Instructables

Turn a Laptop Screen into a Mirror

Featured
Hi there, this is my very first instructable, so any critics and comments are welcome ! And sorry for my english, I'm a little frenchy guy =) Some photos are not very good quality, I apologize for that., but they seem clear enough to me.

So, first, What I had was a broken laptop. I tried to use the screen as a normal lcd screen, but it wouldn't work. So I thought I could turn it into something more...useful.

What you need :
- A laptop (hm...broken) or a laptop screen.
- A small cross screwdriver (check the photos)
- A bigger flat screwdriver (actually you could use anything like a knife, as it's not meant to screw here)
- A cutter knife (maybe a thin knife will do)
- A small box (better small boxes) or a glass, to keep the screws
- Approximately 1 hour

Read the whole tutorial before starting, you may want to jump or invert some steps depending on your way of working, or on your equipment.
Now let's get started.

/!\ This instructable doesn't imply cracked screens, it is safe as long as you don't break yours in two, which would require a strong hit. But be careful, as commented S1L3N7 SWAT, "most laptop displays have a small, but still dangerous amount of Mercury in them. It's usually contained in the lamp portion." That means if your screen is cracked, or if you crack it, take it to a recycling agency and be careful about yourself.

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Step 1

First of all, you would need of course to take the screen off the laptop (Photo 1). I don't show you here how to do, because I didn't think I would make an instructable at first ;) but you can find tutorials about that on the web, and it's quite easy.

