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I've used the Gateway M275 repair manual to disassemble my laptop for a repair job and (while I'm in there) some cleaning. I have never done this before, and while I think I remember what screws go where, I'm worried about putting something back in the wrong place. (Specifically, I'm worried about putting in a screw that's too long and shorting out a board.)

The repair manuals I've found for the Gateway M275 don't seem to have screw charts or any diagrams that help place screws in the correct locations.

How can I make sure I'm putting in the correct screws that will both hold the part in place and not interfere with any other components?

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you should have put each set of screws separate with a location description for each, that would have avoided this altogether – ratchet freak Sep 5 '11 at 19:31
Most of them are well associated with their respective components. There are just a couple that are ambiguous, because I had to move them. – dgw Sep 5 '11 at 19:35
up vote 10 down vote accepted

If disassembling something looks complicated, I keep written notes and take photos. It helps to keep the screws in a suitable container and order them logically (i.e. in the order you removed them).

You can always draw the laptop on a piece of paper and sellotape the screws into the appropriate positions.

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+1 I make drawings and use tape or blu-tack to put the screws in the right place on the drawings. – Linker3000 Sep 5 '11 at 20:29
Just like how you know the folder named "pictures" has pictures. By labeling them. – surfasb Sep 6 '11 at 3:52

Usually there is a number near the screw hole which indicates the screw size that should go there. Rule of thumb: if it feels like you're apply a lot of pressure/torque, it's the wrong screw.

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On some laptops, there are numbers by each screw hole. There is a diagram on the bottom of the laptop where you can match a screw to a number.

If your laptop does not have that diagram, take it apart very carefully.

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