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Opening an original Compaq Portable with no tools

compaqportableplus

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2011
Messages
851
Location
USA
I’ve seen people do all kinds of crazy things to get the outside panels off of these, but I’ve always done it with my bare hands. I’m curious to see if anyone else can do it like this also.

If not, I’ll post a video of it so you can see how I do it.
 

compaqportableplus

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2011
Messages
851
Location
USA
I’ve had pretty good luck with the plastic on mine so far (aside from the few little breaks that were there when I got the the machine that have nothing to do with it being opened). My Plus doesn’t have any cracks and I’ve opened it quite a few times as well.
 

SomeGuy

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
4,143
Location
Marietta, GA
I've done it before but the last time a piece snapped off my side panel so I use a screwdriver now
Ideally one should use something wood or plastic, such as popsicle sticks, to hold the latches open while undoing the others.

I've opened mine without tools but a previous user already broke one of the places where it pops in, so it is easier.
 

RadRacer203

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2016
Messages
1,463
Location
Burlington VT
I've been using the metal slot covers I pulled from a couple cases I junked a while back with a piece of painter's tape on the end. They've been working perfectly for me
 

JackKnifeBarber

New Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Messages
2
Location
Ottawa, ON
The first time I removed the covers of my portable when I found it in a Salvation Army I did use my bare hands and was surprised by how easy it was. Once I got the thing home I found it much harder and had to use a screwdriver. I am not sure if this is because the covers were slightly loose from being knocked around by the thrift store staff who obviously thought it was just a surprisingly heavy sewing machine or because now that it is my property I am being subconsciously more gentle with it. I will follow the suggestions here and use something plastic or wood to avoid losing any more tabs. one is already missing.

First post to any forum ever. Woot!
 

normanator

Experienced Member
Joined
May 12, 2017
Messages
72
Location
Lone Star State
Short of actual plastic trim removal tools that can be found cheap on Amazon for automobiles, use a couple of old credit cards or grocery store loyalty cards. Anything metal can mar the plastic and it will look bad over time. Bare hands risk cracking something. I've had my Portable Plus since 1986 and use and open it periodically. The case is still pristine with no marks using this method.
 

compaqportableplus

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2011
Messages
851
Location
USA
Short of actual plastic trim removal tools that can be found cheap on Amazon for automobiles, use a couple of old credit cards or grocery store loyalty cards. Anything metal can mar the plastic and it will look bad over time. Bare hands risk cracking something. I've had my Portable Plus since 1986 and use and open it periodically. The case is still pristine with no marks using this method.

Some units may be different, but I’ve been opening my Plus and original paint with my bare hands for years and I’ve never had an issue. By using your hands (as long as you are gentle), you are essentially doing the same thing that using a tool is doing; flexing the cover up just enough to clear the catches.

I started this thread just to see if anyone else opened them by hand like I do, not to debate what the “best” way to open one was. I’d never start a thread like that, because there is no “best” way. Everyone has their own method that works best for them.

But as I’ve said, I haven’t ever had a single issue doing this, and will continue to use this method on my Portables.
 
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