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What can I do with a laptop with a broken screen

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 75
      11th Jan 2012
My daughter dropped her dell Studio 1537 and the screen broke and also cracked the cover. The quote to fix it came to about 300 quid so I got her a new laptop instead. Now I've inherited a laptop that still seems to power-up but no screen. Is there anything I can do with it? I was thinking media centre or whether I can hook up the laptop to an external screen, or buy a cheap case and build a pc?

The specs for the laptop are
Studio 1537 : Pentium Dual Core T4200(2.0GHz,800MHz,1MB) N0453502 Display : 15.4in Widescreen WXGA with TrueLife - CCFL Palmrest : Standard Camera : Integrated 2.0 Mega Pixel Camera - CCFL LCD Back Cover : Jet Black Colour Matte Finish Ship Accessory : English Docs Resource DVD : Studio 1537 Diagnostics and Drivers Memory : 3072MB (1x2048 + 1X1024) 800MHz DDR2 Dual Channel Hard Drive 250GB Serial ATA (5400RPM) Optical Drive : 8X DVD+/-RW Drive including software Power Supply : Inspiron 90W AC Adapter Power Cord : UK 1M Battery : Primary 6 cell 56W/HR LI-ION Carry Case : Not Included Graphics : 256 MB ATI Mobility RADEON HD 3450 No Bluetooth Upgrade Wireless : Dell Wireless 1397 (802.11 b/g) Mini Card European Wireless Label - Pentium Dual Core No Mobile Broadband Selected Keyboard : Internal UK English Qwerty Keyboard Operating System : English Genuine Windows Vista SP1 Home Premium including Media
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Ian Ian is offline
Rocket Scientist
Ian's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 16,989
      11th Jan 2012
That laptop is still a decent spec inside, so perhaps you could take the screen off and then just use it as a media centre as you've already suggested. It make not look great though, so perhaps you could knock up a case for it? I don't think you'd be able to buy anything off the shelf that would take a laptop motherboard, so you may need to be inventive . It should work fine if you wanted to hook it up to an external monitor/TV (assuming everything else survived the fall - particularly the HDD).

Otherwise, I'm sure you'd still get people buying a laptop with a broken screen via ebay which may offset the cost. Another option is to see if you can pick up a screen from the likes of ebay and see if you can repair it yourself?
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 75
      11th Jan 2012
Thanks Ian.
The tech I had gone to had mentioned that not all dell studio 1537 screens are the same, which was what put me off trying to look for screen in ebay, besides it seems like replacement lcd screens tend to be more expensive than laptops that are not working (with working lcd).

You mentioned that it would be hard to find a PC case that will directly take laptop motherboard then what would be the limitations of getting a laptop that is not working? I mean, do I have to buy Dell studio 1537 with 15.4in screen or can I broaden the used laptop search parameters to, say, all dell studio laptops?
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Silly Fool
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,384
      11th Jan 2012
300 ????? So they are basically going to charge you 240 for half hour of labour...Find out the part number for the screen and get one online for 60 - 90 and do the replacement yourself. There are plenty of tuts on Youtube and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to replace it
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4x4 Cruncher
feckit's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Plant Earth
Posts: 10,991
      11th Jan 2012
Have a look at MicroMart at most good newsagents plenty of adverts for Laptop Repairs.
And may give you an idea how much it's worth for parts if you want to get rid of it?

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Senior Member
TriplexDread's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Where ever I want to be
Posts: 6,536
      11th Jan 2012

A lot of people dont like ebay or will even entertain it.

It is however one the the best places to pick up goods like what you need


i found that within 20seconds of reading your post

my advise it replace the screen. top LCD panels are relatively easy too do

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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 75
      12th Jan 2012
Thanks a lot guys! I'll give it a go.
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Master of Logic
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,012
      13th Jan 2012
One thing you could do with a broken laptop is turn it into a desktop. You should have a VGA port on the side or back. Connect monitor, keyboard, mouse and you now have a desktop.

You may have to use the keyboard to turn the external monitor on. Usually it is a FN of the number keys.


I'm not a rocket surgeon, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
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Senior Member
itsme's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 6,175
      15th Jan 2012
I had one fitted at home for HP 15.6 79.99
Phone number by PM

If MS ever make anything that does not suck it will be a> Vacuum cleaner

In nature, nothing is ever right. Therefore, if everything is going right... something is wrong.
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Alfred Allen's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 20
      4th Jun 2012
You can fix it and it can be very cheap. You have to find the same model laptop on eBay broken. Then take both of them apart and swap the good screen into the good PC.
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