Disassembling The Compaq LTE 5000 Notebook Computer
This page contains step-by-step instructions and photographs that document the process of taking your Compaq LTE 5000 or 5000-series notebook computer apart.
If you're curious about what's inside your LTE, want to look into upgrading it, or need to remove a power on/standby/BIOS password, this page will tell you how to get the computer apart and back together safely.
For safety, simplicity and time's sake, I am not doing a complete teardown of the computer. The information here will help you see what's inside, repair a failing fan or remove the power on password. While upgrading components like the display and processor card with those from a "better" computer are possible, and I have done them (note the 150MHz processor card in my LTE 5000...), they are very involved and require you to take the LTE almost completely apart. Unless you are very sure of your skills and have done this to other notebook computers before, I don't suggest you even try such advanced upgrades.
Larger photos will be coming soon.
NOTICE: All information on this page is provided strictly on a use at your your own risk basis. I cannot be held responsible for any results--good or bad--from the use of this information. Please understand that this is NOT like taking apart a desktop computer!!! If you don't have the needed tools, skills or physical ability to take your computer apart safely I do not recommend you try. As with any other computer, the parts inside your LTE are vulnerable to electro-static discharge damage. The parts used are also usually more delicate and much more integrated than those in a desktop computer. You've been warned...
Things You Need:
Small bladed or Torx-tip screwdrivers
A well lighted workspace
Containers to hold various screws and other bits of the machine as you take it apart
Plenty of time to do this without interruption.
Please be sure you have these things before continuing. It isn't difficult to get the LTE apart, but you should take the time to make notes and keep various pieces well separated and marked as you take the computer apart.
Let's get started.
IMPORTANT: Be sure you have shut your LTE down completely. Do not leave it in standby during this process, as even with the battery removed a backup battery will keep the memory running for quite some time. Remove any compact discs from the CD-ROM drive before shutting your computer down.
1. Remove all media and storage devices from the computer. The release latch for the floppy/CD/2nd hard disk bay is at the left side of the machine as it faces you. Press it and pull the drive out. Do not hold the machine with the drives facing down and pull the latch. The fall will likely damage them. Use the release latch on the right side of the LTE to remove the battery.
2. Remove any media from the floppy drive.
3. After removing the battery and floppy/CD/2nd hard disk, remove the primary hard drive from the computer. Place your LTE so it is resting on the port side. Look at the bottom of the computer for a release tab and lock screw near the hard disk bay. If there is a locking screw present, you must remove it before you can remove the hard disk. Open the hard disk bay door, push the locking tab and pull the tab on the hard disk container. It should slide out easily. If yours does not, double check to be sure that you've removed any locking screws and that you have pressed the locking tab.
I would strongly recommend you set all of the LTE's storage devices far away from the work area. Keep them away from magnets or other sources of possible damage. Don't drop your drives or treat them harshly.
Note: I don't have the original Compaq supplied hard disk container in my computer. The container you see in my pictures is that from a Procom "Atom Drive" upgrade.
The hard disk container may be opened and a different drive put in, if desired. While the connector on the tray is a proprietary type, the drive inside is a standard 2.5" IDE hard disk.
4. If you are planning to do work on the LTE motherboard or processor card, you may wish to remove the standby/CMOS battery. Locate the long thin door on the bottom of the system. Pry it open gently with a screwdriver. Disconnect the battery leads from the plug. Set this battery safely aside.
Disconnecting the battery will not remove a power on password. If you need to do this, keep on reading.
5. Now it is time to start removing screws. Flip your LTE 5000 over so that the "front" where the drives go is facing you. There are four brass screws (two in each of the battery and drive bay areas, none in the hard disk bay) that will need to be removed. Each is marked "KYBD". Remove these screws and set them aside.
6. Now remove the rear set of keyboard screws. These are located in the middle of the bottom of the LTE.
7. You should now have all the keyboard screws removed. Collect all of the screws you removed (there should be seven screws) and flip the LTE back over. Place it so the ports are now facing you. You are now going to remove the screws that secure the top cover with power switch and standby buttons on it. Locate the screws in the upper area of each corner near the display panel and remove them. There is also a single screw behind the status indicator display. Remove this as well. You will now have three more screws to set aside.
Do NOT remove the lower screws. These actually secure the display panel and unless you are servicing the panel itself, I would strongly suggest you leave them alone.
8. With all three screws removed, open the display panel, making sure to open the latches on the side fully. (The keyboard is still pretty firmly attached, so it is unlikely that you'd yank it right out of the computer, but why take the chance?) Fold the panel almost to its maximum open position.
Lift the upper trim piece up and remove it. Using both hands is helpful and recommended. I couldn't because I had to take the picture somehow...
