I will try to give you a general idea how to fool the projector that was designed to squeeze some extra $$ out of your pocket. I will illustrate it with the pictures taken while I was fixing a certain projector but this model is rare and the idea I want to share with you is general. Sorry, it's not a real 'instructable'. I can't name the exact steps for your particular projector but the ideology will remain the same for any case.
Disclaimer - you are going to work with the device that has several dangerous components:
circuit board with live terminals, high-voltage power supply unit, pressurized lamp that can blow up if not handled properly. Think twice and take corresponding precautionary measures to avoid injuries and death :)
P.S. As you can see from the comments in some cases the old lamp may blow up.
I never faced with that myself and the bulb in my friend's projection TV is more
than 10,000 hours old but this "statistics" is not enough so "forewarned is forearmed".
The safest (and most expensive) way to avoid this problem is ... to buy a new lamp but this
defies the purpose of this very instructable. The compromise is to study the construction
around the lamp and if it looks weak then one can install a metal mesh screen.
The design is up to you - it should have fine openings and at the same time it should
not hinder the cooling.
Step 1: General ideas
Let's assume that you own a projector that says that its lamp is to be replaced.
There can be two reasons for lamp replacement:
1) The lamp really doesn't work because the electrodes are damaged or there was a leak and
the gas inside the lamp has mixed with air or the lamp has blown. These are the real reasons
and of course one has to put some light source instead of the one that got damaged.
Instructables.com is full of various recipes for that. Surely, one can buy the original lamp for
$250-300 but it seems to be a bit overpriced comparing with a projector's cost :)
If you decide to follow one of the instructions from this site briefly read what is written
on the page "Bypassing the control module - 1" below. This will help you to use any light source
while the projector will keep thinking that a new lamp was installed.
2) The lamp is NOT damaged. It's the projector that thinks it needs to be replaced.
Moreover, it tries to convince you. If you remove the lamp and re-install it, it won't start. "How does it know that the lamp is old? May be it's really worn out?", you think and go to the store. Read the following pages to find out the truth :)