View Full Version : My broken laptop screen, should replacement cost & should it be under warranty

18-01-2005, 02:19 PM

I came home from work one day last week to find my laptop screen broken :-(

Three quarters of it was white as anything and down the bottom right it looked like a rock had been thrown at a window and cracked it.. and the cracked area was black as anything.

This is all on the LCD part of it.

I tried taking a few photo's with my digicam but none of them turned out :-/

Basically I sent it back but they reakon it was forceful damage that did it.

Thing is it was in my room which is part of a sleepout. Its under lock and key and nobody had been in there (I had a webcam setup as surveilance....)

It was sitting with the Lid closed for approx 8 hours during the day time. The room wasnt hot or anything like that, I accidentally left my fan going during that day.
It was still sitting on the PC Case I use as a sorta bench for iit (Its a big old case) and so it hadnt fallen off.

Now, Im no dummy, I know that LCD screens are sensitive etc so I wouldnt go touching it... Question is, what would do that?
I have a 1yr warranty due to expire later on in April, but Im still paying the bloody thing off (HP with credit Capable) and they're trying to say its gonna cost me another $600 to fix!

There is a slight crack on the back-right of the laptop hinge where the Lid lifts, and this has occured due to me opening and closing it, however when I contacted the supplier they said that it was nothing to worry about and to just carry on with normal use (this was in late October).

Basically Im asking if there's any way that the LCD screen could be damaged while the lid is closed. Admittedly I probably dont have a leg to stand on as its my word against theirs that I didnt punch the bloody thing.

Many thanks


18-01-2005, 02:35 PM
Disputes Tribunal will be very helpful... I would argue black and blue and also point out that the crack in the hinge was notified very early on but you were advised to continue using it. Make sure you send everything via letter, to make sure you have a paper trail you can use in the Disputes Tribunal if things start to get ugly.

Alternatively, the laptop will probably be covered by your parents' house and contents insurance. A claim would probably cost $250 for the excess.


intel hunter
18-01-2005, 02:40 PM
Hi Chill,

Don't know if this will help or not, but I had a similar problem with my Acer Travelmate 250. I use it for work and when opening the lid one morning I heard (and felt) a crack, and something give. It was the LCD screen, to my amazement it was broken from the middle down to the bottom left corner. I immediately got in touch with Acer NZ and the guy I was talking to led me to believe it was my fault, which it wasn't, all I did was open the damn thing. He also asked if I had left a pen inside the lid and shut it (not likely). Anyway after much discussion I was told that it was under warranty and they would fix it for nothing. But only after a much heated debate. I hope you can get yours fixed in the same way.

Regards Fred :badpc:

18-01-2005, 02:43 PM
Would that work, as I was advised by their Tech over the telephone back in October to carry on using it, which could possibly be denied seeing as its not on paper :-(

I hope the same thing :(

Graham L
18-01-2005, 02:46 PM
I have a suspicion that you would have extreme difficulty (even "arguing black and blue") to get anyone to think that it happened spontaneously.

If it looks as if a rock had hit it, most people will think that somethingmight have hit it.

Glass does break. It takes quite a concentrated force to break it ... glass is strong.
The sort of fracture you can get by putting a bending force on it (as might come from malfunctioning hinges) looks quite different from one caused by a "point" impact.

Insurance might be your best hope. I don't think a warranty claim will go very far.

You know you didn't do it. I suspect that someone had an accident. Your security might not be as secure as you think.

18-01-2005, 02:51 PM
The door was locked and nobody else has a key, there is no spare (Stupid not having a spare I know).

I just dont know....

18-01-2005, 03:02 PM
The laptop wasn't left on at all per chance with the lid closed and the crack was caused by a heat buildup?

18-01-2005, 03:05 PM
Yeah it was left on, its always left on.... 24/7..... there were some issues earlier on last year around July with it overheating and almost burned out the CPU.

This was fixed by them replacing the CPU and heatsink because they hadnt installed it correctly.

18-01-2005, 03:14 PM
I would guess that that is the cause of the problem, My laptop had a failure caused by it not shutting down but locking up, I thought it had shut down or was doing so, and closed the case, result was next time i went to use it the keyboard matrix has been cooked, the spacebar, CTRL, FCN, M, Tab, Arrow keys etc no longer work. $150+ to replace the membrane so i have resorted to using a plugin keyboard.

