Is There Any Hope?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by leerkeller, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. leerkeller macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #1
    I have a 24" early 2009 iMac. Over time dust have been building up in a fan shape at the top of the screen where the vents are. It was a somewhat minor complaint of mine, the dust could only be seen in light that was somewhat strong and only when the screen was turned off. Even though it wasn't a big issue I decided to take the glass screen cover off with suction cups and clean out the dust with compressed air and/or a felt cleaning cloth. I had done it before with my older iMac with perfect results.

    So, I put on a pair of disposable plastic food service gloves and went to work on the computer. The screen glass came right off. I laid it down on a felt blanket and cleaned off the dust. I then went to put the screen back on. I didn't get the best grip and the gloves were smooth and slippery. That caused me to momentarily lose control of the glass screen cover. It slid down out of my hands and one of the magnetic metal pegs used to keep the glass in place put a scratch in the actual screen. I immediately got really upset. Prior to that happening the computer could be mistaken for new. Not a smudge anywhere on the glass screen cover, not any grease on the keyboard. I never eat in front of the computer or let anyone smoke in the same room as it.

    I put the glass cover back in place and went to turn the computer back on. I hoped that the scratch would not be visible through the glass cover, but it was. The scratch is maybe 1/4th of an inch long and not very deep, but I can see it when the computer is on or off. The only time it isn't visible is when a the color behind it is dark.


    Upon close inspection I noticed the scratch was not very deep and it got me thinking that their might be some form of plastic polish that would be able to remove it. I know the screen is very fragile because it is designed to be always covered by the outside glass. I know I could very easily cause even more damage trying to remove the scratch with the wrong product. My first thought was to call applecare. My extended applecare runs out in September, but that didn't matter. They said it was against policy to give any information or advice about anything that involved removing the front glass. They told me if I bring it into the genius bar and they would look at it. The genius bar is somewhat of a far drive, so I figured I should ask here if anyone think they might be able to help me.

    So to summarize I have two questions.

    1. Can anyone recommend a product that would remove a scratch from an iMac screen (the screen itself, not the glass cover)?

    2. Is it worth it to make the 45 minutes drive to The Apple Store for someone at the genius bar look at the computer? Is there any possibility of them having some special scratch removing product or technique? (The scratch bothers me but not enough to go as far as paying for an entirely new screen)

    Thanks in Advance,
    Lee R Keller
     
  2. arjen92, Aug 24, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012

    arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

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    Below sea level
    #2
    If you watch this video you can see that all the layers in the screen serve a purpose. You can also see that the active (electronic) part, the part that "makes" pixels is all the way at the end. So the first thing you hit when you touch the screen or make a scratch. In the video it's a glass panel. I don't think it's a glass panel in the iMac.
    And, there's no protective layer. So to remove the scratch you would need to replace most of the layers and most importantly the electronic part. You can't just apply something on top of all the layers and expect it to heal. Especially not the layers with the electronics.

    The iPhone, iPod touch and cell phones have a small glass layer on top of the screen. This glass layer is often times the touch sensitive part. So it's glass (with the touch sensitive part), space, and then the actual screen.

    When you get a scratch in this screen, in the glass, you can make the glass surface smooth again by filling it in.

    So the big difference is that you made the scratch in the active part of the screen. Sometimes you can remove a scratch, but that's because it's in the glass, not the screen itself.

    Driving to a genius is going to be useless anyway. The only thing they can advise (if not what you find on the internet) is to let them replace your entire screen for a lot of money you have to pay yourself.

    You could order a new screen and replace it yourself.
     
  3. Johnf1285 macrumors 6502a

    Johnf1285

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    Dec 25, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #3
    $100 to $150 can get you a new screen. I just checked out eBay. It stinks, but it is replaceable.

    I had a similar issue with a MacBook Pro (pre unibody). I replaced the screen, a screw driver bit fell out of the screw driver and damaged the NEW screen. I was upset, but I sold the unit to upgrade. The buyer said they didn't even notice the scratch so it worked out.
     
