Search This Blog

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Asus X401A Laptop, replaced broken screen

Broken screen on a one week old laptop!  Does everyone's stuff break this often?  Geez.   I wasn't planning to write a blog about fixing broken screens but it seems I'm doing it all the time now.

My daughter doesn't know how it happened but the screen is clearly cracked.   She took it to classes the first week only.  Rainbow vertical and horizontal streaks and black marks.   Still under warranty, but I'm sure anyone at the factory who sees this will know it got broken and won't accept a return.  I'm going to have to replace the screen myself.   

The cover of the laptop is fairly flexible.  Very likely she put something heavy on top of it and bowed it from the outside or closed something inside it.  Disappointing this laptop is so fragile.

The screen shows obvious symptoms of being physically damaged:

Close-up of the broken screen.  This is fairly classic cracked screen symptom.  Streaks that don't change, some black marks and a jagged edge and sections where the video works normally.  There are no visible cracks, the screen is probably cracked inside on the back.

Screens are sold several places, this is cheapest I found:
Has a replacement for 59.99 for matte, 52.99 for glossy.  I went for matte, even though I think the previous one was glossy.  Had to pay $10 shipping on top.

Also found some on ebay, but didn't find the matte screen anywhere else.  Also the model came with a 3year warranty.

I hate videos but I watched a youtube video and transcribed the procedure. 

1) Remove the two screws under the covers at the bottom left and right.  Hobby knife to pry the covers off.

2) Needs a hairdryer to loosen the glue.  Hate doing that, I've melted plastic before.  Run on low for a few minutes.  Later he says you don't need to do this.  Great.  DON'T USE A HAIRDRYER.

3) Work around the edge putting fingers on the screen size pulling up the bezel.  

4) For the seam on the bottom, close the laptop and use the screwdriver to pry it apart

5) pry off the hinge covers with a small screwdriver

6) Remove the four screws on the silver taps that hold the screen down.

7) Screen flips forward

8) Peel off the adhesive tape

9) pull the video cable out of the screen.  It just presses back in with a click.

N140B6-L06 is the screen model in the video.  Did some more searching on the web to see if the part number yielded a better price.  Didn't find one.

Looks easy, same as other Asus and Acer laptops I've replaced screens on.   The bezel has to be pried off instead of just screws on Acer models.

Ordering the screen and waiting ....  I will add more when I get the part....

Ordered the part on Sunday, it was here on the east coast on Thursday.  Pretty good turn around.

Here is the new screen fresh from the box with a piece of plastic coating on the front.

Model B140XW03 V.1
The label shows these part numbers and a 12/31 manufacturing date.

Pried up the two black squares at the bottom with a case knife.  At first this made me unhappy, I was concerned about scratching the front.  However the black squares are nothing but tiny squares of tape, and once you get under the edge they peel right up.

Took out the two silver screws.  You need a jewelers screwdriver, they are pretty small.

This was probably the hardest/scariest part.  How to pry apart the bezel?  The video showed the guy peeling it apart with his hands.  But I had to get it started.  The trick was to close the lap top, and wedge my knife in the corner near the hinges and pry it apart a bit to start.

After that, drop the knife and use your finger nail to begin popping it apart.  Open the laptop because the black bezel is the part that has to move.  Just work around the edge with your fingers and pop it off.  Black bezel came away easily with lots of popping sounds.

The bottom edge is a bit tricky.  It hooks over the hinges and you can't get your fingers on it.   Close the lap top and run your fingernail to separate, then open the lid again and stick your fingers down by the screen.  Hard to say exactly how I did it, just work it a bit and lift it out.

Take out the four silver screws that hold down the screen.  These are the four smallest silver screws on the tabs attached to the screen.  Don't take out the others!!  I've made that mistake before and the hinges fall apart and with the springs they can be a pain to get back together.

Screen now flips forward and reveals a wire and a small connector taped to the back of the screen

Peel up the tape from the back of the screen carefully with a hobby knife.   Don't mess it up because you will need to use it again to stick the connector down again.    Leave the tape attached on the connector, just take it off the screen.

Once the tape is off, pull the connector out of the old screen.  It comes out pretty easily.

Here is the part number on the old screen.  N140BGE-L42 Rev A4.  It was not the same exactly as the one in the video, and not even close to the one on the new screen I bought.   The only thing in common was the number "140".   So the model and rev of the screens in the Asus laptops does vary it seems.   The new screen was matte not glossy so I'm not surprised the model is different.

The shape, connector, and mounting brackets were the same, the new screen looks like it fits despite the model and manufacturer differences.  Some minor differences in the shape of the metal flanges.  I forged ahead and connected it.

Pushed the connector into the socket on the new screen.  Wiggled it back and forth a bit while pushing and eventually it pressed in all the way without any gap between the connector and socket.  Not a real obvious click.  Pressed down the tape, which now bears my fingerprints.

Powered up the laptop before re-assembling it.  SUCCESS!! The screen lights up and works perfectly.  Happy dance!

Put the four silver screws back in that hold down the screen.    Worked the bezel to get it put back on.  The key is to get the bottom edge down on top the hinges first.  That takes some wiggling and working it.  Sorry no photos, that took two hands :).   Once it is lined up in the right place, just squeeze it back together.   Work around the edge and make sure it is all snapped back tight.
Put the two screws at the bottom front  of the screen back in.  Put the black squares of tape on top.  If you stare you can see the tape is a little worse for wear for being peeled up, but no other obvious scratches or signs of my handiwork.

Hooray!  Here is the laptop back in working order, good as new.  
The whole repair I would say was easy.  Did it on my kitchen table and start to finish took about 1/2 hour including taking the photos for this blog.  While I admit to doing this sort of thing regularly, I think anyone with two hands and good eyes or glasses could do it in less than an hour.  The only tools needed are a small Philips head jewelers screwdriver and a hobby knife to pry up the tape and pry up the first bit of bezel before you can get your fingers in.

I must say the matte screen is a bit different, and although it is quite readable, the colors are much more muted.  I don't know if I recommend it. The jury is still out.  It is a matter of taste.  This laptop is for college schoolwork in a variety of environments, so maybe it was a good choice to get matte.    I may get complaints from the user.

No comments:

Post a Comment