• After 15+ years, we've made a big change: Android Forums is now Early Bird Club. Learn more here.

How to be brilliant and an idiot simultaneously.

lunatic59

Moderati ergo sum
Moderator
Jun 12, 2010
40,679
43,520
Pennsylvania
www.cmgd.net
The "How to replace a laptop battery and end up with two laptops" story.

So ... (never start a sentence with "so, well, anyway" and especially "basically").

My daily use laptop for the past 4-1/2 years has been a trusty Asus Vivobook Flip 14. It's the perfect form factor for me and was still working well, even if it was getting a little long in the digital tooth. When the original battery was struggling to hold a charge for longer than 90 minutes, I bought a replacement battery. It should have been simple enough.

(Suppressing my urge to start with "well") I watched the battery vendor's how-to YouTube video and was less than impressed with the details and/or technique. It was not model specific so it had to be very generic. I searched for a few additional model-specific tutorials on battery replacement and found one that I thought was something I could follow along.

I began by removing the screws on the bottom of the device and popping the clips around the edge of the keyboard. it opened easily enough but the tutorial showed the laptop opened to a 90° angle and laying on a table with the screen flat and the keyboard/base upright. Now everyone take a moment to remember the episode of *M*A*S*H* called The Army/Navy Game where a bomb is ticking away in the compound and Hawkeye has to defuse it. The same person wrote the battery replacement instructions and went something like this: Lift keyboard from the laptop case, show it flipped open with the keyboard in a vertical position, next say but be sure to disconnect the ribbon cables. The results in both scenarios were similar.

I did in fact flip the base to a vertical position with the keyboard loose and it promptly fell forward with the ribbon cables still attached ... briefly. :( The force of the keyboard falling forward damaged the Molex ZIF sockets for both the track pad and the fingerprint scanner on the motherboard. That certainly was an [expletive deleted] moment.

Sigh. I replaced the old battery with the new and tried to jury-rig a working connection for the two cables. The first time, they didn't work, so I took the keyboard off again and tried a different Rube Goldberg solution. This time the trackpad and fingerprint reader both worked. I thought I had dodged a bullet, until I got to work and tried to use the laptop. The simple act of carrying the laptop in my briefcase was enough to dislodge/short/bork the connection. The more I fussed, the worse things got.

I had a couple choices. I could pay someone to fix it which would have been over $100 at least and most likely closer to $300 for a laptop that sells for about $225 on eBay in working condition. I could have bought a new motherboard for roughly the same cost as the repair. I could have located the correct Molex connectors, bought a hot air soldering station and taught myself the fine art of reflowing tiny components. Or, I simply could have used the laptop without the trackpad and FP reader.

That last option was certainly practical and reasonable as I could always authenticate with a PIN or password and i generally use a mouse, anyway. But, that non-functioning trackpad staring me in the face everyday would have been a constant reminder of my ineptitude. Trust me, I don't need any more lessons in humility -- I've f**ked up enough $h!t in my lifetime.

This was a couple of weeks ago and coincided with the beginning of the Black Friday ad blitz. Sure enough one of the Woot.com specials target at me was an updated model of the same laptop. (Who's surprised it was targeted since I had been Googling that model for several days -- first for a battery, then for motherboards.) It was the same in every regard, except it had twice the RAM and was upgradable, and had a 6 core/12 thread Ryzen processor, instead of the old 2 core/4 thread i7 in my 2018 model. I was thinking about upgrading anyway (I kept telling myself) so I dropped the $500.

End of the story? Not quite. As everyone knows, once you search for something on YouTube, similar suggestions appear in your feed for decades, or until you click "not interested" 473 times. I had only made it to click number 145 for ribbon cable connector repair videos when i was shown a fix that i hadn't considered. This guy removed the molex connector and soldered the ribbon cable directly to the pads on the motherboard. Seeing as I had a fine tipped soldering iron and some fine motor skills for my watch repair hobby, I gave it a go. The first attempt was yet another unnecessary lesson in humility (aka f**ked up) but attempt #2 actually worked. Both the trackpad and fingerprint reader are both working and each time I use them I feel both brilliant and idiotic.

Anyone need a latptop? ;)
 
Last edited:
so i would not call u an idiot, maybe clumsy......LOL

i wish i was in the market for a laptop. i just purchased a new one an Asus Zenbook. l really like it so far. right now i'm about to go to Best Buy to get an all-in-one computer for my mom. her computer is over 6 years old and is very slow. its time for an upgrade.

i wish you luck selling your laptop.
 
Upvote 0
On the topic, btw, I’ve been an idiot many times in my life.

Not sure I've ever been brilliant, though, so extra kudos to you, luna. I do sense a kindred spirit, though, because I will also come at things from several angles to try and make them work, even after I've moved past "having" to fix it.

And congrats for taking the steps necessary to end up with two laptops. :)
 
Upvote 0
What are the specs for the old one? I'd love to get something basic for my wife to use so she doesn't keep taking mine. ;)

Asus TP410UA-DS71T Vivobook Flip 14 Touchscreen Laptop, Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Windows 11, Star Grey.

FYI, I took a closeup of my "fix".
2020_1202_163144_017.JPG
 

Attachments

  • 147012-8cc14c01d772a6231417556f192daf86.jpg
    147012-8cc14c01d772a6231417556f192daf86.jpg
    7.4 KB · Views: 98
Upvote 0

BEST TECH IN 2023

We've been tracking upcoming products and ranking the best tech since 2007. Thanks for trusting our opinion: we get rewarded through affiliate links that earn us a commission and we invite you to learn more about us.

Smartphones