Replacing a Laptop Screen Cable

Introduction: Replacing a Laptop Screen Cable

About: Professionally I have been a summer camp counselor, a Draftsman/designer, salesperson, bicycle mechanic, laminate flooring machine mechanic, teacher, and designer of the OP Loftbed. Personally I am a human t…

My wife contacted me, from the other side of the planet, to tell me that her laptop was having trouble. The screen would only work when the laptop was partially open. I told her that I could probably fix it when she got back home.

This is a common problem in laptops. The cable that connects the screen to the base runs thru the hinge. The opening and closing bends the cable and, after time, this bending and unbending of the cable damages the wires inside the cable causing shorts. Sometimes you can use the laptop in a certain position but other times it will stop working all at once.

The cables are usually between 15 to 25 dollars on Amazon and can be found by searching your computer's make and model number. In this case, it was a Toshiba Satellite S55-B5157. If you take your laptop to a computer store, they will charge around 100 dollars or more to fix it. If you can unscrew screws, pry off some plastic pieces, unplug a cable, plug back in a cable, snap on plastic pieces, and re-screw the screws back in, you can do this. It is not as intimidating as it may sound.

Step 1: Tools

I only needed a small Phillips screwdriver and a small slotted screwdriver. If your laptop has specialty screws, you will need the proper screwdriver to fit them. The only reason I needed the slotted screwdriver was to pry some of the pieces apart to a point I could use my fingers to pry the rest. You will also want to wear safety glasses, sometimes small pieces of plastic could go flying when you are prying off pieces.

Step 2: Take Out the Battery

Working with electronics, it is important that you remove, or at least disconnect, the battery. If you skip this, you could damage not only your laptop, but possibly damage yourself. This laptop had three screws securing it in.

Step 3: Take Off the Bottom Cover

After you remove all the screws securing the bottom cover on, you will have to pry it off. I had to use a small slotted screwdriver to get the cover to start coming off and then work my way around the cover gently prying with my fingers until the cover snapped off.

Step 4: Take Off the Frame Around the Screen

The frame around the screen almost stumped me. I started by prying off at the top corners. When I got close to the bottom corners, it seamed like it was stuck. I looked closer and found two tiny little covers hiding two screws. I popped the covers off with the small slotted screwdriver and removed the screws they were hiding. I was then able to finish taking off the frame around the screen.

Step 5: Remove the Screen and Unplug the Screen End of the Cable

There were four screws holding the screen to the top of the laptop. After removing those screws, I carefully placed the screed on the keyboard of the laptop. The cable was secured with tape that has to be pulled back to be able to unplug the cable. Look closely at the cable and use the new cable to determine which way you need to pull the cable to unplug it. One end of my cable had to be pulled horizontally and the other end had to be pulled vertically.

Step 6: Unplug the Screen Cable From the Base of the Laptop

Pay attention to the routing of the cable. Make sketches, take pictures, take a video, whatever it takes to be able to route the new cable the same way as the old cable.

Step 7: Route the New Cable

Route the new cable just like the old cable. There are other cables that could be damaged if you go over instead under. There are also little channels in the laptop that hold the cable in place to protect it. Plug the cable into the bottom part of the laptop first.

Step 8: Plug the Cable to the Screen

After routing the cable thru the hinge, plug it into the screen. The new cable came with a piece of tape attached to it. After I plugged the cable into the screen, I stuck the tape to the screen.

Step 9: Double Check the Cable Routing

Double check the routing of the cable before reattaching the screen, screen frame, and bottom cover.

Step 10: Test Your Work

After getting all the covers and screws put back, reconnect the battery and turn on the laptop. If all is well you are good to go. If the screen does not work, take the covers off and double check that the ends of the cable are plugged in properly. If the laptop screen still does not work, you may have to take it to a computer repair shop.

Step 11: Video

As Usual, I made a video. Some laptops are similar but some are completely different so you may want to search the internet and see if someone has posted a video of replacing the screen cable on your model of laptop.

I hope this helps you repair your or your friend's laptop.

