Adventures in laptop dismantling

I have an old Compaq Presario 1625. The CD-ROM drive has recently stopped working. The Device Manager would show the drive, but when I put a disc in, it would not read it.

I checked eBay and Googled around and found replacement drives to be in the $50+ range. I pondered whether or not I could replace the drive myself, so off to Googleworld I went.

Compaq’s site offers complete disassembly instructions! I followed the steps carefully and within 15 minutes, I had gutted enough of the computer to be able to remove the offending drive.

All is well even though I have computer guts all over the desk. I reverse my steps and fire the beast up. So far so good.


I get a warning box telling that a mouse could not found. The computer has a touchpad (like most laptops). I popped the cover off again and see that I’ve pinched the thin connector ribbon that attaches the touchpad to the motherboard.


I go back to Compaq’s site figuring I could order a new one.


I would have to order a cable replacement kit (which includes all the cables in the computer). The price?

$275+!!! (Other online computer stores have it as “low” as $198)

Well, on the bright side, I never liked using the touchpad anyway. I’ve been using an old serial mouse.

Get one of these

I’ve got one and it’s brilliant. The reciever plugs directly into the usb port and you can switch the mouse on and off, saving batteries.

I dislike the touchpad too. The mouse makes life a heck of alot easier.

Now I have to get used to the compact keyboard.

No USB port!

I do have two PCMCIA slots, so I could get an adapter, but I’m running Win98. Does it support USB?

Useful 1660 series disassembly diagrams if you need to go back in the machine

When you say “pinched” do you mean the ribbon film is actually fractured and the continuity broken?

Here’s an entire replacement palmrest + touchpad 1625 module on Ebay for $ 20 Buy it now + 10 shipping that appears (difficult to tell) to have the ribbon connectors. Might be worthwhile to grab it.

Here’s just the cable you nee by itself @ 8 + 2 shipping

Sorry that’s a 1200 cable (the plam rest module is correct though)

I’'ll go away now.

I lied about going away -here is the 1600 palmrest cable $ 10 + 6 shipping


Win98 supports USB, but I’ve heard a lot of folks complain that it doesn’t work very well.

Personally I hate those damn touch pads. I use a serial mouse with my laptop.

That’s much wider than the one in mine. The one I have appears to have 4 “pins”.

Thanks, anyway.