Here’s how you can fix, or to be precise, work around some hardware problem without taking apart the laptop.
1. Network port failure.
In most laptops the network port (aka RJ-45 port) is soldered directly to the motherboard. If for some reason the network port fails (I’m talking about hardware, not software failure), the whole motherboard has to be replaced.
Instead of replacing the motherboard, you can use a PCMCIA network card (aka LAN PC card). You plug this card into the available PC slot in your laptop and get a network port instead.
2. USB ports failure.
Most laptops have a few USB ports available and if one of them stops working, usually it’s not a big deal because you still have two or three working USB ports left. But what if all of them stopped working at once. Let’s say the USB controller on the motherboard went bad and the laptop stopped recognizing any USB device plugged in any USB port. Again, I’m talking about hardware, not software failure. In order to fix this problem you’ll have to replace the motherboard.
Alternatively, you can use a PCMCIA USB card. You plug this card into the PC slot and get two or four USB ports instead. It depends on the type of your PCMCIA card.
3. Internal wireless (Wi-Fi) card failure.
Most newer laptops come with an internal wireless card installed. In some models the wireless card could be easily access through the door on the bottom of the laptop. In other models, the wireless card is buried deep inside the case. What can you do if the internal wireless card fails? You can replace the internal wireless card with another one or use a PCMCIA wireless card instead.
4. Internal flash memory card reader failure.
Most newer laptops come with an internal memory card reader installed. You can plug most known flash memory cards into the slot and access the content right away. Usually the card reader is soldered directly to the motherboard and if it fails, you have to replace the whole motherboard or use it as is.
If you don’t want to replace the motherboard you can use an external USB flash memory card reader. All you have to do is plug the card reader into the available USB port in your laptop and it’s ready to go.
5. Internal CD/DVD drive failure.
You’ll find an internal CD/DVD optical drive in most laptops. If the optical drive fails and stops reading CDs and DVDs, it has to be replaced with a new one. Internal laptop optical drives are not cheap.
Instead of replacing the internal drive, you can use an external USB optical drive. Simply plug this drive into the USB port, let your laptop detect and install the drive and it’s ready for you. Also, you can use this optical drive with any other computer which is very convenient.
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