Disassembly top


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  english | espaƱol HowTo [ID# 294619]  +/-  


This is how to disassemble the top portion of an XO laptop. This is part of the Disassembly section of the Troubleshooting Guide and Repair Manual.

You might do a partial top disassembly:

  • to tighten the hinge screws,
  • to replace the screen or backlight,
  • to inspect the touchscreen cable on an XO-4,
  • to replace the bumpers, antennas, or panel plastics.

You might do a full top disassembly:

  • to check or replace the clock battery,
  • to attach a serial adapter for firmware or software diagnosis,
  • to inspect and fully dry a motherboard after accidental immersion,
  • to perform an SPI FLASH Recovery,
  • to investigate a heat spreader temperature rise test failure on an XO-1.5,
  • to replace or upgrade the microSD card on an XO-1.5,
  • to replace or upgrade the wireless card on an XO-1.5, XO-1.75, or XO-4,
  • to check for twists and breaks in the antenna cables after antenna testing,
  • to release an SD card captured by the slot or a physical security device,
  • to diagnose or repair components on the motherboard,
  • to inspect or replace the motherboard,

Similar Guides

These other guides refer to disassembly of the laptop to reach a particular component:

Video walkthroughs

These instructions are also available in video format with English subtitles, courtesy of ILXO.

OLPC Australia maintain a set of Help Videos.

PDF walkthrough

XO 1.5 Disassembly Top (33-page PDF, 4.7MB)

XO before disassembly

As a precaution, remember to remove the battery.

Before we begin
Remove the battery.

Removing the front panel

Step 1

Open the laptop and flip the screen up. Rotate it a 90 degree angle as shown in the sequence below. Next, remove the screws from the bottom of the screen - there are two on each side (right/left) of the XO, so make sure to get all four.

Flip screen up
Unscrew - remember, there are 4.

Step 2

Open the antennas. Slide the two green panels up toward the USB ports, then lift them off to the side.

Slide up
Lift off to the side

Step 3

Finally, pull off the front panel. It is tabbed, so it can simply be pulled out. Pull the bottom out (where the screws came out), and gently slide the piece downwards and out.

Note that the game pad is now free to fall out -- be careful not to lose it!

Caution: on the XO-4 touch, be careful not to rip the ribbon at the base of the front panel that connects the touch bezel to the motherboard. Pull the bottom just enough to pull out the top of the panel, fold down, and disconnect the ribbon at the bottom.

Removing the screen

Note that if the screen and motherboard aren't being changed, it is not necessary to actually disconnect the screen in order to access the motherboard. Follow step 1, then gently move the screen to perform the rest of the steps (to remove the back cover).

Step 1

To get the screen out, remove the four screws highlighted.


Step 2

Next, carefully slide the screen out, pulling the bottom out. Do not tug it or let go, as it will still be connected to the motherboard by two cables.

Slide out gently
Watch out for cables!

If you are just accessing the motherboard, and not replacing it or the display, do not unplug the display cables. Simply move the display slightly to access the back cover screws behind it. With every connect/disconnect cycle, there is a chance of damage to the display cable connectors on the motherboard. If you decide not to disconnect the screen, then after removing the back cover screws (which are behind the screen) the screen should be reattached with at least two screws in order to prevent damage to its cables or the connectors while moving the laptop.

The cable connectors have a black plastic bar holding the cable down. To unclamp the cable you have to lift that bar by tugging on the little tab away from the circuit board.

Unhook the cable
Watch out for this little cable, too.
Good to go!

Removing the back cover / reaching the motherboard

Step 1

Take out 4 screws
Turn over. Lift the back cover slightly near the handle, then slide it towards the handle by about 2mm, then remove.

Replacing the back cover

Step 1

Turn over. Replace the back plate.
Pick the right screw!
Turn over. Secure the back plate by putting in the four screws where indicated.

Replacing the screen

Step 1

Reattach the screen by sliding the connection cables into place and clipping them back down (it is generally easier to clip the thinner one that has a longer tether first). Reseat the screen, making sure that it sits flat and that none of the spacers are gone.

Clip little cable in
Clip big cable in

Gently slide screen back in
The screws with the large heads (4) go back in

Replacing the camera

  • Access the motherboard by removing the back (removing the LCD and the microphone cable from the motherboard in the process of removing the back.)
  • Remove the speaker cables, the keyboard cable, and the battery cables.
  • Disconnect the antenna cables to the WLAN module. (XO-1.5 and later: remove the WLAN module.)
  • There are three screws holding the heat spreader down (1.5 and later have 4 screws). Remove them.
  • You should now be able to lift the motherboard out, starting with the side with two USB ports.
  • Remove the camera and camera mount as one unit. (Be careful not to damage the motherboard when removing the camera mount. It is adhered to the USB connector with double sided tape. Remove the camera and its mount first, then disconnect the cable. When mounting, make the electrical connection before placing the camera and mount into position.)
  • When reinserting the motherboard, make sure all cables are clear and insert the side with the audio/power jacks first.

Replacing the front panel

Step 1

Slide the front panel out for these hooks
The rest of the panel slides into place

Step 2

Slide the green side pieces back into place. Then, rotate the XO 90 degrees and put the remaining screws back. Don't forget that the screws go in on both sides (right/left).

Side panels slide back in place
Almost there!

Put screws (4) back in.

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