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How to open an Asus Memo Pad 7 HD and fix the battery

My son’s Asus Memopad 7 HD would not power up or charge, and my earlier non-invasive solution wouldn’t fix it. Here’s how I opened it up to disconnect and reconnect the battery.

Always try holding the power button and volume down button first because that’s easier (see the link above for details), but if that doesn’t work, proceed to open the case.

While you’re in there, you can also fix an issue that may be causing the power or volume buttons to be hard to press or malfunction entirely. Dropping the tablet a lot makes this happen. If you have young children, you probably understand.

Another malady these tablets can develop is a battery with a question mark when charging. This will sometimes fix that issue as well.

The first order of business is checking for a micro SD card and removing it, so you don’t damage your motherboard. Check for a card in the slot in the back of the case, then double and triple check.

Got it? The second order of business is opening the case. This will void your warranty, so if your tablet is still under warranty and you’re having issues, contact Asus first. Opening the case will leave tell-tale marks that any competent technician will be able to see. Of course, if your warranty has expired, you have nothing to lose by opening the case and trying to fix it yourself. It’s a little intimidating if you’ve never done this before, but if you work slowly and carefully you can do it, and you’ll find it’s easier than it first seems to be.

Professionals use specially designed forceps to open cases, but if you don’t open a lot of phones and tablets you probably won’t have a set. If you don’t, you can make do with a guitar pick, plastic putty knife, credit card, or the blunt edge of a plastic butter knife. Just make sure you use something blunt, not serrated, and made of plastic.  Examine the tablet and you’ll see a seam where the two halves of the case connect. Work your thumbnail into the groove. Depending on your particular tablet, you may find it easier to work them apart at one of the corners, or near one of the connectors. Work it open until you’re able to fit the edge of your plastic tool of choice into the groove. Once the opening is wide enough that you can see it, you can switch to a slightly thicker makeshift tool to speed up the process. You’ll hear a slight pop as each connector separates. Slowly and carefully work around the edge. Once there’s a visible opening all the way around the case, the back comes off rather easily.

memopad_connector2The battery connector can be very stubborn if you’ve never removed it before, but don’t force it with tools–you can remove it with your hand. Set the tablet face down on a table. Being very careful not to touch any other components, grip the plastic battery connector with your thumbnail and your pointer fingernail and gently lift up, toward the sky, not toward you. The connector will lift without much effort. If it takes a lot of effort you’re probably gripping the wrong part–make sure you’re gripping the lower component, the part that has the eight wires attached to it–not the part that’s soldered to the motherboard. There are a lot of Youtube videos for other tablets that show ways to force battery connectors with tools, but that isn’t necessary with this model.

Leave the battery disconnected for a about five minutes.

While the battery is still disconnected, press and hold the power button for 30 seconds. If the USB and audio connectors are facing away from you, the power button is at the top left. Press it with your fingernail, being careful not to touch any other components. This will discharge the capacitors on the motherboard, forcing the motherboard to fully power down. It’s an old technician’s trick that isn’t very well known and even less well understood, but it’s helped me solve a lot of problems over the last quarter-century or so.

Next, carefully press the battery connector back into place, making sure it’s all the way in.

While you have the back off, double-check the buttons. There is a rubber backing with four holes in it that fit into tabs in the back of the case, but that backing can become misaligned. Make sure it snaps firmly into the tabs in the back of the case.

The case snaps back together very easily. With the tablet still sitting face-down on the table, line the back up with the front, then snap each of the four corners together, then run along the edge. I strongly recommend you leave at least one edge separated until you’re certain the tablet is functioning properly. That will make re-opening the case go much faster.

Depending on the problem, the tablet may power up at this point, or it may not. First, try powering it on without plugging it in. If it powers up and the battery level looks OK, just use the tablet as normal at this point. It’s important not to overcharge the battery.

Usually when I have problems powering on the tablet, the problem is a severely undercharged battery. In this particular instance, I had to plug the tablet into its wall charger, wait about 30 minutes, and then the tablet powered on and showed the battery life was well below 10 percent. Leave the tablet powered on, let it charge to 100%, then snap that last edge shut before returning the tablet to use.

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