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Obtaining Replacement Parts for Your Laptop?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the more-difficult-than-you-might-think dept.

688

halosfan asks: "I recently broke the LCD bezel (the plastic thing that holds the LCD and related wires together) on a laptop that I bought half a year ago. I checked eBay as well as a few online stores specializing in laptop replacement parts, but still couldn't find the replacement. I contacted the manufacturer, but they were absolutely useless. Local laptop repair shop said they wouldn't replace the bezel without replacing the LCD, which isn't acceptable. It is an extremely frustrating situation, as the bezel is a minor part that I otherwise couldn't care less about, but it is necessary to carry the laptop around. I am wondering what other ways are there to obtain a laptop replacement part? Also, any recommendations for manufacturers that are good about making obscure replacement parts for their laptops available to the general public?" Does your laptop manufacturer make it easy or hard to get the necessary replacement parts?

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688 comments

Ask Slashdot: I'm hungry (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955155)

An Anonymous Coward asks: I woke up this morning and once again I was hungry. I have heard of various solutions to this problems in the past and have even tried a few (eating, snacking, etc.) My question to the Slashdot community is this: What do you do when you're hungry? Are their any uber-geek solutions to this problem? I know I can't be the only one who experiences it."

Re:Ask Slashdot: I'm hungry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955209)

Replacement Parts. What is it all about... is it good, or is it whack?

Re:Ask Slashdot: I'm hungry (1, Funny)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955278)

...
I thought flamebait was a bit harsh dude, I thought it was funny !.. The obvious answer is ... google [google.com] ...

Obviously there is / has been a lack of interesting submissions on slashdot today.

You pose an interesting dilemma. My personal solution is kellogs cornflakes with a splash of fresh semi-skimmed milk (half fat) and a liberal sprinkling of sugar. I am sure other slashdotters may have a different preference. I hear Cheerio's or Chex are quite popular stateside.

nick

try EATING SHIT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955315)

douche-bag.

BOOYAH! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955158)

First post, bitchez!

Do you know the way..... (-1, Redundant)

vaguelyamused (535377) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955160)

To Go E-bay....!!!!1 (sing it with me)

Re:Do you know the way..... (3, Insightful)

robslimo (587196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955276)

Ebay is a great place to trade notebook parts around and around... unfortunately the prices go up for the small parts as they become seperated from their original computer (buy a used, broken notebook for $50, sell HDD for $40, sell LCD for $60, sell CD-ROM drive for $20, etc).

No, the answer is JB-Weld (www.jbweld.net) or a similar epoxy. It's the modern nerd answer to tape on your glasses.

woot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955161)

first post. burn your tv^H^Hlaptop!

Everything is made cheap and unrepairable... (5, Insightful)

Aliencow (653119) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955162)

Last time my Discman broke, they wanted to charge me over 100$ to replace the lil' spinny thingie inside of it because they'd replace the whole bottom part of it.. which includes the lens and pretty much all the electronics.. Laptops are the same, your best bet with a laptop is to take a good extended warranty and pray you don't need to use it..

Re:Everything is made cheap and unrepairable... (5, Informative)

BACPro (206388) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955253)

Extended warranty could be worthless too.

Toshiba laptop with broken hinge and extended warranty...

$75 for the hinge,
$56 for four screws.

Extended warranty invalid as the broken hinge was due to "misuse"

BP

Re:Everything is made cheap and unrepairable... (5, Informative)

robslimo (587196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955345)

Agreed. I've got a Toshiba 105CS (P5 at 75 MHz) still kicking since 1990-something. I've used the Hell out of it and, through no particular abuse of mine, eventually cracked out all around both hinges.

Ebay is not the answer, extended warranty is no the answer.

The answer is JB-Weld (www.jbweld.net) or a similar epoxy. It's the modern nerd answer to tape on your glasses. My old Toshi ain't much to look at, but it still works.

eBay. (1, Redundant)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955168)

In a word, eBay. I just got a new CPU fan, power board and bag o' screws for my old N505VE Sony ultralight. Total cost was around 10$.

