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Thread: Advice on what I should do with my dying Laptop?

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    Advice on what I should do with my dying Laptop?

    I have a Dell 1555 laptop and I absolutely love it. Mainly because if I click the two mouse buttons together it makes a new tab so I don't have to right click all the time and then select "Open in a new tab" but also because it has very good stock speakers, the keys and mouse buttons are quiet, and overall nice layout. If it's not already obvious I don't do enough with RAM or whatever things go on inside to care about performance or graphics. Anyways, the computer just stopped being on it's two year warranty and there are a couple things wrong with it.
    1) The battery lasts literally less than half an hour
    2) The charger wore out near the plug and now makes sparks if moved
    3) And just this morning I woke up to a broken screen (the internally bleeding type, not a cracked screen)... I suspect it was stepped on :/

    I purchased a battery and charger for around $30 from amazon two days ago. I can return these easily enough (I hope) but the screen is something else. It would cost me in the ballpark range of $50 just to get the part and I have no idea how I would install it. Right now I am using an external monitor which won't work for when I go back to school.

    If you were in my place what would you do? Spend the $80 and attempt to fix it? Or use the $80 towards a new laptop? Something else entirely? Thoughts and help greatly appreciated!

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    Firstly, I'd make sure I know exactly if I know what's wrong with the broken screen and if what I think will fix it, confidently will.

    By "internally bleeding", do you mean it looks fine on the outside, but is dim/dead when powered? Or do you mean all the colours are flushed/blurred and flowing awry, like somebody pressed the screen hard?

    If it's dim/dead, then there's a small gamble, it's either the inverter (electric part) has fused out and you have to replace a new one. Relatively easy, as long as you have the instructions to pop open your monitor, usually just unscrewing it, and connecting the wire ends to it. Inverters cost 8-50 bucks, depending on where you look.

    If that doesn't work, then it's likely the LED lamp (like a really small and thin fluorescent tube) has burned out, which is a lot trickier to replace. You'd have to take out the screen panel out of the monitor, then take apart the screen panel itself and replace it. This often involves peeling off ultra-adhesive tape that won't go back on. LED lamps typically cost 30-50 bucks.

    My first tablet had a burned out screen, first I replaced the inverter, didn't work and concluded it was the lamp. Then I ordered a lamp, but found my tablet's service manual was wildly inaccurate and couldn't determine where the LED lamp slot was, I'd have to do some irreversible *opening* to hope to get it done. Getting someone to do it would cost 200-300 bucks, and for my 3 y/o tablet. I figured to screw it. If you have a service manual that isn't a POS, and a DIYer, then maybe it's worth looking into.

    If the colors are blurred, flowing, and looks like somebody pressed it too hard, then the screen itself is damaged and needs to be replaced completely. Maybe you can find a good deal, and replacement is a lot easier than the above 2 scenarios, but generally speaking, are expensive as a mother and I wouldn't bother.

    If you've had a lot of success fixing your own stuff, particularly computers, then give it a shot. But if $80 is a tight budget and you're not so sure, I'd just pitch in for a new laptop. Plus a new laptop means new warranty too, giving you another year or 2 of risk-free.

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    Graff (12-31-2012)

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    Mod: Thank you for the reply!

    Right now I have the screen turned off, but under a light you can clearly see a black bubble looking thing and a line where I'm assuming the screen cracked. When the screen is on, the entire screen flickers in various grey and black colors but the different areas (corner cut off by crack, top half , bottom half, where the spot that the crack goes off the screen is the top of the bottom half) flicker differently and there's also fading. Here is my MS Paint artists interpretation of what my screen looks like turned off under a light, where the red is the black pool and the white is normal "off" color.


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    Another question I forgot ask is, was the brightness/color on your laptop fine right until you woke up to a damaged screen?

    If it's inverter/LED lamp failure, it's typically gradual, as in a few days to hours before it blacks out completely (though in some cases, the LED can completely burn out immediately).

    If it just got like that after you woke up, it's likely the screen panel is damaged (and possible the LED lamp was crushed as a result too).

    ---

    In any case, I'm more than confident the panel is done. What you're describing is when the screen is powered, the electricity is trying to distribute normally throughout the screen, but because of the cracked/broken areas, it's uneven and running off those cracks. Hence the flickering, some areas brighter or darker than others, especially at the damaged areas.

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    Graff (12-31-2012)

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    No screen issues right before this. I agree, the screen is dead. I'm fairly confident I can replace it, the question is whether it's worth it. Thanks!

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