Friday, November 28, 2014

How to fix a defective laptop LCD screen?

In Singapore, it is easier to just get a new electronics rather than fix/repair it. To repair an item will cost more than to buy a new one (especially when warranty period is over). For example, you will be charged with a diagnostic fee, then the repair fee, and the not-so-cheap replacement parts (that are always not available in Singapore) and need to be ordered.

Sometimes, for a fault that cost only a few dollars can escalate to more than SGD 50 when service charges are included. Other instances, to save time, the repair shop will suggest to change the whole module without determining the component fault.

For this blog, I will share my experience regarding my laptop and its LCD screen (that has gone black).

A visit to several repair shops suggested that the LCD need to be replaced. When I asked them if it could be back light or LCD inverter that is not working, they said it is possible. However, they will need to test it. Diagnosis will cost SGD 30 (others quoted SGD 50), and if I decide not to go on with the repair, I still have to pay for the service fee. Wow, the inverter only cost SGD 10 to 15 in my case (from eBay which I browsed earlier). It was just not worth the repair, unless if I decide to change the LCD screen that will probably come with its bundled inverter! That would cost me at least SGD 150.00.

So, I have decided to go on with a DIY project (that will cost me less than SGD 20). I guess if it doesn't work, I can comtemplate changing the LCD later.
  • The first thing that I needed to do was to disassemble-and-reassemble the LCD panel and be very comfortable with the process. Fortunately, Youtube provided plenty of examples from contributors in this regard. Update: I found it easy to do that with my laptop model (thank you Acer).
  • Secondly, I needed to purchase the backlight inverter from eBay (SGD 19.31 plus delivery) for my laptop model. Most of the parts are readily available from China and Hong Kong (with free delivery sometimes) whereas those from US or UK has higher delivery charge which is more than the price of item (and took longer time). I studied the reviews from the seller before committing the purchase. When that's done, I just waited for the item. It will take at least three weeks to a month for the item to reach Singapore. Update: the item reached my home on the second week. Note that the item doesn't come with a warranty, but it was mentioned by the seller (personal warranty for limited time).
  • When the item arrived. I removed the old inverter, and replaced with the new one. Update: it worked and the LCD was not at fault. I saved plenty with this DIY. I will wait for couple of days to leave a positive review to the seller, just to be certain that the inverter is working :)

All in all, I have spent approx. SGD 20 and had a great experience trying out a simple DIY to change the inverter. I just hope the inverter will work for at least a year.

Just to share.

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