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Project frankenlaptop: will it work? - 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Thomas

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Project frankenlaptop: will it work? [Sunday 15th February 2015 at 9:41 pm]
Thomas

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[Feeling |hopefulhopeful]

With the CCFL tube replaced, it's time to start putting the laptop back together!

But before I actually started putting things back together, I took the opportunity to repair the broken Bluetooth antenna.



I declare lead-free solder to be an abomination unto Nuggan. Next time I'm at the parents' I might ask The Gnu if he's got any spare rolls of the proper stuff.



Oh, and I totally did not accidentally solder the cable on the wrong way round and then have to unsolder it and try again. Nope, it was entirely on purpose so that I could practice my soldering :)



With that done, it was time to fit everything back into the lid. I put some sellotape over the foil on the back of the screen to stop any sharp edges potentially wearing through and shorting against the flex-pcb (which would be a Bad Thing) and then reconnected that.



Then it was time to refit the Bluetooth and top Wifi antenna to the lid...



...reattach the hinges (rather than reuse the R50p hinges I used the ones from the R50e, which has been relegated to being a pile of spare parts) and the other Wifi antenna (top right)...



...combine the two together...



...and fit the inverter board from the R50e. The two inverter boards are not identical, and there's some suggestion online that they should be matched to the CCFL tube. It is fully populated with status LEDs so hopefully those will all work.



Then I refitted the lid and screwed down enough of the frame to give the laptop some structural strength. I've left the screen bezel off for now, as that's downright awkward to remove and so I don't want to have to take it off again.



Because it's generally a good idea to not omit heatsinks unless you want the magic smoke to escape, before doing a test powerup I needed to replace the graphics chip heatsink (which I would have left alone, except IBM in their infinite wisdom glued a metal bracer to the top of it). This meant first cleaning off the remains of the previous thermal gunk, leaving what looks like some sort of metal heat spreader. It's a bit hard to tell but underneath the white square is a module a bit like the northbridge above - that's the green square with the blue bit in the middle.



As an aside, while I've considered upgrading the laptop to Windows 7 and did try the beta on it, the graphics drivers were a major stumbling block. Laptop graphics drivers are usually heavily customised and it's quite hard to get hold of generic ones (with the interesting exception of Intel, who have a downloadable driver creation kit - this comes in handy when you're trying to use a display with a weird resolution, like my "HD ready" TV which is actually 1366x768). Anyway, having cleaned that off it was time to apply some Arctic Silver 5 with today's sacrificial plastic card.



Meh, that'll do. It's not like the GeForce 8800GT which has a rated TDP of 105W and needs a monster actively-cooled heatsink to stop it melting - here the heatsink isn't even in the path of the fan!



Result!



And now for the important question: will it blendwork? There's now enough put back together that if I plug the laptop in I can boot into the BIOS - wait, the power button is on the keyboard. Okay, there's almost enough put back together and I can balance the keyboard on top for testing. Here goes...
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