HOW TO Fix, Mod, your ASUS EP121

Discussion in 'EP121 Slate' started by CF77, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. CF77

    CF77 Love Tablet. Senior Member

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    A month ago, I flushed a modded bios with wrong parameters...Yeap..bricked..

    I send it to ASUS Service in Markham...Ontario.. They want 1200$ to replace mother board..replace LCD board..even though I had told them it is just bricked bios. I don't know how they come to conclusion that my LCD board is defective. so I asked them to ship it back.

    edit: (ASUS Service has turned me as a cheering fan to a disgruntle user..lol they email me asking me whether I will buy another ASUS product.)

    I asked Joe from AQStech to send me a bios chip...replaced it and got it back alive..however, I broke the temperature sensor cable when I tried to close the lid.

    So I decided to fix the cable too..no success..must buy a new one..

    I am going to post some photos ...of the disassembled EP121.

    and steps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  2. CF77

    CF77 Love Tablet. Senior Member

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    This post is fix your EP121 bricked bios by replacing the bios chip with a pre-programmed bios chip..
    I got it from Joe of AQStech

    you can try reset battery etc first..there is a switch .not sure what is it for...ou may try as the cmos connector is underneath the frame..very hard to get to..need a tweezer..
    or
    bootable usb with bios file...etc.

    you can also use this info if take your unit to a good shop to get it fixed.

    bios is hiding underneath frame..mother board must come out..
    [​IMG]

    Caution
    What you need is a anti-static table, I connect a ground wire to a very large anti-static bag.
    wear all cotton cloth..no synthetic material..always touch bag before touching EP121.

    edit: winter time.. have a humidifier running.

    [​IMG]

    tweezers, jewellery screw drivers and good small screw drivers,
    temperature controlled soldering iron. tin lead solder. electrical tapes..


    To start
    ..

    use plastic card to open back..cover...check the tabs locations and be careful not break them.
    see location of the tab on this photo so you know where they are.

    make sure you lift the cover up from non usb side..
    it will minimize damaging the thermal sensor cable.

    check the other side after removal.. you may find some lock slots. the plastic slot may had collapsed from factory ..

    un clip the cable .just flip up the black piece . you don't need to remove it..if you did..do not want to lose the tiny black lock piece.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Now you are looking at the inside of the EP121

    remove the battery cable hold down ..stainless ..one screw..

    Undo the battery cable first. use plastic tool so it does not to shorting out ..it is the longer black one..
    " photo below here"
    next to battery cable is the ssd cable connector

    now remove the 4 screws holding the battery and the peel the foils carefully off..and remove the battery

    remove battery from unit..

    remove memory card.. remove wifi card...you do not need to remove the P4 ssd card.

    now undo most connectors

    the home button connector to the sdd daughter card.
    2 fan connectors (below the fans)
    [​IMG]



    DC charging connector (next to the DC connector)
    LCD cable (with yellow tape on it..using pull tab ..be very gentle..
    [​IMG]



    2 flex connectors (USBs..side card..switches, g sensor etc)
    if you have DC connector issue.. this is where you keep undo..

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]




    WACOM pen cable ( next to battery connector)

    also speaker connectors at the corner with fine wire
    ..be very careful..see pic below...blue arrow the black plastic with green rubber cushions are speakers..

    [​IMG]
    there is a switch there too..not sure what is it for...original position is up...to turn on/off ?/

    remove
    EETI touch cable (under wifi card foil) don't peel off the foil. just lift and the plastic underneath ..
    Camera cable (under Wifi card foil)
    and ssd cable


    Now you can remove the fan assembly ..and cpu heat sink screws. lift slowly .

    undo all the frame holding screws..make sure the longer screw is kept separated .
    one of screw under the under LCD cable connector.


    undo screws of the frame....lift frame up lightly without damaging the LCD cable...if you can't ..means you missed a screw.

    remove the frame from mother board...undo CMOs battery on board just before desoldering.. remember which is correct side.


    [​IMG]

    your bios chip is now exposed

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    you can now de-solder the bricked bios.. and replace it with new one..factory solder
    are of higher melting temp.. best is to fill it with a bit solder with more lead to
    lower the melting temp. if you are not good at it..get a shop with the good solder station..
    usually is $15 to 20$..any more is a reap off. clean flux off. make sure no solder balls on board.

    now you can reassemble..backward.
    caution ....do not over tightening screws..

