Broken LCD panel repair

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by brop52, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    I have a late 2008 a1278 unibody Macbook 2GHz with 8GB of RAM and a 500GB Seagate Hybrid HDD/SSD that was damaged due to being in checked baggage on a flight (long story didn't bring my normal laptop backpack and didn't have room on carry on). I think my power brick ended up hitting the computer at just the wrong spot below the Apple and damaged the LCD from the inside right in the middle. The glass is all intact. See the following photos. Don't mind the pen ink my daughter is two and loves to write on things. It's a great machine though obviously by this point the graphics power of the machine leave something to be desired. I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger on a new machine/refurb.

    My question is I know I could probably do the repair myself and buy a panel from ebay, but does anyone know a reputable dealer that will repair the LCD at a good price? It seems like the repair isn't for the faint of heart and I don't have a heat gun at the moment. I was looking at some dealers that are charging nearly $200 and up for the repair. Powerbookmedic charges $129.95 plus $95 for labor. I've also been comparing macbooks being sold on ebay with a broken LCD vs fully functional and the price difference is not that much I'd venture the most would be about $100 though most of the machines being sold are stock.

    Any advice is appreciated. I'd like to keep the machine for about 6 more months as I can't afford a new machine. The battery doesn't last too long either as it says replace soon (probably lasts a little over an hour). I'm ok with that I don't take it out of the house too often. Buying a new battery won't add much to resale value.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. l.a.rossmann, Apr 14, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013

    l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #2
    There's a saying my mentor used to repeat. You can do anything yourself the second time.

    You can't go by eBay. eBay is for idiots that will pay retail price for a broken machine. I routinely see machines sell on craigslist for $400 working that go for $389 on eBay broken.

    You have these following options. I can't tel you which to choose, but I can tell you the pros and cons of each. It's up to you to decide what you want to do.

    a) Try to replace it yourself.

    Potential positive outcome: Do a great job on the first run, saving money, learning a new skill, and feeling awesome.

    Potential negative outcome: Do a god awful job with dust behind the glass, splitting the back cover because of too much heat, cutting cables, blowing backlight fuses... wasting money, and feeling like ****.

    b) Have some cheap dude off craigslist fix it for you

    Potential positive outcome: Repair is done cheaply, by someone not you.

    Potential negative outcome: See potential negative outcome for option A. No accountability.

    c) Have a repair shop do it for $150-$250

    Potential positive outcome: Spend a bit of money, but it gets done right. If not done right, at least you can file chargebacks or assume that since they care about their reputation, they will make it right.

    Potential negative outcome: See potential negative outcome for options A and B, but, you can file a chargeback if these negative outcomes occur.

    On $130 for the screen, "part & labor" is quadrupling the part cost.
     
  3. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    #3
    OP,

    whereas the Alu MacBook is not among the most complex macs to repair, the LCD replacement is one of the most hard tasks. For instance iFixit, classes it as "very difficult". Alternatively you could replace the entire display assembly (assuming you have the spare part), not a walk in the park, but significantly less difficult...

    Nevertheless, regarding the MBAlu, there's one worthwhile aspect: Based on my experience with three MBAlu's some unexpected problems may occur with some screws. These screws are typically long and black ph-screws, which (IMNSHO) are decidedly substandard: They are stuck, and the metal is exceedingly soft, leading to big problems in removing them...

    Therefore, I cannot recommend such an operation on the MBAlu for anyone who does not feel comfortable with the innards of computers...

    RGDS,
     
  4. brop52 thread starter macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    I do feel comfortable with working inside computers. While it is one thing unscrewing things and then remembering what screws go where and what cable needs to be reconnected, the heat gun is causing me some concern. Years ago I stripped the HDD bracket in this machine and had to buy a new bracket so I know the screws can be soft. Breaking glass etc. would be a problem.

    I've replaced cases on non-Apple notebooks before and I'm comfortable opening up iMacs (from the G3 to the modern version) with the suction cups and working on them. This seems a little more involved.
     
  5. brop52 thread starter macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #5
    An update. I just sent it over to powerbookmedic.com for repair. I'll let you all know the results. Didn't have the time or energy to tinker around with it at the moment.
     
  6. brop52 thread starter macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    Final update. All is well. Impressed with Powerbook medic customer service was great and replacement was quick.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. 7itanium macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    #7
    Well repair issue aside (as I havent done one on that model) I would really consider the lack of a heat gun to be a huge issue.

    i got mine at wal mart for 24 dollars and it gets up to 900 degrees in seconds
     

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