Upgrading a laptop computer processor is not for beginners. It’s possible to completely destroy your laptop during a major upgrade of this type. That being said, it can be done successfully if you take the time to learn everything you can about your laptop. Also, you should already have some experience upgrading desktop or laptop computer components. Of course, each laptop is different, and some require more work than others. Follow these general steps to safely upgrade your laptop computer processor.
1. Turn off the laptop and unplug it. Remove the battery, CD/DVD optical drives and the hard drive. The hard drive is usually located in a slot on one side of the laptop. Remove the screw that holds the cover in place, then pull out the hard drive sled.
2. Turn the laptop over and remove the screws on the bottom that hold the keyboard in place. Flip the laptop over, open it, then lift the keyboard up and out. Carefully unplug the flexible ribbon cable that connects the keyboard to the motherboard.
3. Remove the screws that hold the keyboard bezel and palm rest in place. Some of the screws may be covered with round stickers or rubber plugs. Carefully lift the bezel and palm rest up and out.
4. Unplug the heatsink fan. Remove the screws that hold the heatsink in place, then remove it from the laptop. Release or unscrew the mechanism that holds the original processor in place, then remove it from the laptop.
5. Install the new processor. Make sure it is securely attached and properly aligned in the CPU housing. Apply a thin layer of thermal compound on the processor, then replace the heatsink and fan. Replace the screws, then plug the fan back in.
6. Test the new processor. Connect the keyboard to the motherboard temporarily. Plug the laptop back in, restart it, then follow the instructions in your owner’s manual to enter your system’s BIOS. The new CPU should now be recognized by the BIOS. Turn off the laptop, unplug it, then remove the keyboard.
7. Reassemble the laptop by following your diagrams and the manufacturer’s assembly guide. Replace the round stickers or rubber plugs to complete the upgrade.