Wireless network card upgrade | Keyboard replacement | Memory upgrade guide for the Sager NP8130/NP8150

Discussion in 'Sager and Clevo' started by SSX4life, Dec 2, 2011.

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  1. SSX4life

    SSX4life Notebook Deity

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    Recently I purchased a Sager NP8150 used on Ebay and joined the ranks of many other happy Clevo/Sager users. In my searching online and on these forums I could not find a decent guide on how to upgrade my wireless card on this model. I knew the process / steps would be easy, but I figured that since no one has written up a good guide on thie process that I would take the time and effort to write one up :D

    In writing this guide please note that you could also use the below steps to complete other tasks as well, such as replacing your keyboard / upgrading your memory / or cleaning your keyboard bezel.

    Legal and precautionary stuff

    **PLEASE NOTE**
    This guide is used as a demonstration on how to upgrade the wireless card in your NP8130 / NP8150. Failure to follow the guide could lead to damanging your system! I will not be held responsible for any damage to your laptop. :) If you have questions about how to perform any of these actions please consult your reseller, I'm sure they could also help.

    Now that we got all the legal stuff out of the way lets get down to business shall we?

    Overview

    Removing the wireless card from Clevo's is very easy to do. In this guide I will be upgrading my laptop from an Intel Centrino Advanced N 6230 to a Bigfoot Killer Wireless-N 1103 3x3 (mimo) card. You can also use this guide and steps below to upgrade to any other wireless card (2x2 or 3x3), however please note that the 3rd wireless antenna (the red one) would not be used in a 2x2 configuration.

    In reading this guide you will also notice I have color coded several images and text to indicate a specific wireless antenna, and show where it goes on the new network card. It's pretty basic stuff, but better to be OVERLY obvious than leave people guessing.

    Step 1: Preparation and setup

    I like to work on computers on a big flat workspace with plenty of light. I also like to place the laptop on a soft surface so I don't scratch the unit up, and also so it does not slide around.

    In this tutorial I will be using the following equipment (1 flathead screwdriver / 2 phillips head screwdrivers / a paperclip or other small sturdy object / and a grabber tool (optional)

    [​IMG]

    Step 2: Disconnect the battery and remove the bottom access panel


    Working on the NP8130 / NP8150 is extremely easy. All you need to do is remove the battery by pressing the clips together and sliding the battery out. Once that is completed take your phillips screwdriver and remove the 4 screws as shown. Make sure to set them aside, as they will be needed later once you put the system back together.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Once the screws have been removed, it's time to take off the bottom access panel. To do this simply push the panel away from you as shown below. Once it is removed set it aside for later use.

    [​IMG]


    Step 3: Dislodge / pop up the bezel above the keyboard

    This is a tricky step, so please be careful! While you have the laptop flipped over and OPEN, you want to stick a very VERY small screwdriver or other small object in between the CPU fan and the PCB of the graphics card. You will notice a very VERY small opening in-between them. Press FIRMLY but not too hard and you will have dislodged the bezel above the keyboard. (note: in the picture below I have removed the CPU fan to get a better view of the opening. This is not needed, but helpful)

    [​IMG]

    Once you have this plastic pushed up it's time to flip the laptop back over and peel off the bezel as shown below. I suggest you use your fingers so you don't scatch the finish, the plastic bar should simply pop up and pull away (from right to left). Make sure you set your screws aside and mark / label them.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Once you have all 5 screws removed, simply push the keyboard away from you till you see 5 tabs / hooks on the bottom of the keyboard. Once they are shown you rotate the keyboard TOWARDS you. Be careful when you do this, as there is a ribbon cable on the underside of the laptop still! Simply place it on the palm rest for now and move onto the next step.


    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Step 4: Disconnecting the old wireless card

    PLEASE take your time with this step, as the wires are VERY small and delicate. Don't rush this step, and don't use too much force in removing and disconnecting the wires from the old card.

    The pictures below show you what to do, but in lay-mans terms you want to disconnect wires 1 and 2, and also pull out wire 3 under the chassis.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Once you have all 3 wires disconnected stop and take a moment and look at them. You will notice the following

    Wire #1 is labeled and has a BLACK piece of plastic holding it
    Wire #2 is labeled and has a CLEAR piece of plastic holding it
    Wire #3 is labeled and has a RED piece of plastic holding it. (this one also has a clear sheath that needs to be removed)

    Once all 3 wires are removed simply unscrew the card, it will pop towards you. Once this happens you can wiggle it out of the motherboard.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Step 5: Installing the new wireless card


    Now take your new wireless card and place into the socket at a 45 degree angel so both ends line up and are even in the card (as shown below).

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Once the card lines up properly with the pins take the silver screw and re-screw down the new card.


    NOTE: BE CAREFUL WITH RE-ATTACHING THE CABLES! THE WIRES ARE VERY DELICATE AND SHOULD NOT BE BENT OR KINKED!)

