Device Disassembly Best Practices – CompTIA A+ 220-901 – 4.5

If you’re dismantling a computing device, then you’ll want to follow some best practices. In this video, you’ll learn about device disassembly, documentation, organization, and which tools to use.

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Working inside a laptop computer or mobile device is very different than working inside of a desktop computer. We certainly don’t have the space that we have inside of a desktop. This is very tight quarters with very intricately engineered devices.

These are usually very tiny screws you’re dealing with. So we have to be very careful what we’re doing, especially because taking it apart is so easy but getting it back together can be a bit of a challenge.

These very small devices and components are also very easy to break. So we have to be careful how much force we’re using and where we happen to be placing these components inside of these devices.

When you’re working with these laptops and mobile devices, you might want to take a little bit of extra time and document exactly what you’re doing when you’re taking things apart. When you’re taking things apart, it may be very obvious where things go. But when you start putting things back together, you may run into some problems. You may want to document this yourself as you go, or you can use third party sites like iFixit, that provide pictures of disassembly and the reassembly of these devices.

One thing you’ll find is there a lot of delicate cables inside of these devices that are connecting antenna wires, there’s connections to storage devices, and connections to the video output. There also a lot of screws– very, very, tiny screws– inside of these devices. And they all seem to be of different sizes, as well. So you have to be very careful the document exactly where a screw came from so that you could put it exactly into the right place when you’re assembling the device again.

Sometimes these screw locations are hidden under bumpers or under labels, so you may want to make sure you know exactly where the screws are before you start trying to pry anything off of a motherboard.

When I take apart a mobile device or a laptop, I like to keep everything in different bins, very similar to the picture you see here. So as I step through, during each step, it will have its own bin, so its own screws and all of its own components go into that bin.

Usually there’s a step by step process. And you might want to take a picture after every step so that you can refer back to the way it was originally.

Also make sure you have a large workspace for the mobile device, the part organizers, and, of course, all of these components are going to be separated and put into their own area in your workspace.

There are many different ways to separate out all of these components into separate containers. You might want to use drinking glasses, or small boxes. Maybe you have a magnetic grid that can hold the screws that you use in each separate step along the way. Or you might have a part organizer like this one.

If you’re working on this project over a number of days, it’s nice to even have a cover you can put on these. In case it does happen to get tipped or overturned, you can still make sure that everything remains organized.

Taking apart these very small components is sometimes not as obvious as you might think. So it’s useful to refer back to documentation to help you understand exactly how to disassemble and then reassemble the device again.

Sometimes the manufacturer doesn’t provide you with the information required to service the device. In those cases, you may want to look for an online guide or rely on a YouTube video that describes the process. Or you might we use a specialized website like iFixit that shows you step by step processes of how to break down some of more popular mobile devices.

One thing you’ll absolutely need on these very small and delicate devices are the right tools. You can’t use the same screwdrivers you were using for your desktop computer. You need something that has precision engineering that you can use. So make sure that you have either the right screwdriver, or the right specialized tools, to be able to get into this device.

You may find that these devices and the tiny screws and components are so small that you may need additional magnification. There might be something you could put in front of you, between you and the device, or you might have magnification that you wear on your head.

And always remember that you’re working with very delicate components. There’s often screens that you want to be sure you do not scratch. So make sure that you have an anti-static cloth and you’re able to protect all of the components inside of that device.