Can I remove the screen on my laptop?
September 22, 2012 6:06 AM   Subscribe

Can I remove a laptop's screen and use it as a desktop?

I have an Asus laptop, a few months ago, the LCD screen started going. First single pixels, then lines appeared, now it has a bunch of hash is in he middle. I've run diagnostic, pixel-fix type stuff. Didn't work. If it's hooked up to my TV or to an external monitor, the picture is fine. it is out of warranty.

If I remove the laptop's screen, will it continue to work when hooked up to an external monitor. Will it try to "find" the laptop's screen, hang up and die? Is there something I can set in windows so it'll look for an hdmi or VGA connection first?

I am reasonably computer literate, but my mechanical knowledge is limited to desktops. What am I getting into? Hope me !
posted by lieberschnitzel to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I use my laptop with an external monitor, keyboard and mouse all the time. I've run it open literally once since I bought it last March, and I did the same thing with my previous laptop for something like four years. Both Vista and Windows 7 has the functionality built in. I don't even think I had to particularly tell it what to do, the system just detected the external monitor itself and I confirmed the settings. Otherwise you just right click the desktop, choose preferences and tell it there to use the external only.

This isn't a big deal. You definitely don't need to remove the screen or anything, just plug in your monitor and go.
posted by shelleycat at 6:15 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also, I guess if you want to use the laptops keyboard and trackpad then removing the screen might make sense, but external keyboards etc are so cheap. There are electronics etc running through the hinge joint up into the lid to power the screen and I imagine the chances of you screwing up some useful connection while dismembering the laptop are non-zero. Whyt take the risk?

Given that I turn mine on while plugged into the external monitor all the time and it always goes straight to the external, never activates the actual laptop monitor (I've occasionally opened the lid and had a look while booting it), I don't see why there would be any problem running it with the screen missing.
posted by shelleycat at 6:19 AM on September 22, 2012

I don't think you'll have trouble, except for one thing: the antennas for the wireless network are usually in the screen. If you remove the screen you remove the antennas.
posted by gjc at 6:28 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

the effort it would take to remove the screen is the same amount to put in another. So if you do, you mind as well just fix it. just saying
posted by udon at 6:43 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

I do this with an ancient Dell I use as a print server. The screen is dead, but I never removed it, I just keep it closed under a monitor stand and use an external keyboard and mouse.

It works fine except for the occasional freakout, usually coinciding with a power failure (the laptop batteries are toast, too) and then I have to haul the thing out, do a cold boot and try to remember which Fn-key combination tells it to output to an external monitor because it defaults to the built-in screen under those circumstances. Oh, this is under XP.

So yeah, you can totally do this, but why bother ripping the screen off?
posted by werkzeuger at 7:00 AM on September 22, 2012

You might want to look into a docking station for your laptop. I have one at work that lets me run closed with 2 external monitors without complaint.
posted by scose at 7:12 AM on September 22, 2012

You don't say which Asus laptop, but on mine removing the display is almost very simple... except for one set of wires which doesn't have an external connector and requires popping the plastic bezel off of the main body of the laptop. The problem is that the bezel is connected with crappy plastic hooks and popping it off has a high risk of breaking one, which leaves you with a wobbly bezel. Another vote here for don't remove the display unless you plan on completely replacing it, instead just plug in external input devices.
posted by anaelith at 7:40 AM on September 22, 2012

Nthing 'just fix it yourself'...try for parts and instructions...might be cheaper/easier than you think...
Also, yeah your antennas are probably in there...
posted by sexyrobot at 9:05 AM on September 22, 2012

Nthing closing it and using external keyboard/mouse/monitor. Works perfectly! The screen will likely start out in "mirror" mode when you plug it in, which is perfect. You can go into your monitor settings to make adjustments if necessary.
posted by nosila at 3:13 PM on September 22, 2012

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