Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I tried to clean up my Toshiba Satellite laptop and it all went well. Unfortunately, I am confused about a pair of black and white wires that come in right beside the fan.

Two wires that go into any of the four slots. I think from the right they were black and white and the other two were empty - would appreciate any help.

Attached are two images.

zoomed in the larger picture

share|improve this question

Those are antenna connectors (note the distinctive U.FL/IPX micro RF connectors).

Many manufacturers include all possible antennas in the display panel regardless of which wireless options the laptop was configured with. e.g. the Lenovo laptops I used to work with often had WiFi, 3G, and Wireless USB antennas in the lid even though I virtually never saw one configured with anything but the WiFi adapter.

Color coding is unfortunately not standardized, but I'd bet you those are antennas for a 3G (cellular data) modem that was an option on that model that you didn't choose. Nice to know the antenna is in place if you ever want to add it aftermarket.

share|improve this answer
Okay - great to know then! So can I assume that if I plug those in incorrectly, I wouldn't fry anything except perhaps the 3G capability? Or should I hold fort until I figure out the exact order of the cables? – Sudipta Chatterjee Jan 4 '12 at 20:37
You won't fry anything, worst case is you get the antennas mixed up and WiFi or 3G work poorly or not at all. You may find that the WiFi or 3G miniPCI-e cards are labeled with the correct color wires (e.g. the 3G card might have its antenna ports labeled "MAIN/WHITE" and "AUX/BLACK" or similar). – jcrawfordor Jan 4 '12 at 20:52

Those two look like the Wireless card's antenna cables. From your second photo i see no cables come out of the wireless, so maybe they are the missing ones :-)

share|improve this answer
Nope - the wireless card is the one on the right (covered by the white label). Thanks for the suggestion, but they aren't the wireless antenna wires - I know those! :) – Sudipta Chatterjee Jan 4 '12 at 8:43
up vote 0 down vote accepted

The correct order is white on the right, then black.

These are basically the wires that come out of the CMOS battery. I booted my laptop once without properly connecting them, and fortunately all that went wrong was that the mouse wouldn't work.

More info is available at Irisvista's disassembly page - that website really helped! :)

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .