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Can You Replace or Upgrade a Laptop LCD Screen?

written by: Jesma•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 6/9/2009

Believe it or not, LCD failure or a cracked LCD screen on a laptop does not mean that you need to replace the whole laptop. It is possible to be far more cost-effective and practical by just replacing the LCD screen yourself. This guide tells you how.

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    Overview

    lcd In one of my previous jobs as a laptop computer repair technician, one of the most common problems I came across was broken LCD screens. These things have a way of breaking or failing, whether its from fuse burn-out, bad cables or connections, or just simple breaks resulting from big or little bumps and falls. I once saw a LCD screen that was broken from the laptop bag it was in tipping over, and then I saw one that survived a 12 foot fall off of a ladder. Things happen.

    It would stink to have to replace an entire laptop just because of one of these problems, wouldn't it? Can just the LCD screen be replaced?

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    Regarding Upgrades

    There really is no such thing as "upgrading" a laptop LCD. In my rules of laptop upgrading article I list the LCD screen of a laptop a part that you really shouldn't consider trying to upgrade, just because the options are so limited. Since you can't change the screen size on a laptop, the only options left to you are upgrading to a better resolution (which is also dependent on the video adapter) or changing between a matte or glossy finish. You can find out of these kinds of "upgrades" are possible from your laptop's manufacturer.

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    Finding a Replacement LCD

    It is most important that you ensure that any replacement LCD you look for was designed specifically for your model of laptop. These components don't tend to have compatibility amongst each other, with screw placement, cable design, and measurements playing a huge role. Your laptop's manufacturer may be able to sell you a replacement LCD, or you can find a retailer online by putting "[your laptop make and model] LCD" into a search engine.

    Alternatively, you can search eBay or a similar site for a used model of your same laptop, that perhaps has suffered some other damage or failure that makes it unusable, but has left the LCD in tact. Many times you can find these "broken" laptops for a very reasonable price.

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    LCD Installation

    It might seem like a very complicated and difficult procedure to replace a laptop LCD, but really anyone with even a little technical skill can survive the process by following my guide to disassembling a laptop. In it, I describe each step of removing and replacing a LCD, and the tips work for most modern laptops. A definite exception would be any kind of tablet PC, as their design is drastically different. Good luck in your laptop LCD replacement adventures!