    Once the card is secure re-attach the 3 wires to the new card. Connect wire #1 to signal #1, wire #2 to signal #2 and so on. Once the wires are re-attached you need to tuck the wires into the holding harness so they are below the keyboard, and not being pinched or bent at a bad angle.

    Now that your card is installed you are almost done! Move onto the next step.

    Step 6 Putting everything back together

    Now that your new wireless card is installed, it's time to put everything back together. Simply flip the keyboard back over in the correct position (be careful of the ribbon cable), and slid it back down so it locks into place. The 5 teeth on the bottom of the motherboard should be hidden, and the holes should now line up with the screws that were previously removed.

    Re-tigthen the 5 screws that hold down the motherboard

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Once the screws have been re-tightened it's time to reattach the bezel. You will notice that the peice of plastc is "keyed" and has teeth on the bottom of the plastic that lines up to the holes in the chassis. This gets reinstalled just like the keyboard (bottom first). Once it is in place simply snap it down till it is locked in (should not take a ton of force)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Once you have re-attached the keyboard and bezel, it's time to flip the laptop back over and reinstall the bottom access panel cover + 4 screws that were previously removed.

    Step 7: Finished!

    When it is all said and done you should have only 2 things let over. The old wireless card, and the clear plastic sheath that covered wireless antenna #3.

    [​IMG]

    Turn your laptop on and install the latest driver for your wireless NIC from bigfoots network (have it on a flash key, or download it from a wired network connection. It should install and respond once properly installed under device manager. :D

    Step 8: Final Thoughts

    Overall the installation process for upgrading the wireless card / memory / or replacing the keyboard on the Sager laptops is extremely easy. Sager / Clevo has designed a great chassis that is not only easy to work on, but is conductive to upgrades unlike other companies (I'm looking at you Asus!) I work on computers all day for work (I work in IT) and deal with Dell and HP equipment, and NOTHING is as easy to get to or service, but Clevo makes this a walk in the park.

    I also noticed that with the latest version of Bigfoot's drivers on their webpage the LED indication light is back up and working! I had read from other people upgrading or using this card that that had been disabled or went away. (see below)

    [​IMG]

    I'm absolutely LOVING this new network card and it's WELL WORTH the $60 price I paid to buy it new online.

    I did a scan with inSSIDer 2.0 and I'm coming up with not only STRONGER signals, but I'm getting reports of MORE networks! Almost a scary amount of networks when compared to before. :eek: To give you an idea, I live in suburbia and NOT in an apartment complex.... each of those wireless AP's is from a house in my neighborhood (and the houses are well spaced apart, not stacked on top of each other). Some of those AP's showing up are as many as 2 blocks down!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Step 9: Alternate Keyboard Removal Steps

    The guide above was followed to the LETTER based off of what Clevo and Justin@XoticPC have said you should do. However I have found a simpler (although a bit more dangerous) way to remove the bezel.

    If you take a very VERY small screwdriver or plastic pry tool you can catch the right side of the bezel and pop it up and off (as shown below). The only danger in doing so is scratching the finish on your laptop, so you need to be EXTREMELY careful if you pop the bezel off in this fashion!

    [​IMG]


    If you have any questions about this guide let me know.

    Again... please note that this guide can also be used to replace your keyboard, upgrade your memory, or clean your laptop as well.

    Enjoy!

    --ssx--
     
  2. Geekz

    Geekz Notebook Deity

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    Thanks!! keeping this bookmarked
     
  3. synce

    synce Notebook Consultant

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    Great guide! When I ordered the 8130 I somehow completely overlooked that the stock card was LAN, not WLAN, so I'll be needing this very soon :eek:
     
  4. Atmosk

    Atmosk Notebook Evangelist

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    What do you mean exactly? If you mean you don't think it's coming with WLAN the stock setup has a WLAN/BT combo card. (Realtek 8188CE chipset/CSR Bluetooth)
     
  5. synce

    synce Notebook Consultant

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    Weird, my WiFi wouldn't turn on for a different reason then.. maybe there's some driver I missed, will confirm after work

    Update: indeed I missed the WLAN driver (it was under Option on the disc menu)
     
  6. zebus

    zebus Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for this guide, I'm thinking of trying it outmyself, but got one question.

    Would this be possible if my laptop came with the standard Realtek 8188ce card? Would all the necessary wires be there, cause I know the realtek card only has one antenna/stream. So dunno if it's still wired for a three antenna card or if there would just be one wire.
     
  7. Abidderman

    Abidderman Notebook Deity

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    The NP8150 has 3 wires. Assuming your talking about this lappy, yes, you can do it.
     
  8. zebus

    zebus Notebook Enthusiast

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    Actually mine is a NP8130, but the two are basically identical in form and components
     
  9. gkrules

    gkrules Notebook Consultant

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    What happens if the antennas on the wireless card are out of order?
     
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