How I spent my year-end holiday part 2 of 6: Laptop midnight fiasco aka Electronic Operation aka Tearing-my-laptop-apart-&-putting-it-back-together-again

Posted: December 18, 2009 by ralliart12 in 1-hour notebook, Roadblocks
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

"Electronic Surgery"

I was preparing some Vista drivers for the impending migration when I noticed a BIOS firmware update available for my Samsung laptop. Decided to go for it & succeeded without any hiccups. Feeling adventurous, I decided to overhaul the physical innards of my laptop to clean the fans & reduce heat build-up. This proved to be a folly as I guess one is limited to a single brash act per night.

Notice the version number of the outdated firmware

The BIOS flashing is performed within a live Windows session

...& it is done

In short, I tore the laptop apart, failed to access the fan comfortably enough to clean it. And when I put everything back together again, the Touchpad & Bluetooth wasn’t working. Great, I damaged my system just when I was about to format it. After the initial panic, I googled around for solutions & more importantly, the service manuals of my specific system. After some examination of the printed labels of the components on my laptop mainboard, I cross-referenced the connection pathways with 3 related Samsung models’ (one of which is my model) schematics. With a more-or-less affirmative Bluetooth module part number. (technicians should find this term very familiar), I performed a “Google Image Search” for this part no. to obtain a visual confirmation to avoid “operating” & destroying another component by mistake. After I know visually what I’m supposed to work on, I went back to the schematics to trace the connection across the Printed Circuit Board. One time, I was very sure the components exist correctly on both the schematics & my actual laptop mainboard, but the layout on the schematics is foreign to me; it turned out I was looking at the inverse side of my laptop plastic shell & the whole inspection was upside-down literally. Once I set my orientation straight I was able to verify the integrity of the module’s connection, and by-chance, I managed to ID the disconnected cable of my Touchpad and all was fine again, expected for 4 broken keys on my keyboard (collateral damage?).

Let's split this unit open!

In the process of dismantling...

Again, I suspect Samsung service cte forgot to return some of my screws from last time

Read 5 Samsung notebook schematics from other models within the family before I chanced upon the right part number...

Next, I have to figure out the correct orientation of the pieces I have on my hands...

Finally found the elusive pathway of the bluetooth module

...& re-connect the dislodged Synaptics touch-pad cable.

Nope, I still didn’t manage to clean my fan. I will also not like to do this again. I supposed to broken keys will serve as a painful reminder the next time I’m feeling adventurous it is probably a sign to forecast the possible occurrence of an act of stupidity. Did I mention I have no electrical engineering fundamentals & half the time I was interpreting the schematics my brain was fuelled by instinct in place of logic?

  1. […] Harmonics :-~ « Tasks How I spent my year-end holiday part 2 of 6: Laptop midnight fiasco aka Electronic Operation aka&nbs… […]

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