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laptop top/display


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#1 millipede

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:45 AM

I'd like an opinion here... I'm not the best decision maker in the world. Not that I make bad decisions... just that, I don't like making decisions about some things.

I was looking at a laptop for this girl and, I don't know how it got into such condition...... the top part is separated from the bottom. On the inside of the top, the plastic or whatever components that connect to the metal hinging part, broke. She tried glue but it seems there's no way to put those pieces back together. Basically, she's stuck having to order herself a whole new top.
At first, it was just one side that was busted and she propped it up. Screen worked fine. But, she has a toddler and she keeps the laptop on the floor(she doesn't have much furniture :/ )
I guess the little girl pulled on the top and broke the other side's connection as well...
Here's the question
During the process of the top being pulled off, the screen stopped working properly. I looked it over, inside and out, and cannot see specifically where it's damaged. When the computer turns on, you'll half see the startup for a split second on the display. After that, it's just too dim to see anything at all so she has to connect to an external monitor (which she managed to find at a sale somewhere for $1 )
My assumption is that while being pulled on, the cable got damaged. But, I don't like assumptions. I feel like replacing the cable only would solve the problem but, this girl has no money(she mentioned asking her ex to order parts for her using some of her child support money) and I would not want to have her order a whole monitor if she doesn't need it... nor do I want to waste the time and money of purchasing just the cable and have that not work.
I don't like that not knowing... that uncertainty. :/
Anyway... what do you all think about it?
It's a dell inspiron 1521 in case that info is needed.

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#2 dpunisher

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

Anyways, hold a flashlight close to the screen and see if there is a backlight issue. This thing is of a vintage where you might very well be able to score a complete new lid/display assembly rather than fooling with individual components, which on that lappy can be a PITA.

You very well could have a screwed up cable, but it seems there are also problems with hinges and other breakables on that as well.

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#3 millipede

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:10 PM

We looked at replacing an entire top. Looked at a few options. Will have to look again IF and when she has any money and actually decides to do that. If she had a desk to put it on... I told her she should just use the lcd monitor she has and just buy a $10 camera at walmart. No idea what will happen yet.
I'm going over some ideas in my head where I might be able to fix the top to the hinges without replacing anything. I have an idea that I think might work. IF that's so, then replacing the cable would be the cheapest thing to do. She seems to think putting electrical tape on the cable would help but, even though I KNOW that thing is damaged somewhere, I cannot see exactly where yet(of course, I haven't gone searching yet)
We'll see where it goes. If I make any physical repairs, first thing I'll do is attempt my solution for fixing the top to the hinges.
BUT... she mentioned thinking about pawning some stuff she had in boxes to get a little cash and just buy a newer used laptop. She saw one at a pawn shop for about $150 but, I'm not sure what I think about that.
She's got some thinking to do because on top of ALL that... her hdd is failing. It's been running a little goofy so I took it to my house and have been running some tests. Short test fails. It's running slower than it should considering how little she has on there. My guess is the hdd is to blame.
AND..... she has a habit of damaging power cords. It attaches to the back of the laptop and is a straight connection instead of a 90°... and because it gets bent, it gets ruined I guess. She's damaged a couple of them that way. She's had this laptop for a good 3 years I think so it hasn't been too bad I guess.
I hope she can find a way to just purchase something different as this one already has some headaches now and that hdd could fail completely at any time.

#4 SnowmansN1pples

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:44 PM

Question, I see you mentioned a camera. Does the laptop have a webcam built in that is no longer working? If so then that would be the LCD cable no doubt. Most laptops over the past few years have ran the LCD cable and webcam on the same cable, that's how my current HP pro book is. Just a thought, the cables themselves are only 8 to 24 bucks on eBay much cheaper then a new laptop and I'm sure you could find a small hard drive dirty cheap for this woman. The total should only be around 40 to 50 bucks if your doing this as a friend. Food for thought and hope it helps.
-Rob

