Framework 16 visually impaired owners case, Mid plate and mainboard orientation guide

Introduction

This text describes the location, orientation and nature of some aspects of the framework 16 laptop for the benefit of visually impaired owners. It can be used alongside the framework maintenance guides. Thank you to everyone who's comments helped me to locate various components, connectors and screws in the laptop.

All measurements are in millimeters and are (x, y) coordinates measured from the left and front edges of the laptop.
The term "vertical" is used to refer to front/back orientation.
The rear end of the supplied screwdriver is slightly sharp. Be careful to not prod it into the laptop screen. Covering the screen might be a sensible precaution.
Visually impaired owners are far more reliant on touch to explore the internals of the laptop and as such protecting the laptop from static electricity is all the more important. Once the Mid plate is removed, I suggest using an electrostatic wrist bracelet. Be mindful of whether the electrical contact is actually in contact with your wrist as the elastic straps are sometimes quite loose.
If you do any work with the interposer please be mindful to not close the laptop with the interposer door open or the screen will hit it and could be damaged. I have nearly done this on several occasions.

Expansion card latches

The latches to allow for release of the expansion cards (ports) are on the bottom surface of the laptop.
They are located at:
25, 65
325, 65
They are around a centimeter below and horizontally aligned with the inner (short) edge of the expansion cards.
They are 8 long thin raised stubs oriented horizontally.
They are pushed back to lock the expansion cards and pulled forward to unlock them.

Latches to unlock the input modules

These are a 15 long very thin piece of metal running front/back 9 from the front of the side edges of the top surface of the laptop with it's lid open. These latches are part of the Mid plate. Use a thumb nail in the slight gap to the inside of these latches to push them away from the laptop.

Mid plate

The Mid plate is a mainly flat textured rectangle with an irregular shaped metallic strip that runs horizontally, roughly across the middle of the Mid plate. The metallic strip has various raised areas on it but is basically smooth in it's texture. All screws except for those along the front edge of the Mid plate are in simple flat areas. They are captive and are all flush with the Mid plate surface. They have small roughened squares near by that contain the screw number. I do not have the screw numbers.
When installing the Mid plate the screws should be tightened in vertical order starting from the centre of the Mid plate and spreading out up and down from there. This is to balance the stresses across the Mid plate and can be compared to smoothing out wallpaper. It can be helpful to semi-tighten all screws and then fully tighten them all. Try this if any of the screws will not tighten. If the Mid plate is not installed effectively some or all of the keys on the keyboard or numeric keypad may not function. Loosening and re-tightening the screws should help. When removing the Mid plate the order the screws are undone is not important.
The screw positions are exactly symmetrical on the left and right sides of the Mid plate so I have only given the left positions. Mid plate screw positions are measured with the Mid plate in place in the laptop.

Mid plate ribbon pull:
300, 125
This is about a hand width from the right side and half way up the Mid plate.
This is pulled straight upwards using the attached tab, not sideways. This must be removed before the Mid plate can be removed. Pulling on the Mid plate without undoing this connector could cause damage.

on front edge of laptop:
8, 5 in the centre of an inch wide raised stub
105, 5 in between a small square and the first of the centre-most four thinner raised stubs.

on lower textured area immediately below raised rounded edge of smooth metallic area:
35, 60

on metallic area:
135, 85

on upper textured area immediately above raised rounded edge of smooth metallic area:
15, 110

