The unfortunate reality is that not all laptop disassembly guides are created equal. While many guides will get you from Point A to Point B, after doing some digging around you will find that most disassembly guides are not written by professional computer repair technicians. In fact, at the bare minimum, it is often hard to even verify the author of most disassembly articles. Just because the article includes a bunch of pretty pictures of the disassembly process, does not mean that the author has your best interests in mind, or even knows what he's doing. Remember, it's your laptop that you're ripping apart, it's your warranty agreement you may be voiding and its your hard-earned money you may be throwing away.
With all that in mind, here are three tips for navigating the world of online laptop disassembly guides.
1. Download the Service Manual
Most reputable laptop manufacturers, including Dell, Lenovo, HP and Acer, include service manuals downloadable for free from their support website. If you're unfamiliar with what a service manual is, it is actually exactly what it sounds like. In a nutshell, it is a manual that a laptop repair technician would use if they were getting ready to dissect your laptop to repair or replace major hardware components. The service manual includes detailed schematics, parts numbers and a detailed, step-by-step guide to dismantling the laptop. This should be your default when researching disassembly guides. It's the most reputable, and will help you get your laptop apart without ruining it.
2. Stay Away From User-Generated Sites or Blogs
These sites are often tempting at first glance. This is largely because there are a lot of them floating around the Internet. The problem is that many of the articles on these sites were written by someone just like you. Someone who wanted to dismantle their laptop to fix something, didn't have the patience to find the service manual and just tore down the laptop anyway. This includes websites like, IrisVista.com (Toshiba Satellite disassembly), Repair4Laptop.org (a directory of user-submitted laptop repair websites) and InsideMyLaptop.com. Stick with websites that are managed by an editorial team. This includes sites like, iFixIt.com (a general electronics repair website), RapidRepair.com and ScreenTek.com (a website managed by a laptop LCD repair company).
3. Verify, Verify, Verify
Even as you approach editorially managed laptop repair sites, the content, and the content creators must be verified to some extent. This means checking into the author's background, checking if there even is an author and matching the website's credibility next to other more reputable websites.
Is this a lot of work just to find a credible laptop disassembly guide? Well, that all depends on how valuable your laptop is to you. Did you spend more than $1000 on your Lenovo ThinkPad? Do you have hundreds of dollars invested into your laptop's software? Well, a sure way to throw all that money away is by dismantling your laptop incorrectly. And a sure way to incorrectly dismantle your laptop is by following bad instructions.