Laptop hinge is loose
February 20, 2006 5:11 PM   Subscribe

My laptop hinge is loose. What can I do? It's extremely annoying.

The screen won't stand up. Is there any way to tighten the hinges without taking the computer in for repair? It seems that it should be an easy repair. I can use a screwdriver.
posted by WyoWhy to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
What kind of computer is it, he intoned.
posted by interrobang at 5:12 PM on February 20, 2006

What is your laptop's brand / model #? Your best bet is to try to find a forum dedicated to people who own the same laptop as you (very easy if you're a VAIO or iBook owner) and ask the same question.
posted by helios at 5:15 PM on February 20, 2006

Laptop hinges generally aren't tighten-able, but use a metal axle wedged inside a too-small circular spring. The correct term for such things is a "clutch".

I'd guess one of the part of this assembly has snapped. You might be able to get parts on eBay or something.
posted by cillit bang at 5:17 PM on February 20, 2006

Response by poster: It's a DELL Latitude X300, she replied.
posted by WyoWhy at 5:18 PM on February 20, 2006

If you feel comfortable doing what's described here, you could probably find and tighten the hinge covers.
posted by helios at 5:22 PM on February 20, 2006

the hinge covers *err, the hinges.
posted by helios at 5:23 PM on February 20, 2006

I'm still fairly certain there'll be nothing to tighten, in which case you'll need these (though installing them won't be fun).
posted by cillit bang at 5:38 PM on February 20, 2006

i have an inspiron 4000 and the hinges are bad too. so i use duct tape. over time it pulls and slides and has to be replaced. but otherwise it works pretty ok.
posted by subatomiczoo at 5:48 PM on February 20, 2006

Get it fixed. Doing otherwise will be more trouble than it's worth.
posted by mr.dan at 7:31 PM on February 20, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks folks,
The repairs suggested by helios and cillit are way too complicated for me to attempt. One looks like brain surgery and the other looks like orthopedic surgery. No can do.

I was definitely thinking about a duct-tape-like solution like subatomiczoo (I was thinking velcro and some kind of ribbon or cord. (Glad I don't care how my laptop looks!). Ultimately, I think mr.dan is right. Any other ideas that can be accomplished without getting a computer medical degree???
posted by WyoWhy at 6:11 AM on February 21, 2006

Could you sew something up for it that looks like a "stadium chair"? You would want to make it from porous, loosely woven fabric or screen. with a sliding buckle, you can even adjust the screen angle.
posted by wzcx at 12:54 PM on February 21, 2006

I have a laptop sleeve from Shoreline which, as a side effect, gives the hinge more support. Worth trying.
posted by blag at 3:55 PM on February 21, 2006

Response by poster: The stadium-chair idea is exactly what I was thinking of, but the laptop sleeve seems even easier. But, blag, will this laptop sleeve hold up my display if the hinges are completely shot? Does the neoprene have enough stretch that it can hold up the display on its own?

I really appreciate everybody's help on this.
posted by WyoWhy at 4:47 AM on February 22, 2006

I've no idea! It helps with mine but the hinges still work, they're just a little loose. Try taking it into a store that sells sleeves and testing it?
posted by blag at 8:51 AM on February 22, 2006

You know, this is horribly late, but I had another idea: call a sheet metal shop and have them bend a piece of stainless steel or aluminum to an appropriate angle. Rather un-portable, but good for home.
posted by wzcx at 10:27 PM on February 25, 2006

Response by poster: That's a fantastic idea. Thanks!
posted by WyoWhy at 4:07 PM on February 26, 2006

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