Friday, August 24, 2007

HOWTO: Fix a Broken Laptop Lid for $1

A few months ago my laptop lid's hinges gave up and my lid kept falling over. I will show you how I fixed the problem in five minutes by using materials for $1. But first some background info.

At first, I assumed there would be a quick and simple fix to this common laptop problem. My laptop is an Evo N800v. HP has bought Compaq since I purchased the computer so that's where I'm supposed to turn for help. I was kind of startled to hear that HP support wanted $500 for fixing the broken hinges - presumably they intended to replace the entire lid.

Obviously, shelling out $500 for fixing a 6 year old laptop is not the way to go, so I started to look for alternative solutions.

First, I disassembled the laptop numerous times, trying to make the hinges more sturdy (that's spelled S-U-P-E-R-G-L-U-E). Anyway, that didn't help.

Option number two was to do something similar to what user xrobevansx did on instructables.com. Basically he bought a lid support in a hardware store and glued it onto the laptop. That worked excellent for his Dell laptop but my Compaq does not have the required space to attach the lid support to the laptop.

My solution is similar in spirit but uses different materials and needs less assembly.

You'll need:
1. 5 feet Cotton elastic (half an inch wide)
2. A few inches of Velcro
3. Duct tape.

All in the same color as your laptop.

Assembly:

1. Cut the elastic in half, and attach one piece to the upper side of the lid on the right-hand side using duct tape.

2. Attach the second part of the elastic to the bottom of you laptop on the right hand side using duct tape.
3. Measure the length of the elastic that you will need and cut off what's not needed.
4. Attach Velcro to the end of the two elastic bands using for exampler a stapler (or sew them on for a nicer result)



That's it. Now you have laptop that is usable again. The lid angle is adjusted with the Velcro. I know that it might not be the hottest looking laptop in your neighborhood but hey, you only spent a buck.

17 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for posting this. My laptop hinge broke this morning, and since the machine is 7 years old I don't want to pay to get it fixed.

    This is really helpful and I'm able to use my screen again!

    Great idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This fix is effective but a touch unsightly. I often get laptops in for repair that have broken or damaged hinges. My solution to this problem is chemical metal. It costs around ten euros and is easy to work with and incredibly strong.

      Delete
  2. Awesome, awesome idea! Like the above poster, mine is an older machine, but totally reliable, but I don't have the money to get it fixed normally. This is a great, great idea...no more propping my screen up with pillows/books/everything else in my room when I want to use it as an actual laptop! Thanks! :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would like to propose a mod for this awesome fix: http://people.opera.com/nicolasm/laptopfixmod.png

    It has some down sides too, but the band is slightly less obtrusive...

    (sorry for the lame perspective)

    ReplyDelete
  4. anonymous: Thanks for the mod! It looks a bit less strong in supporting the lid...did you try it out?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great idea! Who care about hot looking unit? Geek is the new hottie! Brains trump!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Best idea yet. I read one solution that required taking the laptop all apart, like it would ever work again if I did that. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I tried it and the thing still kept falling down.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Glad to see this post still being read after four years.

    @Anonymous, perhaps the cotton you use is too elastic?

    ReplyDelete
  9. yeah thanks this is great

    ReplyDelete
  10. This idea is great but i think you should go to service center and ask them to fix up this or you can go to a good laptop repair center to solve this problem.
    ________________
    IT Support Austin

    ReplyDelete
  11. thanks I will try this

    ReplyDelete
  12. I could understand why you were hesitant to spend so much on an old timer. This is a wonderful DIY solution to remedy your laptop's problem. However, professional assistance is still advised to completely fix your laptop. Thanks for sharing!

    Stasia Snellgrove @ ALB Image

    ReplyDelete
  13. HP has bought Compaq since I purchased the computer so that's where I'm supposed to turn for help. I was kind of startled to hear that HP support wanted $500 for fixing the broken hinges - presumably they intended to replace the entire lid. find a laptop

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well, 7+ years later and you still have people finding this and commenting... nice work.

    I've ordered a replacement LCD cover from eBay, it should be here in a week or so. Until then, I'm using this solution to prevent any further damage. Thanks for putting this out there for people to find. =]

    ~Charles

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for the post. Good details regarding laptop display. I am a hardware service engineer and very useful to people like us who are in the hardware field. HP Laptop Service Centers in Chennai

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's certainly an idea! I used tape on the sides of my laptop in the same way to keep it open and stop it from slamming shut at a gentle breeze. I've been trying to think of a way to keep it propped up (like you've done) and keep it from slamming shut by accident, but also able to close for storage. Maybe some sort of step-clicking hinge that you attach to the back to control the angle?

    Anyways, I agree that this is a solid solution for our old beasts of computers :)

    ReplyDelete