in middle of upper textured area:
55, 170

on top edge, just below the raised block with the power button:
3, 215
120, 215

SSD

This is located at:
85, 110
This is a fingers width above the upper metal border of the battery and about a hand width from the left side of the laptop.
The 2280 SSD is positioned directly above the 2230 and both run horizontally across the mainboard. Here I mean literally above, not behind in the direction of the rear of the laptop. The 2280 overlaps passed the length of the 2230 at both ends. This is 35 over-hang at the right end and has no clear boundary on the left.
The size of the 2280 area is 110 x 35.
The sockets for both are to their right sides.
The primary SSD screw is located at:
55, 110
The secondary 2230 SSD screw is 15 to the right and is at a lower height than the primary screw.
The large notch on one of the short edges of the SSD is the screw retainer notch and it should be positioned to the left. After the 2mm long screw is removed the notch should be positioned over the short raised pedestal and the screw should be reinserted into the top of the pedestal to hold the drive in place.
There is a film covering a sticky heat spreader pad at the bottom of the 2230 drive area and another in a corresponding position on the underside of the Mid plate. These can be removed. SSD modules can become very hot and the film can melt over the SSD.
The modules have a connector that is a couple of millimeters shorter at their end than the width of the body. The edge of the socket nearest the front of the laptop has a lip that lines-up against the edge of the module. The module should insert with gentle force
Note that RAM modules have a semi-circular notch at both of their short ends. SSD modules have a semi-circular notch at one of their short ends. RAM modules are about a half a centimeter wider and a centimeter shorter than SSD modules.

RAM

The two RAM areas are located at:
235, 135
275, 135
They are positioned about a fingers width above the upper metal border of the battery and the second RAM module is about a hand width from the right side of the laptop.
These are oriented vertically.
The size of each RAM area is approximately 15 x 65.
You will feel the metal clips that hold the RAM modules in place at the top and bottom of the RAM area.
There is a raised area in between the two RAM areas that contains the sockets for the RAM modules. It's size is 12 x 70 with a 30 high raised area at the top end.
The left of the two areas is referred to as slot 0 and the right one as slot 1.
The first module is inserted with it's electrical contacts to the right. The second is flipped over around a vertical axis so the electrical contacts are on the left and the module is upside down.
There is a small notch on the connector side of the RAM module that is offset a little towards it's left side as the connector faces away from you and the module oriented so it's chips are on the top. This notch will be toward the rear of the laptop when the modules are installed.
The modules insert with virtually no resistance. They do require more force to push them down into their clips than might be expected.
The two modules being the opposite way up so feeling different to the touch can be disorienting when trying to locate them again by touch after insertion.

Interposer and interposer casing

The interposer casing is located at:
185, 190
This is a fingers width below the ventilation strip that holds the power button and a little to the right of the horizontal centre of the laptop.
It's size is approximately 75 x 30.
The interposer door is on top of the interposer casing and is hinged at the rear. BY texture it is divided into three horizontal sections with the centre one slightly indented with a pull tab lying in it. The door is accessible through a rectangular hole in the Mid plate so the interposer and expansion bay can be removed without removing the Mid plate.
Be mindful to not close the laptop with the interposer door open or the screen will hit it and could be damaged.
With the door open the interposer area has a partial low raised rim running down the left and right sides and a rubbery raised rim running along the bottom.

The interposer fills the full size of the interposer area, horizontally and vertically. It is a T shaped piece of plastic lying flat with it's vertical stroke offset significantly toward the left side. The regular and graphics expansion bays use two different interposers to connect them to the mainboard. For the regular expansion bay There are three screws holding the interposer in place. For the graphics expansion bay there are four screws. I do not have the screw positions for the graphics bay interposer.
The screw positions for the expansion bay interposer within the interposer casing are:
15 from the left and right sides and right at the top
20 from the left side and right at the bottom
The bottom screw may be obscured by the pull tab.

Expansion bay screws

Relative to the interposer area, these are located:
right against the left and right sides and 15 from the top.
With the interposer removed these two screws that hold the expansion bay in place can be accessed. These are captive screws held by a small metal bracket that you will feel moving under the finger tips as the screws are loosened.
The laptop must be partially closed to be able to slide the expansion bay backward out of the case.
When inserting the expansion bay ensure it is flush to the laptop base and slides in gently as it is possible to misalign it.