Thank you for watching.

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    14 Comments

    0
    Sanjin1234
    Sanjin1234

    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    Hi,

    I have the same problem with my laptop as you had with yours.
    How did you find out what type of screen cable you needed for your Toshiba laptop.
    Are all cables for one laptop brand universal. My laptop is ASUS.

    0
    CHARLESCRANFORD
    CHARLESCRANFORD

    Reply 1 year ago

    I found the model number, on the bottom of my laptop, and then Google searched that model number followed by screen cable. The first thing that came up was an Amazon listing of the cable for my laptop. Good luck.

    0
    ohsusanannette
    ohsusanannette

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi, My screen cable is frayed, about a half inch of it, so there's some play in the length. I want to snip off the frayed length, then splice the two clean ends back together. Do you see a problem with that? I used to work as a cable tech, low volt, so I can do a splice. Thanks, and thanks for posting how to totally replace the cable -- I'd do that but dont want to wait for a brand new cable.

    0
    CHARLESCRANFORD
    CHARLESCRANFORD

    Reply 1 year ago

    You might be able to, but they are tiny little wires. And if the original cable is fraying, in that one spot, your repair would be in that one spot where damage is likely to happen. Good luck.

    0
    ohsusanannette
    ohsusanannette

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thanks, I'm going to give it a try. this is the first Chromebook atht his has hapned to -- I think Chromebook is notorious for placing those wires in the hinge that opens and closes the Chromebook. I smelled the frying years ago and the the computer just seemed to die but didn't know enough then to know why. A year later I opened it on an off chance of it working, perhaps? I forget why. And in this case it worked but sporadically, like your wife's. I believe it is the exact same cable and I'd rather give it a try myself first before doing to very close work of identifying the wire exactly, for my Chromebook, sending off for it, having them send me the wrong wire -- that could go on forever. I'll try this first then do the work of dealing with someone or some company that has the wire i need.

    Seriously, you've been so helpful, you have no idea. PS The original cable that frayed, or rather, melted, was from the heat of being caught in the hinge and shorting out. After a year, left alone, it had sort of fixed itself, but you know, was still damaged and caused problems. Thanks, Charles Scranford!

    Susan

    0
    Skai Cabelle
    Skai Cabelle

    Question 1 year ago

    Is this problem similar to the one you just did and can be fixed easily? Btw this is an HP Laptop Model 14-X010WM

    16221637867177771297557468416622.jpg16221640250255453708529522440426.jpg
    0
    CHARLESCRANFORD
    CHARLESCRANFORD

    Reply 1 year ago

    It is hard to tell by the photos, but it looks like you may have a damaged screen.

    0
    NicoleS183
    NicoleS183

    2 years ago

    Worked like a charm - thank you!!! :)

    0
    CHARLESCRANFORD
    CHARLESCRANFORD

    Reply 2 years ago

    Glad to hear. Thank you for the comment.

    0
    terrefirma
    terrefirma

    3 years ago on Step 2

    I have so many old laptops sitting around each with one thing wrong or broken.Great work.

    0
    CHARLESCRANFORD
    CHARLESCRANFORD

    Reply 2 years ago

    Good luck fixing them.

    0
    k24tea
    k24tea

    3 years ago

    Good fix! But you didn't use a ground strap? An ounce of static prevention and all that.

    I had to take 3 laptops apart last week. Aside from sourcing replacement parts, I think releasing the plastic case tabs without breaking them is the hardest part of a laptop repair. I use the corner of an old credit card to pop them. A disassembly guide helps to find those hidden screws while not removing any you don't need to, and a reminder of where everything goes when you put it back together.

    I bet you earned lots of hero points for fixing your wife's laptop! Thanks for sharing your repair.

    0
    CHARLESCRANFORD
    CHARLESCRANFORD

    Reply 2 years ago

    Sorry It took so long to reply. I somehow missed your comment. I wasn't wearing a ground strap, but I was bare footed. It is kind of intimidating prying up on something as expensive as a laptop looking for fasteners. My wife was very happy to have her laptop fixed.