The FS Esprimo Mobile is a consumer-targeted and cheap laptop for light home use, emphasis on cheap, which arrived the market sometime in 2008 as far as I know. It comes with a 1 year warranty, as is only too normal when it comes to cheap devices (e.g. cheap hardware), so consider extending it if it’s not too expensive. A colleague of mine had managed to drop his machine on the floor resulting in a completely dead laptop. No sounds, LEDs lighting up, no beep/light codes, nothing. Naturally I figured it had something to do with the PSU and told him I would check it out. I couldn’t find an official disassemble manual online, only the regular user manual, so I decided to document the process. First a word of warning: I am not responsible for your own actions, whether you are taking the risk of opening your laptop or farting in the elevator. It’s all you. And if you have a warranty that still applies, please check whether actually using it is cheaper (probably is).
Before you do anything at all, disconnect the power adapter, remove the battery and press and hold the power button for 10 seconds. This is to make sure there is no remaining current in the system. A short-circuit can and will damage the motherboard and other EM sensitive parts and thereby cost you more money. That said, I hope you like to screw, because there is a lot of screwing to be done!
2. Pick out the rubber covering the 2 hidden screws on the front bottom. If you want to you can glue them back on when you’re done.
3. Remove the HDD cover (1 screw) and the small screw underneath it ( pic 1). Proceed to the two screws just below the LCD hinge cover (2). Then, using a small flat screwdriver wiggle up the two hinge covers (3).
4. To remove the chassis top cover to get to the keyboard you will have to release the hinge cover, that is, the small piece of plastic running seamlessly across the machine between the keyboard and the LCD. This is attached by two hidden latches on either side (pictured above). When this is done you are ready to slide out the keyboard towards the monitor. Be careful not to pull it too long which will damage the keyboard control cable underneath! Place the keyboard while still connected on the palmrest face down.
5. Still using a small flat screwdriver, flip up the keyboard connector, and remove the keyboard. Probably to reduce typing rattle FS has put some kind of cloth underneath the keyboard. At least I hope that’s what it’s for. Move it aside for the time being and remove the 3 screws just below the LCD.
6. Remove the last 3 cover screws and then the 4 long screws keeping the LCD in place. When you remove a laptop LCD you should try to open it near the 180 degree angle so that it is easily removed and re-inserted. This varies among laptops however..
7. Use a flat screwdriver to carefully pry open the chassis. Make sure you don’t harm any of the connectors, and since the VGA connector on this model is built into the plastic, you must make sure to bend the plastic around it. Be careful not to break either!
Congratulations! That’s it! You can now access the entire motherboard and all of its components, and as I soon I got to this stage I discovered that the PSU connector had broken completely off.. Not from the process above of course, but the clumsiness of my colleague. The laptop had landed on the power adapter in the PSU connector thus breaking its inner counterpart in two pieces. Which means coughing up the cash for a new motherboard most likely. But in that case I’ll at least know where to begin!
I urge you to click the links I’ve provided throughout this post because I couldn’t put up all the pictures on my front page. You can also go and see all of the pictures together on this flickr page. When you’re done replacing your part(s) you just retrace your steps from above. Please remember that if you’re only swapping out RAM modules or changing the hard disk drive there is absolutely NO REASON to disassemble the entire laptop. It is only required for a few protected parts like the PSU. Good luck!