Is it worth getting the hinge to a 2 + year old PowerBook repaired?
September 28, 2006 7:19 AM   Subscribe

The hinge on my 2 + year old PowerBook is broken. Is it worth sending it out to be repaired (and does anybody have a recommendation for a reputable company to do the repair), or should I just buy a new one?

I got a 15" Aluminum PowerBook in June of 2004. The hinge was always a little wonky. It made clicking noises whenever I moved the screen up or down and the metal in the back was deformed in a few places. About 4 months ago, it started deteriorating even more. In some positions the screen held, but in others it would flip right over. It was annoying, but I learned to work around it. Last night, I heard a definite cracking sound, and now it won't hold itself up in any position.

Searching around for how I might fix this, I found a few companies that claim to fix PowerBook hinges. The cost is between $200 and $400. Does anybody have experience with that type of service? Is that likely to work to an extent that it's worth considering, or would I be better off just getting a new one?
posted by willnot to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Apple repaired my 2+ year old PB's broken hinge nicely, but as it was under Applecare warranty it didn't cost me. The repair is solid and problem-free.
posted by anadem at 7:31 AM on September 28, 2006

You could always run it headless with an LCD Monitor... kinda kills the whole point of a notebook though... There are many do it yourself repair guides out there for macs, but as I recall the hinge is a very involved repair.

Or you could sell it to me?
posted by eleongonzales at 7:35 AM on September 28, 2006

If you bought Applecare, you can get the hinge repaired for free.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:36 AM on September 28, 2006

You can try here (


They have great guides... or if it's time for an upgrade, try to hold out till january, when the next update will probably be.
posted by eleongonzales at 7:40 AM on September 28, 2006

A friend gave me his laptop with the exact same problem. He neglected to send it in while it was under warranty and when the hinge finally broke, he gave me the laptop rather than pay the hundreds of dollars it would've cost to fix it. My ghetto fix: one thin white strip of double sided velcro (placed over the hinge area, glue side down) which keep the lid closed and the matching thin strip of velcro on top of that. To open the laptop, I just pull the velcro open, to close it, smooth it down. Oh so effective and cheap! The laptop is otherwise perfect and has been working like a dream.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 8:05 AM on September 28, 2006

I have had the same problem and went with PowerBook ResQ. They did a good job, and I had my laptop back in a few days after sending it out. I think the price being advertised now is actually lower than what I was offered (two years ago or so).
posted by buddha9090 at 8:15 AM on September 28, 2006

I don't know if it would actually work in practice, but I've always thought it would be cool to have a laptop hinged with antique cast iron or brass hinges glued to the case.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 10:29 AM on September 28, 2006

My husband had this problem when the cat decided to lean lovingly against the laptop's screen. He bought new hinges off ebay for ~$50 and installed them himself. It still doesn't look that great - the metal is still deformed - but it works just fine.
posted by ilyanassa at 12:36 PM on September 28, 2006

I'll second the vote for PowerBook ResQ, they upgraded the hard drive on my 4 year-old PB G4 last year. I got it back fast and in great shape. I've heard that you can do the hinge repair on your own, but I had my hinge replaced under AppleCare a couple of years ago and no problems since. Definitely worth fixing in my case.
posted by GoshND at 1:09 AM on September 29, 2006

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