A notebook isn't like a normal computer case,
opening one can be an adventure.
Having worked on Compaq, Dell, HP, and IBM laptops all the cases are opened
differently and are all difficult to crack.
Disassembly of a laptop case or to take apart a
notebook "shell" unfortunately is a
time consuming process, and you must exercise caution when opening the
it or you may have to replace the broken parts of the
case. Most have screws located under the
battery, keyboard, and in the hard drive bay. In addition if you have to remove
the video screen you will have to be extremely careful to not tear the ribbon
cable for the screen.
The notebooks I am most familiar
with are the IBM ThinkPad series. Some of these procedures apply to other
You will need a lot of open space and a container for small screws and parts.
A magnet or magnetic screw driver is useful for getting the small screws out of
recess or wells that the screws drop into. Another tool that is very useful is
a thin plastic putty knife (I will tell you why shortly).
If you have an exacto
knife you can use it to remove the little covers over some of the screws, these
little plastic covers are coated with an adhesive on the back to keep them in
place, I put them on a piece of paper with just enough force to keep them from
falling off. This will keep the adhesive intact for replacing them when you put
you computer back together.
Once you have all the screws out of the notebook case, take
your plastic putty knife and find a spot where you can insert it in between the
bottom and top halves of the notebook case,
gently work it along to 'crack' the case apart. To keep it
from closing you can put a flat head screw drivers (or more plastic putty
knives) in strategic points to keep
the case from closing back up.
Now that you have it open you can proceed with your repair/replacement.
For those that have cracked and broken notebook cases I do not know of any
glue that will repair the plastic. Most of the plastic they are made of is "high
impact" plastic that glue will not adhere to or melt to repair a crack or
reattach a broken part.
Note: The laptop case has four distinct parts, the upper half contains the video
display and sometimes speakers. The lower half contains al the other parts of
the computer it is sometime referred to as a 'shell' some come apart in two or
three separate pieces, others have panels you would remove to gain access to the
interior. If you have a badly damaged case I suggest you contact the manufacture
to see if there are any spares available.
table, or PDF was removed because it will not display on your device. Check back on a PC....
02/13/14 - When I wrote this article in 2008 ASUS had just begin making
their own laptops. Most of the ASUS laptops have a panel on the underside of the
notebook that slides off, however the challenge comes with all the screws in some
laptops, I currently have two laptops and a netbook that I have done upgrades
for. Once you have taken all the screws out of the panel it will side off giving
you access to the memory, processor, hard drive, and with the
ASUS K50IJ notebook you have access to the
motherboard as well with out removing any thing else.
can get a