How To Refurbish A Laptop And Turn It Into A Secure Machine

I’m sure you have concluded that your existing laptop isn’t up to the task. These have nicks and scrapes, the paint is peeling, and your computer is infected with viruses that refuse to go away, leaving you vulnerable. I used to have a computer such as this, but instead of getting rid of this one, I decided to clean that up and then start over. So how to refurbish a laptop?

In this manner, you could take the old, broken computer and make it work as new for less than 30 dollars, so you wouldn’t have to spend $500 on a new computer. Furthermore, this rebuild laptop computer work will make your laptop work quicker and be less vulnerable to infection with viruses in the later.

So, here’s my table of contents of refurbishing computers:

  • Cleaning your laptop’s outside
  • Hardware upgrades to help your laptop run faster
  • Cleaning your laptop’s inside
  • Summary

Of course, this will work with desktop PCs, but the disassembly procedure is different.

Cleaning Your Laptop’s Outside

The first and most important job is to clean the laptop, including 5 simple and easy steps:

Step 1: What You’ll Need

  How To Refurbish A Laptop And Turn It Into A Secure Machine

This instruction on how to refurbish a laptop and things to prepare is divided into two sections. To begin, you’ll require the laptop that will be reconditioned.


  • Abrasive paper (of various grits)
  • Tape for painting
  • Plastic shopping bags (any paint-proof, light plastic sheet)
  • Spray paint (make sure it’ll stick to plastic)
  • Sharpie pen (just for minor detailing, it’s optional)

Tools/useful items to have:

  • A squeaky-clean rag
  • Window cleaner
  • Screwdrivers (Not mineralized! They’ll be used to disassemble the laptop.)
  • Electronics tweezers or pliers (You can go without them. However, they make your job much easier)
  • Various bowls (There will be many screws, and you’ll need to maintain the count of them!)
  • A surface for painting
  • Extremely precise knife
  • Sandpaper

Step 2: Dismantling The Computer

  How To Refurbish A Laptop And Turn It Into A Secure Machine

Dismantling your laptop will be the second step here on how to refurbish a laptop. If you wish to re-paint it, you won’t be able to do so in its current, assembled state. As a result, the first thing is to disassemble it! In the meantime, if you damage something that can’t be fixed, it’ll most certainly end up here.

You really can mess everything up if you do not even know what you’ve been doing, therefore either be someone who understands what they are doing or just use a laptop that you might sacrifice. After that, make a backup of your data.

You must also ensure that the laptop has no power by disconnecting it, removing its battery, then holding its power switch for a few seconds to allow the energy to drain. Let’s pull it apart now that that’s everything set!

You’ll probably have to remove the screws from the back with non-magnetic screwdrivers.  Make sure you don’t lose any and also that you know where everything goes.

After that, you’ll probably have to remove the keyboard area. Your laptop is probably not the same as mine, so I can’t show you what to do to obtain each one, therefore if you didn’t work it out, there’s plenty of online resources to help you. But don’t sweat it; all you want to do is segregate the region around its keyboard from the machine’s rest.

I didn’t try and remove the screen-covering section because I was afraid of breaking something! That wasn’t quite vital to eliminate it in the first place. It will be as easy as pulling the parts apart now that the screws are out of the way. Wires are linking the top part to the bottom half; make a note of where they go then gently pull them out of their ports.

To safeguard them from harm, consider temporarily removing its hard drive and RAM so they don’t get bumped or fall out, causing serious damage to the machine’s inner workings.

Step 3: Paint Preparation

  How To Refurbish A Laptop And Turn It Into A Secure Machine

Now you have two beautiful computer components. You can now paint them, as the third step on how to refurbish a laptop! In my situation, however, this is not the case. Dings and scrapes were all over my computer, and also sections where the painting had just worn away from use. Although no scratches were particularly deep, they did penetrate the paint.

Furthermore, the real paint contains the laminate layer which may make adhesion difficult. The result is the sandpaper plays a role!

I sanded certain sections more vigorously than others, however, that didn’t bother me too much because I was going to paint it over anyhow, and all I needed to do was remove the basic lamination while gently abrase its surface to let the paint stick. However, if its abrasions have become too severe, they will show through the layers of paint.

You’re almost ready to paint, however, you wouldn’t want any essential computer parts to get a nice, thick layer of the paint, so I used painters tape to cover the edges that I liked to keep, and plastic bags to leave the rest secure, making sure there were hardly any holes (and then covering every hole I found using tape).

I then covered the screen using a plastic bag to prevent leaving tape residue caused by covering it with tape on its screen. To protect its keyboard, I covered the area with painter’s tape and then gently cut out its edge with a knife. I used the same technique to keep the logo and power button.

Tape and plastic bags were utilized to protect the equipment once again. I just did this to preserve the keyboard security because I couldn’t separate the outside piece from its actual typing area for some reason.

Step 4: Painting

  How To Refurbish A Laptop And Turn It Into A Secure Machine

The painting itself was quite straightforward and is also the most fun step on how to refurbish a laptop. I colored the portion in a back-and-forth motion with long, fluid strokes (making sure to not focus on an area or with a too slow speed that makes it pool). Allowing the paint to run or spill will result in a less appealing result and could also harm electronics.

I checked if a layer is sticky before adding another. I kept doing this until the computer had 5 (or more) layers. Those thicker layers will, theoretically, result in a much more robust paint coat that was less susceptible to past dings.

You’ll be tempted to scrape off the painting before it’s completely dried. Don’t! I succumbed to this urge, and all the little spots where paint is missing (revealing the silver underlying) is the result. You can peel the painting to display your effort when it is completely dry (tacky is still not good enough).

