As the subject suggests I am discussing my laptop. To start off with my stepdaughter got a new and improved laptop, this one was giving her problems. It kept cutting out from overheating. I had looked at it before, but I was unable to figure out quite what was causing the problem.
Well after it was mine, and it cost me $0.00 I decided I would loose nothing if I looked into the innards. First I had to open it up. Now that can be a big chore when you know nothing about laptops except they are a computer that sits in your lap, ya right. I opened up the the computer, which took about an hour. It took me about 5 minutes this evening to do that. I then took off some screws under the keyboard and removed the CPU cooling fan and lubricated it. Then I took some “Canned Air” and blew out a lot of dust. Afterwards I reassembled and it took care of most of the overheating as only when the laptop is on a lap or cloth surface does it start to overheat again, which is blocking the vents for the airflow. So that overheating is expected.
I then proceeded to add another 512Mb memory and brought it to 1GB memory thus making things run faster and smoother. Since I am an Amateur Radio Operator I decided that the laptop in the car for APRS (Automatic Positioning Radio System) using UI-View32 and my Kenwood TS-700A and a Black & Decker 400w inverter. Well this worked out for me about 3 weeks; hence I started breaking the USB tabs on the USB ports. When I got down to no USB ports I decided to look into replacing the USB connector. Unable to find what I was looking for, a single USB connector and a dual USB connector that mounts on circuit board I decided to look into getting a new Motherboard. I had not taken apart the laptop again to make sure what USB connectors I really needed, so my bad. I found a new motherboard for $109.00 on eBay and in a week it arrived. In 10 minutes I had the cover off the Laptop, faster this time. Then it took me abut another 45 minutes to figure out what had to be removed and removed the parts and some screws to remove the motherboard. Then I made sure that they were a match, there are several motherboards even for the A65-1065, but I had already looked for the MB part number and ordered the exact replacement. In the meantime I went to CompUSA/TigerDirect and picked up a CF card that has 2 USB ports. I really hate to use the Touch pad when I have a lot of files to move around and I have a USB mouse.
In about 5 days I received the MB and it took me about 2 1/2 hours to replace the MB and get the case back on. First off I checked the MB, sound, USB ports and some other things. Then I updated all the drivers. After getting everything looking good software wise I noticed that the front panel LED’s were not working. Back into the innards of the beast. I found a part had broken (clamp) holding the Flat Flexible Cable (FFC or ribbon cable). After trying to make things work I noticed I had damaged the FFC. Well back to ebay and to my surprise, and after about 6 hours of looking on the internet in other places, I could not find the cable anywhere. Of course if I had a part number for it, things would be eaiser.
But, the laptop worked fine and I ordered a plexiglass holder for the mobile mount. Since I did not want to break the (new) USB ports again. Again I looked on eaby for mobile laptop mounts and found some of those cheapie’s and just ordered the top piece only. I recommend that if you order one of these cheapie’s, just order the entire unit. While waiting for the plexiglass to come in I read over and over and whatched their video and they mentioned that they use 1″ black pipe, well the pipe they used was actually 1/2″ and wasn’t even 1″ on the outside. I used 1″ pipe and after I got the mount made, painted and installed the Plexiglas came in. I then had to get an adapter for 1″ to 1/2″ pipe, painted and installed the rest of the mount. I’m really glad I used the TRUE 1″ pipe as it is quite sturdy.
Well now I let things go for over a month and I was meandering (gawking) on ebay again just looking for Toshiba laptop parts and found an upper cover that when the picture turned it over had the little cable on it. Now for $12.95 and with free shipping in 3 days I received the upper case and took off the cable I needed. I then took the laptop apart, 5 minutes flat this time and replaced the cable. Still the clamp was broken and I placed the cable where it should go, placed the clamp on and glued it in place of course making sure it was working the entire time. In 30 minutes total time the laptop was back in 100% working order and I’m really glad things worked out. I still use the CF USB ports in the house, but not when I’m mobile with the laptop.
I am now thinking about picking up another A65-S1065 for parts and perhaps build a new laptop. Laptops right now are at an all time low and the local computer store, so it would just be a labor of love or to have the spare parts lying around for this one. Maybe I should go into laptop repair? They really aren’t as bad to repair as I thought it would be at first glance.
When I started one this project I actually had dreaded even opening up the laptop, but then I’m sure we all dread the unknown.
$12.95 FFC / top panel
$16.95 CF USB ports
$173.85 If I added it up right. Well that is not bad for a laptop with WinXP Pro. I really should put Linux on it. Maybe I’ll get a new drive for it with Linux only.
Benny D. Miller Jr. ARS w4qed