Becoming Self-Sufficient with Basic Laptop Repair and Maintenance.

As convenient as laptops are, they are such an inconvenience when anything goes wrong with them. Laptops are built to proprietary designs, unlike desktops.

If anything goes wrong with a desktop –  a fan, a USB port, the graphics card, even the motherboard, everything is built to a standard that you could go buy a cheap replacement yourself and stick it in. No such luck with laptops though. Everything in a laptop is designed for that particular laptop only.

There are no standard layouts, or motherboard designs. A motherboard from any desktop would often fit into the cabinet of any other desktop. Laptop motherboards are just all randomly shaped. If a replacement is even available, it will only be something you find with the very manufacturer, and no one else. For this reason, laptop repairs often end up costing more than a new laptop itself, and that is a shame. People resent this so much, there have been new businesses opening up online, that give you a better way out than taking your laptop down to the recyclables dumpster.

If your laptop seems to be dying, a good way to get it back on its feet would be to give its insides a thorough cleanup. You can find cans of compressed air at any DIY store; a blast around the DVD drive and the CPU heatsink and fan assembly (if they made it so that they would be accessible), can often be of great use. Once that’s out of the way, be sure that you have a great antivirus suite on board.

You don’t even have to pay for them anymore; products like Microsoft’s free Security Essentials suite will take care of any errant programs slowing your experience down. Of course these are really elementary, and will probably not take care of most problems.

If whatever ails your computer cannot be fixed with a reinstallation of Windows or a few utility programs, perhaps there are some eminently replaceable parts of the computer acting up, through old age.

If your laptop is still under warranty, you’ll probably not need to mess about with your laptop repair yourself (not unless you’re actually hoping to void your warranty). But barring that, there a few easy checks and upgrades you can get done yourself; even in the most notoriously badly designed laptop, a little hatch to open on the bottom will let you put in some extra RAM through, and another hatch to take out the hard drive, should be easy to access.

A RAM upgrade is the easiest thing you can do to speed up your laptop. Before you go about upgrading anything, you need to check out exactly how much RAM your laptop has, and how much more it is designed to take. You can find out in the manual that came with your laptop, or you could find out by going to the website of the Crucial memory company.

They have an online tool that’ll right away tell you everything. An entry-level Toshiba Satellite laptop from perhaps three years ago for instance, cannot handle more than 1.25 GB in all. If you go and put in any more, you will send your laptop completely around the bend. Any laptop repair attempt has to be undertaken with care.

If you learn enough about how the insides yourthe laptop, almost no laptop repair exercise need be out of bounds. You can replace a faulty trackpad, the keyboard, or even the screen. Just a little mucking about on eBay, should yield you a great spare part in no time, and you’ll feel rewarded for being quite the intrepid explorer.