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View Full Version : DIY keyboard backlight color mod + partial disassembly pics.



villiansv
12-06-2013, 04:45 PM
DISCLAIMER: This will void your warranty. Don't attempt unless you know what you're doing. I take no responsibility if you break something.

Hello everyone. I've just modded my keyboard backlight color to purple and decided to share. It looks pretty nice, and takes a couple of hours of your time (if you go slowly and carefully) and a few pounds only (or none).

Be very careful when you take apart the laptop, there are a lot of screws of various sizes. You will NOT remember where they all go, so arrange them in a way that will help you remember how to put the whole thing back together.

Without further ado, let's get to it. As with any electronics, ground yourself in case you're statically charged (touch a metal electrical appliance, like a washing machine). If you have anti-static gloves, great. I personally don't.

Part 1: Prerequisites.

You will need translucent plastic, scissors, translucent scotch tape, screwdrivers (duh). You can use whatever is handy for the plastic, I personally bought a stack of binder dividers from an office supplies store. You can find them anywhere, and they're really cheap. The more colors you can get, the more options you will give yourself. Here's what I got:

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Part 2: Bottom side.

Make sure your backlight is turned on. Shut down, unplug from power, take out battery, remove the bottom panel (1 screw). Take out the rubber plugs and unscrew all the screws under them. They are easy to see, you can't miss them. There are however a few tricky screws you will also need to tackle. Take a look:

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The red ones you just unscrew. The left green one holds the optical drive bay. Unscrew it, then slide the optical drive out. This will reveal 3 screws (also in green, not visible on pic) previously hidden. Remove those. You're now done with the bottom side. If you've been diligent like I suggested, your screws will be arranged like this:

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Part 3: Remove speaker panel (the bit sticking out behind the screen).

Flip the lapto over, so it's facing you as if you're working on it, with screen closed. Grab hold of the panel behind the screen and pull up. It should come off really easy. DO NOT pull all the way, as there are wires connected to it:

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The left jack (red highlight) is what you want to detach - it's the speaker wires. Pull out the jack, here's a nice closeup pic for you:

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Part 4: Remove the keyboard panel.

Look at the following pic:

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The red highlight is where you should remove a screw. There's one more on the other side, take that off too. Now, you can lift the bit that you just unscrewed with your fingers until it pops. I've tried to show this here:

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Note that there's a gap between the chassis and the keyboard panel now. Do the same on the other side. Use your fingernails and slide them along the gap so the plastic clips holding the panel all pop. This will result in a loose keyboard panel (basically the whole top section of the laptop). Lift it very slightly and slide it towards you NO MORE THAN AN INCH (the panel is still connected to the motherboard via ribbon cables, you don't want to break them):

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Once at this stage, lift the screen side up so you can see and reach the 4 ribbon cables. I've tried to take a pic from the side:

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Unplug the two red, then the two green ones (colors are referring to my highlight).

*** IMPORTANT. These are not unplugged via force. The white plastic connectors on the motherboard all have a black latch. You open the latch upwards, then the cable comes out. When you reconnect them back later on, insert the cable and close the latch. ***

Remove the keyboard panel and put it aside.

*** OFFTOPIC - Here is a picture showing you where the WiFi card (red) and the remaining two RAM slots (green) are:

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Part 5: Remove the backlight led layer from the keyboard.

Take the laptop and put it aside, you don't need it for now. Flip the keyboard face down, like this:

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The backlight led layer is taped/glued to the bottom of the keyboard. We need to untape/unglew it. Start by removing the big red rectangle piece (go slowly, no rush), then the small red pieces (easy). The keyboard cable (green) is also taped, untape it (but do NOT pull it out, it's not meant to be pulled out). Put the big square piece aside, sticky side up. You're now at this stage:

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Unstick the long rectangular red piece (go slowly) and the corner red piece (easy). Once you do this, you are ready to start peeling off the backlight layer. Start in one corner, and peel off the short side (screwdriver is in there only to hold it up while I snap the photo):

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Then continue peeling:

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Until finally it comes off:

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Continued in next post.

villiansv
12-06-2013, 04:46 PM
Part 6: Test colors and prepare color mod.

You can now plug in the led layer alone in the motherboard and test the various colors. Here's a pic (red is jack to plug it in, green is the power key to turn laptop on). DO NOT use your finger for the power button, but a plastic tool (I used a pen):

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The color is actually bluish-white, not pure white. White balance is off in my pic. In any case, take your plastic dividers (or whatever) and check what they'd look like:

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It's not a very exact science, as the colors are slightly off once you put the whole thing together, but will give you a good idea. Now, you have to cut out and piece together a layer from the plastic. I opted out for a single color, however this is where you can get creative. You can make a separate color for the F keys, for the arrows, numpad, WASD, whatever you want. Piece them together with clear scotch tape and put on top of the led layer. Here's mine:

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I was going for purple, so pink + the bluish white original light was going to give me just that. Blue or green plastic will probably be largely unaffected color-wise. Here is a video that does the same for an Asus G73 (this video gave me the idea, actually) - clicky (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf_8hOr8N_w) - he shows off various colors and stripes, so you can use it as inspiration.


