Thursday, September 13, 2012

Technical Difficulties

We have five computers in this house of only four people. Two of those are my laptops. Neither of the laptops currently functions. This is what my current laptop looks looked like:
Before I performed surgery.
The screen flickers unless the lid is opened to juuuuuust the right angle. That angle keeps increasing, to the point that it had to be opened to its maximum angle. Otherwise, it performs beautifully and has everything I need in terms of performance.

On my previous laptop, the screen is just white. At that time, two years ago, I was told it would cost $300 to repair. I opted for a new laptop.

Earlier in that same laptop's life, the monitor had flickered quite a bit, so I sent it for repairs. It came back with the hard drive wiped. Why????

This time, I figure I have nothing to lose. Rather than risking an overzealous repair or buying a new laptop, I decided to take a stab at resurrecting the machine. What could possibly go wrong?

So I watched the videos about how to replace a screen.

Looks pretty straightforward, though somewhat fiddly. But, heck, I can do stained glass! I can do cross-stitch on fine linen! I can do delicate beading! This should be a cinch!

I ordered a screen for about $70 from It arrived quickly, looking like this.

Before I started, I backed up all my files.

I encountered my first difficulty almost as soon as I removed the battery.
The critical screw is positioned conveniently behind the base.
I called in the expert: my son, Peter.
He's even more dexterous than I.
He even comes with a fancy tool kit.
From when he helped out on tech support at high school.
The tech staff gave him this kit as his graduation present.
But it was to no avail. In the end, we found more elaborate instructions that involved taking the entire base apart. Whereupon, we found this.
A bundle of wires that twists and wraps through each of the two hinges.
(Doesn't the motherboard look pretty?)
At this point, we continued with replacing the screen as we were already so close. But when we did, the display was exactly as it had previously been.

Evidently, and as I'd kind of suspected all along, the wires are frayed. What I didn't realize earlier is that you can actually order a "cable bundle." I had assumed that if the wires were gone, I'd have to find someone with a soldering iron and magnifying glass. Wrong.

So the laptop is currently in several pieces in the bubble-wrap bag, waiting for me to order the cable bundle.

All of this explains why I haven't blogged in a whole week. I don't like blogging via my iPad. Tonight, I've borrowed a work laptop so I can edit the photos and write an actual post.

I do hope to get the danged cables and put the whole thing back together again, at which time I'll finish this story and (I hope) get back to blogging more regularly.

1 comment:

  1. We have the same laptop! Knock on wood, mine's fine.


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