Thursday, June 14, 2012

How I Got My Macbook's Cracked LCD Panel Repaired

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This photo belongs to Jerry Bunkers
If you ever travel with your laptop, be sure to put it in a carryon designed for laptops.

As you know, airlines have a limit for the number of bags you can carry on a flight. You are allowed one small carryon and one personal bag. If you exceed that amount, those bags must be checked.  On a recent flight, I packed my Macbook securely, so I thought, between clothing in the carryon luggage. There was not enough room in the carryon to put the laptop case inside, where it would have been more secure. I couldn't carry the laptop in a separate carryon because my other carryon was my purse. My rational was the laptop would be safe because the carryon was with me and I wouldn't be throwing the bag around like the luggage handlers do.

After arriving at the airport, since we had the time, we decided to have dinner. We wanted to relax and enjoy the trip. It was my daughter's sixteenth birthday, and we had decided to take her and four of her friends to Turks and Caicos instead of throwing her a big sweet sixteen birthday party. She was happy with that idea. She had already been to several other sweet sixteen parties and they are pretty much the same theme. The sweet sixteen party thing seems to be big here in Long Island. It costs thousands of dollars and it was a relief to not have to stress over the work and all the preparation for the party. I had already paid a non-refundable $400.00 down payment just for the dresses. (At least I get a credit for a later date - graduation party maybe?)

After we finished dinner, we realized it was boarding time. We scrambled to the gate, laughing and running all the way with the teenage girls. Just as I was getting ready to enter the plane, the stewardess says, "No, we are going to have to put this down below (my carryon). There is no more room on the plane." She grabbed my bag and proceeded to walk away with it, as I protested, " computer is in there....". Bottom line, I allowed here to take my bag, and went ahead and boarded the flight not giving it much thought as I was relieved to have made it on time.

Later when we were unpacking, I opened my bag and macbook's LCD screen was cracked. Needless to say, I was very unhappy and had no one to blame but myself for not speaking up and demanding that the stewardess let me get the computer out of the carryon before she tossed it in the cargo hold of the airplane.

After returning home, I googled LCD screens for this particular macbook and kept coming up in the $400.00 price range. The macbook was old, originally my daughter's first computer. As she gets better stuff, I get the old. You know how that goes. It is still in good condition, except for the cracked screen.  But, I decided for $400.00, I would just put up with it, until I could find a cheaper LCD panel.

Several months later, the cracked screen began to really annoy me as it became a headache to look around the cracks, especially when reading. I do have other Windows computers, but still like to use the Mac from time to time. I googled for LCD screen replacements once again, and found a great deal for $119.00 at www.powerbookmedic.comPowerbookMedic will also replace the screen for you at a reasonable price, but, I assumed I could do it myself, since I do enjoy that sort of challenge.

PowerbookMedic has how-to videos on the site. It really is an awesome site for Mac repair. I had never replaced an LCD panel, so I pulled up the site on my Windows laptop and started the repair video as I was taking apart the macbook. The video is a step-by-step process that takes you though the disassembling process for whatever problem you might have with your mac computer.

A zillion screws this thing had. Do they really have to design it with so many screws? I tried labeling them as I went. It was not an easy task, with the dogs running around and barking at every sound in the front yard. My daughter calling for rides here and there, phone ringing with politicians requesting donations. Distractions, distractions....

Well, after a long and laborious process of getting the laptop put back together, with a few missing screws, I plugged it in, and heard the start up chime...I was thrilled. picture. Disappointed, I realized the LCD cable had probably come loose.

No way I was going to go through taking that thing apart again. I shipped it out to PowerbookMedic and called to explain my predicament. The Macbook was returned to me, yesterday, in tip-top shape, reassembled for a very reasonable fee of $95.00. The tech said I had done good in the reassembly. The problem was as I thought, the LCD cable had come lose.

I am not saying I will not try replacing Macbook LCD panels again. When enough time passes, and the pain of it all has receded, if I get a request, I will try again. Maybe this time it will be easier. Practice makes perfect. In the meantime, if you need a mac part or repair of any kind, I highly recommend PowerbookMedic.

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