03-21-2019 04:07 AM
When my HP Laptop failed again for the third time, after another couple years of use, I dug into it myself. The problem is not the case, but rather the hinge. And... it's not that the plastic fails... well, not exactly anyway. It all starts with the hinge becoming tighter and tigher over time. I don't know the names of these parts, but the hinge moves on a sort of bolt that runs parallel to the rear of the case, throught the hinge. The two halves of the hinge pivot on this bolt, one attached to the screen, the other screwed into the plastic of the case with 3 small screws. It's kind of hidden under some covers. Over time, the bolt seems to self tighten. Once it reaches a critical point, the plastic into which the screws tighten fails before the hinge actually turns. The lower part of the hinge is then free to move, popping open the case. When I removed my hinge, I could barely move it with my hands. It was one stiff 'L' shape.
All the symptoms you see.... bits of plastic, popping case, fan failures... all a result and effect of the tightening hinge. The plastic bits are the recievers for the screws which rip out when the hinge fails to move. The hinge bottom moving instead of the now tighted bolt forces the case apart. And those little plastic bits inevitably end up in the fan, blocking it and causing cooling failures.
If you can get in there with some needle nose pliers, you can just loosen up that bolt. It's small and a bit hard to get ahold of, but I got mine to turn. Almost immediately I could easily open and close the hinge. Afer than, I used super glue and the screws to reinstall the hinge. There are metal (tiny, brass) receivers that are inserted into the plastic, and these pull out of the plastic. I glued them back in, and then glued the hinge itself down. Others have used an epoxy to mount them back in.
After it was all reassembled, my screen is still at a slight angle, but it moves very easily and the case no longer pops. If I notice it begin again, I'll try and loosen those little bolts without removing everything....
I intend to write up a full and better description of what I found, but this may help for now!
03-21-2019 05:46 AM
Thanks for the kind words. One thing I will add.... if you've never opened up a lagtop and taken it apart... YouTube, YouTube, Youtube! It's not difficult, but there are tons of screws... far more than you'd think.... and the hard drive cables are a smidge tricky to undo.
03-21-2019 06:00 AM
Thank you for taking the time to write the details. This is very helpful. I will try to remove the casing and see the degree of the damage, Hopefully, with some epoxy, the problem can be fixed as I saw some asking for more than $100 just for the bottom cover at ebay! Even if I am willing to get it, it is a challenge to find the correct cover for my laptop. Apparently, there are hundreds different types of cover out there.
03-21-2019 07:05 AM
I do not encourage epoxy repairs. I used to help at a computer repair shop and we had a technician who did several that way and they all came back in a few weeks. You need to replace hardware with hardware. Your best bet is to find a donor machine with bad motherboard, broken screen, etc. and use donor parts rather than trying to get replacements from a parts house.
03-21-2019 10:43 AM - edited 03-21-2019 10:44 AM
I didn’t use normal epoxy...instead I used JB Water Weld which is an epoxy putty with a tensile strength of 900 psi once it cures and that will bond readily with plastic and metal. I placed a small amount into the bottom of the case and then reassembled the computer and allowed the putty to cure for the recommended amount of time. I performed this repair over 2 years ago have had zero issues since then. It cost me $8 and the time it takes to take the computer apart and put It back together again.
03-21-2019 10:55 AM
I placed a small amount of putty in the bottom of the case where the hinge original connected and then when I put the computer back together, the hinge is pushed into the putty and sets hard. If you use this method, don’t use too much of the putty as the extra can squeeze out through the top of the case where the hinge is and can also make the power button difficult to push. I learned this the hard way 🙂