Re:eBay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955203)

In a word, eBay
Which part of the story don't you understand? The part where he says "I checked eBay" or the part about "but still couldn't find the replacement"?

Re:eBay. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955237)

Yeah, but did he check Ebay? I found a replacement part there.

Re:eBay. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955350)

He said he didn't find anything on eBay....but I wonder if he checked eBay? Maybe he should check eBay.... Yeah, I'm feelin the magic.

Re:eBay. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955242)

That he was unable to find the part he needed in no way makes it a bad place to look for parts. Why is THAT hard to understand?

Re:eBay. (1)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955303)

You're right, eBay is not a bad place to look. I think what the above poster was trying to say is that the person who posted the story already knew to check eBay first, which resulted in finding nothing. That's why the OP was asking for suggestions. Therefore, suggesting to check eBay again was pointless.

Re:eBay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955304)

I think the original poster was suggesting to the dude to try again. You see, asshat, the beauty of eBay is that its selection is always changing.

Can't find a replacement bezel? One answer (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955169)

Duct tape.

Re:Can't find a replacement bezel? One answer (1)

greechneb (574646) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955353)

My opinion, if it is still under warranty? Break the LCD too*. Hey, you'd get it replaced that way!

You could even call ahead of time and say it was broke, and if they come onsite, wait till the day they come to break it so you wouldn't be without it too long.

*Just make sure that it is indeed covered by the warranty

Computer Junkyards (5, Informative)

akedia (665196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955171)

My side hobby is auto-repair and restoration. Together, my father and I have restored several vehicles (1970 Pontiac GTO Judge, 1969 Triumph Bonneville T120R, 1968 Chevrolet Corvair convertible, and a 1982 Volvo GL to Mustang 5.0 conversion, if anyone here cares,) and one of the best things we did was to scavenge junkyards for 95%-complete vehicles that were just rusting away. If we got one with a good body, but a blown engine, then that would be our project car, and we would just scavence a rustbucket that was still good under the hood and swap out the drivetrain.

When I took a job in the IT field and began repairing computers, I applied this same logic. If I had a laptop with a cracked case, but the internals were still fine, then I would try and scavenge a laptop with a dead motherboard that still had a good case and was discarded because it just didn't work. You can easily swap out things like that. I've done it on several Dell Inspirons and IBM ThinkPads, you can have a couple "parts" machines going at once and just get replacements from those. Sometimes on eBay you get lucky and find an auction for something like "Pallet of 100 Broken ThinkPads" for $50 and you can get some serious finds. If you want to take a bit of a risk you can even try "dumpster diving" outside of office buildings, schools and libraries. Often times when something breaks or is very obsolete these places will just toss it out. My favorite find so far was an IBM ThinkPad 486, complete, with two working batteries and all the cables in a case, that was just sitting in a dumpster because it was too old to run modern software.

Re:Computer Junkyards (4, Funny)

worst_name_ever (633374) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955300)

If we got one with a good body, but a blown engine

But enough about dating sorority girls - back to Slashdot!

Re:Computer Junkyards (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955327)

Well, THAT was a useless comment, contributing nothing to the discussion whatsoever.

Find out the case manufacturer (5, Informative)

cspenn (689387) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955173)

Find out who the case manufacturer is - most cases are made by Taiwanese manufacturers, even brand names. One of the biggest is HyperData Direct - check their web site to see if they carry a generic case part for your laptop.

Laptops (1)

Atragon (711454) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955176)

I really couldn't say, it seems to me that replacement parts for laptops are hideously non-standard. Since each manufacturer has their own slightly different form factor, which makes finding replacement parts hard, or expensive.

Unfortunately, I really couldn't say where you need to go, if the company that produced your laptop can't help you, maybe you could find a broken laptop (same model mind you) and strip it down for the parts you need?

