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How to Purchase and Replace a Cracked Laptop Screen

Updated on March 18, 2015
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Amelia has over 25 yrs of experience in the IT, Training and Education, and eLearning industry.

Cracked Laptop Screen
Cracked Laptop Screen | Source

Diagnosing a Cracked Laptop Screen

When accidents happen with computers, replacing parts can be quite costly. Some parts such as a mouse, keyboard, and other external peripherals are easy to replace since it's just a matter of unplugging the old, and plugging in the new. But what if the part that's damaged is more difficult to replace? This may include both hardware and software and may include internal computer parts, your operating system, or your screen or monitor. With desktop computers, switching monitors to troubleshoot problems is easy to narrow down the problem, but with a laptop, it can be a bit trickier. If you have a cracked laptop screen, the damage may not be evident at first. Your screen may be jumping or have a strange appearance. In some cases, if a laptop was dropped or worse, if it was left on the floor and someone stepped on it, a crack in the screen may be easy to diagnose, as pictured above.

If the display on your laptop is not working at all, one temporary solution is to connect an external monitor into your laptop. This will do two things...it will confirm if your computer is functioning properly, and two, it will allow you to backup your files (which you should do immediately) and use your computer.

Purchasing a Replacement Laptop Screen

The most expensive way to replace a laptop screen is to take it to a local repair center and let them purchase and install a new screen. To save money, you can research and purchase your own replacement screen and replace the screen yourself.

Once you have determined that you laptop screen is cracked and your computer is functioning, there are several ways you can research the type of replacement screen to purchase. Once good resource is the internet, including youtube, where you can search for your particular laptop model and information on replacement parts. Another resource is the manufacturer, who you can contact for information on replacement parts and how to purchase. Finally, the third option would be to take the laptop to a computer repair center and have them evaluate the problem and recommend options for replacing the screen. One example is the repair center at Staples.

In my case, I used both online resources and phone advice from a local repair shop. Then I purchased the replacement screen online, being sure that I purchased the correct model number for the replacement screen.

The laptop screen shown in this article is for a Dell Inspiron 1545.

New Laptop Screen
New Laptop Screen | Source

Replacing the Laptop Screen (Dell Inspiron)

If you have purchased your replacement screen, follow the steps below to replace your screen.

On-hand:

  • Laptop with cracked screen
  • Replacement screen, purchased and ready to install
  • Philips head screwdriver

1. Make sure laptop with cracked screen is shut down; unpack new screen.

2. Remove the battery and power cord from the laptop.

Removing Laptop Battery
Removing Laptop Battery | Source

3. To remove the cracked screen from the laptop, first, remove the frame bezel. To do this, you need to remove the rubber screw covers, remove the screws, then carefully remove the bezel (it snaps out).

Removing Laptop Bezel
Removing Laptop Bezel | Source
Laptop With Bezel Removed
Laptop With Bezel Removed | Source

4. Remove screws in bottom left and right corners.

Removing Laptop Screen
Removing Laptop Screen | Source

5. Tilt the screen forward and unplug the cable. As you can see in this photo below, there is a ribbon cable to disconnect (on right) and another area of the cable which is adhered to the base, which needs to be removed. First, gently disconnect the ribbon cable on right. Next, carefully lift the cable from the screen (which may be gently adhered down) being careful to not the damage or disconnect the connecting wire on left:

Disconnecting Laptop Screen Cables
Disconnecting Laptop Screen Cables | Source

At this point, you should be able to safe move away the existing screen:

Laptop With Disconnected Screen Cables
Laptop With Disconnected Screen Cables | Source

6. Next, remove the metal brackets (6 screws) from the old screen and then transfer existing metal brackets to new screen:

Replacing Laptop Screen
Replacing Laptop Screen | Source

7. Plug LCD flex cable securely to new screen. Adhere ribbon cable carefully to new screen (there should be some adhesive still left on the cable).

Replacing Laptop Screen
Replacing Laptop Screen | Source

8. Tilt new screen up and snap down in place.

Replacing Laptop Screen
Replacing Laptop Screen | Source

9. Once new screen is snapped into place, connect screw on bottom left and right.

Replacing Laptop Screen
Replacing Laptop Screen | Source

10. Place original bezel on top of new screen, replacing screws.

Replacing Laptop Bezel
Replacing Laptop Bezel | Source

11. Replace battery and power cord, then power up your laptop.

Windows Startup Screen
Windows Startup Screen | Source

Your screen is now replaced!

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© 2013 Amelia Griggs

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    • Sana Ratio profile image

      Sana R 

      5 years ago from Reading, England

      Hi, you make it very easy, after reading your hub and watch pictures I think anyone can replace the Laptop LCD.

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