    You can test the unit without the thermal cable..
    First thing you need is to set the date and time
    then Win 7 will eventually tell you your window is illegal..
    just reactivate with your s/n under the bluetooth keyboard.

    **important**
    Do not squeeze the cable when you reassemble the thermal cable..and snap carefully. I compressed the thermal cable ..
    use a bit silicon dry powder on tab if necessary.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    back side.. I have 1.3G version board.
    [​IMG]


    the WACOM board
    [​IMG]


    my wacom sensor has a lift..
    [​IMG]

    EETI touch board
    [​IMG]

    couple of mystery chips
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    failed attempt again using jumper wires
    ..must be more breaks somewhere..

    [​IMG]


    EP121 board version d 1.3G

    Motherboard
    Top Side

    Markings

    intel i5-470um
    intel hm55

    ICS VS3161BL PLL CLOCK GENERATOR newer board got ics 9LVS3162 chip NQS
    ITE IT8570E SUPER I/O CONTROLLER
    NIKOS P1203 LINE BUFFER
    CSD 17310 POWER MOSFET
    CSD 17307 30V nExtfet
    ?? MB39A132 LI=ION BATTERY CONTROLLER
    ?? RT8206 LAN
    ?? CP=CH j16 SPECIAL CHIP ???
    ?? gg=ce X1b SPECIAL CHIP ???
    ?? rt8205a POWER SUPPLY CONTROLLER
    Realtek alc269 rEALTEK AUDIO CONTROLLER.
    ?? RT81530CL vga iC??
    Fairchild fpa814 ????


    one single DDR3 socket.

    bio serial eeprom 32mbit
    mx25l3260e 32mbits can use mx25l32050
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  3. CF77

    CF77 Love Tablet. Senior Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  4. Featherbeard

    Featherbeard Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi and thanks for the informative post! Can you elaborate on the thermal cable and what's happening in the images please? My cable was already mostly broken when I put in my new SSD and the fans are on full blast until Asusparts decides to ship me a new one. (Whenever the hell that is? Next year?) Is there something you did to try and repair the cable?
     
  5. e-schreiber

    e-schreiber ƒ(x) / fashion Senior Member

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    Great thread!
     
  6. CF77

    CF77 Love Tablet. Senior Member

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    I tried to resolder the joints..but it did not work..I will edit post later..I will continue update.. but if anyone has new pic and fix..please post..

    I just put in an order to ASUSparts too.. they said it is a month before they get them..
    so I ordered two...one for spare..

    I also a spare bios chip..
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  7. Pockets101

    Pockets101 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi Mate, I happen to have a board that's beyond repair here for the EP121, I'll be ordering a new one and replacing it, the CPU has bee lifted and taken pads up. That being said they'll be nothing wrong with the BIOS If you fancy sending it to the U.k, I have all the equipment to repair it. I probably won't be on here again because I only accidently found this thread looking for a new board, just offering my services. If someone tried charging my 1,200 for that repair I'd tell them where to go. It would be hard to source out a defect board though to be fair, the might also not know where to buy a suitable BIOS Chip or re-program the existing one off board, so there only option would bu to buy a new one which costs around the £200/$400 from what i've seen, Anyway, you can get me on sales.techfurbs@gmail.com if you need to know more. Thanks
     
  8. CF77

    CF77 Love Tablet. Senior Member

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    Try lqk223 at ebay..he has one board..it is not listing now..just send him an message..
     
  9. Featherbeard

    Featherbeard Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Oh, I gotcha! I ordered one probably at least a month ago, and they told me Asus said the ship date would be the 27th of December. >< Must be pretty hard to get them now, which sucks, as they are *horribly* designed. Have you figured out a way to get the cable back into the case without bending it? I could not figure it out. :(

     
  10. CF77

    CF77 Love Tablet. Senior Member

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    you probably won't want to bent it like factory did... there is a thread one member is someone showing how he put in the the replacement..once I find it.. I will edit this post..with the link..

    edit : here is

    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/ep121-slate/52555-replacing-ep121-thermal-sensor-causes-fans-run-full-speed.html

    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/ep121-slate/43201-solutions-noisy-fan-ep121-multiplier-downclock.html

    btw..I have disconnected one fan while I'm waiting for the new cable..

    each fan will take 0.4 amp at full speed.. quite a bit of power..

    edit: Update..got my new sensors...put it in and same high sped fan...my assessment is that I had inserted sensor upside down once during assembly. it might have blown the super I/O chip...

    ensure you insert the the sensor wire properly..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
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