Some parts of a laptop, typically called customer-replaceable units (CRUs), can be replaced by the customer. CRUs include such components as the laptop battery and RAM. Parts that should not be replaced by the customer are called field-replaceable units (FRUs). FRUs include components such as the motherboard, LCD display, as shown in Figure 1, and keyboard, as shown in Figure 2. Replacing FRUs typically requires a considerable amount of technical skill. In many cases, the device may need to be returned to the place of purchase, a certified service center, or the manufacturer.

A repair center might provide service on laptops made by different manufacturers or just specialize in a specific brand and be considered an authorized dealer for warranty work and repair. The following are common repairs performed at local repair centers:

Most repairs to LCD displays must be performed in a repair center. The repairs include replacing the screen, the backlight that shines through the screen to illuminate the display, and the inverter that produces the high voltage required by the backlight.

If no local services are available, you might need to send the laptop to a regional repair center or to the manufacturer. If the laptop damage is severe or requires specialized software and tools, the manufacturer can decide to replace the laptop instead of attempting a repair.

CAUTION: Before attempting to repair a laptop or portable device, check the warranty to see if repairs during the warranty period must be done at an authorized service center to avoid invalidating the warranty. If you repair a laptop yourself, always back up the data and disconnect the device from the power source. This chapter provides general instructions for replacing and repairing laptop components. Always consult the service manual before beginning a laptop repair.