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Electronics are not the only components that can fail in a laptop. Mechanically stressed components such as laptop hinges, display brackets and housing parts also depreciate over time. If the hinges cannot be readjusted or are broken, a replacement is required.
A common reason why hinges break is when someone drops the laptop while opening it, however, material fatigue may also be the cause. But more often than not, people end up damaging their laptop hinges.
If the laptop hinge is broken, sooner or later the exposed display cable may also get affected. If the problem is not rectified immediately, it can lead to incorrect screen output. (Stripes, missing colors, etc.). This is why you need to be careful and prevent laptop hinges from breaking. If you do however end up with broken ones, a replacement should not be put on the back burner!
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A broken laptop hinge can render your laptop useless. If your monitor won’t stay open and the lid feels loose, you have probably damaged your laptop’s hinges. Replacing a broken hinge can give your laptop more life and save you the expense of purchasing a new one. But the question here is, how can we prevent laptop hinges from breaking in the first place?
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How to Prevent Laptop Hinges from Breaking
Avoid Poor Build Quality
To answer this question, we first need to focus on what makes laptop hinges break. A lot of inexpensive casual laptops have poor build quality. For these machines, it is pretty standard for the laptop hinges to break after a year or two of use. If you have a similar device, the best advice would be to keep it secured on a desk and not move it around. If you take your laptop with you to school or work, then you risk hinge damage. It’s best to buy something a little more expensive, of a higher quality.
Also Read: How Much Should I Spend on a Laptop?
Close Your Laptop Properly
If you ever go to a university campus, you’ll see a lot of students carrying their laptops around in a hurry! Sometimes they would leave stuff in between their screen and keyboard, and put the lid down. This is one of the most common reasons for hinge damage. Laptops are delicate and expensive to replace, it’s not a good idea to rush while closing the lid. It’s always a good idea to make sure that there is nothing in between.
Also Read: How to Choose the Right Laptop for School
Avoid Improper Carrying
One of the biggest reasons why people end up damaging or breaking their laptop hinges is improper carrying. If you are working and need to move, you need to shut your lid, put your laptop in a bag and then go wherever you need to. When people rush and carry their laptops while holding the screen, it puts a lot of stress on the hinges. Over time the hinges weaken and eventually break. If you’re someone who gets into situations like these then try to get a bulkier laptop, it’s almost impossible to carry heavier machines carelessly. Look into gaming laptops or even older ThinkPads!
Also Read: How Long Does a Gaming Laptop Last?
Regular transportation always takes a toll on a laptop. If you take your computer to school or work in a backpack, make sure that it is secured properly. If you take public transport and have people bumping into your backpack then that will put pressure on your laptop and may cause the hinges to break. If you are unable to avoid the situation, it is best to leave your computer at home.
If you can’t leave your laptop at home then you must protect your bag or avoid traveling during peak times. Alternatively, you can get something that is lightweight and more durable. A MacBook Air would be a good fit!
Also Read: How Long Does a MacBook Last?
How to Fix a Broken Laptop Hinge
Before you start, keep a few things in mind. The replacement hinge will require opening up the inside of your laptop, which will void the warranty if it is still under one. Also, laptop disassembly varies greatly by manufacturer. These instructions are general instructions only. If possible, try to find the service manual for your particular model.
- Remove the power cable and battery from your laptop. Remove the hard drive and memory sticks from your laptop as well.
- Remove screws on the bottom of your laptop keyboard. Some laptops don’t have a keyboard bolted on. Examine your laptop carefully. When in doubt, remove all screws on the bottom and sides of the laptop. Keep track of all your screws by drawing a quick diagram to make reassembly easier.
- Use a flat screwdriver to gently pry and remove the keyboard bezel. The bezel is located along the top of the keyboard on most laptops. Remove the keyboard and plug from the motherboard.
- Remove the hinge covers, if present, and remove any cables connecting the LCD display to the motherboard.
- Remove any screws securing the display assembly to the laptop base. Gently pull the screen away from the laptop base.
- Remove all the screws holding the two halves of the display connector assembly together. Use your fingers to carefully pry the front bezel away from the LCD display. Remove the LCD screen from the cover. The LCD screen is most likely connected with a video cable. Disconnect the video cable before connecting the screen.
- Remove any screws securing the hinges to the display. Replace the hinges.
- Assemble your laptop by reversing the previous steps.
It is always a good idea to be careful so you can prevent laptop hinges from breaking. Replacing hinges is a complex process, not only do you remove the top cover, the display also has to be opened. Nevertheless, it is still a viable process, which means that replacing hinges is worthwhile, even on older notebooks.
The process can get further complicated if the LCD bracket is also broken, if that is the case, make sure that it has not already punctured the display cover. Often times if someone drops a laptop, it may appear as if the hinges are also broken. On closer inspection, however, you can see that the threaded sockets in the display lid are torn out. This problem can also occur due to material fatigue. Replacing the cover (housing cover) usually solves this problem.
Remember that prevention is key! If you get a nice laptop, just take care of it. Don’t be careless with it and you should be just fine! At the very least get a nice laptop bag so you do not have to worry about damaged hinges!
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