Crushing Our Perceived Limitations

My laptop died at the beginning of the month.  One day it simply gave me a black screen and nothing else.  I had been having issues with the battery charging properly, so I ordered a new battery with the hopes that it would resurrect my baby.

It did not.

I then remembered that I had a few issues with the power cord, so I picked up a new adapter/surge protector and plugged her in.

No go.  Nada.  Zip, zero, nothing except the constant flashing of lights.

My next step was, of course, google.  It turns out that my flashing lights meant that the motherboard was shot, which basically means that I could either replace the motherboard or purchase a new computer.  This seems to be a very common issue with the HP Pavilions.  Needless to say, spending a few hundred dollars to purchase a new motherboard and have someone install it wouldn’t be all that wise since I can purchase a new laptop for nearly the same amount (barring a high-end model, that is).

And then I read that a few people have taken apart their laptops, baked their motherboards in the oven, put them back together, and presto!  A functioning system once again.  Far too interesting to resist.

Here’s the catch: until my recent battery purchase, I’ve never done anything with a laptop except use canned air to clean it, let alone dismantle the entire system and then put it back together and have it function properly.  However, since I obviously couldn’t hurt it…

Why don’t I just see what happens…  Why don’t I see if I can do it…


I watched a youtube video on how to dismantle the laptop and went to town.  The tech recommended a lightly magnetized screwdriver, which I just so happened to have.  Definitely handy.



WP_20140217_026 (1)

Sort and label everything properly…

WP_20140217_028 (1)
tastes like chicken

Bake at 385 degrees (F) for eight minutes.  Allow to cool.  Reassemble.  Cross fingers and turn on.

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thou shalt not judge my icons

I honestly couldn’t believe it worked.  Well, for starters, I couldn’t believe I actually took a laptop apart and put it back together properly.  I had no idea I was capable of doing something like that.  Ikea furniture, yes.  Laptops, no.  I was ecstatic.  I actually did it.  And second- oven bake a motherboard?  Crazy.

Now, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this method, but if your laptop is fried and you have nothing to lose, why not?  I’m still on the prowl for a new (inexpensive) laptop, but at least I have mine back for a while, even if it only lasts a week or two.

This situation made me realize that more often than not, I don’t have enough faith in myself.  Then I do something like complete a Tough Mudder, repair (even if only temporarily) my laptop, raise a child on my own, and it hits home that I can do damn near anything I put my mind to.  We all can.  Sometimes we just need a gentle reminder.

And nothing to lose.

*Day two and she’s still running.  Glory be.


36 thoughts on “Crushing Our Perceived Limitations

  1. Brilliant. I’d be tickled pink, too. And I agree that we can surprise ourselves. But my basic question is: when are you going to post again? – I mean, other than for this extremely informative and impressive reason? 😀


    1. Posting. Yes, I’ve been slacking on that one, but for good reasons. Like playing multiple games of Thomas the Tank Engine Uno and Doc McStuffins Operation with Maya. Or working on puzzles with her. Or reading with her. Almost everything I do nvolves her, and then when she crashes late at night, I work on an old screenplay or work on my Finnish. I do feel myself coming out of my WP hibernation, though.


      1. The woman who takes care of my daughter during the day is from France, so she speaks to Maya in French all the time. Maya understands everything she says and frequently speaks back to her in French. I love it.


      1. Oh- I didn’t really answer that correctly, did I? Oh well. I’m sure I’m going to say all sorts of things wrong and my daughter-in-law (they are getting married tomorrow) and her family will have all sorts of chuckles at my expense. Just like when Olga (my Moldovan ex-sister-in-law who is still my family) says off-kilter stuff. So, I have a Moldovan sister, a Bosnian sister (my other brother’s wife), and a Finnish daughter. And now I’m way off topic.


      2. Hahahaaa, didn’t want to say anything that might disappoint you…but I got the gist of it. Wow, that’s one hybrid family you got going on there…and I know exactly what it’s like. A quarter of my family are from Finland and we have some Australian, Brazilian, English, Polish and Thai thrown in there for good measure.

        GETTING MARRIED…and you’re not there!?!? Huuuge congrats to your son and the bride to be :)))


      3. Thanks, and trust me, if I had the money, Maya and I would be right there. They’re having a civil service tomorrow and then they will have a regular ceremony next year, from what I understand. So, next year Maya and I will venture on over that way. I’m saving $ to take an extended leave for travel. Maybe we’ll swing by Sweden and say hello!


      4. I totally understand your sentiments…you must be so proud however! Even I’m smiling waaay over here.
        Absolutely, you would both be welcomed with open arms….or maybe Maddy and I could take the boat over to Suomi. Either way, it would be cool!


  2. Something about your blog feels different. Can’t put my finger on it. I have also begun to take some electronic matters into my own hands. One finds out that even rocket science is made up of simple understandable parts. 🙂


  3. good work! i love hearing stories like this…not the part that you had to go through all that and the thought of losing all your information etc..but that you took the steps and just went for that last idea…the crazy one…i would totally do the same… what have you got to lose either it works or not..and what a great feeling when it works!


  4. Too cool. Technology seems so intimidating and then there are these crazy little lo-fi things that make it seem approachable.
    Recently we had a lot of flooding in my city, and many people had wet computers at the same time, so it suddenly became widespread knowledge that if you put your laptop in a bin of rice, the rice will absorb the wet and often enough salvage the computer… Who knew?


  5. I freaking love this! I have to ask and apparently I’m the only one who is weird enough to wonder, how did it smell? Can you imagine if a friend had stopped by? Gee Michelle, what are you baking? Well, I’d offer you a piece to be a good hostess but…

    Do you think the Geek Squad has a bank of ovens in the back of Best Buy?

    I’m totally imagining a scene in a romcom now. Man calls woman he’s just met, hoping she won’t blow off the follow-up coffee date they had discussed.

    Man: Hi! I just finished with a client (patient, student meeting, pool cleaning job, oyster breeding stage) and my next {insert previous job} cancelled so….are you free for coffee?

    Woman: Pause. Ok wow, JohN (Nick, Bob, Sebastian, Jack, Noah, Christian, Jake from State Farm)? This is going to sound crazy and like an excuse and I really do want to see you again, I do, but well, I can’t leave the house right now.

    {Previous male name}: Ok?

    Woman: I have a motherboard baking in the oven.


    {Previous male name} Ooooooookaaaaaaaaay. I get it.


    Woman: Nooooooooooo! Damn you, youtube! *shakes fist*


    1. Ha! Yes, I’m definitely going to have to use it somewhere. Definitely.

      It didn’t really smell at all. When I told our IT director what I did, he gave me a look of total disbelief. “You have got to be shitting me” was his reply. He was pretty impressed. I felt awesome after our exchange.


    1. That was my thinking. I don’t know if you’ve ever disassembled a laptop in the past, but if you haven’t, I highly suggest using a magnetized screwdriver and make sure you label everything. I even snapped pics along the way in case I was stumped while putting it back together. Also, make sure you remove the plastic covering the motherboard. I know that sounds like common sense, but the covering on mine was on so well that I almost didn’t notice it. OH- and I didn’t have any thermal paste, so you might want to buy some. I didn’t know about that sort of stuff. That being said, my HP is still working. Crazy.


  6. Pingback: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow | michelle stodden

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