Saturday, March 8, 2014

Replacing the Keyboard on an HP Pavilion G7 Laptop

After stripping down my wife's HP G7 Pavilion laptop to replace the CPU fan and documenting the project, it dawned on me that there were plenty of common tasks along the way, and some folks might find it useful to document those simpler tasks, such as just replacing the keyboard. Taking out the keyboard is a pretty easy job.

The Tools The tools for this job are very basic. If you find yourself needing a lot of tools, then you are probably doing something wrong.


ToolPurpose
Philips #0 ScrewdriverUsed to remove and replace all of the small mounting screws
Needle Nose PliersUsed to very gently work with some of the ribbon cables
Flat Blade Pocket KnifeUsed to gently remove the case cover and keyboard. Any knife will do, but it has to be very flat and smallish. I used my Victorinox Executive. Most Swiss army knives have the perfect blade shape for this job, and I even saw a video where someone used a putty knife.

1. Take off the battery


Flip the laptop over and slide over the retaining lever circled in red below and the battery should just pop out.

Replacing the Keyboard on an HP Pavilion G7 Laptop: Step 1

2. Take off back panel screw


Loosen the philips screw circled below. Note that the screw does not come off completely, so just loosen it. Then slide the panel towards the front of the unit. There's even arrows indicating how to slide the panel. Once the panel slides forward, it will just pop off.

Note at this point that you also have access to the system RAM, which is expandable.

Replacing the Keyboard on an HP Pavilion G7 Laptop: Step 2

Replacing the Keyboard on an HP Pavilion G7 Laptop: Step 2a

Replacing the Keyboard on an HP Pavilion G7 Laptop: Step 2b


3. Take off the keyboard retaining screw


There is one screw that holds the keyboard to the laptop as circled below. There's a little picture of a keyboard next to the screw. There are also another couple keyboard icons on this machine that say "release" next to them, but I noticed they had no screws. My guess is that different models may have screws there. Certainly take a screw out of everything with a keyboard icon that has a screw there.

Replacing the Keyboard on an HP Pavilion G7 Laptop: Step 3

The one shown below in the lower right corner is the only one on my wife's laptop that has a screw in it, which is right by the wi-fi radio.

Replacing the Keyboard on an HP Pavilion G7 Laptop: Step 3a


4. Remove the Keyboard


Now turn the laptop back over and flip the lid open. Take a small flat blade knife and gently pry the keyboard out as shown below. Once you have part of it loose, work the knife around the keyboard until the whole thing is loose.
Replacing the Keyboard on an HP Pavilion G7 Laptop: Step 4

Once the keyboard comes free, remember that it is still connected with a ribbon cable, so just flip the keyboard over until you take the cable off as shown in the photo below. Be careful not to mess with any of the other cables shown in the picture.

Replacing the Keyboard on an HP Pavilion G7 Laptop: Step 4a

To remove the keyboard, gently flip the lever up circled below. If you are clumsy like I am, you might accidentally pull the lever off like one of the levers I did on the wife's fan. In that case, it's an easy but intricate operation to remount the lever.

Replacing the Keyboard on an HP Pavilion G7 Laptop: Step 4c

At this point the cable should just fall out, and the keyboard is now free.

5. Reassemble


The steps for reassembly are the reverse of the disassembly. Start with gently attaching the new keyboard's ribbon cable by lining it up perfectly and just lowering the lever. Then carefully flip the keyboard over into position, and snap it into place as you work your fingers around, gently pressing on it, until the whole keyboard is snapped back into place.

Now close the laptop lid, and flip it back over, putting the single mounting screw back in place. Slide the cover on and tighten the cover screw. Now put the battery back in and you're done!

Make sure to power the laptop on and test the keyboard. I've said this for a couple decades: If you haven't tested something, it probably doesn't work. If one key works, chances are they all work, so I wouldn't spend too much time on it. Open Notepad and type some stuff.