The bane of laptop users, cracked screens can occur if you drop, sit on or even just grip the screen too tightly. However, “fixing” a cracked screen is a misnomer, because once a screen is cracked, it’s the end of the road for that particular screen. However, the screen can be replaced, by anybody with the time and patience to do it.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Micro screwdrivers
- Plastic tweezers
Decide if you want to spend the time and money installing a new screen or just throw in the towel and get a new computer. If you do buy a new one, you will have to transfer your data from the broken laptop to the new one. But that can be accomplished, even with a broken screen.
Locate a replacement screen. This might be the most time-consuming part of the entire process. Buying a replacement from the manufacturer is not advised, as it will cost almost as much as buying a replacement laptop. But a non-working computer with an intact screen can be found at a used computer shop, on eBay or though online message boards.
Unplug both laptops and remove the batteries. Open the bezel of the computer with the good screen first and remove the screen. This usually requires the small screwdrivers. This is where great care comes in, as it’s a fragile area and can easily be damaged. The advantage of doing this on the other laptop is that you can see how it’s put together and how best to proceed without breaking the screen or cracking the plastic on your laptop.
Carefully remove the cable that attaches the monitor to the motherboard of the computer. This is usually found right behind the hinge area. Again, this is a sensitive area to work in, so make sure you have plenty of light and work slowly. Also note that some laptops have a grounding-type wire that connects to another part of the computer. So locate it and take off the mounting screw.
Repeat the process with your laptop. Open the bezel and remove the screen carefully to avoid getting cut with broken glass. Since you’ve performed a dry run on the other computer, you’ll know what to expect. Replace all the screws, covers, keyboard and bezels in the order in which you removed them.
Tips and warnings
- If you need to retrieve your data before you can locate a replacement screen, hook an external monitor to the laptop.
- Save all the extra parts from the second laptop; you may have to perform more transplants in the future.
- The plastic clips break a lot easier than you might think, so use a light hand when working in this area.
- Unplug the laptop and remove the battery before doing anything.