So, first take off the small plastic masks over the 4 screws in the corners of the screen (Photo 2).
Then just unscrew the 4 screws and keep them safely in a small box/glass (Photo 3). Now here's what we've got (Photo 4).
df35488 months ago
Haha, of if your computer is still working, sites like http://www.freeonlinemirror.com turn your webcam into a mirror.
iMoose5 years ago
Mac computers are completely mercury free. Well at least the newer models.
pembo210 iMoose5 years ago
They use the stomach linings of baby seals
You're just jealous, stupid PC user.
...ubuntu
Apples operating system is actually linux based
Does it matter?
S1L3N7 SWAT5 years ago
HAHA I just replaced a laptop screen about 4 hours ago. The old one is cracked, if it wasn't I may have attempted this. I don't want to run the risk of contaminating the place with the mercury inside the screen.
MidnightSon (author)  S1L3N7 SWAT5 years ago
Hm, mercury ? I thought it was just a mirror + polarizing film + liquid crystal layers. tell me more about this mercury please... if it's that dangerous, i'll add it in the instructable. Thanks for passing by anyway ;)
Yeah, most laptop displays have a small, but still dangerous amount of Mercury in them. It's usually contained in the lamp portion. Some laptops have a removable lamp, others have them built in to the screen it's self. On the back of the screen there should be a warning about mercury and instructions to properly recycle it. The warning may also be on the case of the laptop its self. Usually it's "Hg" in a circle, Hg being the symbol given to mercury on the periodic table of elements. This is why they tell you not to throw old computers into the garbage but rather have them properly disposed of by a recycling agency. You should be safe, as long as the screen is not cracked and still structurally intact. I noticed that you had to cut alot of stuff off and you could have possibly released some mercury, although you probably didn't. But, yes, people should be aware of the possibility of mercury posioning from these displays. Thank you.
If mercury (Hg) drops to some tiny cracks or other places like that, be aware of many years possibility of mercury poisoning. Mercury evaporates for long, long time.
is that why the juice is so tasty?
LOL Sure.
MoMoMan5 years ago
I think it would be a cool concept to put a 2 way mirror or film onto a functioning laptop screen. just a thought.
I was thinking of the refelective tint for cars. When the screen is on it shines through the tint, when off, its a mirror
yea, or like the LG Shine
RCDes5 years ago
I tried this, but it didn't quite work. My reflective part wasn't reflective enough. I'm not sure if it wasn't tight enough and didn't lie flat, or if it was a problem with the order I placed the layers, etc.
MidnightSon (author)  RCDes5 years ago
In my case I had to place the reflective part some times before it laid flat, maybe you encouneterd this problem. About the layers, the only one to really keep behind the screen is the white one, otherwise indeed it won"t reflect properly. Good luck, and thanks for passing by and trying this stuff ;)
munchman5 years ago
When I fist saw this it thought it would be a crap just turn off the laptop thing. But this is really cool! I wish I hadn't thrown out that broken screen now.
Cool !!! Un compatriote ! Beau travail , je vois que c'est ton premier instructables ... alors Bienvenu. Je sais par experience que c'est un gros boulot , mais une version en francais pourrait etre sympa ... peut etre qu'a force ils se decideront de repenser l'interface pour l'international ;) .
MidnightSon (author)  Greg Madison5 years ago
Salut ! =)
Effectivement, une extension multi-langues serait un gros gros plus pour ce site déjà énorme (figurativement parlant)...je penserai à refaire l'instructable en français ;) mais probablement pas tout de suite...
O.K. francais de ou ? moi de quebec
Vous êtes pas les seuls! Il reste just a savoir combien de francophones se trouvent sur ce site, question de savoir si cette extension multi-langues serait rentable!
je ne lle sais pas combien de francophone il y a mais j'en suis un de plus!!!!
Je voudrais pour voir instructables en les langues d'autre. Je suis americain (et mon francais n'est pas bon) mais je pense q'autre languages vont etre bon pour le site Web. I would like to see instructables in other languages. I am american (and my french isn't very good) but I think that other languages will be good for the web site.
While I can understand your patriotism (and especially that of our french friends ;), I think it's a good thing that the site is in English. I think, as the situation is now, a lot of people whose English isn't great still try and write their instructable in English. If instructables would be written in any writers native language, a lot of people wouldn't be able to do anything other then look at the pictures and try to guess what the foreign text means. And let's be honest, a service like google translate or the likes isn't nearly as good as it should be to catch most of the text. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the French (I live in Belgium, my native language is Dutch, but I do speak & read French sort of well enough), it's just that I think that on the internet, English is a pro...
CatMan5 years ago
Maybe this is the right place to ask- anyone tried to remove the Polarized Filter from an LCD screen? i mean - without damaging the filter (the rest of the LCD is useless for me) i can't seem to take it off without breaking the glass - which i don't need- but that makes a total mess, and ruins the rest of the filter, or merely scratches it. anyone?
The mercury is in the lamp only. You can safely pulverize the display itself, and if you avoid cutting yourself to ribbons on the broken glass, you'll be perfectly safe. Furthermore, you'd have to eat the lamp to be in any serious danger from the amount of mercury it contains, and since it, too, is made of glass, you'd bleed to death before you had to worry about poisoning. Of course, it's best to dispose of flourescent tubes properly (so that the materials can be recycled), but you're worried about the wrong hazards here.
MidnightSon (author)  MairseyDotes5 years ago
Hmkay, thanks, but I didn't really know about this mercury thing, so I preferred to warn people. Thanks for your information though ;)
dkfa5 years ago
isn't this just glossy screen? People have non glossy screens too you know?
MidnightSon (author)  dkfa5 years ago
It's not only a glossy screen. The basic structure of an lcd is to have a mirror in it. What I did is I turned it over. No link with having or not a glossy screen.
Bigev5 years ago
Mon Francais n'est pas le meilleur, mais c'est un tres informatif ... uh ... instructable. Je n'ai pas une idee pour ma premiere chose. Bonne chance!
Arbitror5 years ago
At first I thought that you were going to hook up a webcam to it, so it acts like a virtual mirror...
Plasmana5 years ago
Lol, just imagine someone opens the laptop with a mirror on the screen.... :-)
jongscx5 years ago
Actually, if you put something like this:
http://solarfilmco.com/mirror-window-film.html
The screen will act like a mirror when in direct sunlight and when the screen is off, but when you're using it normally, the image should shine through.

This is how those hidden-screen phones work, that have a mirror surface, but then characters can show up underneath it somehow...
vehicle5 years ago
Sort of misleading... I was pretty amped to see how someone might be able to turn a laptop screen into a mirror ..and go back to a laptop screen. Check out this link though:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060923202508AAKhUd3
hcold vehicle5 years ago
Yahoo is truly a place for the dunces of the world.
slimguy3795 years ago
there are so many better things to do with an lcd....
dizzymom5 years ago
Does this work only with Vaio screens? Or any glossy screen would work?
MidnightSon (author)  dizzymom5 years ago
I think that it would work with any screen, as all laptop screens have globally the same architecture. If it doesn't, no problem (but please tell me), if you're careful enough following this instructable and not touching the 5 sheets or the back of the screen, you could rebuild it back. And anyway, you always have the option of buying a cheap mirror glass... ;)
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!