Laptop Repairs

A basic guide to repairing common problems in laptops

Care of laptop screens

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Laptop screens can have a wide variety of problems. These range from the common but not very serious buildups of dust and dirt, to the rarer and more serious problems of scratches and flickers, and even cracks.

Laptop

Dust and dirt on the screen can be readily removed by using a damp cloth, or a cloth with a mixture of methylated spirits and water. There are also commercial cleaners available, which can be used to remove things that can not be removed by simple methods, such as grease or sticky substances. However, these should be checked first to ensure that they do not damage the plastic coating on the LCD panel.

If you are interested in commercial cleaners for cleaning LCD screens (and there are now some very very good ones out there!), try Stuff for cleaning LCD screens.

While scratches may be annoying and can not be removed, they do not really affect the general operation of the laptop. However, cracks are far more serious, and usually affect a portion of the screen. As they are irreparable, they require the entire LCD panel to be replaced. In newer laptops with large screens, this can cost upwards of $2,000. To help prevent these kind of problems, sharp objects like scissors, pens, pencils and staples should be kept away from the screen, and should never, under any circumstances be left on the keyboard of the laptop when the screen is closed. Furthermore, the laptop should be carried in a proper laptop bag, with appropriate padding to prevent excess pressure being put on its lid. It is important to take lid thickness and strength in to consideration when purchasing a laptop, as some brands and models have stronger lids than others.

Flickering is often caused by damage to the cable bundle that runs between the main case and the lid of the laptop. This cable bundle is quite easy to damage if the lid is opened or closed incorrectly. Fortunately, the cable bundle can be readily replaced, as described later. Another less common cause of flickering can be when the cold cathode tube, a small thin fluorescent tube, has been damaged, although more often this causes the screen to black out entirely.

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