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How to Fix a Broken Laptop Screen

A faulty or shattered display does not imply that your laptop is a paperweight. A screen replacement for most laptops costs $80 and takes no more than an hour of your time. Laptop replacement screens are a terrific method to save money if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, as most computer repair businesses will cost you $150 to $300 for the work.

Here are step-by-step instructions for replacing the LCD on your damaged laptop.

Before you change the screen on your laptop,

Before you do anything, give your laptop a thorough once-over and examination to determine that the screen truly needs to be replaced. If the graphics card on the motherboard fails, for example, you may be wasting time and money replacing a perfectly acceptable screen. Furthermore, if the laptop has lately been dropped or otherwise physically injured, you should double-check for additional damage as well.

Connect a desktop monitor or television to the laptop to test the graphics card since most include a primary blue VGA display or an HDMI output. If the image looks good on an external monitor, your graphics card is probably fine, and the screen is the problem. If you don’t receive a photo, remember that particular laptops require you to hit specific function buttons on the computer to enable external display output. If you do this and the video still does not appear, your graphics card or motherboard are probably faulty, not your screen.

If the laptop successfully outputs to another monitor, utilize the computer for a time to confirm the keyboard and other laptop components appear to be working correctly.

Here are the disclaimers to the usual processes that follow before you replace your laptop’s LCD. However, this is not intended to guide ultrabooks, two-in-ones, tablets, Macbooks, or other specialty notebooks, and it’s more suited to standard, everyday laptops. The overall processes I describe do not apply to all such computers. Some will need a different procedure and more labor to replace the screen, such as accessing the motherboard through the laptop’s main chassis.

Locating a Laptop Screen Replacement

Because of that critical proviso, removing the broken screen may be a good idea before purchasing a new LCD to guarantee you can execute the repair. If, after completing the first few stages, the procedure for your laptop appears to be different, I recommend searching Google and YouTube for further information on your specific laptop brand and model or contacting a repair specialist.

Finding a new LCD is usually simple—and you don’t have to pay the exorbitant rates that the manufacturer typically demands. Enter your laptop model number and the LCD screen into eBay, Amazon, or Google. Most standard screens may be obtained for as little as $50 to $80. If you’re still having trouble, try different identifying numbers from the laptop label or paperwork. Some vendors have one or two sets of identifying numbers that might be your model number.

When searching for an LCD, most dealers will advise you to check the specifications and location of the video wire on the back of their screen to your present panel—another reason to remove the laptop bezel before obtaining a new one. However, in my experience, if the vendor specifies that the screen is compatible with your specific laptop model, it typically works.

How to Repair a Broken Laptop Screen

Before you begin, make sure you have all of the necessary tools. Here’s what works for the majority of laptops:

Table or other flat working surfaces: You’ll need a place to sit (or stand, if you like) on a flat surface to work on your laptop. This provides you with an excuse to clear up the debris on your dining room table or workstation.

Magnetic Phillips screwdriver, small head: Not as little as a micro screwdriver from an eyeglass repair kit, but something between that size and a medium-sized screwdriver should suffice. If you don’t have a magnetic-head screwdriver, look for a large enough magnet to magnetize the driver’s head. This causes the screws to cling to the head, making removal and replacement considerably easier.

A safety pin or needle can be used to remove the cover stickers that hide the screws on your laptop’s surrounding cover, known as the bezel.

Optional: A plastic putty knife or other thin items to help peel the screen bezel out from the casing. My fingernails generally do the trick for me. If you must use another instrument, make sure it is thin enough but not so sharp that it leaves scratches or other signs of prying.

A small dish or other suitable containers: This is where you put the tiny screws to keep them safe from nosy animals and youngsters.

These broad procedures apply to the majority of laptops:

Make sure the computer is disconnected from the power supply. Remove the battery from the computer as well.

Locate the round cover stickers that hide the screws on the screen bezel or the casing surrounding the screen. When the screen is open, these stickers usually are seen towards the bottom of the bezel, near the screen hinges, and one should be on either side of the screen.

To remove the cover stickers without harming them, use a sharp, pointed tool, such as an opening safety pin or needle. Stick it between the cover’s edge and the bezel, then peel the sticker away. Once removed, store the blankets in a secure place with the sticky side up to guarantee enough stickiness when reinstalling them.

Remove the now-exposed screws with your screwdriver. Keep in mind: righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. Some screws are simple to remove, while others are more difficult. Moving the screen into the proper position, on the other hand, frequently exposes the screws sufficiently for removal.

Begin carefully peeling the screen bezel out from the back of the screen housing. Work a fingernail or other thin, prying item into the crack around the screen’s perimeter. Because the bezel usually is held to the back case with plastic snaps, use some force while prying—but not too much. When prying, you’ll hear the fasteners unsnapping.

It may or may not be possible to remove the screen bezel once it has been unsnapped, and it is most likely lodged around the screen hinges if it isn’t. Moving the screen position up or down, using light force if required, should fully liberate it.

When the bezel is completely removed, the LCD is fastened to a metal trim frame on the left and right sides. Remove the two screws (one on each side and one on top) that secure the trim frame pieces to the back screen housing. You should now be able to move the LCD significantly away from the rear screen cover (with the petite frame parts connected).

Remove any screws that hold the trim frames to the LCD from either side. Most computers have three screws on each side; however, the smaller laptop I pictured above lacks these screws; instead, the LCD is held to the trim frame parts using tape on each side.

You should now be able to place the LCD face-down on the keyboard. Take care not to apply too much effort to the video wire connected to the back of the LCD.

Disconnect the video connection from the LCD’s back. Though the port on the laptop I pictured above is at the very bottom, most computers have the connector in the center. If this is the case, keep in mind that the piece of the cable that runs down the screen usually is adhered to the back of the net with a light adhesive. Peel the cords away from the screen carefully. Typically, you must also remove the tape that secures the video cable to the back of the net. When you reach the stage of pulling the video wire out of the screen connection, it should disengage quickly.

After you’ve completely removed the damaged LCD, just lay the new one face-down in the same manner as you did the previous one. Reattach the video cable to the connection and reposition the lines and any tape as you did with the last one.

Set the new screen in the side trim frame pieces, then re-secure it as you did the previous one: three screws in each side of the trim frame parts, followed by a screw-on top of each to fasten it to the rear screen casing.

When it comes time to replace the bezel, line it up and push/squeeze the bezel back into the snaps of the rear screen casing. Before returning the bezel screws, make sure the bezel is in place.

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