You may find something in the manual about not shutting the lid and leaving it on, even desktops have heat problems from not enough airflow, running a laptop with it charging etc and the lid closed will generate no end of heat inside. Infact several persons have been reported to have suffered serious burns to the groin area just from using a laptop on their lap from the heat generated by the harddrive, CPU, and battery etc

Billy T
18-01-2005, 03:17 PM

An "impact" break will show splintering at the point of impact with possible starring, whereas a stress fracture will show as a fairly clean break (or multiple cracks) with no clear impact evidence.

The broken hinge could quite easily have stressed the screen and if a crack started behind the bezel it might have spread after you last closed the lid.

As already advised, document everything to the supplier and don't give up. If you are quite certain that you have not provoked the failure in any way (beyond continuing to use the computer with a cracked hinge on their advice), then persist. Move up the management chain until you get to a real decision maker!

In the absence of any hard evidence proving neglect on your part they have to accept the warranty claim or call you a liar. If all else fails, the Disputes Tribunal is then your best bet.


Billy 8-{)

18-01-2005, 06:40 PM
Thanks for the words of confidence Billy, much appreciated :)

I'll check the manual tonight and have a look :-)

18-01-2005, 10:31 PM
No one may be able to enter your room but what about a cat in the window, jumping down onto the laptop? May explain how it happened. Just a thought. Good luck

18-01-2005, 10:46 PM
(I had a webcam setup as surveilance....)

So..... what did the webcam show?

You would have been able to see what happened - if there was a cat or anything. And that would be proof too.

19-01-2005, 12:43 AM
Nothing, but why would they care!
Ive given my mate back his PC that it was hooked up to... he's seen nothing special going through my pic logs.

No cats could get through these windows
I leave the curtains shut during the day too so no sunlight could have come in and killed it.... Although one was marginally open that day.

Surely not though....

Billy T
19-01-2005, 08:03 AM
Surely not though....

No, not!

Only you know what the damage looks like Chill, but there's nothing further to be gained by speculating here. Go see the seller and stick to your guns.

Use the information re security etc that you have posted here to exclude human, animal or natural causes, then pursue the warranty. You do have good argument because you were told to use it with a broken hinge, but to be fair, you should not have continued beyond completion of any urgent work. It was a warranty problem that you should have had fixed. Next time get the name of the person who gives you that sort of advice and write doen the date and time. Even if they later deny it, the information adds credibility to your argument in the Diputes Tribunal or wherever.

If you can post a clear picture of the damge at some stage that would be helpful though.


Billy 8-{)

19-01-2005, 08:20 AM
Something is awfully strange about this whole thread/situation.

19-01-2005, 01:37 PM
Post us a pic Chill. We can be like CSI detectives and trace the source of the damage ;)

19-01-2005, 05:00 PM
I dont actually have it ATM, its at the suppliers

I might get it back off them, but im not sure if that'd be a wise idea or not

19-01-2005, 05:23 PM
Post us a pic Chill. We can be like CSI detectives and trace the source of the damage ;)
Britney quits pop music to become a forensic scientist (http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/celebrity/19922004.htm)

19-01-2005, 05:46 PM
Why are you browsing that website???

19-01-2005, 05:57 PM
Hi ninja. Why are you browsing that website??? Must admit that the same though occurred, having had college aged granddaughters here all summer, all experts on such information.

19-01-2005, 06:00 PM
Why are you browsing that website???
Someone flicked it round the humour mailing list at work, obviously due to the amusing fact that Britney wants to be a CSI, rather than the rest of the content.

No doubt it was blogged somewhere, or farked or /.ed

25-01-2005, 04:55 PM
I just contacted Expert Infotech (The guys I bought it off) and they've left it at Protac.

I contact Protac and suggested it may be due to the crack on the other side of the LCD placing additional strain on it?!
They are suggesting it happened by a sharp object that would have had a lot of force applied.
I fail to see how something could have done that seeing as I was at work all day and it was under lock and key to which I have the only one!

