A common topic among all computer users is their stories of broken laptops. Whether they left it on top of the car and drop half way to work before watching it slide off the roof of their car and crash onto the concrete, turning into nothing but a pile of plastic and circuit boards or the story of getting up from the dining room table to go to the bathroom only to hook your foot in the power cord and drag your laptop off the table and onto the ground or at the very least rip the cord out of the laptop. I’m sure you’ve even got a few stories of your own to share, one of those stories might be why you’re here reading this. Looking for what you’re hoping is a quick fix for your broken laptop. Don’t worry, we’ll cover quite a few of the common things that break on a laptop and hopefully help you diagnose what’s wrong with yours.
Broken Laptop Screen
If your laptop screen won’t turn on or is very dim then this is the section for you. First we’re going to look at how to diagnose a broken laptop screen that won’t turn on. There are two possible causes for this, one is an easy fix and the other requires a new screen. It’s possible that the laptop is just set to output to an external monitor. To switch back and forth between monitors you would hold down the Fn key in the lower left hand of the keyboard and then press the corresponding key between F1 and F12 at the top. One of those keys will have a picture of two monitors. If that doesn’t work your next test is to plug in an external monitor. If your computer displays on the external monitor then only the screen is bad and the video card is still good.
If your laptop screen is very dim and almost impossible to see then we’ve got two quick things to check. The first is similar to the text above, but instead of looking for the Function key that changes the monitor output, you want to find the key with the brightness setting, tapping it repeatedly while holding down the Fn key should brighten the screen. If you don’t see any increase in the brightness then unfortunately your back light is most likely bad and you’re going to need a computer repair shop to replace it.
Broken Laptop Hinge
This is a problem that’s actually happened to me a few times and I was really excited to find that there is a very easy fix to this problem. I don’t want to get you to excited because it doesn’t work all the time, but it’s a simple thing to check. To see if you can tighten up the hinge you’ll need to remove the small plastic covers that hide the screws that hold the screen and hinges in place. Once those covers are removed you should be able to take a standard screw driver and tighten those two screws. If you find that the screws are already snug and can’t be tightened then the problem lies deeper and you’re off to the computer repair shop again.
Broken Laptop Key
Nobody can explain exactly how a key disappears from the keyboard, but they always seem to. The simplest way is to just order a new key and click it back into place. Places like eBay are filled with keys single keys for every popular laptop model. Your other choice is to order an entire new keyboard which can be a bit more expensive, but some people would rather replace the entire keyboard.
Broken Laptop Power
If you’re reading this section you are either looking to replace or diagnose your broken power adapter or you’ve already replaced that and your laptop still isn’t charging. If your trying to figure out if your actual power adapter is bad, the best way is to check to see if any led lights are lit up on the adapter. Usually it’s a blue led that shows the power adapter is getting power. If that light is off when the adapter is plugged into a wall outlet then the adapter is most likely bad. If that light is on then our next test is to turn off the laptop, remove the battery, and also unplug the power adapter form the wall. Now plug the power adapter into the laptop and wiggle it slightly. Does it move at all? If it feels unusually loose then the solder might have broken and the power plug on the laptop isn’t properly connected to the motherboard inside the laptop anymore. This happens quite a bit when the laptop is moved around a lot and the power cord is tugged on. If this is the problem then once again you are off to the computer repair shop. It shouldn’t be to much trouble for them to replace and most times they can do the work in house.
Hopefully some of these answers have been helpful in your quest to fix your broken laptop. If you feel uncomfortable trying any of these possibly fixes, then don’t worry. You’re not the only one and it’s better to let a professional handle the diagnoses then to do further damage to your laptop.