Step 5: Re-assembly


Even before minor aesthetics, you can reassemble at this stage on how to refurbish a laptop. In any case, they’ll be easy to integrate into a whole machine. It should be simple to reinstall the screws, and also the hard disk and RAM, thanks to the numerous bowls and other mechanisms. The tricky aspect will be reconnecting the cables to their original ports.

Depending on your computer’s setup, you’ll need dexterity and possibly a set of electrical tweezers. Since you’re here, you might as well wipe its keyboard of any dirt (a dry sponge or cloth will suffice), and the monitor can be cleaned using a glass cleaner and a clean paper towel or rag.

Hardware Upgrades To Help Your Laptop Run Faster

You will want to enhance your laptop’s hardware if you have known how to refurbish a laptop and want to apply it to your computer. It will cost you some money, but it will be much less than purchasing a new computer and will last a long time. The processor and video card are not upgradeable, however, the hard drive and RAM are.

Increase Your Multitasking Capabilities With Some More RAM

  How To Refurbish A Laptop And Turn It Into A Secure Machine

Adding extra RAM to your computer (consider it as the computer’s “fast memory”) can boost multitasking and help your laptop follow the latest applications. Crucial, another of the leading RAM suppliers provides a fantastic online technique to help you select the proper RAM for the individual laptop model (since every device requires a different thing).

You then can buy it directly from Crucial as well as look for another manufacturer if you like.

Boot Up And Launch Apps Faster With A Modern Hard Drive


Most laptops have an easy-to-replace hard disk. All you have to do in general is ensure you have a 2.5-inch hard drive that is a small, laptop-sized storage device. 3.5-inch drives are designed for desktop computers and will not fit into your system.

Buying one with additional storage won’t make the computer faster, but will provide you extra space for programs, movies, music, and other data.

If you truly want to speed up your computer, I recommend upgrading to something like a faster disk, such as solid-state drives. They are lightning-fast SSDs that make running software and setting up your laptop a breeze. It is indeed among the most effective upgrades you can do to an aging computer.

Cleaning Your Laptop’s Inside


If you’ve owned your computer for a long, it’s likely that it’s gotten a little hotter than it once was, and the fan appears to be blowing loudly constantly. That’s because, over time, your laptop may accumulate a layer of pollution and filth inside, resulting in increased heat, poor performance, as well as a shorter laptop lifespan.

The simplest approach to solve this issue is to remove the dust manually. To begin, locate your laptop’s vents, usually on its back, but occasionally on its bottom, then blast compressed air in for them to sweep out a few of the debris. Your fan’s airflow will be improved as a result of this.

However, in most cases, this isn’t enough; for the best results, you’ll need to get into your computer. You’ll have to open your laptop for this. It may sound intimidating, but most computers only require unscrewing a few screws and removing the keyboard off its top.

This is when the service handbook will come in handy. It will tell you exactly which screws need to be removed and in what order.

As seen to the right, I suggest using a piece of paper and a magnetic screwdriver to keep a record of what location each screw belongs to. This will prevent you from misplacing screws within your laptop plus memorizing where they can go when it’s time to shut it down. You may have to unplug 1 or 2 ribbons in the procedure; be careful so you’ll be fine.

After you’ve removed your laptop’s top cover, take the compressed air can outside and blast as much dirt out of it as possible, giving special attention to its vents and fan at the bottom and back of the computer. Cotton swabs are also useful for reaching into more difficult-to-reach areas.

It doesn’t have to be flawless; just ensure you get rid of the dust and you’ll be OK. This will not only prevent your laptop from being burned, but it may also resolve issues such as excessively loud fans, random shutdowns, and other overheating-related issues.

Fixing Particular Parts: For Brave Users Only

The fixes listed above are straightforward and can assist you in resolving a variety of issues. However, if your laptop hinge, screen, trackpad, or whatever else is broken, you’ll need to put in a little more effort—but it’s doable. Here are a few common ailments including how they can be treated.

Trackpads That Are Broken Or Buggy

How To Refurbish A Laptop And Turn It Into A Secure Machine

An extra mouse is a simple workaround if the trackpad is causing you trouble, but that isn’t a permanent solution. Some computers have easily replaceable trackpads when their top case is removed, while others (such as MacBooks) made it nearly impossible to get to the trackpad itself.

In either case, I’d double-checked its trackpad cable to be sure it’s securely connected. If the part isn’t loose, you’ll most likely need to replace it. Single pieces like these are simple to come by on sites – a complete top case for MacBook can be at $30-$50, and components for Windows are even cheaper. Find the right part number of your top case or trackpad then search for it online for the best results.

Loose Hinges And Broken Screens

How To Refurbish A Laptop And Turn It Into A Secure Machine

The monitor on your laptop is among the most difficult fixes. You’ll probably have to replace your computer’s entire top part and open it up, whether that’s a completely cracked screen, a damaged hinge, or a loose hinge. This necessitates the disconnection of more ribbons and cables, as well as the removal of even more small screws.

Replacement hinges and screens should be very easy to come by online, therefore if you are up to the task, you can simply change them. However, if the hinge is only loose, you may be likely to get through simply tightening the screws. Before you run out and buy new parts, I recommend giving it a shot.

If everything else failed, you may always use the external monitor to create a space-saving desktop computer.


To have more detail on refurbishing a laptop, you can also check out the video below:

Your laptop restoration is now fully completed. Of course, since you’ve heard of or tried any other methods on how to refurbish a laptop, please let me know by commenting in the comment section below! Thanks for reading this article on how to refurbish a laptop. Have a fantastic day!



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