When your computer screen is cracked or broken, it can be devastating, especially if you use it for work or school. Your gut reaction may be to start looking into some affordable, cheap replacement devices in order to get everything turned in on time. And you may be nervous about how much money it could end up costing you to fix the screen.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to avoid spending a fortune on a new screen and the repairs that may be necessary. Depending on the damage, you may be able to avoid heading to a repair shop altogether. Hiring a professional may be necessary if your entire computer is unsalvageable, but many times you can find a way to fix your screen yourself before taking it to a repair shop.
There is also the possibility that your laptop or PC monitor is unrepairable. If this is the case, it can be important to know the signs so you don’t spend extra money taking it to a shop only to find out that it needs to be replaced. There are several ways to know if it’s time to retire your old model and look into something new.
Here are a few ways you can identify what may be required for repairs to your screen and which option you should choose in order to get it back up and running again.
Symptoms of computer screen damage
In some cases, it will be fairly obvious that you need to invest in a new screen. You may have a number of cracks or problems with the structure of your laptop or computer monitor
, which can make it pretty clear that your screen is causing problems, and not something else.
This most often occurs after a computer has been dropped or smashed. If this is the case, you should know immediately if that is the main problem you will be facing.
However, there are some less obvious indications that you could be facing a problem with your screen. It can also be difficult to know whether there is another problem causing similar symptoms, or if a screen repair job will get your laptop or display running again.
Cracked? Or defective?
Basically, there’s a difference between a broken or cracked computer screen and a “defective” one. A broken screen is one that physically shows signs of damage, while a defective one may face other issues such as flickering or unresponsiveness.
A broken screen can have several different problems. It may be very noticeable and have cracks or chips, but there can be other indicators such as black splotches that mean that the screen has separated from its casing.
In most cases, the separation occurs as a result of some major impact, but it can also occur if the lid is opened the wrong way. Older laptops had a lock that helped users avoid breaking their screens, but new models tend not to because companies are looking to offer a sleeker design.
This is why swelling has become a more common problem in newer devices. Swelling can be one of the best indicators that your screen will need to be repaired. It is usually caused by some sort of physical impact or even fluctuations in the weather.
If you have been moving around from extremely hot to cold temperatures, swelling can occur because of the dramatic change in conditions.
You’ll know if a screen is defective because there isn’t any physical damage to the device, but it is also either not showing the picture at all or there is discoloring, irregular pixelization or resolution, or problems with the backlighting.
Is it the screen that’s the real problem?
It can appear that your screen is the main issue when this happens, but there can be a deeper problem involved with your graphics card, other hardware, and even your software. The best way to figure this out is to connect your computer to an external monitor.
If everything looks clear on the external monitor, then it is an issue with your laptop's screen, and not the motherboard or other hardware. If you are encountering the same issues externally, then you may need to take it to a repair shop to get your computer back on track.
If you are technologically savvy, then you may be able to reconnect a dislodged video cable, but it’s recommended that you seek out an expert.
Check software compatibility
There is a chance it could be a problem with your software. If you have recently installed a new application and noticed the problems with your screen started soon after, then there may be a compatibility issue. At this point, you could restore your device from a recent backup before your new software was installed and see if that solves the problem.
After you have identified the issue, there are a number of actions you can take in order to get your laptop working again. Here are the three ways you can deal with your computer screen repair.
1. Repairing or replacing the screen yourself
Repairing your laptop or monitor can seem intimidating, but the truth is that it can be fairly simple if you have the tools and the time. Many broken screens do not require the work of a professional, especially if there has been no further damage to the body of the laptop. Cracked computer or laptop screen repair
can often be done at home, but a defective issue can require more expertise.
Almost all computer models have replacement screens available online, and you can often get them within the price range of $50-$100. Before you order the screen, double check to make sure it is the right one by looking up the serial number of your device. When it arrives, you will also want to check again to make sure you received the correct one before you begin removing the broken screen.
Once your screen is ordered, prepare your laptop in order to make the process of adding a new screen as smooth as possible. Make sure you have the necessary screwdrivers, replacement tape, and other items available so you can do a quality job of repairing your laptop. It can seem overwhelming at first, but there are guides available online that outline how to fix a broken computer screen.
After you have followed the steps for removal and installation, your screen should look and work the same as it did before. If you notice any problems after some use, then you may have missed a step or accidentally damaged a video cable. If this happens, you may need to bring your device to a repair shop.
2. Finding a computer repair shop
Contrary to what you may think, using a repairman doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive. While it can cost more than repairing the screen yourself, there are a number of shops that can provide you with a quality job that doesn’t cost too much. The challenge is to find someone in your area with the expertise to work on your specific model.
Find a certified repair technician
It’s important to find someone who knows your brand of computer well and is familiar with working with your make or similar ones. Because the parts that need to be ordered for repairs can be specific to the model you have, you don’t want to take your device to a shop where they order the wrong ones and charge you for it.
One way to make sure that the business you are choosing can handle your model is to choose an authorized laptop screen repair shop sanctioned by your brand
. They are often required to perform several tasks in order to show that they know your type of laptop in order to receive that distinction. This can be a quick and easy way to know you’ve got an expert on hand who can handle HP computer screen repair specifically.
If you find it difficult to fix your screen yourself, then you are most likely dealing with an internal component problem, which could mean you need someone with a lot of experience. Sure, your friend may know a lot about laptops, but he or she may not know certain details that a pro would after working on similar models for years.
The right expert should also know almost immediately which parts to order. This is why if you are sure that you are going to use a professional service, you should have the business order the parts instead of doing it yourself. Ordering a replacement screen is one thing, but finding several components compatible with your motherboard can be an entirely different matter.
Check online reviews
A quick online search should give you a pretty good idea of the repair shops in your area and their prices. It’s worth visiting review sites in order to weed out ones that do not provide quality services or that may charge you more than necessary.
Websites like Yelp
can be especially helpful when you are looking for places that fix laptop screens in your area. Keep in mind that you will probably have to pay for the parts yourself on top of the cost of the repairs.
Make sure to also ask for a quote from your chosen repair shop before you agree to have them fix your screen. They may not be able to give you the exact price, but a ballpark figure can help you to make a decision.
It can be a bit difficult to know the exact range of how much it might cost, because there may be additional damage to your laptop. A simple screen repair can cost as little as $100 or $150, while more complex repairs could run you up to several hundred dollars.
3. Purchasing a new computer
Once you have chosen the repair shop that can service your computer, then an expert should have a fairly good idea of whether or not he or she can get your laptop up and running again. After an initial inspection, it will be clear if the screen can be fixed and if your computer should perform as normal once the repairs have been made.
However, there is the possibility that the impact that caused the problems with your screen could be damaging enough that you need to consider purchasing a new computer. Again, your budget plays an important role here, too.
Weigh the repair costs against the age and condition of the laptop
Even if you can repair your laptop, it can sometimes be more expensive to have it fixed than to buy a new model. You can weigh this decision once you have a proper idea of the broken computer screen repair cost compared to buying a new computer outright.
If your computer is often exposed to extreme weather conditions or you need it to hold up through a lot of traveling or physical activity, then it may be worth buying a new laptop model
that can withstand your demands. This can help you to avoid issues like screen cracking or damage in the future.
Purchasing a sturdy laptop bag or case
can also help to mitigate some of the damage your device may be exposed to.
When your computer screen breaks, it can feel like the end of the world. However, there are a few ways that you can get your display working properly again, and it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money.
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About the Author: Daniel Horowitz is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Daniel is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine, and many other media outlets.
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