#5 millipede

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:16 PM

minor update here...
There are at least three parts that COULD have issues that I'm unsure of.  The cable, the inverter, and the screen intself.  I opened up the cable to examine the wires and their connections.  There is one little black spot above one of the connections, but I can't tell if that's from something shorting or simply a black spot there.  I found no other obvious damage to the wires...
What happens, and this may help narrow down the possibilities...
I had it in my hands all taken apart so I can see the back, was thinking I could wiggle wires while powering it on.  When first turned on, the screen lights up normally(at least, during these tests, didn't always).  Looked normal while trying to boot.  But then I noticed some hissing.  Took me a few tries to figure out exactly where...  bottom corner of the display, hisses and gets HOT really fast.  When the inverter is disconnected, no hissing occurred.  I don't know if that signifies any damage to the inverter but, I'm thinking this has something to do with the backlight?  After a little bit of hissing, the screen goes dim again.  You can VERY faintly still see something on the screen, but not good enough to use it.  Power off, try again, same results.  Screen looks good, corner hisses at you, the dim screen and no hissing.  Make sense?
If she wants it fixed well and has the money, I'm going to suggest a new cable for sure, and I'm thinking the backlight is bad so a new screen.  But a new screen doesn't come with the inverter(at least not all the ones I was just looking at) so I wonder if a new inverter would be wise or not.
I'm currently working on a fix for the non-electronic components to stay together so she doesn't need more parts. 

#6 millipede

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:53 PM

another update...  I found out that I have TWO laptops in the house(not being used, one with bad motherboard) that have compatible screens.  The inverter was attached to the bad display with screws, and the other two screens don't have screw holes in their frame but I should be able to find a way to fasten it on.
Anyway...  I am still leaning towards the idea that buying a new display cable would be good, since this one had been twisted and all, and MIGHT be damaged.
BUT....  with the compatible screen from an HP in my hand, cable connected to display and inverter, connected to motherboard, powered on... booted all the way into windows before I shut it back down.  Spare screen stayed lit entire time, no issues.  I've got some hope for it.
I wouldn't have guessed the HP would have a compatible screen in it...  it was just something someone gave me with a bad motherboard.  But when I took the bad screen out of the Dell and looked up the part number on ebay, one I found showed a BIG list of models it was compatible with and that HP model was listed.  Sure enough, same size, same backlight, etc.  Will fit in there just fine. 



#7 millipede

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:34 AM

Update:
Can't believe I still have this one.  This thing was in bad shape, I was going to try and come up with my own solution for the outer plastic pieces that were broken, but the owner ended up ordering a bunch of parts I didn't plan on them ordering.  The only thing really bad about that is, the ONE part that I did want them to order never came.  I'm not sure what happened, but they never got it.  That was the display cable. 
To recap, the laptop had been mishandled several times and the top was broken from the bottom.  During all that, the display stopped working properly.  I've determined that the bulb is having problems, but I happened to have a compatible display being unused here already.  My one concern was that display cable... with all the pulling on it, was it damaged inside....
SO...  At one point, I cut it open(the outer tape) to see if there was any damage to the wires inside.  I didn't want to use something that could cause further damage to the next screen I put in.
I opened it up starting at the area that looked most likely to be damaged.  All the wires looked okay.  I pealed some more of the outer covering back until I got to where the wires connect to the cable.
At this point, I did notice a little black area just above where one of the wires connect.  No black right at the connection, so I can't say if that's actual damage or not.
To make sure their old screen was bad and not the cable, I did connect the cable to the screen I'm going to replace it with.  Turned it on for a minute, and no issues.  Everything looked and sounded fine.  It works. 
Now, I wasn't planning on coming back here to ask any more opinions on this topic... they had ordered a cable and I expected that to all go smoothly. 
But now that the replacement cable is not coming in, they sounded like they want me to go ahead and put it all together using the old cable... 
Part of me thinks that would be fine and nothing bad would happen... but, part of me is a little worried and would prefer a replacement cable.
With all that said, I took a picture to show that one little black area to see if anyone had any thoughts.  If I plug it all together, it does work.  The only question is...  is that little black spot damage?  And I guess then, is it something that would cause problems with the replacement display in the future?
Anyway, here's a picture...    (note:  those wired connections are all under a plastic or tape...)

625637_10151358978118370_778499735_n.jpg






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