Intro: ASUS Laptop Screen Hinge Repair
My ASUS M51A series laptop LCD screen hinge broke after a few years, which is a well-known issue with this design! The hinge becomes stiff and hard to turn, resulting in increasing pressure and fatigue on the hinge base, which then snaps off. It seems that the hinges are made of some compressed powder metal casting process, and so it is very brittle. So instead of bending under the stress, it simply snaps at the weakest point.
Fortunately, you can find many suppliers on eBay for these hinge parts. My hinges I believe cost about $6-7 all-in (shipping included) directly from Hong Kong to my home. It took 3-4 weeks to ship, but even so I couldn't believe it cost so little. So I got up the courage to open up my LCD screen, remove the existing broken hinges and replace them with the new ones.
In this video I show you how I opened up my laptop and changed the hinges. The first step is to pop open the small plastic covers over the hinge bases, revealing the connectors. Unplugging the connectors and then unscrewing the small screws around the bezel will allow you to remove the cover over the LCD screen and eventually removal of the screen (which was easy in my case because the hinges were broken).
After some trial-and-error I realized that you don't have to open the entire laptop to get to the broken hinge bases. In fact, each of them is held in by a couple of screws... one from the side (direct back of the laptop) and one from underneath the laptop which fasten the hinges into the base. If you unscrew those, the broken bases of the hinges fall out, allowing you to insert the new hinges. The rest of the work simply involves hooking up your LCD back to the hinges (the top part). You would actually attach the hinges to your LCD first and connect your LCD back to the cover, then insert the hinges into the base of the laptop and fasten them there.
Hopefully this video will help anyone stuck in my situation. It apparently is a common design flaw for this era of ASUS laptops and so I found a lot of people complaining about it. However, since it looks like an easy repair, I hope many people will now consider doing it and not waste money on a new laptop or upgrading for no reason, when a $6 part will fix it!