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March 25, 2005

12" PowerBook Reassembled and Alive

I believe this to be my final post about the 12" PowerBook repairs I've undertaken, for anyone who's sick of hearing about it.

The DC-in circuit board arrived this morning. Unfortunately it was right around the time I had to leave for work. Not wanting to have to go through the whole day without the laptop, I took all of the parts and packed them into a few boxes and brought them into the office.

I spent 2 hours (not counting interruptions to get work done) reassembling. I followed the steps in reverse order and everything went smooth except one hitch. I didn't bother to keep track of which screws came from which places. I figured that I could either use the measurements in the guide to get the lengths, or just use the shortest possible screw in every situation and hope that in the end it would all work out. It did, right up until the end when I was putting the last few screws into the case. I put four shorter ones near the audio in/out and superdrive slot, which left four longer ones for the cover of the memory expansion slot on the back. When I screwed on the memory cover the laptop, which had been charging (blinking lights on battery), became unfunctional. I had started it up before putting in the last screws but with the memory cover on it wouldn't start up.

Sure enough, when I took off the memory cover it worked. I did a test and found that if I put the long screw in without the cover and watched how far into the case it went, before I could get it down to be flush with the case it was pushing on the logic board and shorting out a circuit (yes, there were sparks). I exchanged the longer screws with the shorter ones from the other part of the case and the problem seems to be gone.

It feels good to be back in business, or at least be on a machine where all of my stuff is present and in the right place.

Posted by mike at March 25, 2005 4:58 PM