My Gateway NE57003h Laptop got dropped on its power connector, and ever since has been fiddly to keep connected. Lately, it started getting hard to keep it powered overnight, so I decided the time had come to repair it.
If you look on the bottom of the laptop, the model number is identified as Z5WT1, contradicting the sticker under the keyboard. Neither model number had an online manual or dissassembly tutorial I could find, so I was on my own.
Here are the steps I went through to open the beast:
- Removed all screws from the underside (all the same type)
- Pulled off the hard drive cover, removed the drive screw
- Removed the drive
- Removed the dummy from the CD-ROM slot (no drive on my model)
- Carefully pried up the keyboard:
- Opened the laptop.
- Starting at the top, pried with a screw driver
- Popped it free bit by bit without much force
- Carefully removed the keyboard. There are three ribbon connectors. Each should be unlatched before removing the ribbon cable end. The two small ones have latches that flip up. The big one has two latches, one at each end of the connector, that pull out toward the screen.
- At this point, I could lift the keyboard assembly off to reveal the motherboard and the power connector
My problem turned out to be that a tiny copper flange which holds the power socket in place had bent, allowing the socket to edge back when the plug was inserted. When I bent it back, it snapped off. I replaced it with sections of toothpick, anchored in place with Goop.
After letting the Goop dry for 24 hours, I reassembled:
- Reconnected the two small ribbon cables (insert, then latch down)
- Reconnected the big one. It required some force to seat it in the socket, then I pushed in the two latches on the sides.
- Made sure the power button and keyboard were working
- Snapped down the keyboard assembly (front to back)
- Reconnected the drive and made sure the laptop booted
- Screwed it all back together