Wifi module

This is located at:
80, 125
It is immediately above the horizontal section of the heat pipe that runs from the processor up and off to the left side of the mainboard.
It's size is 35 x 22 including the attached plastic clip.
This is a smooth plastic rectangle with a plastic clip running down it's right side from front to back.
The wifi bracket screw is located at:
95, 125
The wifi module is held in place with a plastic clip which grips the right (screw hole) end of the module and provides a screw that screws down into the mainboard. It does not screw into the module itself. The clip runs down the sides of the module and wraps a little underneath it.
Once the screw is undone the module and bracket might rise up at a shallow angle, the same as with the SSD drives. If the module does not rise up then you should be able to lift the module by pulling the clip or the screw. There is little space below the module to get any purchase to lift from there and the raised screw hole in the mainboard will present an obstruction. The clip can then be slid off from the right side. The clip can not be slid off while the module is still in the flat horizontal orientation.
When reassembling, the long straight edge of the clip is positioned to the left.
When viewed from the front so with the screw side to the right the right end of the module has an L shape, that is, the lower part projects out further than the upper part. This lip has a gap that allows the clip's screw to protrude down through it to reach the screw hole in the mainboard below. The lip also contains the two antenna connections. These are very small MHF4 coaxial right angle connectors. The antenna connections are both toward the front of the laptop and the nearest is so close to the heat pipes that it can be obscured from feeling with the fingertips.
If the clip comes off without the wifi adaptor rising up at a shallow angle then you can either clip it back on or gently pull the wires to tidy the surplus that is sitting on the mainboard which will give easier access to the underside of the lip to help to get a fingernail under it to lift it up.
The antenna wires can pop off of the module very easily and can be very challenging to reattach.
The wire toward the front of the laptop is white. The one behind it is black. You could mark the cable in some way to aid identification incase you lose track of which is which. The order is important.
When reattaching the antenna wires, run the socket on the end of the cable around the plug on the card until it sticks in place.
The socket should be able to be rotated on the horizontal axis around the plug.
Push down and hopefully feel it snap into place.
This can be very time consuming and it's possible for the socket to become damaged.
Once both wires are attached, hold the card with the little finger underneath and position it against the m.2 wifi card socket on the mainboard and push it into place at approximately a 20 degree angle.
Slide the fingers touching the antenna wires carefully off of the sockets rather than lifting them straight up or you are likely to pull the wires straight off the wifi card.

processor

This is located at:
195, 90
It's size is approximately 30 x 15.
This is immediately above the battery and further right than the centre battery screw.
Note the heat pipes that run upward from the processor to the top of the mainboard, left and right.

battery

This covers nearly the whole of the lower part of the laptop. It is smooth and has an uneven surface.
It runs from 40 to 315 from the left and from the front to 85 from the front.

The battery screws are located at:
60, 85
175, 85
285, 85
These captive screws are easy to feel within larger surrounding semi-circles that protrude from the rear metal border that runs a centimeter behind the large smooth area of the battery.
The centre screw is right in the horizontal centre of the battery and the other two are right at the ends of the metal border.

The battery tab is located at:
155, 80

Ventilation plate

The ventilation plate is the 35mm high strip that runs right across the upper (keyboard) surface of the laptop in front of the screen. It contains the power button (finger print reader) to it's right.
It is 240 from the front.

webcam and display connectors

These are next to each other immediately to the right of the wifi module.
The webcam connector is located at:
115, 180
The display (eDP) connector is located at:
135, 180
They are thin roughly horizontally oriented plugs rotated slightly anti-clockwise from the horizontal. The right end of the webcam (left) plug is higher than the left end of the display (right) connector.
They can be fiddly to reinsert. The plug's connector is almost right at it's front edge.
Pull both connectors straight up with their tabs to unplug.

Speaker connector

This is located at:
305, 85
This is oriented at a 45 degree angle.
The socket has a raised rim to it's upper left and a little to it's upper right to guide it's position while inserting. The plug sits flush against these raised lines.
The pull tab is 5 above the right most corner of the battery. This is not the top metal border corner where the screw is but the next corner, 17 to the right and 10 below the border corner.
Pull the tab straight up to remove the plug.
The speaker connector has a short twisted cable that runs to the right speaker.
The left speaker is connected to the right speaker with a long twisted cable that runs along the front of the case in front of the battery, held by some clips.