Re:Laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955232)

If you can't answer the question, then why are you posting anything at all? Do you just like to see your name on the page, or do you really think you are contributing by typing "I really couldn't say" over and over?

Re:Laptops (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955271)

This is why I want to develop a standard. It would put the case at 13x10x1.5 (inches), with a .5" thick LCD unit. Maybe call it LTX? I'd have to do some more sketching to decide on how it would work, but I know many people would buy one...

Re:Laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955346)

but I know many people would buy one...

If you KNOW many people would buy one, then get to it. Why would you spend one more minute at your $5.75 an hour job if you KNOW many people would buy it. Let me know when you get your sketching done, because I want to be first in line.

My sollution (3, Interesting)

rosewood (99925) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955177)

This is why I dropped the jack for an extended warrenty. Normal ware and tear has cracked the back hinge on my laptop in less then 6mo. It still works okay but its a crack. Before my 3 years is up, this thing is getting fixed so that it will have some life left it in.

Same goes for the keyboard

The touchpad (which is already honky cause it took a static electricity shock)

And the CD drive

etc etc etc.

If you are just going to buy and sit and never work to get shit replaced, then yes -- the warrenty coverage is worthless. Buy it and use it, and then you have gotten something.

Re:My sollution (1)

YetAnotherDave (159442) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955251)

yeah, I do 4-year if I can.

Dell has basically replaced my entire laptop, one part at a time.

Really, getting a 3-year warranty on a laptop HD is like getting one free, it'll ALWAYS wear out...

And I don't even have to hunt for parts, just phone and whine :)

Battery controller? (1)

althalus (520424) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955178)

How about finding a replacement battery controller card? Hard to find, and expensive to fix. My old dell needs one, and only dell seems to be able to fix it (for quite the fee). My brothers compaq has the same problem. The battery itself is fine, but the card that controls the charging and such wont' do a thing.

Re:Battery controller? (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955302)

IBM is no better. I have an IBM Thinkpad 380z with a burnt out backlight. You cannot buy the backlight anywhere, you have to buy the entire IBM FRU, which is a complete LCD. The manufacturer of the LCD (Siemens) will not help give a part number or even voltages for the fluorescent bulb. They'll only tell you that it's a signifigant amount, enough to stop your heart.

That's what's keeping me from hooking up a meter to it.

In their best interest (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955184)

to make it hard.

Even batteries, that ought to be a commidity, are still expensive. $147 for a 760e ThinkPad battery? The laptop isn't worth that much.

Dell (3, Interesting)

diersing (679767) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955185)

Always been real happy with Dell and its replacement of busted laptop componets. Although this was as a corporate customer and if they need to replace other parts (the LCD in this case) to fix the problem, it was always warrantied work and no extra cost came to me because of it. I'm guessing the author is a home/personal user, which if the laptop was purchased new I'm surprised the replacement isn't warrantied (don't most come with 12 month warranties?).

Re:Dell (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955226)

I agree with this. The Dell laptops are nothing special -- actually, we've had a lot of problems with them.

But every time there's a problem, I can get it fixed.

Re:Dell (1)

allodial (740732) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955290)

I would agree 100%. My only problem with Dell is getting Raji... ummm... Bob to understand what part it is that I want.

Re:Dell (1)

vk2tds (175334) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955309)

Dell is very good with providing parts to the general public... Unfortunately sometimes they provide parts that are not quite new, and occasionally with the belzel arround the screen it is worse...

For instance I got one belzel with the screw holes broken when I got a replacement Belzel.

Here in Oz, the Trade Practices Act means that if consumers must be able to buy spare parts as if it was the company itself doing the repairs

Darryl

Re:Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955320)

Dell has always been great about this. I bought a three year complete care package and it's paid for itself over and over again. I would never spend a good amount of money on a laptop without getting a warrenty from the manufacturer. The fact is just that the parts are too manufacturer specific to replace unlike in desktops.

