How to Build a Notebook Computer or a Laptop
Level of difficulty:
Laptops, also referred to as notebooks are portable computers intended for mobile usage. The machines are small enough to be carried around wherever the users go and could fit on the users’ laps. Notebook computers are comprised of components typically found in desktop computers such as the keyboard, trackpad, rechargeable batteries, and display. Building laptops is quite challenging because it involves looking for parts that are difficult to find and the builder would have to have steady hands in order to easily maneuver into the portable case’s small confines and handle tiny screws.
- Needle nose pliers
- hard drive
- large and mini Philips head screwdrivers
- graphics card
- small baggies
The initial step to building a notebook computer involves looking for a barebones notebook. There are a number of models of barebones that could be availed of by users at their local electronics stores. They could also be bought from online retailers. The primary factors involved in the selection of a model for a barebones notebook include processor technology, screen size, and graphics card support. All of these factors depend on the user’s requirements.
Barebones notebooks are not entirely empty. Oftentimes, they come bundled with a number of components which have been built in and can therefore not be traded like the optical drives and motherboards. That being the case, the builder of the laptop would have to assemble all the other components of the computer like the graphics card, CPU, hard drive, wireless card, and memory. Most of the components required in building the laptop are usually sold as upgrades for ready made laptops competitively priced by the retailers. However, before proceeding to make purchases, be sure that the components match the built-in components of the barebones case.
The preparations involved in laptop building include generating an inventory of all the components of the computer and the tools required. Always make sure that all the computer parts are present including the CPU, graphics card, hard drive, memory and wireless card. Check for the right tools such as the large and mini-sized Philips screwdrivers and needle-nose pliers. Keep all the screws in small bags so as not to lose them when the notebook has been opened.
The assembly of laptops begins with the removal of the barebones notebook’s back panel. Always refer to the assembly instructions that come with the barebones when doing so. Upon removing the screws that hold the back panel in place, put them in small baggies. Take care not to let your fingers get in contact with the motherboard because the socket of the processor is not protected and when the processor’s pins are bent, the laptop is rendered useless.
The processor is installed by lifting the tiny arm right beside the socket of the CPU. Raise the cover of the socket while exercising extreme caution in the process. Carefully detach the snap-on covers on the CPU chip so that they are lined up in the socket that matches the notches within the socket itself. Drop the CPU chip carefully into the socket making sure that there is minimal effort in doing so. Upon accomplishing this, close the cover of the socket and put the locking arm back where it was.
There are two heat sinks present in a number of barebones models. One is for the processor and the other is for the video card. The heat sink for the processor is typically bigger than that of the video card. The installation of the heat sink initially begins by removing the plastic covering without getting in contact with the thermal paste. Slide the cooling fins of the heat sink under the fan assembly behind the laptop. Put in the screws to secure the heat sink.
To avail of a wireless connection, the Mini-PCIe slot is employed instead of the variety Mini-PCIe. It should be noted that the wires would first have to be connected before sliding the card into the slot.
What follows is the installation of the graphics card. Although, they are hard to look for, majority of barebones notebooks employ MXM graphics cards which can be upgraded because they are quite easy to install. Then, set up the hard drive. Securing the drive’s metal cage involves using the blue tipped screws. Drop the hard drive into place using your thumb and push it into the connectors called SATA.
The next step involves adding memory which is the last hardware to install. Upon the completion of the installation of the components of the computer hardware, the back panel is slid into place. Screw it securely into place. Put in the battery pack and plug into the outlet. Now, press on the power button. The logo of the manufacturer of the barebones laptop should appear afterwards. The installation of the drivers should then complete the notebook computer.