Just to replace a laptop screen cable

So my nephew’s T*sh*b* laptop screen was blinking when he tilted it, and now it doesn’t work at all. Most likely reasons, according to internet forum gurus, are the screen cable or the inverter. Okay, we’ll just open up the screen enclosure and replace the faulty parts. Easy peasy.

Not so fast.

First you have to remove the battery. Then some screws. A lot of screws.

Then you can pry off (good luck with this) a plastic strip at the top edge of the keyboard. Then you can remove the keyboard.

At this point, you’re wondering, “Weren’t you trying to get to something having to do with the screen?” Well, we’re getting there.

Now you pry off the cover (which doesn’t really doesn’t want to go). Now you can remove the bezel. That’s the plastic rim around the screen, which you would have guessed would have come off on its own, without having to remove the cover of the body of the computer first. But you would have guessed wrong.

Okay, that there’s the inverter. It came from just under the screen. We may have to replace it. It’ll cost $35.

Now, on the other side of the screen, we see the cable that connects the electronics on the top of the screen to the computer body. Wouldn’t the cable be a lot shorter if the screen electronics were at the bottom rather than the top? So why was the screen installed so that its circuit board was at the top, requiring a longer cable to connect to the body? Perhaps there might have been electromagnetic interference problems.

EMI might also explain why the back of the screen enclosure is covered with foil. But I’m only guessing, and I’ve been known to guess wrong.

All right, here’s where the screen cable goes into the computer body. Notice there are a couple points where it could have been crimped and damaged through just normal wear and tear. This confirms my suspicion that the cable is the problem.

BTW, if I had been designing this thing, first of all I would have made it possible to access the screen inverter and cable simply by unscrewing the bezel. And then I would have sheathed the critical cable points with ABS plastic tubing to protect the cable from crimp damage.

I hope the cable costs less than $35 to replace. I figure we’ll price it tomorrow and order a replacement, then do something else while the part is on its way.

To tell you the truth, I look at this mess and wonder if the laptop will ever be the same again. I told my nephew that we may just put it in a box and attach an external keyboard and monitor, and ta-da, a new desktop.

That’ll be Plan B.

About engineerzero

Once and future engineer.
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