Can a Computer Screen Be Repaired?

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Question:  Can a Computer Screen Be Repaired?

I get this question on a regular basis.  Typically, it’s from laptop owners who have somehow cracked the LCD screen on their computer.

But, sometimes it’s from customers with desktop PC’s with external LCD monitors… sometimes even the old, huge CRT monitors.

Let’s take a look at CRT monitors first…

CRT Screens

CRT is an acronym for Cathode Ray Tube.  This is antiquated technology.  If you are older than 30 years old, you may remember the days when your TV was called “The Tube.”

“Let’s see what what’s on the tube!” they would say.

Also, if there was ever a problem with the television, it was typically the actual tube that was failing or completely burned out.

Under most circumstances, repairing CRT screens is not practical at all.  They are huge, heavy and not energy efficient at all.  Repairing them is also dangerous, as they required high voltage capacitors.  Merely coming into close physical contact to these capacitors is enough to discharge them into you.

Think I’m kidding?

Back when I used to work at Hewlett Packard, there were some defective CRT monitors that would occasionally shock people.  This was back in 2001 when CRT monitors were very common and the thinner, sexier LCD monitors were much more rare.

So, please, do not take the cover off of your CRT monitor and try to repair it yourself unless you are training in CRT television and CRT monitor repair.  Any mistake could be life threatening.

External LCD Monitors

LCD monitors are much nicer than the CRT monitors.

When they first arrived on the market, they were expensive.  I mean VERY expensive.  You could easily spend close to $500 on a 15″ LCD and close to $1000 on a 17-inch LCD monitor.

The cost of these monitors have dropped in price significantly over the years, and now it’s pretty easy to pick up a brand new 15″ monitor for around $60.  Brand new 19″ monitors can easily be purchased for less than $100.

Fixing a broken LCD can cost up to (and exceeding) $100 if no parts are needed.  It could cost $200 or more if parts need to be ordered.

So, although the idea of saving your broken LCD from taking up space in the landfill may be tempting, it may not be a good economical decision.

Laptop and Notebook LCD Screens

These a bit different in nature.

In a laptop, the screen is built into the device.  So, it’s not quite as easy to drive down the street and purchase a brand new monitor.  So, it changes things a little.

In many cases, it’s worth the money to replace a broken LCD screen in a monitor.

Brand new LCD screens can be purchased from laptop part distributors, and even used LCD screens can often be found on eBay.

The trick is figuring out which LCD screen your particular laptop uses, since the same model laptop from the same manufacturer could use difference part numbers for the screens.  The easiest way (in my opinion) to solve this mystery is to remove the broken LCD display from the laptop and look at the part number on the back of the display.  This way, part numbers can be matched exactly and the chance of incompatibility can be eliminated.

Typically, with shipping costs, a new LCD for a laptop can be anywhere from $100 to $200.  Newer LCD displays can be a little more, but I’ve never seen any above $250 recently.  The labor can be around $100.  So, with the total cost of the repair, your final bill would still be much less than a brand new laptop.

If you need some help repairing your laptop screen, please give us a call at (970) 292-7500.  We would love to help you.

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