Power button/Finger print reader connector

This is located at:
300, 155
The flat plastic ribbon connector runs downward from the power button and does a turn to the left close to the rear right expansion card slot. This turn is glued to the mainboard. Then it continues running left and downward at around a 30 degree angle to the horizontal until it reaches the socket.
The socket is a small rectangular shape and oriented 30 degrees anti-clockwise from the vertical.
This socket is a ZIF (zero input force) latch that clamps the cable in place. The left/lower half of the socket is flipped up with the spudger or a finger nail so that that half stands upright. This unclamps the cable which can then be slid out from the right/upper side of the socket.
The ZIF socket can be damaged. Be gentle with it.
Low walls sit either side of the cable on the right side to guide the cable while reinserting. The cable has a short sturdy pull tab fused to the inserted end of the cable.

Speakers

They are located at:
20, 20
325, 20
These are at the front either side of the battery and are smooth in texture.
Their size is 40 x 80 including the small tweeter at the top.

Chassis open switch

This is located at:
240, 85
It is located immediately above the metal border of the battery and is below the left RAM module.
The switch has a small metal arm that points off to the left. The arm is pressed down to trigger the switch.

Mainboard power button

This is located at:
55, 170
This is a surface mounted press button and is immediately to the left of the wifi module, towards it's front edge.

Mainboard screws

The mainboard has six screws. These are flat headed screws but sit proud of the mainboard and can be felt with the finger tips.

Top left screw:
40, 185
This is to the right side of the left heat pipe in the rear left corner where the pipe reaches the rear raised edge of the chassis.
It is more challenging to insert than most of the screws as the area is cramped and it is difficult to feel the location of the screw hole.

Top middle screw:
205, 190
Below the screw that holds the expansion bay in place is a switch similar to the chassis open switch. This is immediately above the front rubber boundary of the interposer area.
Immediately to the right of this switch is the screw, It's immediately above and left of the right heat pipe.
It is more challenging to insert than most of the screws as the area is cramped and it is difficult to feel the location of the screw hole.

Top right screw:
315, 160
This is immediately above the power button/finger print reader connector and touches the flat ribbon cable.

Bottom left screw:
45, 80
This is immediately above the top right corner of the left speaker and to the right of a small plastic rectangle. This is a plastic speaker bracket.

Bottom middle screw:
130, 90
This is immediately below the connector socket for the primary SSD and to the left of a metal standoff for a Mid plate screw.

Bottom right screw:
290, 80
This is to the left of the speaker connector socket and right at a corner of the mainboard where the mainboard retreats back 6 millimeters.

Removing the mainboard

The display and webcam cables and wifi antennas run vertically from the rear of the mainboard through a channel in a frame that sits between the mainboard and the rear of the laptop which runs to the upper lid and display.
The cables are inserted into this channel in this order: front-most wifi antenna at the bottom then the rear-most wifi antenna, the display and then the webcam cable on top.
With these cables, finger reader cable and speaker cable all disconnected and positioned out of the way, the battery, interposer, ventilation plate and the six expansion cards removed and the expansion bay screws removed the mainboard can be removed.
Grasp the curved heat pipes near the rear corners of the mainboard and tilt the board upwards with its heat pipes attached.
When inserting a mainboard the interposer door must be open as it overlaps the mainboard.
The first boot following a mainboard replacement will take longer than usual as the memory training is performed again. On my laptop this took 103 seconds as opposed to the usual 35 seconds. The time and date will be lost and will be reset by the operating system through an internet connection.

Lights

For sighted people the lights on the sides of the laptop between the rear and middle expansion cards are used to indicate boot progress and error code reporting.
Green indicates boot time memory training is in progress.
Orange indicates the battery is charging.
White indicates the battery is fully charged.

