Last night I worked a mid-shift for an exercise at Air Force Space Command. For the first time in my 23-yr career I briefed a 4-star general (Gen Lord, commander of AF Space Command).
Today I disassembled my laptop just to replace the bottom which was cracked. The crack had prevented the battery from properly seating, so I had been forced to use AC at all times. This has been an adventure. I ordered the bottom on EBay, paying a nice $20 including shipping. That was just the beginning. After removing all the screws from the bottom it would not come off. A trip to Compusa ended in frustration as the technician refused to give me any advise, holding out for $149.95 for their fee to work on it. I told him not only no, but hell no. That was too much money for a four-yr-old laptop. So began the adventure. Over the next week I would partially disassemble it three times, before reaching success today. Ultimately, I had to completely disassemble it into pieces, even removing the system board.
Key to the success was the purchase of a $15 electronics tool kit from Radio Shack and printing out the Compaq maintenance manual from the HP online site. This manual was not easy to find though as HP recently took over all of Compaq's operations. Now I am the proud owner of a fully functioning laptop, four extra screws, and another part of unknown origin.