Installing a new laptop motherboard is not something that happens every day. It is a complicated process equivalent of assembling a whole laptop. With a little technical knowledge and a set of precise rules, replacing a laptop motherboard is indeed possible. Moreover, it becomes a lot easier for those who learn to pick out a compatible motherboard and the right tools for the job.
Removing the Old Motherboard
Installing the new motherboard starts with a laptop disassembly. Unplug the power cord, turn off the laptop, remove the battery, carefully unscrew the lids, and assess the situation. Those set on opening an Apple laptop need a more specific set of screwdrivers. Take a few pictures before removing any of the connectors and slowly disassemble everything connected to the motherboard. Try not to bend any of the connectors that need to be reused, and make an effort to remember where each part goes.
Picking a Replacement
Search based on the laptop make and model. Keep in mind that one model can have more than one generation or different trims. Still, the full model number is always unique and should lead to the right board. If unavailable, look for one from the same laptop manufacturer. Dell, HP, Asus, Acer, Sony, Toshiba, and others produce boards designed to fit their unique laptop base. Some are compatible between laptop brands; however, pay special attention to the processor socket, RAM compatibility, and connector placement.
Securing the Board
Plastic spacers and metal motherboard screws are used to secure the board. Either or both do the trick, but a bolt is always considered a better option. Mounting holes on the board and mounting slots on the base should match if a board is fully compatible with that particular laptop model. However, if some mounting slots do not properly aligned, it would be wise to remove them. A misaligned slot can apply pressure on a weak spot and damage the board. When the laptop lacks slots but the board has mounting holes, spacers or standoffs can still be attached to immobilise it. The spacer height might need adjustment; if so, cut off the feet with wire cutters.
Jumpers and BIOS
Motherboards that can be configured to work with a versatile hardware line-up often have jumpers. The jumper links dictate the operational mode of the motherboard and their presence is essential. Seek info in the motherboard manual for proper placement of the jumpers. Even if none is required, it is common practice to leave them secured on a single pin on the motherboard itself. On first boot, some BIOS adjustments may be required to ensure that the system reads all the components. The manual also includes detailed instructions to complete the installation with a BIOS adjustment.