xproot.pw logo
"i'm 500k requests in and realized i fucked it up" -Parzival Wolfram
Home - Blog - Guestbook   64 hits Post #13

My laptop has been reduced to a desktop (and not even a half-top!!!)

by xproot in 2023-11-28 20:10:24 PM

As for how I got in this situation, back in November 11th I was disassembling my computer because it was breaking apart, the top part (containing the keyboard, power button, and trackpad) was slowly breaking apart from the rest of the body thus I was trying to find the cause and fix it, it was some broken screw holes (screw stands? screw posts? standoffs?)

Broken screw posts

Thus, I superglued them (this ended up being useless later on)

Semi-broken screw posts

So, I thought that was that, reassembled, and tried to turn on... nothing happens?

After a bit of troubleshooting it was obvious what was the culprit.

120mm flat ribbon cable

This is a flat ribbon cable, around 120mm, looked from above, from the side that goes into the RJ45 module. Some of you might ask "xp, WTF does a Ethernet module have to do with your computer not booting", well the RJ45 module not only handles Ethernet but it also handles the status LEDs on front of the computer, DC power, and the power button.

MB45II7's 1GbE RJ45 module

(Fun fact: this specific module is broken because I accidentally used too much force on the connector's lock(name?) while I was troubleshooting)

Anyways, the other side of the cable I just showed had a problem, one of the pins was BENT on itself

120mm flat ribbon cables with bent pins

You might notice there's two cables in this picture, that's because this has already happened to me before, the pins are like half-assedly glued on stickers that WILL break with the littlest of force, and the one that just broke was the THIRD replacement, I didn't have any more. Why did it break? I dunno, maybe the simple act of taking it out while disassembling it was enough (I didn't put much force when it broke).

Now fast forward a bit when I'm at school, I couldn't buy one online because it is non-standard so the cables were either too big or too small, thus I used the biggest repository of broken laptops exactly┬▒ like mine: My school. (I asked and was granted permission)

Thus, me and a friend were taking apart another computer and mine to swap out ONE FLAT RIBBON CABLE (and the RJ45 module since I broke my GbE one and I only had 100Mb ones... really I swapped out the entire top part as the screw standoffs broke again making the reason why the computer was dead COMPLETELY IN VAIN), and it did work BUT there was a problem... the display won't show an image...? I had absolutely no clue why it wouldn't, we even tried the donor computer's screen and it didn't work, so I'm assuming something leading to the LVDS connector or the LVDS connector itself is broken, I didn't want to break another connector trying out another board (and it was getting late) so... I am now using my second monitor as a first.

Monitor is on top of my computer

So, we still have to get to why is it not a half-top, this one is much easier to explain: the firmware is dum.

I am kinda lucky because unlike my HP, my firmware duplicates the screen in LVDS to VGA and HDMI until the OS boots up. But also, unlike my HP my firmware will insist that there is a display even if it can't get EDID from it, I disconnected the entire LVDS connector and my computer thought there was a 1024x768 display still connected... no there wasn't?

This wouldn't be an issue against my half-top desires if it wasn't for the sleep sensor. The sleep sensor DOES NOT work without a display plugged in, even though it's on the main body and the BIOS insists there IS a display, so the only way to disable the display is through the OS, which isn't really a trouble now that I think about it, I'm just lazy and I put a magnet on top the computer lol...

This data can also be viewed through: RSS Button