Teardowns I've Worked On

My Guides

Guides I've Contributed To

Completed Guides


  • Answer to: Need help with laptop issue.

    Hoping you have fixed this by now, but if not, try this: Remove the battery. Remove the hard drive. Restart it and press the BIOS keys Control-Alt-Esc to see if you can enter the setup screen. If you can not enter the setup screen, and can not test the power supply output (be careful, voltmeter probes may short or damage the plug), it might be a good candidate for an iFiXiT teardown guide. Hope you can get it booting, it would make a good "netbook", especially running an easy version of Linux like Ubuntu or Linux Mint.
  • Answer to: Why does my picture occasionally go out.?

    Well the intermittent LCD screen flicker on the 1545 is a known issue. Try attaching an external monitor and see if you still get the flicker. This is a mid-price laptop, but the quality of construction is a disappointment. I used to like some Dell laptop models for fair quality at a fair price. But I am seeing many complaints on forums and reviews in the last 18 months, especially for the budget and midrange price models. You can view or download the service manual free from Dell here -- note that is in web page format, not PDF, so if you download it, be sure to unzip it into a new empty folder. Otherwise you'll have web page parts scattered all over your desktop. Disassembly is not very difficult, but in my experience it is not likely to result in a repair. You will probably not find a loose wire or crimped cable, or any obvious fault. Best of luck, and start saving for a Compaq, HP or Apple.
  • Answer to: Can I diagnose a drive beyond simply tearing the console down?

    Here's my suggestion. Try using a Game Cube disc once the unit is back together. Game Cube discs are a smaller diameter. Pick up a cheap one at a local game store just for testing. If the Game Cube disc works, but the Wii still will not play regular Wii discs, I have a repair that works about 3 times in 5. There are two metal flaps which move up in front of the inner disc slot to keep the disc from being pulled out of the drive. Each flap should have a white plastic guide about 5 by 4 mm clipped to it. Sometimes this guide is broken, loose or missing. I use a bit of heat shrink tubing about 5mm long to replace the missing guide. After installing the new heat shrink guide, carefully bend the flaps with a needle nose pliers until they are close to (1mm away), but do not touch the edge of the Wii game disc. Let me know if this works for you. Best of luck and hope this fixes it for you.
  • Answer to: Film exit dust cover

    I have a few Polaroids, and the little strip you are describing is both a dust cover and a light blocker. A quick patch is to use a strip of black cardboard, the kind used for posters, or a strip cut from black plastic food packaging, like the trays from take-out chicken. Use a strip of black electrical tape as a hinge. Let the new strip hang in front of the film exit slot. If you let the electrical tape extend over the very top edges of the strip, it will stay closed and only bend out when the print ejects. Best wishes and have fun with this wonderful vintage camera.
  • Answer to: Need Barista pump to purchase

    I have this same model, also with a bad pump. The pump is not a standard replacement part. I called 1-800-STARBUC in the US and they replaced my unit even though it was a gift, I had no receipt, and it was out of warranty.
  • Answer to: Why does the gamecube constantly freeze?

    I love my GameCube. I would be really peeved if this 20 minutes thing happened to me. The first thing to try is to pull out any memory cards, only use one controller and most importantly: use a known good game disc. I have a brand new GameCube Game which I only use for trouble shooting. I don't like the game and never, ever play it, unless I need to test something. GameCube can be finicky if your favorite disc has any scratches, fingerprints. Discs can also go bad if you write your name on the label side with a permanent marker. Even if you have taken great care of your GameCube, you may have left it plugged in to the wall outlet (power mains). I know this sounds silly, but the official instructions tell you to unplug the unit when not in use. Sure it's crazy, but I actually do this. And it is not enough to use a surge protector, you have to make sure your surge protector is still working and that nothing else is plugged into it. My town has lots of brown outs, where the lights dim and come back on bright. No...
  • Answer to: Top Screen Vibrates When I Turn It On

    Yikes! That is annoying. Luckily there are several good iFixit repair guides (right on this site) for the DS Lite. When the top screen image shifts up and down the simplest thing to try is to open the bottom case - not the top case! Find the brown ribbon cable coming from the top screen and follow the directions here on iFixit for gently flipping the connector latch and unplugging the cable. Usually I use a clean pink pencil eraser and very, very lightly wipe the ribbon wire traces. Then reconnect, close the connector latch and try again. If you still get the screen vibration you may have a creased or broken ribbon cable. You will have to replace the entire top screen, because as far as I know, the cable is not available, nor is it easily replaceable. This is actually not hard to do if you like tinkering and fixing things. The top screen can be found at places like dealextreme.com or eBay for $10-$15 USD including shipping. Best of luck. Hope you are able to fix your DS Lite. I really love mine - though I onl...
  • Answer to: How to replace an Acer 5100 touch pad?

    Before replacing the touch pad, try plugging a USB mouse or keyboard into the laptop. If this works, it may be that the keyboard and touchpad do need replacing. But this seems unlikely since on the Acer these units have completely separate interface units on the main board. Removing the keyboard on Acer is fairly simple with only a screwdriver. There are two screws on the bottom of the case, sometimes marked with a keyboard icon. Remove them and the keyboard should tilt out. Be careful not to yank the brown ribbon cable. I suspect you have either a software problem, or a partially damaged main board. Try booting from a "live" distribution like damnsmalllinux.org on a flash drive and see if the keyboard and touch pad work. Good luck, hope you get this fixed.
  • Answer to: How do I repair my motherboard

    If your system will not boot, a simple way to test it is to make a Linux Boot disc or flash drive on a friend's PC. Download a "live" distribution, for example from damnsmalllinux.org and see if you can boot the system at all. Best wishes.
  • Answer to: Does anyone know where to buy computer parts? In what store?

    I like microcenter.com or the store.


  • Xbox 360 Kinect Teardown

    Looks like the Kionix 3 axis accelerometer chip uses either the old 4-wire serial bus SPI or I²C (Inter-Integrated Circuit) to send the tilt and inclination data.

    Basically it is a fancy digital carpenter's level, unless they are also using it for image stabilization with all the jumping going on in the living room ;)

  • Repairing Television Cable connector for TV.

    No Phosphorus (P). The phosphors contain Cadmium (Cd). The CRT glass is made with Barium (Ba) and Lead (Pb). Vacuum is not inherently a danger. Implosion is very unlikely. I have broken many a CRT and it takes quite an effort unless you smack it on the relatively fragile neck. No dramatic explosion. No shards of flying glass. Just a crack and a whistle and cursing.