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PC Help For Dummies: Screen Problems

written by: KateG•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 11/23/2008

If you are having a problem with your computer screen then this guide can help you to fix the problem.

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    So, you have yet another problem with your computer, and this time it is with your laptop. You are having a problem with your screen, and that is kind of a lousy situation for you. Why, you might ask, is that a problem? Surely, you can just return it to the company and get it fixed. Well, that’s a big maybe. Often times on laptop models with warranties, you have limited or no coverage for your screen. If you are in the first 90 days then you may have a good shot at coverage for your screen, if not, well then you can give it a try but I would not hold my breath on that one.

    So from this point on I am going to have to assume that you do not have any warranty coverage on your screen, and that you are going to have to go it alone on this one. Let us take a look at the common problems you may have with your laptop.

    Problem One: Screen scratch

    Getting a scratch on your new screen can be a bit of a traumatic affair, but it is, by far one of the least strenuous problems that you can have. If it is a small scratch, just use a filler for the screen, which you should use as per the manufacturer's instructions. Actually, you will be surprised how well this works, and as long as your scratch isn’t across the whole of the screen.

    Problem Two: Funky colors on your screen.

    When your screen has funny colors are emanating from a set point on your screen and you didn’t just put your finger on that point, then you have a big screen problem and you are probably going to have to replace it. Never fear, see the section below for instructions. Note that the situation is the same if you have screen lines or spots of blanching/darkness on the screen.

    Problem Three: I have oils on my screen that I can not get off, it always looks dirty.

    OK, here is the skinny. Skip the water and go get a screen cleaning kit, this will work for anything except for petroleum based products (like oil, Vaseline, etc…); for those get your self ready for an ordeal.

    Step 1: Get a small towel or wash cloth, window cleaner and a small plastic card like your driver's license.

    Step 2: Use the card to gently lift off any clumps; gentle is the key word here. Do not apply any pressure at all and do not use a scraping motion on your screen. Both of these things will only make your problem much worse than it already is, so kid gloves on!

    Step 3: Put your window cleaner onto the rag. Never spray this on the screen. If you don’t know why I’ll give you a hint. It is the same reason why we don’t make toast in the bath tub. Liquids and electricity don’t mix.

    Step 4: Use circular motions on the screen. Your goal is not to pick it up but to move it off to the sides of the screen where you can push it off of the side of your laptop. You may have to do this several times to get the screen cleared.

    Problem Four: My screen has a crack or a hole in it.

    You are going to have to replace the screen; go ahead and see the instructions below.

    Problem Five: My screen has melted.

    Wow, you left it near a heat source, didn’t you? If your screen has melted then so has your case. You will have to take this one to a professional for repairs, sorry.

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    How To Remove Your Screen

    Get a replacement screen. There is no fudging it here, you have to use an identical part number in the space. You can get the number, and likely order the part, from the manufacturer.

    Step One: Find your screws for the screen. These are usually at the bottom and top corners of the screen. If you cannot find these then you will have to take your laptop in to be replaced by a professional; otherwise you risk doing more damage to your case. Put these screws in a safe place*.

    Step Two: Remove the Bezel, which is the screen unit, from the laptop. You should be able to do this by gently prying from the bottom with your fingers. Do not use a tool, and do not use hard pressure. If you see that it is stuck, then check to make sure you removed all of the screws. Note how it is connected when you are taking it out so that you can replicate this.

    Step Three: Put in the replacement part in, the same way that the old one was in. You did get your replacement before we began, right?

    Step Four: Replace the screws,

    Step Five: Boot the laptop and see your new screen.

    * Never, under any circumstances, use a magnetic screwdriver.

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    About Liability

    Just so you know, anything that you choose to do to your own system is at your own risk. Neither I or Bright Hub are responsible in any way for for any kind of damage that is done to your system in the course of following these instructions.