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Bringing a G74SX back to life

Level 9
I thought I would share my experience repairing a G74SX that I bought in March. I'm not looking for help, just want a record of this horrible experience so I can link to it later on. This is going to be a long wall of text, since it's taken me half a year to fix this laptop. There's no good format for it so just bear with me.

Also I want to clarify that this is probably my 25th-26th rog laptop (4th g74sx). I typically buy, repair and flip these to make a little extra money on the side. I also love to deal with computer hardware, but my corporate job typically only deals with software.

So here we go....


In March I bought a broken G74SX off ebay from a Canadian seller (wineguyxxxx). The computer was sold as-is because the seller supposedly took it apart to replace the keyboard and couldn't get it to turn back on.

This is the description from the listing

I am the original owner of this laptop. It functioned without fail until the "Enter" key popped off. I purchased a Canadian replacement keyboard off eBay and I have unsuccessfully been able to install it. I am not a computer technician but I figured that I would try. Again this laptop did function 100% until I tried to replace the keyboard. I do not believe I have done any significant damage to the computer but it will no longer work. Therefore, I am selling this as-is and without the option of a refund (consider this laptop to be for parts). This computer may never function again. Having said all of that, as I mentioned before this laptop did work until I tried to replace the keyboard and I think someone with the right tools and know-how could make it function again. At the very least it can be parted. The only thing that is not included with the laptop is the hard-drive which I have removed for destruction. They can be found on eBay for under $50. I am including the two original hard-drive caddies but not the hard-drive itself. There is no reserve; good luck bidding.

The computer looked like it had no real damage so I bid and won the laptop, $275 for the laptop and $45 for shipping ($320 total).

It took about a week and a half to arrive, I was at work and my fiancée called me telling me a package had arrived from Canada. I finished up what I was working on and hurried home. When I cut the box open an overwhelming smell filled the room. My pregnant fiancée had to leave my office because she was getting sick from the smell. I unwrapped the bubble wrap to find a laptop with little gobs of sticky material all over it. I took it apart and cleaned all the plastics with concentrated isopropyl and qtips. The qtips were turning brown and dark purple.

I noticed that the ribbon cable that goes from the board to the power button was missing. Thinking this was a quick fix I emailed the seller and asked him what was spilled on the laptop. Also the board had some superficial damage to the connectors, so I bought another broken g74sx motherboard to borrow the zif connectors from. I also found a used power board fcc on ebay to replace the missing one.

Pic of the motherboard (notice the missing zif hinges for the keyboard and the touchpad)

When the seller emailed back he told me

Good to hear that it arrived safely. There is probably a combination of pop, coffee, juice and water that has accidentally been spilled on the original keyboard over the years. The Canadian keyboard that was included in the auction is literally brand new and has never had anything spilled on it. I wish I could help more. Good luck putting it together with the new keyboard (something that I was unable to do

YUP, how ironic.......Wineguy had spilled wine among other liquids on the laptop

When the power board fcc came in I plugged it in and got the motherboard to turn on but not post. There was obviously some sort of spill damage this guy was trying to scam me on. I found that the wine spilled through the top and ran down the heatsink to collect on a couple components.

I fought back and forth with him and ebay took my side and told me to return it. I contacted him since ebay informed me international sellers have to pay return shipping. He refused to pay return shipping so I filed a case with ebay. After going through another lengthy process I was refunded and got to keep this poorly abused laptop.

So now looking over it all I have:
-A good g74sx shell (still has sticky residue after removing the motherboard)
-Bad motherboard
-Computer components that I can't confirm if they are good or not (Ram, CPU, Screen, etc.)
-New Canadian keyboard (backlight ribbon had damage and back of keyboard had wine residue on it)
-Damaged touchpad and touchpad button fcc's
-Broken usb port on the left side board (found this when I brought it to work)

Pic of the old keyboard backlight fcc

Some pics of the spill residue


I ordered a motherboard from China after I got my refund, It took about 3 weeks to get here. In the meantime I sold all of my other motherboards since I was buying a working motherboard. I also sold the Canadian keyboard after fixing the end on the backlight fcc. When the motherboard arrived from China I mounted the cpu and applied ICD to both the cpu and gpu. I also cleaned all of the thermal pads. When I went to throw it in the shell I noticed it was missing the passive heatsink for the southbridge. I emailed the seller to ask for the heatsink, and they told me they only sell motherboards. I searched on ebay for broken g74sx motherboards that I might be able to convince the sellers to part with their passive heatsinks but it was like pulling teeth.

I bought a US keyboard from China (figured I had to wait anyway), a Corsair Force GT 120gb SSD, and another 4gb of ram.

I emailed the seller in China a half-dozen times and was finally able to get them to ship a replacement passive heatsink. The heatsink came in a few days ago and I was able to power on the laptop for the first time last week.

After a successful post I installed the 16gb of ram that I had and the ssd that I bought. I had to replace about half of the screws. In the morning I took the laptop to work with me and was able to load windows on it using the keyboard (touchpad and touchpad buttons weren't working). I also noticed that I have a broken usb port on the left side and the keyboard backlight isn't working after loading the drivers.

I spent a good couple hours researching the backlight issue when I got home from work. I found a couple posts on NBR where a very technical user was able to fix his keyboard backlight by copying the bios of a g74sx with a working backlight and then flashing his bios with that backup. All the links were long gone so I tried to use the wayback machine to read his post. I was finally able to get to his page after editing some of the links. He linked to a g74.rom file that was still active on his microsoft account. I printed out the directions and downloaded the rom file for later.

Saturday I spent a couple hours removing the broken usb port and repairing the fcc cables for the touchpad. The cables were missing the thick plastic part that give the cable it's thickness. I ended up cannibalizing a g46vw cable by removing the blue plastic piece and cutting it to the correct width. Then I used superglue to get them to bond together.

When I reassembled the laptop everything worked besides the backlight. I prepared a flash drive and flashed the computer using easyflash and the rom file I downloaded. After the bios flash successfully completed I powered on the laptop. I was amazed that the keyboard lights flashed upon boot and I was able to now control them with the fn+f3/f4 keys in windows.

The only thing missing now is the usb board, which should be here this week.

When you add it up:

Power board FCC - $15
G74SX 3gb 60-N56MB2800-B07- $205
US Keyboard - $40
Corsair Force GT 120gb SSD - $100
4gb ram - $25
USB Board - $16

$401 total in parts, if ebay didn't step in I probably wouldn't have repaired this laptop.

Here's a pic for good measure.