes you can't tell if the laptop is on or not because the power light is also attached to this slightly misplaced board. Oh well, at least I moved the problem to a more accessible location.
It was fun, too! I feel like taking apart my dad's netbook just to see what it looks like. lol