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Road Warriors and regular laptop users alike will usually all admit that despite the abuse they inflict upon their dainty machines, laptops are delicate little devices. I don't care if you treat your laptop like an ancient family heirloom. Things happen, and laptops get broken. One of the most likely parts on a laptop to break is the LCD screen. If this happens to your trusty machine, is there anything that you can do about it?
While the actual act of replacing an LCD screen on your own is a complex and lengthy process, it pales in comparisson to the struggle involved in locating and identifying a replacement screen. If your laptop is under warranty, it is best to send it in and have the work done by someone who is trained and experienced with these kinds of things. If you have no warranty and are in a fix, this guide will help you not only find the right replacement LCD screen, but direct you to help installing it.
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Searching for a Screen
The most pressing question is where does one go about obtaining an HP Laptop LCD screen? Your first thought might be from the manufacturer, but put that out of your mind. Most laptop manufacturers won't sell individual components like an LCD screen, and if they do, they charge much more, or may require that one of their technicians do the installation. Fortunately, there are plenty of online sources for LCD screens for any laptop.
Doing a google search for "HP Laptop LCD" pulls up several retail sites, like lcds4less.com and sparepartswarehouse.com. But are these good sources? They are selling 14'' HP laptop LCDs for over $200. Do you really want to spend that much money? Personally, I've replaced a lot of LCD screens in my time and I always buy mine from Ebay. You might consider some of these to be "knock-offs" but I haven't run into any problems yet. The best deals to be found are when an entire laptop is being sold because it has a problem, like a dead CPU or motherboard, but the LCD screen is still intact. You can pick up the whole machine sometimes for as little as $50, take the LCD and sell off the other parts that still work.
The important thing to remember regardless of where you decide to purchase an LCD screen is that you must match the model number exactly. No two laptops are alike, so each LCD has to be specifically designed for the model it is going into. You can't mix and match. I also recommend buying from a source that will give you some kind of guarantee or warranty that protects you from Dead-On-Arrival items.
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Doing the Hands-On Work Yourself
Even if you have little technical knowledge, it is possible to replace the LCD screen in your laptop on your own. The big thing that you need to make sure of is that you follow instructions explicitly so as not to make a mistake. If instructions call for a specific tool, don't substitute. There are a lot of websites that will walk you steb-by-step through the process of performing procedures like this on specific laptop models. You can also refer to a generic guide to laptop LCD replacement.