Re:Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955321)

Yes, most do come with a 12 month warranty but:

laptop that I bought half a year ago

:)

You're Probably Out Of Luck (4, Informative)

Patman (32745) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955188)

It's becoming more common these days for 'custom' parts like these to be bundled.

I recently broke a wiring harness on my girlfriend's Pontiac Aztec. I could replace it in about five minutes if I could get Pontiac to sell me the part. But they won't, not without purchasing the entire headlight module, for 300 dollars.

Your best bet is to do what I'm doing for that part - namely, hitting junkyards(in your case, eBay). Another possibility is to find a user's group/forum for these laptops - I know when I had a Sparcbook, there was always a guy or two with broken ones who would send you some weird random part.

Re:You're Probably Out Of Luck (1)

CatPieMan (460995) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955282)

I know it is a bit off-topic, but, I had the same thing happen on a Chrysler Cirrus. I hit a deer and broke the plastic covering the one headlight (as well as the turn signal bulb). They couldn't just repair the plastic covering -- they had to replace the whole module (and the working headlight) for a cost of about $210.

Good suggestion on finding a computer 'junk yard'.

-CPM

follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955189)

Look at the example of Apple's disposible iPod
Technology changes setting up support and the supply line to do this wouldn't be worth the customer satisfaction or $ it would generate.

Better spend resources creating the next rev of the product.

Technology is expensive. (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955191)

>Local laptop repair shop said they wouldn't replace the bezel without replacing the LCD, which isn't acceptable.

Why isn't this acceptable?

If its due to cost, what did you expect from a laptop? How much do you think that piece of plastic is going to cost you?

Re:Technology is expensive. (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955288)

It isnt acceptable because if the LCD isnt broken, then why should he pay to get a whole new one. Its VERY easy to pop a LCD out of a bezel and put on a new bezel, I have done it many times myself. What they are doing is just pulling it out and sending it back for remanufacture, and NOT fixing the part that is broken.

I understand completely where he is comming from, minor parts are next to imposable to find for a lot of the manufacturers and it IS very annoying.

Re:Technology is expensive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955351)

would this really be acceptable with anything?

insert analogy here.

it's a big scam to make people pay for things they don't need. a great big fleecing of the consumer class.

Same here (2, Informative)

MeanJeans (560482) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955194)

I just ran into the same thing. The hinges on my laptop screen can no longer hold me PERFECT LCD screen vertical. ~$600 to replace the LCD/hinges. Jerks.

Re:Same here (1)

Erratio (570164) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955297)

I have the same problem and so does one of my friends. Has anyone come up with a good jury rigged method for restoring (or at least emulating) tension to the hinges? (Don't say duct tape).

For Apple Laptops (5, Informative)

nickyandthefuture (714155) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955204)

There's a site called PB Parts [pbparts.com] that has Apple laptop parts. I replaced my iBook HD there and my brother replaced his PowerBook keyboard with a part from there. Some of their prices are a little high, but still cheaper than getting it repaired by Apple or a reseller if you don't have a warranty.

Go with Small Dog. (4, Interesting)

cryptochrome (303529) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955358)

Some of PB Parts prices were REALLY high. When the inverter cable running through the hinge to my iBook monitor frayed and shorted (I've had hinge issues with both my Apple laptops - my Wallstreet hinges actually cracked!) they were charging $100 for it. Apple charged even more to repair the whole thing. As it turns out, Small Dog [smalldog.com] sold the part for around $30, although you have to talk to their techs directly to get the price quoted. I'd familiarize yourself with PB parts prices first, and then go ask Small Dog.

feh (5, Informative)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955212)

I work at my college servicing the IBM ThinkPads that the school leases. (There's your background

The manufacturer should have replacement parts as long as the thing is under warranty and possibly a while after.

I've probably replaced about 4,000 LCD bezels by now and I know exactly what you mean.

