How to Replace the Motherboard on a Used Wireless Router

by Sherry Hart

Buying a pre-owned wireless router is a good way to save money, but you have to be prepared to replace some of the parts that are worn out if it is not working at the time of purchase. An essential part of a wireless router is the motherboard. The motherboard connects together all the circuitry needed to operate the router, and once it wears out, the router will no longer work. Replacing the motherboard is a job the average do-it-yourselfer can finish in about 10 to 15 minutes. Here is how to replace the motherboard on the average wireless router.

You Will Need

  • a new motherboard
  • a small screwdriver

New Motherboard

You have to purchase a motherboard that was specifically designed for your wireless router. The easiest way to find a replacement board is to look online. Make sure the name of the manufacturer and the model number of the new motherboard matches up with the one in your router, or it might not fit properly inside the router casing.

Replacing the Motherboard

  1. Unplug and remove the power cord from the back of the router.
  2. Unscrew the antennae from the back of the router if it has one (some routers have one or two antennas, but some models don't have any exterior antennas), and remove it.
  3. Flip the router over and remove the rubber feet located on the front underside of the router. You can pop the feet off by sticking a small Phillips-head screwdriver into the hole in the middle of the feet. Tilt the back of the screwdriver down while pulling the front of the screwdriver upward to pop the feet out.
  4. There will be two small Phillips-head screws underneath the rubber feet. Remove the screws and set them aside in a safe place (the screws are small and easy to lose if they fall off the work table).
  5. Flip the router back over and tightly grab the bottom casing with your hands. Use your thumbs to slide out the front part of the router from the casing. The top part of the motherboard will be exposed at this point.
  6. Flip the router back over again. Slide the bottom part forward on the the plastic rails on the top part of the casing until the nuts holding the antennas on the back of the router are exposed.
  7. Remove the antennae nuts and wires from the back of the top casing so you can separate the bottom casing from the top.
  8. Completely remove the bottom casing to fully expose the motherboard.
  9. Unscrew the mother board from the bottom casing and remove it.
  10. Set the new motherboard in place and put the router back together in the opposite way that you took it apart.