Worth going to Small-Claims court over $600? Never done that before......

I'll be getting it back shortly so I'll take photo's and put them online

25-01-2005, 05:13 PM
Worth going to Small-Claims court over $600? Never done that before......Personally I don't care what the earnings are like -if I know for sure the case can be won. Justice needs to be done. If I were you, I'd rather lose a days wages to give them a punishment than earn a bit extra and leave them alone. Can you claim it under insurance?

Billy T
25-01-2005, 05:16 PM
Yes, it is worth going to the SMC with $600 at stake.

If you are swearing that you didn't cause the damage then they have no real right to call you a liar.

There is a small filing fee at the SMC but you can also add your reasonable costs and expenses to your claim. It is an informal process, and if you stand up and put your story straight and clear, you have an excellent chance of winning, even more so if the agent (Protac) get all huffy and puffy.

They may never have heard of this happening before, but there is a first time for everything.

Some advice: Retrieve your laptop before letting on that you are taking them to the SMC or the damage might suddenly get worse overnight. When you pick it up, make sure it is not worse than when you left it. If the photos you took were good enough you probably have that proof now.

I would also contact the Consumer Affairs for advice, but before doing so, take a look Here (http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/consumerinfo/cga/faultygoods.html) for some ideas. It might be that your best bet if they refuse to repair it is to ask for yourt money back. Then you can start again with a new machine.

All of this depends on you being straight-up with the people you talk to, and I'd take some extra photos illustrating the security it was under when the fault occurred, locks on doors, curtains over windows etc.

You can PM for phone number to call me direct if you want to discuss this further.


Billy 8-{)

25-01-2005, 05:36 PM

Thanks for the advice Billy :)

I'll hope to get it back in the next day or so!

Is the filing fee much in relation to the cost of what Im claiming for?

25-01-2005, 05:44 PM
$30 to lodge a claim. I'd recommend getting an "expert's letter" from a friendly PC store stating the type of damage that can result from the crack.

Let me know if you need one - I have a mate who works in a PC store who could write something up.


25-01-2005, 05:49 PM
Thanks for the advice guys, very much appreciated, and by the sounds of things it worthwhile going to the Small Claims Court :)

It'll be an interesting experience for sure....

How long is it likely to take there?
Should I just stop asking questions and phone them Claims Court? ;)

Sam I Am
25-01-2005, 06:39 PM
Thanks for the advice guys, very much appreciated, and by the sounds of things it worthwhile going to the Small Claims Court :)

It'll be an interesting experience for sure....

How long is it likely to take there?
Should I just stop asking questions and phone them Claims Court? ;)

Yes :rolleyes:

Billy T
25-01-2005, 08:01 PM
How long is it likely to take there?

It depends on the area you live in, but you should get a hearing date in 6-8 weeks. I'd definitely phone and ask though as they could have a backlog. They operate out of your local District Court, an establishment I am sure you are not yet acquainted with.

The actual hearing itself shouldn't last much more than an hour tops, but prepare thoroughly beforehand and have a clear set of facts, set out in writing for the Referee. You don't have to get into any debate with the defendant, in fact unless you are trying to reach a mutual settlement facilitated by the referee, you don't even need to talk to them at all.


Billy 8-{)

25-01-2005, 10:14 PM
Good to know, thanks Billy :-)
I'll pick it up on Thursday and see about posting some Pics of it



27-01-2005, 08:46 PM

Funny thing is that its now a _lot_ smaller.... And the "focal" point of the 'crack' has moved down towards the bottom-right more.

Also, there is NO mark at all on the screen, front or back!?!

Im confused why it was the size of a tennis ball when I sent it in, but now its smaller?

27-01-2005, 08:50 PM

Lets try that again:

27-01-2005, 09:01 PM

Funny thing is that its now a _lot_ smaller.... And the "focal" point of the 'crack' has moved down towards the bottom-right more.

Has the cat's butt sagged? :p

Im confused why it was the size of a tennis ball when I sent it in, but now its smaller?