The place that was trying to replace the ENTIRE assembly on you was doing nothing more than trying to rip you off BIG TIME. LCDs can cost more than the laptop their in, and that piece of plastic probably costs $.50 to make. (Even though IBM charges ~$50 for one)

I recommend just trying harder to contact the original manufacturer.

Re:feh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955336)

Can you get those little plastic things that hold the spacebar on the keyboard in place? (two white things, about 1cm^2, can move up and down, slightly springy)

Making do with what you have (2, Informative)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955216)

Apple repair manuals are available online in a number of places.

When it comes to plastic parts, like bezels, I usually resort to delicate use of epoxy and super thin reinforcements.

My experience with plastic repair parts is that they are usually not sold separately, and are hard to find unless you can cannabalize.

Repair Manuals (1)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955277)

are often very hard to find for most laptop models - never mind the parts, unless you work in a shop. And many shops just ship the stuff out to a factory service center, anyhow ....

Same here (2, Interesting)

CompWerks (684874) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955217)

I just ran into a similar problem [zendom.com] after I [cough] sat [/cough] on my laptop by mistake and at first I checked a few retailers that sold replacement lcd's only to find out they were astronomically priced and no one on ebay had the one that I needed until I waited a week and checked back on ebay and sure enough someone had one for sale.

Try ebay, if you can't find it there you may be in trouble. :)

How did it break? (2, Insightful)

Tyrdium (670229) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955218)

Was this accidental damage, or a manufacturing defect? Given that it's only half a year old, it should still be under warranty (assuming it's not accidental damage, such as you dropping it on the floor). You should be able to just send it in to the manufacturer and have them either repair it for you or ship you a refurb or new one.

Laptopsforless.com (4, Informative)

kzinti (9651) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955220)

I have purchased replacement batteries and a replacement keyboard for my aging Dell Inspiron 3700 from laptopsforless.com. I wasn't terribly impressed with the lifetime of the batteries - they wore out in just over a year, whereas the original Dells had lasted 18 months before dying (I can be hard on batteries). The keyboard was a refurb, but has performed adequately.

You could always buy a sacrificial laptop on eBay and use it for parts. If it's old enough, it won't cost you too much.

Liquid Nails (1)

azpcox (88971) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955221)

Seriously, is Slashdot now a parts distibutor/parts locator service? I've seen some people keep their cell phones together with rubber bands, perhaps that would work in this case. Liquid nails may be too permanent...

Wood? (5, Funny)

gruntled (107194) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955223)

How cool would it be to pay $50 bucks to the local woodshop teacher to make a custom bezel?

Salutation! Me have one question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955228)

it is good whack?

To likely mis-quote Aldous Huxley (3, Insightful)

da3dAlus (20553) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955230)

Reminds me of the little diddy they said in Brave New World, and piped into the heads of children at an early age: "better to spend than to mend". It seems our society is geared more towards the "just buy a new one" mentality nowadays. *cough*iPod*cough* Personally I'd find a way to MacGuyver a new part or fix it so that the device was still (safely) usable until the day I either do find a new part, or break it beyond repair.

Plastic and LCD are generally one part (1)

CatPieMan (460995) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955231)

I believe that these two components are generally considered one part (as in they have the same part number when they come from the factory).

While the plastic is worth very little, if the factory will only ship them as one part, you are out of luck. I doubt you could find a store who would split them apart.

I know that on my old compaq (Armada 7400), when the repair-man came to fix the LCD, he took the plastic surrounding it with him. I believe it is simpler for repairs as you only have to put a couple of screws in place and attach a cable or two and the screen is ready to go.

I doubt that you will be able to find this, although I would like to be proved wrong. I assume it is out of warantee, since most companies would probably fix it if it still were.

It is most likely a cost item being the reason the factory/supplier won't sell them as anything other than one item.

Good Luck

-CPM

buy a new one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955235)

if it's still available. Then swap out the broken piece with the good one on the new laptop. Then return the new laptop with the broken piece. Done.

