IBM ThinkPad T42 Teardown

Basic outline on complete disassembly of this laptop computer.

  • Author: eric
  • Time estimate: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Disassembly outline

  1. Battery
    • Hard Drive
    • Optical Drive
  2. Memory Cover
    • RAM Memory
  3. Keyboard/Trackpad/Top Cover
    • Mini-PCI Slot
    • Wi-Fi Card
    • Internal Battery
    • Display
  4. Side Bezel
    • Video Card / Fan
      • Processor
  5. Metal Casings
  6. Plastics
    • Motherboard

Edit Step 1 Complete Disassembly  ¶ 

Image 1/3: '''Removing the battery'''

Edit Step 1 Complete Disassembly  ¶ 

  • Removing the battery

    • Unplug the power cable before removing the battery.

    • Slide the 2 sliders on the under side of the laptop to the unlock position, as shown.

    • Grasp the battery and pull it straight out - not at an angle.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image 1/3: '''Removing the Hard Drive'''

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Removing the Hard Drive

    • Unscrew the screw holding the Hard Drive slot in place.

    • Pull the hard drive out with the help of pictured ridges. Cautiously maneuver it out - it might help to open the display slightly.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

Image 1/3: '''Removing the Optical Drive'''

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Removing the Optical Drive

    • Remove the screw holding the optical drive on the underside of the laptop

    • Push the small slider to unlock position, a tab will automatically pop out.

    • Pull tab to dislodge the optical drive, then pull the drive out.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

Image 1/2: '''Removing Memory Cover/Replacing RAM'''

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Removing Memory Cover/Replacing RAM

    • Unscrew the pictured screwed holding the memory cover in place.

    • Pry the cover open carefully (flathead screwdriver might help)

    • To remove the RAM memory stick, push both metal pieces holding it in place outwards, and the stick will pop up. -picture of RAM inside -

    • Pull the stick out carefully. - Picture of the RAM stick -

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

Image 1/3: '''Removing Rear Cover'''

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Removing Rear Cover

    • Unscrew the rest of the screws on the underside of the T42.

    • Unscrew the 4 screws on either side the rear end of the laptop.

  • Note: for ease of reassembly, keep track of which screws go where.

  • [ a line-drawing version is included so it can be printed and screws can be taped on ]

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

Image 1/3: '''Removing Keyboard and Trackpad'''

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Removing Keyboard and Trackpad

    • Flip the laptop over and open the display carefully - the keyboard, palm rest and bezel will be loose.

    • Maneuver the palm rest away from the keyboard carefully, both the keyboard and palm rest/trackpad will come off together.

    • **WARNING** Both the keyboard and trackpad have connectors to the motherboard. Disconnect these before completely removing either component.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

Image 1/3: From here you can remove multiple components.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • From here you can remove multiple components.

  • Removing Wi-Fi Card

    • To remove Wi-Fi card, first disconnect both display wires on the top right.

    • Then slide both of the metal pieces holding it down outwards, and it will pop up.

    • Carefully pull it out.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

Image 1/3: '''Removing Mini-PCI Port'''

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Removing Mini-PCI Port

    • Unscrew the screw holding the port's bracket down, then remove the bracket.

    • Carefully disconnect it from the motherboard.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

Image 1/2: '''Removing Top Plastic'''

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Removing Top Plastic

    • Starting from the bottom right, carefully pry off the bezel. Use a small, flathead screwdriver if necessary.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

Image 1/2: '''Removing the Display'''

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Removing the Display

    • To remove the display, unscrew the screws holding it down. Along with the one pictured, there is another one on the top right edge.

    • Carefully unplug the its connection with the motherboard.

    • Now it will be free to move. Carefully maneuver it out.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

Image 1/3: '''Removing Lower Bracket'''

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Removing Lower Bracket

    • The bracket will be free to move, so remove it.

    • Then remove the small rubber piece covering the small battery.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

Image 1/2: '''Removing Speakers'''

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Removing Speakers

    • This component is free to move, so disconnect it's connector and pull it out carefully.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

Image 1/2: '''Removing Fan'''

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Removing Fan

    • Unscrew the three shown screws, then unplug its connection with the motherboard.

    • **Since both the processor and graphics processor unit are attached to this fan with thermal paste, removing the fan might require some force and a flathead screwdriver to separate the paste from the fan.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

Image 1/3: '''Removing Processor'''

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Removing Processor

    • After removal of the fan, you have access to the processor. Locate its locking mechanism.

    • Use a flat head screwdriver and twist it carefully to the "unlocked" position.

    • Carefully pull the processor out.

    • ***CAUTION - If replacing the processor, make sure the small arrow on the corner aligns with socket.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

Image 1/3: '''Removing Modem Daughter Card'''

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Removing Modem Daughter Card

    • Unscrew three phillips screws as shown.

    • The connector cables are wrapped around components for organization so follow these, unplug them and carefully pull them free.

    • Then remove the bracket that was sitting beneath it.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

Image 1/3: '''Removing Metal Casing'''

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Removing Metal Casing

    • Unscrew the Philips head screws as shown

    • It is attached to the smaller black plastic piece below it - carefully maneuver both of them out at the same time.

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

Image 1/1: '''Removing Plastic'''

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Removing Plastic

    • This will be free to move, so pull it out.

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

Image 1/3: '''Removing Motherboard'''

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Removing Motherboard

    • Unscrew Phillips screws shown in red in the picture.

    • Unplug the connector (shown in turquoise)

    • Carefully remove the board

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

Image 1/3: '''Congratulations'''

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Congratulations

    • Now you're left with the motherboard and the bottom casing

    • This is as far as the teardown goes.


To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order. Remember when reassembling to apply a thin layer of thermal compound on the CPU block.


Add a comment

Excelent, it help me so much.

MarhezCN - Reply

I wouldn't start with a complete removal of all screws. The IBM/Lenovo hardware manual shows which screws to remove to get to what part.

Yishai Sered - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 4

Past 7 Days: 47

Past 30 Days: 200

All Time: 27,564