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Monday, 12 December 2016

How to Remove Stripped Laptop/#0 Screws (And I How I Increased My Respect For Flathead Screwdrivers)

If you're a DIY-er, a fixer or a techy fiddler, it's probably happened to you. And it's bloody annoying. Stripped heads on Phillips screws.

It happened to me yesterday while trying to add more RAM to my recently acquired Portégé. Annoyingly, as is the trend with ultrabooks, the RAM is only accessible by removing the entire back of the laptop, as opposed to unscrewing a memory panel. Anyway, I get to the last screw - it must have been a bit tight - and lo and behold, the Phillips cross becomes more of a star.

After being frustrated for long enough that night, I screwed all the other screws back in and left it for the night (in the process, the second-last screw got stripped as well). This morning I went to Bunnings to get a screw extractor. It seemed quite a handy tool. Of course, it didn't work.

However, after reading about numerous methods of how to resolve screw problems, I sort of did my own thing.

TL;DR

I finally managed to get the screws out by selecting the second- or third-smallest drill bit and drilling into the screw a bit, also aiming to make the "hole" wide enough to accommodate my smallest flathead screwdriver. After a minute or so of careful drilling, I stuck in the flathead screwdriver (on a bit of an angle so that it could catch properly on the screw head) and turned it with great strength until the screw was loose enough to be twisted out with a pair of tweezers (as my pliers were too thick).

I certainly underestimated the power of the flathead screwdriver!

PS: If you're coming here from Google, 1) Thank you and 2) I hope this helped!

~LP

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