Know your (PC) limits...

  dagbladet 16:27 07 Sep 2008
Locked very good advice that I failed to heed today when I wrote off my little laptop.

It had been a loyal servant. About 7-8(?) years old, a little Pack Bell Celeron. The main battery had long since died and the incredibly noisy fan would cut in for 30 seconds every minute. However, it had served me well and has seen more action than Prince Harry. What inspired me to fiddle beyond my limited limits was the dead CMOS battery. If the lappy was off for more than few days, it would take about seven attempts to fire up and the date/time would be back to the birth of Christ. How difficult can it be to change a CMOS battery? I wondered. After weeks of searching on various websites I finally found a service and disassembly guide, which singularly failed to mention the CMOS battery. However, it did explain in cheery, confident tones, exactly how to strip the machine piece by piece. What can possibly go wrong I thought, well actually it did occur to me that I was about do dabble way beyond any place I had dabbled before. Indeed, though I am confident to climb right inside a desktop and root around in the darkest corners, I had never seen the inside of my little laptop. So there was always a chance that this burning obsession to change a £1.25p button battery could end in tears. It did. Though I meticulously followed the strip and re-assembly procedure to the letter, I'm sorry to report that Easy One Silver died on the operating table. Well most of it died, not that flaming annoyingly loud fan. Oh no that still howls away like a VC10 on take-off roll. However, apart from that, nada. Hey-ho, nothing ventured and all that. Oh by the way, when I say I followed the instructions to the letter, that's all apart from the silly little static wrist-strap thingy. but they are a waste of time anyway...aren't they?

  version8 16:45 07 Sep 2008

First time i stripped down a laptop i followed the advice in scott muellers - upgrading & repairing laptops book.

All went OK, which surprised me!

People think they are easy to do, their not!

Laptop screen went about 9 months ago.
New screen would be £150, so sold the laptop for spares in micromart.
Got more than £100 for the parts.

But the main question is dagbladet did you have fun?

Oh and never really used a wrist strap.
Have a full anti-static kit from when doing an NVQ a few years ago, never used it since!!

  lofty29 16:49 07 Sep 2008

totally pointless, never could understand why we had to use such kit when we were assembling pc's at the company I worked for.!!!! They just get in your way, ever tried walking accross a nylon carpet then touching a metal doorknob.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:00 07 Sep 2008

So how do you know its static that's killed it?

Just because the fan runs and there's nothing on screen doesn't mean its beyond resuscitation.

  Pineman100 17:38 07 Sep 2008

Don't think of it as losing an old laptop, dagbladet. Think of it as gaining a new one.

Computers are like dogs. When one dies, you experience such a feeling of loss that you have to go out and get another one right away.

RIP Easy One Silver.

  spuds 17:52 07 Sep 2008

Talking about that 'silly little static wrist-strap thingy'. I remember the days when Tempo Electrical Superstores were in being. The local store had a technicians back-room that had rubber mat floors/tables etc. When I wanted an hard-drive upgrade, no problems, was done there and then.Tried to claim on their 'Peace of Mind 3 year extended warranty' and apparently their local technicians back-room wasn't sterile and protected enough :O(

  dagbladet 19:22 07 Sep 2008

Fruit Bat

I'm not saying that static killed it. I was merely pointing out in a light-hearted way as to how I had perhaps taken a slightly maverick approach to the laid down procedure.

  Chegs ®™ 04:19 08 Sep 2008

I too killed my laptop by changing the CMOS battery.I didnt need to dissassemble said lappy to remove the old battery,it was under a little cover on the underside.I did however,have to completely strip the machine down after removing said battery as the tiny little plug where it connected to the mainboard came away with the battery.Stripped the machine,removed the mainboard and very carefully soldered the tiny plug back in place but as I was reassembling the machine,the CD drive refused to seat correctly and as I turned the machine over to see why,the CD drive dived for the floor ripping the plastic ribbon cable in two.I wasnt spending any money on a machine that Fred Flintstone might've learned his computing skills on so it went to the wheelie-bin.(233Mhz CPU,96Mbs RAM,4Gb HD)

  dagbladet 07:17 08 Sep 2008


If only there was a little cover. Everybody assured me there would be a little cover. Almost every laptop has a little cover for the CMOS battery they said.

Dear Mr Packard

Why didn't you put the CMOS battery under a little cover?...

  laurie53 08:45 08 Sep 2008

Oh Dear! Only yesterday I installed some memory and could not be bothered to find my wrist strap.

Got away with it,\but thanks for a timely warning at your expense not mine!

On the subject of static generally, I used to work with explosives, and we had a brand new preparation facility built with a very expensive hi-spec insulating floor.

However, the explosives we were working with were electrically initiated, so before we could use our brand new facility we had to install some very expensive hi-spec conductive mats bonded to the lightning protection system!

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