How To Replace A Broken Laptop or Notebook Display

The worst thing that can happen to a portable computer owner - aside from having his wife or girlfriend leave him or his hard disk go up in smoke - is irreparable damage to its built-in, but relatively sensitive liquid crystal (LCD) display. (No, I'm not putting women on the same pedestal as hard disks, what are you thinking?) This might happen because of an entirely innocuous-seeming mishap, such as leaving a pencil lying on the notebook's keyboard and failing to remove it before closing the clamshell. A firm slap on the top deck to force the unit closed and presto you've got a serious problem with your LCD! Another common misadventure involves cracking the screen when you or a colleague trip over a portable's power or network cables, hurling the computer to the floor with a sickening crunch. Ouch!

At this point, some of you are surely thinking, "That can't happen! How could anybody be that stupid?" Well, I thought that until a freak accident occurred involving my notebook and an old and cherished - but somewhat rickety - desktop lamp. The old lamp base somehow broke and gave way, Murphy's Law took over, and the sharp edge of the metal lampshade found its way into the top surface of my notebook display. After that, the LCD was basically unusable. The edges of the sickle-shaped gouge in the anti-reflective film glimmered with rainbows, and markedly curbed my enthusiasm for using the unit.

Uncool: Deep scratches on the display surface

Replace The Screen With A Factory Part, Buy A New Portable Computer, Or

A quick check with the service department at Fujitsu PC USA confirmed my worst fears. A new factory-fresh replacement display would set me back more than $600. I'd also have to part with my most important working tool to send it in for repairs, get it fixed, and then have it shipped back - a loss of several days of productivity at best, and two weeks at worst. To my way of thinking, this involved too much money and way too much lost time to repair a device that I'd purchased for about $1,200 - including the now-damaged display. I decided to try to find a way to buy myself out of the scratched display, at least as a start.

Create a new thread in the Streaming Video & TVs forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • Anonymous
    hey, thanks, not sure if its handy yet but its kept me optimmistic. i don't suppose it would take less than 5 days if you live in Australia would it?
  • Anonymous
    to fix the notebook screen i mean. :) mine is smashed from the inside out, only on the left hand side... balls flying places... keep away from laptops. its not a laughing matter actually. my model s a toshiba Satellite M200/L200 and my manual doesn't tell me how much my screen resolution is. would they have it?
  • Anonymous
    you rock! thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much for the guide. won't my husband be so happy and proud of me for repairing his laptop as good as new. this was so much easier than anticipated and obviously cheaper than a new laptop. sheesh. great job and thanks a lot!
  • Anonymous
    I tried to download the instructional video but the link failed.
  • Anonymous
    same, i tried the link, but the link failed. anyone got an alternative link? PLS!
  • Anonymous
    almost a year ago, i fell asleep with my laptop on the bed..
    a friend staying with us had said the night before, "isnt that going to fall"
    "nah, im used to it"

    true enough.. next morning i had kicked it off my bed and now..
    the screen colours are "inverted" and theres huge black splotches across the screen

    its a relatively old Dell latitude x200

    is it worth it getting a new screen and everything?
  • Anonymous
    thats the same thing that happened to me except my sister stepped on my laptop and i have those same huge black splotches and my parents dont know about it so is there any way it can be replaced for about 200 bucks

    and its a Gateway laptop i got it for my bithday so pleeasse help
  • Anonymous
    I figured I would buy a replacement LCD screen from this company since there was a video telling how to do the work.

    Wow--I thought for sure I could do the work, but I can't even view or download the video. Gotta have that before I'll buy.

    Any help out there? What am I doing wrong?
  • Anonymous
    I got the same problem. I got a Sony VGN-FZ340E and it's broken from the inside out in the screen, although it's still usable, there's a black line across the screen. Can this be replaced?
  • Anonymous
    I cant find Screentek online, can anyone send me the link plz?
  • Anonymous
    But remember to take a pic before. Maybe you have something interesting, like:
  • Anonymous
    do know how to repair a display laptop
  • Anonymous
    Is that the absolute cheapest i can get a new display? the Govt doesnt pay real! and i dont have the slightest clue on how to work on computers...if anyone has any tips or advice for a computer would be greatly appreciated!
  • Anonymous
    wow I agree with all that this guide saved me. ordered a cheap screen from and it was easy to install. another win for tomsguide. now I just have to keep my laptop away from the kids lol
  • laptopaid

    I totally agree with this article, but I think replacing and repairing your laptop is much cheaper and can be totally fun since it add knowledge to you. In addtional to this one you should also look for a site/store that is credible.