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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fixed My Laptop…Again

Over the last year or so I’ve had a problem with my Dell Latitude D830. Both the hinges that allow me to keep the screen in an upright position have been broken. And due to money issues, I haven’t had the cash to fix it. With eBook sales being slow all year and money being tight, I’ve had to make some sacrifices.

And one of those sacrifices was working with a laptop with a screen that flopped around.
In order for me to use the computer I had to prop it up on a pillow or a pile of books. When I’d take it outside to the living room I’d prop it up in the windowsill. And when I went to the library, I’d bunch up my briefcase and stick it behind the laptop to keep it in an upright position when open.

In my quest to raise funds for the Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess cover, I started selling stuff on eBay. And I had a little money left over. So I went on eBay and finally bought those hinges.

In the five going on six years I’ve owned this computer so far I’ve disassembled this laptop and stripped it down to the case at least 20 times in my efforts to keep it running. Working on this Dell has allowed me to keep the skills I used to acquire my A+ Certification sharp. The last time I had to go inside the case was a few years ago when I had to replace a cooling fan that stopped working

I’d have to say the PC repair skills I acquired five years ago are still pretty sharp. I managed to get the screen removed from the bottom of the computer from the in 10 minutes and I had the hinges removed from the screen in another 15. If anyone knows computers, they understand, screen disassembly is extremely delicate and a thousand things can go wrong, including breaking the screen.

On a Dell, there’s removing the rubber stoppers, then unscrewing the front bezel from the laptop case lid. Then there’s prying the two halves apart to get to where the hinges are screwed in. That’s the most delicate part of things. Thankfully with a little patience I managed to get both parts apart.

From there it was I had to unscrew the hinges from the back case assembly and screw the new hinges in. After that, I had to reassemble the computer. The entire repair took about 30 minutes altogether.

As you can see in the picture there’s no damage to the case. Thankfully, it was a clean repair. This laptop is my workhorse; the computer I use to write my books and design my covers. It’s what I use to upload eBooks and paperbacks and post up my eBay auctions. It’s where I get my e-mail. It’s the primary tool I use to take care of business.

When the last laptop I owned back in 2001, A Dell Inspiron 2500 died in 2007, I was out of business for a year. So that was one of the reasons I took the PC repair class five years ago. I didn’t want to wind up in a jam again. Being without a computer today would cost me a lot of momentum. I wouldn’t be able to do book promotion, publish books or write these blogs.

PC repair is a skill I’ve had for five years now. And the $300 I spent for that certification has paid off. I’d love to be make it a day job somewhere or start doing free-lance jobs for clients. I passed the CompTia A+ exam with a 836 on the 220-601 and a 836 on the 220-602 in 2009. The highest score at the time was 900.

I got a high score on the A+ exam, and I’ve performed repairs on one of the hardest computers to fix, laptops over the past five years. The way I see it, if I can fix my own computers, I should be able to fix someone elses’ and get paid for it.


  1. I believe AT&T still contracts out to IBM. Maybe you could look them up. Also, not sure where you live, but I believe AT&T is hiring technicians in the southeast right now.

  2. Thanks Reginald, I'll check that out. I'll see if they're hiring in NYC.