Part 7: Put it back together.

Before you put everything back together, note that your plastic layer is covering some holes in the led layer. You'll need to punch holes in the exact spot. I used a small screwdriver, then a larger one after it. Here's a pic:

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Put the whole thing back where it belongs:

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Then re-tape everything again:

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In the last picture, the large square tape piece is not yet replaced - don't forget it. Plug the 4 ribbon cables back in the motherboard, re-seat the keyboard panel so it clicks all around the edge. This may be a good time to turn the laptop on to quickly check if keyboard/mouse work correctly (if not, re-seat their cables). Then do all steps we did earlier in reverse and screw everything back together.


Part 8: End result.

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I took these in a pitch-dark room with a non-VR lens on the Nikon, so excuse the poor focus/high ISO noise.

Good luck if you go ahead and do it, and of course post pics if you do. Enjoy!

villiansv
12-06-2013, 04:47 PM
Reserved.

Myroslav
12-06-2013, 05:21 PM
Awesome post. Thank you. At least if i wont mod the keyboard, i know how to take this thing apart. Sticky this please! And i would relabel G750 DIY lol.

villiansv
12-06-2013, 05:27 PM
Awesome post. Thank you. At least if i wont mod the keyboard, i know how to take this thing apart. Sticky this please! And i would relabel G750 DIY lol.

You're welcome. I agree, parts 2, 3 and 4 basically show you how to take apart the laptop (up to a point). I can update this at a later time with step-by-step info on how to take apart the rest of it, but as I don't expect to re-paste within the next year, it won't happen any time soon. If someone wants to add a detailed post, feel free to do so.

Dreamonic
12-06-2013, 09:26 PM
Nicely written villiansv! Your choice of structure, points and presentation was well done!

+Rep!

A Rainmeter skin themed out into purple would also add a nice touch!

wrangler
12-06-2013, 09:57 PM
This is a GREAT walkthrough for basic disassembly. Thanks for all your trouble documenting it in such detail.

hmscott
12-09-2013, 12:50 AM
villiansv, nice details on the photos and disassembly steps :)

Pierre990429
12-09-2013, 11:38 AM
Excellent indeed !
When are you doing a G750 screen disassembly thread ? :rolleyes:

Myk SilentShadow
12-09-2013, 12:26 PM
I have no clue what ISO noise is, but damn that looks awesome!! great read :) +1

villiansv
12-09-2013, 12:51 PM
Excellent indeed !
When are you doing a G750 screen disassembly thread ? :rolleyes:

Hehe, sorry, already done and don't plan on opening it again. I used youtube videos for the G75VW model (I think, it's been almost half a year), and I don't recall the G750 being any different.

villiansv
12-09-2013, 12:55 PM
I have no clue what ISO noise is, but damn that looks awesome!! great read :) +1

Thank you. ISO is a measure of sensitivity of the sensor in the digital camera. With film cameras, the film itself was rated at e.g. 100 ISO, 200, 400 etc. A digital camera can change its ISO sensitivity. The higher the number, the more sensitive to light the film/sensor is, and hence captures more light in darker settings (all else being equal). However, this is done at a reduction to quality, and is commonly referred to "noise at high ISO".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_noise#Low_and_high-ISO_noise_examples is a good read, and has examples. For reference, the 5 pictures I took in the end were in a pitch black room, with the only light being the keyboard backlight. I used 6400 ISO, so the resulting image is grainy (also shaky, as I didn't have a tripod handy, and you need long-ish exposures too).

villiansv
12-09-2013, 12:57 PM
I have no clue what ISO noise is, but damn that looks awesome!! great read :) +1

Thank you. ISO is a measure of sensitivity of the sensor in the digital camera. With film cameras, the film itself was rated at e.g. 100 ISO, 200, 400 etc. A digital camera can change its ISO sensitivity. The higher the number, the more sensitive to light the film/sensor is, and hence captures more light in darker settings (all else being equal). However, this is done at a reduction to quality, and is commonly referred to "noise at high ISO".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_noise#Low_and_high-ISO_noise_examples is a good read, and has examples. For reference, the 5 pictures I took in the end were in a pitch black room, with the only light being the keyboard backlight. I used 6400 ISO, so the resulting image is grainy (also shaky, as I didn't have a tripod handy, and you need long-ish exposures too).

tugrul
01-03-2014, 01:22 PM
Greak Work. Not for only keyboard coloring beside i learned how to disamble machine. İ see u spent time to prepearing this. Thanks.
Keep up the work. Better then this work is the only video share which is not much necessery but worth it if.
As u know our machines not user friendly with these disamble. Especially e.g. cleaning fans which is a necessary for a notebook.
Still we have great machines. İ have JH model. Only wifi module i disappoint otherwise all things good placement.

tugrul
01-03-2014, 01:23 PM
Greak Work. Not for only keyboard coloring beside i learned how to disamble machine. İ see u spent time to prepearing this. Thanks.
Keep up the work. Better then this work is the only video share which is not much necessery but worth it if.
As u know our machines not user friendly with these disamble. Especially e.g. cleaning fans which is a necessary for a notebook.
Still we have great machines. İ have JH model. Only wifi module i disappoint otherwise all things good placement.