Experience with Acer (1)

cynicalmoose (720691) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955236)

I've had these problems with Acer before. They won't replace the bevel without replacing the screen (which costs); but worse, they won't replace the casing when it has broken, as it involves replacing the motherboard. Why the casing is integral to the motherboard I cannot understand. This means you really need to show 'motherboard damage' before they will do anything under their accidental damage cover.

And then there is the wait. I live in the UK; Acer keeps its European operations mostly in Eire. Any repair has to be flown their. Major repairs are flown out to Asia. The last AD problem I had left me without a laptop for 6 weeks; they wouldn't give me a temporary computer.

Generally, there's only one part available ... (3, Funny)

Mr.Surly (253217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955239)

... for laptops: A new laptop.

Seriously, though. I used to fix laptops. Typically the LCD and bezel came as one part, and couldn't be purchased separately.

No waranty? (1)

misheast (135074) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955240)

Something very similar recently happened to my Inspiron 8000. Two years after buying the thing, the connections between the audio jacks and the mobo were loose. I called tech support, was still under warranty, and they offered to fix everything else that was wrong also, which included little stupid things like a chip in the bezel, and a dvd drive that took an extra second to rev up.

My point being, you've only had this for 6 months.. two years later, and the Dell person was practically begging me to come up with more things for her to fix, gave me a free LCD bezel, as well as sent someone to install it for me, all covered under warranty. Have you tried having them replace it for free?

Compaq/HP (5, Funny)

DivideX0 (177286) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955245)

I usually have no problem getting what I want from Compaq as long as the following conditions are met:

1. Have a lot of money
2. Compaq/HP actually has the part listed
3. Compaq/HP actually has the part in stock
4. Compaq/HP actually ships the order
5. I finally give up and buy a new laptop

Hope this helps :-(

Sorry I almost forgot:
6. ???
7. Profit

No good options on this (3, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955252)

I've had similar problems, and never had a good solution. My present laptop, I bought the extortionate appleCare insurance, but it is worth it.

Or, what you do, is you buy from Costco and return the machine every 5 months... that ruse was cooler a while ago when you could have it for a year and then return it...

My neighbour bought appleCare and boy did THAT pay for itself. His screen just up and DIED. First it turned weird colours and then it just died. Luckily he had appleCare, because at the time it was a $1200 repair!

So, extended warranties (the more extended the better) are WORTH every penny on laptops. You hope and pray you never need it, but when you do need it, and you don't have it, yer fucked big time.

good luck,

RS

similar problem, dell helped (4, Informative)

mystik (38627) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955260)

I had snapped off the metal hinge that attaches the LCD panel to the base. (And my laptop is out of warantee) I looked up part numbers in dells online manuals, called a Dell representative, and $40 later, they sent me the part, no fuss whatsoever.

I was actually really surprised that the process went so smoothly.

No User Serviceable Parts Inside (2, Informative)

Dielectric (266217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955261)

Laptops aren't meant to be serviceable. They're meant to be sealed up like a Pharoah's tomb and left alone for eternity, because everything inside is laid out just so, and all those printed wire ribbons are fairly delicate. It's hard to get replacement parts without going through an authorized repair depot. The manufacturer does not have the money to put in a system for ordering parts piecemeal.

If you buy through authorized dealers, you get this thing called a warranty and a service contract. They're pretty good for getting your laptop fixed. I broke the LCD on my Sony Vaio, and they fixed it and the noisy fan which I didn't even ask about. Same with a co-worker and his Dell, he broke the hinge and Dell fixed it.

My best solution for you is to find another dead one on Ebay and scavenge the corpse. The other solution is to make friends with someone at a repair depot so they can backdoor you a piece here and there.

My laptop manufacturer makes it very easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955263)

...as long as you don't mind an entirely new notebook surrounding the replacement part you desire. And don't mind paying for it as well.

