Can you tighten laptop screen hinges?
March 15, 2005 12:04 PM   Subscribe

Please help! My laptop's screen hinges just recently became really loose--is this fixable, or am I screwed?

I have a Gateway 200 with a screen that's lost its tightenness. It will stay upright if it's between 80 and 100 degrees, but anything more tilted than that and it'll fall over from the weight of the screen. Can these hinges be tightened somehow? How do I even get access to them? They appear to just be kind of "locked in" to the bottom part of the laptop. How much will this cost, will it just get worse, and any way to prevent it from getting worse?
posted by gramcracker to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
And finally... is this covered under warranty?
posted by gramcracker at 12:05 PM on March 15, 2005

If you do feel like opening up the laptop, you should find good documentation to do so. In my experience, the hinges are adjustable, but I can't speak for your particular machine. It would probably only require a small screwdriver. The process required to actually get to the hinges wouldn't be hard, but it would be tedious and time-consuming.

See if Gateway has documentation on disassembling different sections of your model computer. Documentation for Powerbooks and Thinkpads is organized by task (replacing LCD), perhaps you can find this kind of thing for your Gateway on their site.

But, I'd first call the company and check if it's covered under your warranty. We just put in for a service call for our Dell to have the trackpad replaced, and it ended up being fairly painless. A fellow came to our house and took an hour to do the replacement, and that was it. Very simple. This would be my first suggestion.
posted by odinsdream at 12:37 PM on March 15, 2005

Unless it's the plastic moulding around the hinges that are broken, it can be fixed.

Gateway more than likely has field service manuals that explain how to dismount the display so that the LCD can be replaced, this is what you want to find.
posted by furtive at 1:12 PM on March 15, 2005

I had the opposite problem just last week. I couldn't close my laptop - the hinges were frozen. Since the laptop is no longer under warranty and several years old, I decided to try to fix it myself. (Compaq Presario)

I basically just looked and figured out which screws were affixed around the area and took them out. Soaked them in WD-40 and used two pairs of pliers to work the hinges. Put it all back together and is good as new!

So, fixing them can be done (probably need to be replaced in your case). But I would first make sure a. it's no longer under warranty and b. you're comfortable taking your laptop apart and risk damaging it worse. If not, I'd take it in to a repair shop.

Good luck!
posted by jazzsyx at 7:41 PM on March 15, 2005

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