Expansion cards (ports)

The ports are numbered rear to front on the left side, 1, 2, 3 and rear to front on the right side 4, 5, 6.
Left rear and right rear are usb 4 ports. The others are USB 3.2. usb-a expansion cards in these slots have higher than normal idle power draw even without a device attached.
Left rear, left middle, right rear, and right middle support 240 watt charging
Left rear, left middle, and right rear support display port.
The other three ports share all their bandwidth as they come off of a single USB-3.2 10Gb/s hub.

Webcam and microphone kill switches

These are located at:
185, 7
190, 7
These are on the top part of the display bezel measured from the left and top of the laptop lid.
The webcam window on the bezel to the left of the switches may be covered by a film which can be removed.

Laptop keyboard and keypad

On the top row of the keyboard:
Escape
f1. picture of a speaker
f2. decrease volume
f3. increase volume
f4. Two arrows to left
f5. arrow and two vertical strokes
f6. two arrows pointing to the right
f7. decrease brightness
f8. increase brightness
f9. picture of a screen
f10. airplane
f11 Print screen
f12 Framework icon
insert/delete

On the bottom row of the keyboard:
1. Ctrl
2. Fn
3. Windows or Super key
4. Alt
5. Space (and Keyboard backlight)
6. Alt Gr
7. Ctrl
8. Left arrow key and Home
9. Up arrow key and Page Up at the top then Arrow down and Page down at the bottom
10. Right arrow key and End

On the numeric keypad the top layer of keys is:
1. escape
2. plus minus asterisk slash
3. equals
4. back space

The row below is the usual:
1. num lock
2. /
3. asterisk
4. -

Operating system installation

The default BIOS settings allow the laptop to be used without the Mid plate, keyboard and numeric keypad installed.
While installing Windows 11 the built-in narrator speech assistant can be turned on with control-windows-enter from the pre-installation environment that should appear when the installation boot image is booted.
The operating system should boot from a USB pen drive or SD card without any interaction with the BIOS for the first boot.
If a failed installation has already occurred you may need to use f12 to explicitly boot into the boot media.
By default the power button causes the laptop to sleep rather than to perform a hard shutdown.

BIOS

To boot from the USB or SD card again after operating system installation:
On a framework with a single USB pen drive attached
Turn on laptop and rapidly and repeatedly press f12 for at least 8 seconds
This will bring the laptop into the "Boot Manager"
Press cursor down 3 times and hit Enter
Use the main Enter key, not the one on the numeric keypad
You can use an external USB keyboard

To Enter BIOS:
Turn on laptop and rapidly and repeatedly press f2 for at least 8 seconds
You are now in the Main Overview
There are five options available arranged into two rows
The first row gives: Continue Boot, Boot Manager, Boot from File
The second row gives: Administer Secure Boot, Setup Utility
The cursor is initially on the first option of the top row
Use cursor left and right to move through the options on a row and cursor up and down to move up and down between the two rows
Use Enter to enter the selected item
Whenever Enter is required, use the main Enter key, not the one on the numeric keypad
You can use an external USB keyboard

To reset the BIOS to the default settings:
Enter BIOS
Press cursor down, cursor right, enter
This takes you into the "Setup Utility"
Move 4 down, 1 right, 3 down and press Enter twice
The Laptop should reboot into default settings
I do not have the details of the effect of each keystroke

To disconnect battery:
Enter BIOS
Press cursor down, cursor right, enter
This takes you into the "Setup Utility"
Press cursor down
The cursor starts positioned on the first option which is "Main"
It will now be on "advanced"
Press cursor right
This enters the "advanced" sub-menu
Note that we use cursor right to open the "Advanced" menu rather than the Enter key
"Battery disconnect" is the 10th option which is the last one
Press cursor down ten times and press Enter
The cursor starts positioned above rather than on the first option so 10 presses is needed to get to the 10th option
The cursor will not scroll off the top or bottom so more than 10 presses will still work
You are now asked to confirm this action
The cursor is on "yes"
press Enter to confirm
press F10 and then Enter
This will save and exit
The battery will reactivate during the next boot
Connect the power supply to do this
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