Some people don't like them (1)

Daath (225404) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955267)

Some people don't like them, but I got a Dell, I've never had any problems getting things fixed.
At work some of my colleagues use Dell laptops, when something breaks, a Dell tech shows up fixes/replaces things, makes you sign and leaves.
Get extended warranties for laptops.

Laptop brand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955269)

If you had at all mentioned who made your laptop, we could've helped you more.

I have a Toshiba laptop, and their support page actually links to a reseller to purchase parts from. www.nationalparts.com if you're interested. I bought some parts from them and they are well stocked and responsive.

Unfortunately my laptop is going on 4 years old, so they don't stock those parts anymore, but take a look. Their front page also mentions other brands, so check with them even if you have something other than toshiba.

(No I don't work for them)

Doink! (2, Interesting)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955279)

pbparts.com has come to my rescue so many times, I can't think of buying a tiBook again without having a relationship with these guys ...

Anyway, tiBook. The best 'user-replaceable/serviceable' laptop you can invest in. *tons* of after-market parts.

I've replaced the case on mine 3 times. Not easy, definitely like gutting a fish and expecting it to swim again, but hey ... can't do it with a Dell!

Had similar issue with Compaq (1)

pitr256 (201315) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955283)

Had a Compaq 1800xt with the 15in display and the lid hinge broke so that you could only either have the lid closed or laying all the way open/flat. The repair shop said it would have to replace the entire display for ~$900. Yikes! Freakin' more than the laptop was worth...

I also have a cousin who works for Compaq nee HP, and he looked it up and sure enough, there was no way to replace the 50 cent hinges without replacing the $850 screen.

Needless to say, the laptop was retired to the kitchen (used as a wireless terminal) and we purchased a new laptop. But I always thought this was a lone experience kind of thing. Now I know.

Have any other Compaq laptop owners had similar experiences with the lid of their laptop? I see a class action lawsuit. My laptop was only two years old...

Parts People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955289)

I've used them a couple times and had no problems...

http://www.parts-people.com

Dell gave me great help at a low, low price... (1)

HuffMeister (608243) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955299)

I broke one of the hinges on my laptop, just one. The Dell people I talked to new exactly what I was talking about and got me "refurbished" parts for like $20, which I then installed myself. I ended up having to replace the screen holder itself, which is why the price was so high, but the coolest thing was they just did some kind of simple text search and said, "Yep, we have it. I can have it to you in two days..." And that was that. Their online service manual led me through the process of replacing the part, and that was that. Go dell.

yep, I got the warranty. (2, Interesting)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955305)

I bought a Toshiba 3110CT laptop right when they were getting phased out so I saved some bucks. I sunk $300 for 3-year warranty support.

I dropped the laptop while it had a wifi card sticking out of it. PCMCIA slot now can't register any cards. Brought it in to the Warranty shop, they gave me a new motherboard. 1 day turn-around time.

Dropped again, Harddrive died. Asked for a a new harddrive and they did it while I waited.

Best money I ever spent.

Try a PowerBook G4 (1)

Cycline3 (678496) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955307)

Try a PowerBook G4. I dropped my PowerBook G4 three feet to a tile floor and it didn't phase the titanium case. No cheap plastic parts to replace on these bad boys... and it's got OS X.

Laptops (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955311)

Laptops really need to be brought out of the obscure and expensive parts world they currently live in. I personally think parts for them should be readly accessable as desktop parts are. Might make for some interesting new PC designs as well as easy to fix laptops.

As far as my laptop goes, the warrenty just ran out I think. Three year Dell at home service. I did find that my batteries that have worked flawlessly for the three years I had it just died. I saw batteries.com has replacements as well as Dell. I'm not buying Dell because of their lousy support services, but I'm going to check their prices for the heck of it.

Once something breaks on this laptop I think I'm SOL with the warrenty out. I ain't going through the hassle of contacting Dell and getting charged an arm and a leg to fix a 3 year old Inspiron 8000.

