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My laptop is whole again!

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gpoehlein

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A couple of months ago, I made the stupid mistake of having an open container of liquid too close to the laptop, and the inevitable happened - liquids in a Macbook Pro keyboard = dead keyboard. Thankfully I reacted quickly and nothing penetrated any deeper than that. But, as a result, I've had to use an external USB keyboard with it (not very "portable" as a result).

I finally got to order a replacement keyboard from ifixit. What would have probably taken 4-5 weeks and $500 or $600 for Apple to repair cost me $90 and was here in 5 days. Then, the fun began. Let me tell you, Apple builds their hardware to make user service darned near impossible. I've built a few circuits in my day and built a couple of PCs from components, so I felt I could probably do the repair (ifixit has a lot of great pictoral tutorials on their site, and they allow users to add comments as well. The latter turns out to be a real bonus, since the instructions can be a bit ambiguous at time and the outside users can tell how they solved a particular problem.

Long story short, the Keyboardectomy and replacement was a success and the new keyboard works great. I really recommend these guys for all apple hardware (computers, iPods and iPhones). They'll even sell you the special tools you need to make the repair.
 

MarkII

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I've been told that all laptops, regardless of brand, are a real b---h to service. It supposedly goes with the territory, which I can definitely believe. It's amazing that you could even pull it off! Congratulations! I'm bookmarking that site pronto! Maybe one day I'll try to resurrect my dead iMac.

MarkII
 

ben_ullman

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I've been told that all laptops, regardless of brand, are a real b---h to service. It supposedly goes with the territory, which I can definitely believe. It's amazing that you could even pull it off! Congratulations! I'm bookmarking that site pronto! Maybe one day I'll try to resurrect my dead iMac.

MarkII
oh yeah!! My dad bought a refurbished Dell Studio 15. Well, it worked great!! After about 3 weeks the sound card pooped out on us. Well, good thing it was under warranty. The guy came out and started taking it apart on the table. I was thinking "oh this is neat" and I asked him where the sound card was, and he pointed to this little square in the corner. I replied "oh thats not to bat to replace", he says "youd think that wouldn't you?!" this is from the service rep thats been doing this for like 20 years.

He replaced the motherboard, sound card, and what seemed like everything else. Its all so tight and compact that one thing goes bad and the whole thing needs replacing.

Ben
 

troj

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Good to hear it's up and running again!

Anything like that is an "adventure" to replace. The Game Boy DS has a "feature" on the right hinge that makes them prone to breaking, if dropped. Well, in the hands of children, then get....dropped.

I've swapped the cases on two Game Boys, and let me tell you, it's not for the faint of heart -- it's not a fun experience. At all.

-Kevin
 

Pem Tech

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Great news!
And a great resource site...
Thanks.
 

ONAWHIM

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The big question is what kind of liquid?

Water, Gin and Tonic, Guinness, or just a Slurpee?:D
 

cjl

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I've been told that all laptops, regardless of brand, are a real b---h to service. It supposedly goes with the territory, which I can definitely believe. It's amazing that you could even pull it off! Congratulations! I'm bookmarking that site pronto! Maybe one day I'll try to resurrect my dead iMac.

MarkII
Somewhat true, but I can say with some level of personal experience that Apple is worse than most. I've stripped down my Dell XPS M1710 several times (partially out of curiosity, partially to get some of the more stubborn dust out of the heatsinks), and it wasn't honestly all that bad. My eee PC 901 was much worse, and I've only tried a macbook once (and believe me, I'll never try it again). A lot of the more recent non-Apple laptops have gone to a design where many of the internals are accessible via a panel on the bottom of the computer, and those are by far the best. I believe the Dell Studios are in this category, and although it is still more difficult than servicing a desktop, it's much, much easier than a poorly designed notebook (my least favorite being some of the older HPs and pretty much any Apple). It's a lot easier with computers where the manufacturer makes the service manual available online. I know you can get Dell service manuals, but I'm not sure about the others.
 
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MarkII

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What I wrote earlier about repairing laptops was told to me recently by a self-employed PC repair technician. He did mention that Apple laptops were particularly difficult to work on, but then admitted that he had little familiarity with the brand. On the PC side, he said that Dell laptops were absolutely the worst brand to try to repair, as hard as or even harder than Apple's. In contrast to the case with Apple's products, he said that he had quite a bit of experience in doing repairs on Dell's machines. He said that Toshiba laptops were the easiest to service. (That was also the brand that he happened to sell, but I'm sure it was just a coincidence. ;) ) He added that all of this was just his opinion, and was based on his experience. I have never owned a laptop, let alone tried to have one repaired, so I had no way to evaluate how accurate his take was. The Mac platform is sui generis, with just one company producing it, so there is no incentive (or really, any reason) to make them compatible with common Wintel laptop designs. (BTW, although I do like Macs, I am basically an ecumenicist when it comes to platforms and OSs. My attitude is, hey, they all work. I'm not biased.)

MarkII
 

cjl

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Older dell non-XPS models were absolutely miserable to service. My friend has an older Inspiron, and you have to remove the keyboard just to get to the RAM. The XPS models weren't too bad, but the older ones (such as my 1710) were still quite a bit harder than a good modern laptop. I've found the Dell Studios and modern Lenovo Thinkpads to be quite nice though.

I don't think I'd go as far as to call Dell laptops as bad as Apple though. At least in my experience, apple is by far the most difficult to do simple things, and you need to remove several screws even just to get to the battery on a modern macbook pro. Asus eee PC netbooks are quite a pain as well, though I have to give them a bit of a break due to their size (and the same goes for the Macbook Air, which is a huge pain in the backside, but I'll give it a bit of a break due to the size).
 
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