  4. leerkeller thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 1, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #4
    $150 seems to be the going price for a used screen, not a new one. My concern with buying a used screen is that it will have worse blemishes than the one it is replacing, or it will be faded. I have always been careful not to leave the iMac screen on when I am not using it and I always keep the brightness set to the lowest level. Other than the 1/4th inch scratch that I just inflicted on the computer, it is perfect, not even a smudge or dead pixel. I was planning to keep this computer for at least five years, well I still am, but I really don't want to have to look at this scratch for the rest of the time this computer is in my procession. It is a very small scratch but I keep noticing it, maybe I just need time. Still, I keep the hope alive that there is some product that is safe to use on the active part of the LCD screen that will fill or remove the scratch.
     
  5. Johnf1285, Aug 24, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012

    Johnf1285 macrumors 6502a

    Johnf1285

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Location:
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    #5
    I read this online once that a white eraser can help. It could potentially damage the screen so use caution though. It basically masks the scratch. Might be worth a shot.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Fix-a-Scratch-on-an-LCD-Screen

    Edit: I would be careful as this is more or less a way to mask the issue. Now, whether or not the glass screen is a part of the aluminum iMacs to protect the outer layer of the LCD or just for aesthetics purposes is another question. The LCD panel underneath may be exceptionally vulnerable to scratches, cleaning solutions, even erasers, as compared to the LCD/LED surface of say a typical Samsung TV or Acer computer monitor. So take all of that into consideration.
     
  6. leerkeller, Sep 1, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012

    leerkeller thread starter macrumors member

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    Baltimore, MD
    #6
    I have seen a few different videos online where the LCD screens from 24" iMac similar to mine are disassembled. They are taken apart level by level until finally the fluorescent tubes that light the screen are visible. That got me thinking, would it be possible to simply replace the single layer that I scratched(not the glass but the first layer under the glass)?
     
  7. turtlez macrumors 6502a

    turtlez

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    #7
    Hope can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. - Dumbledoor
     
  8. arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

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    #8
    Probably not simple, but you can always try.

    I've never soldered before. But I did successfully replace the battery of my iPod touch. So it might be nerve wracking and a learning experience, but you should be able to do it. I used a guide for replacing my battery. Perhaps you can find a manual for what you want to do.
     
  9. Roller macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #9
    Don't know for sure, but I guess that doing that would be very tricky (assuming you could get the part) and lead to an even worse situation. You might try contacting iFixit.com to see what they say. I know how you feel, though - I've damaged some of my own stuff venturing into new self-repair territory.
     
  10. laserfan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    #10
    Dunno about that, but that wikihow link mentions "rubbing alcohol" and I would never use rubbing alcohol on anything, at least not anything that's not glass.

    I don't know what the material is for the layer that you scratched, but I assume it is plastic of some sort (else it wouldn't have scratched so easily) and keep that in mind when testing stuff to mask/repair the scratch.

    The danger I'd assume of using "plastic cleaners/polish/scratch repair" solutions is that you risk visual distortion to the image behind, that might be more distracting than the scratch.

    Alcohol MAY be the solution, i.e. the kind you drink, to help you get-over the notion that a 1/4" scratch means the end-of-the-road for your beloved iMac.;)
     
  11. leerkeller thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 1, 2011
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    Baltimore, MD
    #11
    Simply, not simple. Mistyped and wanted to correct it, even though I am sure it was obvious what I meant.

    .....Nothing else to add. I'm just going to have to learn to live with the damage. When I showed it to other people they were not able to notice the scratch until I pointed it out to them. Once I did point it out to them, in each case I was told that I must have serious OCD or to stop being so anal.
     
  12. thekb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    #12

    This is good advice. I know you can see it and it bugs you ... but it's only 1/4th of an inch and think about how much worse you could make it by mucking around in there. You are obsessing about it because you caused it and feel like you ruined it. Trust me, you didn't. No one else would be able to see it at all.
     
  13. Lucianrider macrumors member

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    Jan 1, 2012
    Location:
    St. Lucia, West Indies
    #13
    With new iMacs just around the corner, now might be a good time to upgrade and you can help offset the cost by selling your slightly marred iMac.....
     

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