We don't have any facts or any figures, but if you ask us we'd be certain that broken laptop screens account for a good number of trashed laptops.

If you're confronted with a bill that runs into the hundreds of pounds then the financial outlay will make no sense, even for a system that's just a few years old. Especially when you consider an entire new laptop could cost as little as £300 (or less if you got for one of those tiny netbook jobs).

The good news is that while replacement panels used to cost £200 – even before you'd have to pay someone to fit it – these days, replacement panels can cost as little as £64 and with a little know-how are easily installed yourself.

We were lucky enough to stumble across our new friends at www.accupart.co.uk up in Manchester. The chaps there not only instantly told us which panel was used in our defunct Benq Joybook, but shipped a fresh one to us the next day.

While we can't comment for every model of laptop produced so far by humankind, the majority use a similar construction that is easy enough for most people armed with a screwdriver to disassemble.

As you can see from the walkthrough, it's no more complex than removing a few screws and a couple of connectors. It can be done in half an hour or less as well. Happy fixing.

What you will need:

Broken laptop
Replacement screen
Jeweller's screwdrivers

How to fix a laptop screen

Step 1

1. You'll need one of these: a laptop with a broken screen. Contact a friendly screen supplier such as www.accupart.co.uk or give them a bell on 0845 459 7165 to provide you with the right replacement panel.

Step 2a

Step 2b

2. Obviously every model of laptop is different but the majority should follow a similar build. To begin this delicate surgery start prying off the rubber grommets that cover the bezel's screw and remove these.

Step 3

3. With all the screws out of the way, gently start to pry away the bezel from the display's frame. Use a small flathead screwdriver to help pry clips out.

Step 4a

Step 4b

4. The panel itself is secured into a metal frame, which itself is then screwed securely to the plastic display frame. You'll need to remove these and the display's back can be rested out of the way.

Step 5

5. At this point you'll have access to the back of the old panel. If you're trying to identify the panel required this is where you'll find the part number.

Before continuing it's worth identifying the data and power connections on the exiting panel and matching these on the replacement panel. So you know where everything is going.

Step 6

Step 6b

6. Remove the old connections carefully removing any fixing tape.

Step 7

7. Unscrew the panel and remove it.

Step 8

8. Screw the new panel into place and reconnect the old power and data connectors.

Step 9

9. At this point it's worth testing to see if everything is working.

Step 10

10. The finished product with everything back as it should be.

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First published in PCFormat Issue 234

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