Laptop Screen Problems
September 6, 2006 3:45 PM   Subscribe

Is there any hope for my laptop screen with an inch wide, and slightly opaque black line running down the right hand side?

After closing my laptop screen a little too violently a one inch opaque bar gradually appeared towards the right side of the screen. It gradually got darker and has settled at the point of annoying (about 90% opaque-ness) meaning about two inches on the right hand side of the screen are useless (unless the top edge is squeezed - leading to about 50% opaque-ness.

The question is, is this repairable by myself and is it straight forward to have a new screen installed? I don't like having to resize all my windows to fit in - so would be prepared to fork out.

I've been quoted £250 - which seems ludicrous.

If this isn't possible, is it possible to resize the size of the screen on a laptop as it possible on traditional monitors so I don't have to keep resizing my windows - and can watch dvds without the black line?

The monitor is 17.4 inches (I think) and the laptop is 13 month old Acer 3500 so the rest of the hardware is all up to scratch. It is out of warranty. I am running Windows XP.
posted by takeyourmedicine to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
This sounds ridiculous, but try a reformat. I had a laptop with a vertical line that just appeared, and it went away after I reinstalled Windows.

Your problem may very well be unrelated. But if you have everything backed up, this is a possible solution that is free.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:21 PM on September 6, 2006

Perhaps check the ribbon cable connector from the screen?
posted by A189Nut at 4:26 PM on September 6, 2006

Response by poster: I think it's a hardware rather than software issue since I am able to physically affect it by squeezing the screen, and since it gradually degraded rather than just appeared.

I need to backup everything else up anyway so it's probably a good idea to reformat.
posted by takeyourmedicine at 4:28 PM on September 6, 2006

Response by poster: A189Nut - I hadn't tried unscrewing the screen as I didn't think it'd be something I'd be able to fix and I anticipated doing more damage but I'll have a bit of a play.
posted by takeyourmedicine at 4:29 PM on September 6, 2006

£250 sounds about right to me. Replacing a panel is a couple of hours difficult work by a skilled technician, and the panel itself might cost half that as a spare part. It might be covered by your home insurance.

Check eBay. You might find someone selling the same panel, and it's not impossible to install one yourself. You might have problems if the panel isn't exactly the same brand and model as came with your computer.
posted by cillit bang at 5:12 PM on September 6, 2006

Response by poster: I suppose I meant £250 is a just bit high to pay when I could upgrade and get a new laptop for £500, or just get a new monitor I suppose.
posted by takeyourmedicine at 5:35 PM on September 6, 2006

Check here for instructions on how to dismantle the laptop

Usually not that difficult to do it partially in order to check the ribbon cable hasn't detached.
posted by A189Nut at 5:51 PM on September 6, 2006

My screen cracked and developed an odd blackout pattern that was progressively deteriorating. I replaced it with a new panel off e-bay.
It's not a terribly difficult procedure, but you need to match the LCD panel. Check E-bay (and caveat emptor) . If your black area is a rectangular area, a "bar" you called it, it may not be a cracked panel, but a loose connector. OPen it up carefully, small screws are involved. You may need a special "star" screw driver. (Compaq) Gateways use small phillips screws.
posted by Agamenticus at 5:53 PM on September 6, 2006

The monitor is 17.4 inches (I think) and the laptop is 13 month old Acer 3500 so the rest of the hardware is all up to scratch. It is out of warranty.

Be glad of that. Acer's warranty service in the UK is renowned for its inadequacy. My father, for example, lost his machine to them for six weeks for a minor repair, and I've had tons of e-mails from people with similar complaints.

That said, I also got a mail from a new company who are supposedly taking it over so..
posted by wackybrit at 5:57 PM on September 6, 2006

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