Thestroj
01-03-2014, 05:10 PM
DAMN! such a nice post!

Im gonna do it myself too!!! im only gonna try and use different colors. (F1-F10=blue, No. Keypad=Violet, QWERTY=green and so on)
Would that even look nice?

Is there any realy tricky part that i need to watch about?

Nicely done! Thank you for this!

domu221
01-04-2014, 10:24 AM
y is this not sticky

Darnassus
01-04-2014, 11:06 AM
Wait, just an off-topic question... where does the air come from into the laptop that is sucked out the back?

villiansv
01-04-2014, 01:15 PM
Wait, just an off-topic question... where does the air come from into the laptop that is sucked out the back?

Through the keyboard and/or from under the screen panel (not 100% sure which). It's great because I can use it on non-rigid surfaces like bedsheets without worrying I'm covering the air intake.

villiansv
01-04-2014, 01:19 PM
DAMN! such a nice post!

Im gonna do it myself too!!! im only gonna try and use different colors. (F1-F10=blue, No. Keypad=Violet, QWERTY=green and so on)
Would that even look nice?

Is there any realy tricky part that i need to watch about?

Nicely done! Thank you for this!

At the end of Part 6 I linked a youtube video which helped me immensely. It's for an older model, but you can use it to see what different colors would look like.

I think I've covered the important bits in the guide, but if I had to stress anything crucial, it's to take care when unplugging the ribbon cables and also when unglueing the sticky pads holding the LED layer. Just go slow and steady, you can't really mess it up then.

Chris Y
01-04-2014, 04:45 PM
Very very thorough! Thank you very much, i will try it.
Big pat on the back!

gazzacbr
01-05-2014, 03:21 AM
Hi,
+1 here for the great write up.
i cant see myself bothering to change the key colours as i usually turn the backlight off anyway but will use this to change out my wifi card to a mac compatible one.
this is definately a sticky worthy thread :)

villiansv
01-05-2014, 11:57 PM
Hi,
+1 here for the great write up.
i cant see myself bothering to change the key colours as i usually turn the backlight off anyway but will use this to change out my wifi card to a mac compatible one.
this is definately a sticky worthy thread :)

The offtopic pic I included was precisely because I knew some people wanted to change their Atheros to a mac-compatible card :). Do make sure you connect the wires to the correct jacks on the card, my replacement card had the location switched. Match white wire with the jack marked with a filled-in white triangle on the card, and the black wire with the jack marked with a contoured triangle only.

Aram_yossarian
01-10-2014, 03:18 PM
Wonderful thread thank you +1

Bill_the_Bear
08-04-2014, 08:25 AM
Hi chaps,

I'm wondering if anyone who has done the disassembly could help me with a question. I need to get to the power jack which I think is damaged on my G750JH and I'm wondering how far through the disassembly this would require. Would it even require complete removal of the keyboard, or perhaps just lifting the keyboard but leaving the ribbon cables attached would reveal it? Also does anyone know what the power jack looks like on the inside? The pics above are great but don't focus on this part, ideally I'm hoping for a zoomed in and angled view of the power jack connected to the motherboard so I can try to judge if there might be some connection damage that I could repair or not before I start opening things up.

I ask because my G750 repeatedly jumps between battery and AC. This happened on my previous G73SW too and it went in for RMA three times for the same issue, each time the report that came back indicated that they had replaced the entire motherboard! I eventually got fed up and asked for a complete replacement and was told that if it failed a fourth time while in warranty (2 years) then a full replacement or other solution would be offered. As you might guess the power jack again failed but 2 months after the warranty expired. As a result of this I bought a G750 and had to dump my otherwise perfectly fine and just over 2yr old G73.

Due to the above I am reluctant to go through the RMA process again if there is an alternate option since it is likely it will involve repeatedly shipping the unit off and lengthy waits only to receive a fix that lasts another 3 months until eventually the warranty runs out and then the flawed design becomes my problem rather than ASUS's...

Thanks for any help you can give me!

d353rt3dr34l8y
12-28-2014, 12:03 PM
First of all, I have to say THANK YOU so much to the person that posted this walkthrough. Honestly, I didn't used the entire thing as all I was looking to do was replace the keyboard module itself, as opposed to changing the colour. I just finished fixing the issue and the new module is working like a
charm, thanks in massive part to this post. THANKS AGAIN! And don't stop posting instructionals like this! They're incredibly invaluable.