Replacing LCD Laptop Screen - Illustrated how to replace a laptop screen on PowerBook 180

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Copyright 2010 by Morris Rosenthal

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The printable eBook version of The Laptop Repair Workbook is now available for download anywhere in the world.
Before I start working on any laptop or notebook computer I remove the battery. Don't assume the LCD is bad just because you can't see anything on the screen. The battery on our Apple PowerBook 180 releases with a slide button on the side, just like and old Toshiba notebook, then pulls right out. Before continuing on to replace the LCD screen, it pays to do a little troubleshooting. If the screen is cracked, has annoying dead pixels or a complete row or column is out (IC driver failure), it's time to replace the LCD. On the other hand, if the laptop screen is totally dead, it's more likely the video integrated on the motherboard, so at least test the laptop with an external monitor before proceeding. preparing to replace the lcd
removing hidden screw on laptop hinge Most laptop screens come apart the same way, starting with a couple of screws hidden by rubber cups near the hinges. The rubber cups serve a double purpose, hiding the screw and providing a bumper stop when the notebook screen is closed. This PowerBook 180 is assembled with torx screws, but you don't really need the special tools to dissemble it. I use a small jewelers screwdriver on baby torx, the standard, not the Philips which can actually damage the screw head.
The actual LCD screen is installed within a wide plastic bezel, which can be lifted right off after removing the two screws. The bezel is hinged at the top on plastic tabs. The screen is wrapped around the sides and back with a metalized foil to reduce RF interference. You can see the opposing springs on the bottom hinge that keep the laptop screen in place when you adjust the tilt. laptop lcd with plastic bezel removed
Taking the LCD panel out of the lid inverter to right Laptop screens are manufactured by third part LCD manufacturers, who may also supply all of the control electronics for the screen. This Sharp LCD is held in place by four screws at the corners. The power comes in at the right (white wires) through the right hinge, and the video signals come in on the flat ribbon cable through the left hinge.
There are at least three different connector technologies used with ribbon cables in this PowerBook 180. The video connectors are simple push-ins without latching, but there is a lip on the connector that gives you and easy way to remove it without pulling on the cable. The ribbon cable connector on the back of the LCD screen is easily removed by twisting a flathead screwdriver between the connector and the lip on the ribbon cable. disconnecting the LCD ribbon cable from the laptop motherboard
PowerBook LCD with CCFL backlight installed Here's the complete LCD screen as it would arrive from a parts warehouse. The ribbon cable connectors show on the right edge of the picture, the power connector is off to the left. We show the power connection (below) as we start to install the replacement LCD.
You want to know how to install a laptop screen? Exactly the same way as you remove it, very few tricks. The LCD power connector is the last connection to make, after the video cables on the back are in place and the LCD is secured with four screws. All that's left is to replace the plastic bezel, which turns the laptop screen into a monitor:-) The final step below, before the bezel snaps into place, is making sure the wires and in this case, the ferrite slug, won't get pinched. The finishing touch is restoring the little rubber bumpers over the screws, a little shock absorption for when the laptop screen is folded down over the body for carrying. connecting the inveter to the backlight in the screen assembly
putting the LCD screen wires through the PowerBook hinge
The printable eBook version of The Laptop Repair Workbook is now available for download anywhere in the world.