Do not play with the power button, standby switch or lid closure switch. At least two of them are spring loaded and may shoot off to the great beyond if you play with them.
9. You should now see the processor heatsink and quite a bit of metal shielding material if nobody has ever been inside your computer.
I would suggest taking the time now to remove the metal shielding. All it does is get into the way and the LTE won't miss it a bit when you are done. The shielding may simply be pulled out firmly. Be careful so you don't cut yourself while removing it.
10. Disconnect the microphone, pointing device, keyboard and ground wires. This takes a few different steps.
The microphone connector is a simple two-piece plug. Grasp it at the connecting point and separate the connectors.
11. Remove the ground wires. There are two of these at each end of the grey keyboard plastic. Unscrew them. I recommend leaving the screws threaded into the wires as you pull them out so you don't lose them inside the computer. When the wires are free from the holes they go into, take the screws out and then set them aside. This is much easier than trying to take the screws out with only a screwdriver.
12. Tilt the computer back on its display panel so that the area where the drives go is facing you once again.
Using a small flat bladed screwdriver, pry up the keyboard at the front of the computer. It is held by simple "snaps" at four places. Look up into the keyboard area and you'll see each one. Simply pry them loose. The keyboard should then snap free. Don't try to pull it out. You still need to disconnect the cables.
13. To disconnect the cables from the keyboard and pointing device, set the computer down flat. Locate the cables inside your system as marked below. Pull them out, making sure to do so evenly. Don't pull either one at an angle--you could damage the ribbon cable or break a wire.
14. The keyboard is now free. Lift it up from the display panel and work your way back to the drive area. Before removing the keyboard, make a note as to how the cables leading to the display are routed in their plastic "grooves". You will need to put them back there when you put the keyboard back in.
Do not be tempted to play with the grey latches for the drive/battery bays. These too are spring loaded and not well secured once the keyboard is out.
15. If you need to service the fan, you can now do so. The fan is a black foam-encased assembly mounted next to the processor board. It lifts up and plugs into the motherboard underneath the processor card.
16. To reset the power-on/standby/BIOS password, locate the small jumper at the upper left of the processor heatsink. This jumper may be toggled to remove the password. Change the position from pins 1-2 to 2-3 and then set it back. With care the computer may be powered in this state to verify that password deletion was successful. You will have reconnect the internal keyboard or use an external one for this task.
17. At this point the entirety of the LTE motherboard, processor card, memory slots and charging circuit will be visible. (Some of this is hidden under the metal shielding, which I suggest you remove and discard...) Each of these assemblies may be removed, but for the moment I do not have directions here on doing this. If you should attempt this (and I have) I recommend use of common sense, extreme caution and the creation of notes as to how things go together. Also be sure you keep track off all the screws and where they go.
18. Place the keyboard back into its location. Press down on the snaps you pried up earlier to seat the keyboard into place.
19. Reconnect the pointing device, microphone and keyboard cables. Do not yet connect the ground wires. Make sure all the connections are properly and evenly seated. Reroute the cables into the guides they came from when you pulled the keyboard out.
20. Reconnect the ground wires. To do this easily, place the screws into the loop at the end of the two ground wires. Use the wire to position the screw. Set the wire into the molded guide in the keyboard plastic. Make sure the wire stays in place as you tighten the screws. Routing these wires correctly is important!
21. Place the rear trim panel into place behind the keyboard. If it does not want to go into place, check your cable routing and adjust any cables that are in the way.
Inspect the rear cover carefully. The back should be lined up with the screw holes and there should be no bulging or "lumpy" spots in it. If there are, check your cable routing and try again. It may take some doing, but you can get it back into place.
22. Replace the three screws in the back of the rear trim piece.
23. Replace the rearmost three keyboard screws.
24. Replace the four front keyboard screws. If you missed any snaps, press them into place now.
25. Replace the hard disk. Push it in until you hear it click into place. Replace the locking screw if your computer had one in place and you want to do so.
26. Replace the other drives and the battery.. Push them in until they click into place.
27. Replace any other peripherals that you removed...such as PC cards, etc...
28. Power up. Your LTE 5000 computer should come up immediately. Let it boot up and check for proper operation. Everything should work as it did before you took the computer apart. If you worked with the fan, BE SURE IT IS RUNNING when the computer gets hot. If something is not working, take the machine apart again and check all your connections.
If everything works and seems happy, you're done!
Feel free to ask me questions or ask for clarification if needed.
Copyright ©2005 by Walsh Computer Technology. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce this page in its entirety with this notice intact and without any costs other than those needed to cover duplication, media or access fees.