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Laptop Computer Bottom Access Covers

Typical access cover locations

Laptops are made easy to upgrade and repair by the location of access covers on the bottom of the computer. Covers are placed there for access to frequently upgraded components like the hard drive and the memory. An access cover makes it easy to replace a component that fails frequently, the battery. There may also be access covers for less frequently replaced components, like the wifi circuit board and the CMOS battery.

Samsung laptop access cover locations

But how does someone who is not familiar with laptop repair know which cover is the one for the component they need to access? Well, if you have only two access doors on the bottom of your laptop, not including the battery which has a latch, the larger one is usually for the hard drive, and the smaller one is for memory. Removing an access door requires only removing one or more tiny Phillips screws and prying the door off, so it's very easy to remove one or more doors for exploration purposes.

Gateway laptop access cover locations

The most important think to know in replacing a hard drive is which type you have. Older laptops will have one that uses IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics). IDE uses a ribbon cable because the data is sent in parallel. Eventually they started using the same parallel interface for CD-ROMs and renamed it ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment). Today they refer to this interface as PATA (Parallel ATA). But you would have to have a really old laptop to be using the interface.

Today they use a serial cable instead of a ribbon cable and call it SATA ( Serial ATA ). The most important think to know is wether you have SATA I, II, or III. If you have an older computer that can perform only at SATA I speeds, it's not a big deal if you plug in an SATA II, or III drive because the faster drives are backward compatible. However, the maximum speed of the drive will be slower.

Acer laptop access cover locations

The most important think to know in replacing memory is to verify which type, and how much memory your laptop supports. This is usually not very easy to determine, but since a memory upgrade will have significant impact on your computer's performance, it's usually worth the effort. You'll need to consult your user's guide or search your laptop vendor's website. You may also need to learn the steps involved in swapping out memory modules safely.

More Computer Anatomy Articles:
• Understanding Your PC's CPU Clock Speed and Front Side Bus
• How a laser Printer Works
• Network Interface Card (NIC)
• How Does a Laptop Battery Work?
• Basic PC Anatomy Inkjet Printers
• Solid State Drive (SSD) Basics
• External Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (eSATA)
• PC Motherboard Expansion Cards
• A Guide to Basic PC Cooling
• IEEE 1284 Parallel Port

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