How to Replace a Thinkpad USB

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There are several good reasons to replace the USB port on your ThinkPad laptop. USB ports go bad from repetitive connecting and disconnecting of USB cables and devices. Also, most ThinkPads are installed with the USB 1.0 interface when most USB devices are compatible with the USB 2.0 interface. In either case, replacing the USB port requires that you completely disassemble the outer casing and remove some of the larger, obstructing hardware devices inside your laptop

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Turn off the laptop, and then disconnect the power cable from its socket from the rear edge of the laptop. Close the LCD panel and place the laptop face-down. Push on the locking tabs securing the battery to the battery pack. Touch an unpainted metal surface to discharge static electricity from your body.

  • Remove all Phillips-head screws from the bottom casing assembly. Lift the bottom casing from the laptop base and set it aside. This gives you access to all the internal components of your ThinkPad laptop.

  • Remove the Philips-head screws securing the hard drive to the laptop. Lift the hard drive out of its drive compartment and set it aside. This gives you easier access to the data ports along the side edge of your laptop.

  • Locate the USB port you wish to remove from your laptop. Grasp the USB connector where it meets the USB port on the inside edge of the laptop casing. Follow the connector with your fingers until you locate the point where it connects to the motherboard. Disconnect the USB port connector from the motherboard. Slide the USB port out of its housing and remove it from the laptop. Some ThinkPad models have one or two Philips-head screws securing the USB port inside its housing. Remove them if they are present.

  • Slide the new USB port into the now empty USB port housing. Connect the new USB port connector to the motherboard.

  • Replace the bottom casing assembly, Philips-head screws and the battery pack you removed from the bottom of the laptop.

  • Place the laptop face-up, open the LCD panel and reconnect the power cable. Connect a USB device to the newly installed USB port, and then turn on your ThinkPad laptop to test the new USB device.

Tips & Warnings

  • Depending on your operating system, you may have to go to your operating systems website and download a USB driver for your ThinkPad model.

References

  • Photo Credit A close-up of a couple of USB connectors. image by Werg from Fotolia.com
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