How to Replace a 15.4 inch Laptop Screen

A Screen With An Inverter

This is easier to do than you may think. However, before we start doing anything I need to tell you a couple of things.

In general laptops screens are easy to replace, though there are laptops made by Dell that do not accept some generic laptop screens. You need to get the screen that matches exactly with the model number or it simply will not work. 

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Also, you need to ask the seller whether the screens work with Dell laptops as even if the model number matches, there could be something that the Dell laptop will not like and it will not work with the screen. 

Before we proceed please take out the battery. 

What we need to do first varies from model to model. Here I have a Dell Inspiron 1525 which has bezel screws covered by rubber. I simply remove them and stick them to the bezel. 

Usually the bezel is fitted with four to eight screws. Sometimes they are hidden and you need to tilt the screen to see them.

There should be no difficulty in unscrewing these screws. If one screw does not come out it means the nut has come out from the lid plastic. You need to push the screw to the sides a bit to stop the nut turning around. Also, you can pull the bezel a little and the nut should stick to the metal allowing you to unscrew the screw. 

If there are a lot of screws that simply turn around and do not come out then you probably need to look for a replacement lid, as if this happens the lid tends to break further. 

The bezel is easy to remove. It has small clips that keep it attached to the lid. If you’re removing the bezel for the first time it can be difficult to separate it from the lid. Use your nails (not the proper way) or a plastic card (the proper way) to separate these two pieces.

Usually the screws that you need to unscrew when taking the screen out are marked with a small arrow. 

This is very helpful and manufacturers do this everywhere in the laptop to make disassembly easier. 

In fact, you can leave these hinge screws in the place if you can manage to unscrew the screws on the sides. 

But for me personally it’s better to take the hinges out and then separate them from the screen. 

Now the screen is separated and we are going to disconnect cables from it.  

It has got a ribbon cable, which is connected to it in two places.

In the first place the cable also has tape that prevents it from disconnecting. Carefully peel that tape out. It can be reused. 

And in the second place there is a simple plug that you need to pull out. 

And it has got an inverter cable. You need to simply pull this cable out.

And this is it. We need to get the screen that matches exactly with this one. This is why we took the screen out before we looked at buying a new one. 

The new screen must have the model number LP154W01 (TL) (F2).

Here are a few tips. The flat cable can be fragile in places. In particular, it can be damaged where it goes through the hinges. Please do not pull it hard. It’s better to stop and double check what holds it. 

Sometimes not the screen is faulty but what fails is the inverter. If the inverter fails we get an image on the screen but it is so dim that it is barely visible. New LED screens do not have inverters but older laptops may have one, for example in this Dell laptop. An inverter usually looks like a piece of bar-shaped circuit board that is connected to the screen with two cables. 

Also, sometimes it’s not the screen that fails, but the flat cable breaks. If the flat video cable breaks the picture will distort in some way when we tilt the laptop lid. 

If the laptops display some gibberish and this image does not react to tilting the screen it may be the graphics chip that is in the laptop. Some earlier graphic chips had faulty soldering and as a result, after some time they started to de-solder themselves from the laptop motherboard (I am not kidding). 

Sometimes missing drivers can give distorted images that can make it look like this is LCD screen fault. What happens in this case is that the image is distorted or it is very low resolution. 

You can find laptops like Aspire models by Acer that have strange LCD screen dimensions like 16.1. Those screens are rare and you will probably find a used one for replacement. Also, those new screens are LED and the older ones are LCD. Therefore, sometimes the new ones come with an adapter and because of that they may not work in the laptop.  


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