Dell power supplies (1)

FuzzyFurB (148573) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955312)

this article really hits home for me. I own a dell lattitude l400. the machine has several mechanical flaws and has broken several times while I have owned it over the last (almost) three years. the hinges broke and dell, after talking to them two bazillion times, fixed it by replacing the entire chasse of the machine. the power connector also goes back which results in the replacemnt of the entire power adaptor. this morning i noticed the gateway solo 3350 a friend of a friend had is almost identical to my machine but has a much higher quality power cord connector. any idea how I can find the origianl manufactur and buy one of those?

Thinkpads (1)

SuperQ (431) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955313)

I have had several IBM thinkpads, and never had trouble getting repacement parts.. ebay has lots of parts like LCD's and such..

I spilt some booze on my TP21 a while back, it was a bit spendy, but I got a new keyboard direct from IBM parts for $75. it was actualy nice to have have a new keyboard, types much nicer than the original one did.

Vendor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955328)

Check out Impact Computers. They're a small company but they have a lot of different items, LCD bezels too. Also if it's Compaq or HP find out what the part number is for the bezel on HP PartSurfer. That will get you the pieces you need to reference.

You could also try Froogle.

Cheers,
Scott

What is your time worth? (1)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955330)

Most people that have the skillset necessary to repair a notebook computer would value their time at greater than $75 per hour. If your options are to either buy a $150 part or spend two hours looking for it on Ebay and various other sites, your best bet is probably just buying the new part.

I've done this before!!! (1)

whitelabrat (469237) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955338)

My girlfriend at the time smashed the LCD panel on her Canon laptop. All I had to do to fix it was to remove the offending part, get the part number off it and call up Canon's parts department. Fixed the laptop and saved a lot of cash.

I've also done this for a Clarion car stereo's tape player (yeah tapes!), and a Mitsubishi 91TXM montitor's control panel.

Besides, how can I break something that is already broken. Trick is to get the parts department and not the bobo head sales/support people.

Find an unattended laptop somewhere (1)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955344)

It has to be the same model as yours. Take it, extract what you need and discard the rest.

One word: LEGO (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955348)

Ok, so that's probably not going to work. I'm guessing that most people are going to refer you to eBay, which is probably your best bet.

I know there is quite a bit of Apple stuff out there on 3rd party sites, but I assume you have a PC.

Some other ideas: If you can reassemble the part, try making a mold and making a new epoxy part.

I broke a key on my beloved Casio Sk-1 Sampler, and made a whole new key out of rosewood, plastic (hinge) and a pen spring.

Call it a day and use it as a headless router/firewall/server.

Sell it on eBay and use the proceeds to get something else.

Not great options, but assuming that the problem is inabillity to find the part in question - either make a new one, keep looking for a used one, or pass it on to someone else.

Broken Bezel (1)

Ropati (111673) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955355)

Bondo the puppy and get a bungy loop to keep it closed.

For the life of the laptop, you should never have a reason to remove the bezel again. If the LCD breaks then you'll need to get a new bezel anyways.

I don't know the dielectric properties of Bondo, so make sure you have some plastic insulation around the LCD HV supply and connections.

An old story (1)

sremick (91371) | more than 10 years ago | (#7955359)

Many years ago, when I was doing computer repair for the masses as my job, a customer brought in a laptop they had dropped. I determined immediately before taking it apart that the only thing broken was the tiny thin flourescent tube that lit the backlight. The customer wasn't in any rush and was willing to wait as long as they didn't have to buy a new laptop. First I called the laptop manufacturer. They couldn't help me, but told me who manufactured the displays. I called them, and after some work got a smart person on the phone. They told me they didn't have the bulb, but they could have one sent over on the next shipment from Japan, and would sell it to me. I said go for it. So we waited... several months. One day, the bulb arrived. I put it in, wrapped it up, charged the customer the little bit for the part and my time, and everyone was happy. I don't remember the bill, but it was probably under $100.

Too bad this is not the norm.
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