Skills I’m thankful for: Knowing how to open my laptop

Its rare that anyone would loosen the screws on a laptop and take it apart, unless that person so happened to work at a laptop factory or service department. For those who know the skill, it can come in handy sometimes.

For me, one of those times was today, when I inadvertently spilled red bean soup all over the wrist-rest and keyboard of my laptop. My first reaction: “OH, SHOOT!” Quickly, I ran to the bathroom to get some paper towels and clean up the surface mess. But it was too late: the liquids had already spilled into the laptop.

I hastedly unplugged my laptop and shut it down. With mini-screwdriver in hand, I took the keyboard out. It was a good thing it did that, because a substantial amount of water got under the keyboard onto the keyboard tray. Had I spilled any more soup, the circuitry inside would have been fried.

But it didn’t stop there: I had to take the top frame of the laptop out, as I noticed liquid seeping in along the seams of the frame. It was a taxing process, and quite time consuming as well. I cleaned out the soup, which, thankfully, did not accumulate in large amounts under the frame.

Then, it was time to put everything together. Carefully, I put the laptop back together, tightened the screws meticulously, put back the RAM chips, the hard drive, and the CD drive. When I turned on the computer, the fans made a whirring sound, but the screen stayed dark. Three seconds later, the laptop turned off.

I pressed the power button again. Same effect. Uh oh, I thought. I’m going to have to take this to the repair shop.

Before succumbing to a costly inspection/repair, though, I checked the laptop again, starting with the RAM chips. Turns out that one of the RAM chips was incorrectly plugged in, so I re-plugged it in. Time for the moment of truth, Part 2.

I held my breath. For the first time ever, I was scared to death of pressing the power button. Nevertheless, I went ahead, and closed my eyes.

The fans whirred. I opened my eyes, and the screen came on. “Starting Windows,” it said.

Never was I so happy to see that screen. For that half-hour I was almost certain that my laptop was doomed. But thanks to the DIY experts at, I didn’t have to spend $100+ on repairs that I could’ve easily done myself!