LCD Screen for Under $35 (recycle Old Laptops)




Hello Instructables I've been lurking around and enjoying the vast knowledge here. Ive decided to try and make my own instructable to help others who are on this site. So with this I shall make an attempt at making my first instructable. I welcome any critiques to my work/posting to make future instructable I post better.

Well, I pulled apart an old jetta laptop a few years ago and have had its monitor laying around. I've been saying Id use it for something since I pulled it out over 4 years ago. Its finally seeing the light of day once again. Its going to become a second monitor for my laptop when I have it docked.

Let us begin.

Step 1: Getting Things Ready

What you will need:
Old/broken laptop with a good screen (if the screen is broken then whats the point in using it for a monitor)
a screw driver
a control board for the display (will explain in later in this step)
power supply for the control board
video cables 

Alright, first were going to have to find out what type of control board your soon to be LCD screen will need. In order to find this you will need to remove the screen from its encasement. This is usually done by removing the screws around the screen. They are usually under the rubber pads. (see picture for reference) Once the encasement is off, unplug the cable that is in the back of the monitor and remove the monitor from the case. You will now be able to find out which control board is right for your screen. Look on the back of your screen and you'll see a small box with a model number. (see picture for reference) With this number you can now go to ebay and search for a LCD control board for your monitor. Here is a company on ebay I found with a quick google search Find your model number among there control panels and then buy that board. If you have any questions just shoot them a message and Iam sure they will be more then glad to help you find the right control panel if youre not sure. Dont forget to buy a power supply unit for your control panel!! Now comes the hard part. We have to wait to receive the part in the mail. (ok, maybe its just the hardest for me cause I really hate waiting)

Step 2: Putting It Together

Now comes the fun and enjoyable part (atleast imo) If everything was ordered properly and the proper item was sent its almost all plug and play. So go ahead and plug the control board's 50 port jack into the slot you removed the old video cable from. Once this is done you can then go ahead and plug in the power and you video cable. Go ahead and turn everything on. Your laptop should now recognize the screen as a second monitor for your use. Youre now done. If you wish you can make a custom frame or case for the screen or you can remove the old screen encasement from the laptop and mount everything onto that. It is all up to you. I havent decided on what I wish to do with mine yet so I will leave this up to you. I will come back and update this with what I did once I decide what I want to do. ( I posted a picture of what someone else did.)  Best of luck to everyone out there who does this. I hope everything is clear and understandable. If you run into any problem while attempting this please message me and I will walk you through/help you out to the best of my knowledge. 

I will also be entering the hardware hacks so if you found this helpful or useful please vote for this instructable.

Thank you everyone and best of luck to all.



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    7 Discussions


    Reply 3 years ago

    I am not sure I understand what you're asking


    4 years ago

    so I'm attempting this myself and I purchased the LCD controller board and when I hook everything up the backlight comes on but no image I tried it with my desktop via vga and my laptop via hdmi and same issue backlight is on but no image. I've tried going into display preferences and the whole fn button thing and still nothing. my computer recognizes the screen but I don't get any image picture or flash just a backlight on a black screen. ideas?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Hi TruFord,
    thank you for this great idea about "how to recylce old laptop" monitor. I would like to ask you if can i reuse the video card of the same old laptop, or i need to buy the new "LCD control board for your monitor"?

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Honestly I never considered that option as my laptop had a built in graphics card that couldn't be salvaged. I could be wrong but I think iam going to say you cant. The reason I say this is because graphics cards usually have a the vga out port to display whats on your current monitor on a secondary monitor/projector. If that's the case it wouldn't work because the graphics card has nothing to display since its not receiving an image from the mother board. To my knowledge theres no way to go from the VGA out on your current desktop/monitor to a PCI port on the graphics card to the VGA out on the graphics card to the video cable that plugs into most laptops. Plus you would now have to find a way to power the graphics card and screen. That's what nice about the control board. You just have to power the control board, plug in the VGA cable and everything is taken care of. (and less wires to get tangled) I think the answer is no, but Iam going to look into that to see if something like that could be possible. (my guess is even if it is it'll be the same price/more expensive with all the adapters and power cords)


    5 years ago on Step 2

    Awsome idea! would be awsome if there was a module that could control multiple displays to make a huge display

    1 reply