Maybe they didn't feed it while they had it, keep not feeding it and you'll be able to put it into a rubik cube box. :thumbs:

Posting pussy pictures on PressF1 and a moderator at that. you should be ashamed! LOL

27-01-2005, 09:13 PM
Aww Chill cute puddy cat.....LOL



27-01-2005, 09:19 PM
http://www.dimension.net.nz/dump/dscf0050.jpgWhat's the fault? I can see anything with it other than that it's sitting on the cupboard of a.. uh.. computer desk!?! :eek:

Billy T
27-01-2005, 09:29 PM
Do you still have your previous photos Chill? If the crack has definitely moved, you have a possible case of screen swapping by the Agent.

Failing that skulduggery, it looks to me like the crack is close to a hinge. Is that the hinge that was faulty?

The crack looks quite short and lies diagonally across the corner with no evidence of impact damage. Can you take a better quality photo for us? Don't try to get too close, a well focussed photo enlarged a little is better than an out of focus close-up.


Billy 8-{)

27-01-2005, 09:49 PM
Can you take a better quality photo for us? Don't try to get too close, a well focussed photo enlarged a little is better than an out of focus close-up.Good idea! Another photo of your cute cat not so squashed up like that would be nice :p

27-01-2005, 09:57 PM
What a Cute Cat you have there Chill :)

27-01-2005, 10:03 PM
as george says:

Post us a pic Chill. We can be like CSI detectives and trace the source of the damage

i had a closer look at the pic and i made this conclusion........ its got fleas, not really fleas but a flea (http://img199.exs.cx/img199/8780/flea4hm.jpg) :p

27-01-2005, 11:41 PM
Well I'll double-check but Im pretty sure I deleted the old photos.

Why they would replace the screen with another less-broken one is beyond me, or even how they can replicate that.

There is no surface-level markings at all! Not a one!

That and because the supposed 'point of impact' appears to have moved, Im curious about whats wrong with the insides of the LCD.

I'll post another pic when I get back from the Parachute Music Festival on Monday arvo. Until then its just going to sit on in my room with the lid down, in exactly the same place where it always is, which is visible here:

Im wondering if when I come back the lil spot will have 'moved' again...
As you can see by those photo's, it was fine a short while ago (5th of Jan 2005 was when they were taken, hence the datestamp).

Cat has fleas? Maybe.... It was just outside and I saw it and took a pic of it. Dunno why, but there's others:
^^ Those birds have since been disposed of safely with some church friends. We realised it wasnt working with the birds in that position, and the cat also being eyed up by another member of our family (While the cat was eying up the birds... ironic huh):

....Oh what the hell, one more ;-)

*Note to self - Check access logs when you get home*

Thanks for the help guys, I'll get another photo of the laptop when I get home and compare the two


28-01-2005, 12:11 AM
Well, they replaced the DVD/CDRW Combo drive which was marginally cracked, so Im very pleased with that... Last time Protac just glued it together :)

31-01-2005, 04:20 PM
^^ This is what it is currently like, taken when I got home from the Parachute Festival today

This is what is was:

Looks like its changing in shape/size to me......

31-01-2005, 04:27 PM
Looks like its changing in shape/size to me......Yeah, it does have a slightly different shape now.

[wild guess] Would the liquid crystal film and the glass plate changing its pressure cause this damaged area appearance to change? [/wild guess]

31-01-2005, 04:50 PM
Im no expert on LCD Displays (Im hoping that one or two of the other members who are well-respected in the area of monitors/electronics may know), but its not like somethings hit it from the front or the back.....

Graham L
31-01-2005, 04:56 PM
The liquid crystal's appearance will change with temperature/humidity/sut about anything.

That does look like an impact fracture. Is there a bullet hole in the wall facing that screen?

31-01-2005, 06:23 PM

What did the user manual say about leaving the laptop running with the screen down?

Where in relation to the crack are the topside ventilation ports if any?

I have seen LCD cellphone screens hemorrage from being left in the dashboard of a car on a hot sunny day. They literally go black, but with no physical damage to the screen.

As stated before, I think your problem has been caused by excess heat with leaving the laptop on and the case closed.

Infact i'd go as far to say user error - case closed and your only recourse is insurance or write it off to experience.

Murray P
31-01-2005, 06:57 PM
Thermal expansion in such a small sheet of glass will not be enough to cause it to bear on the frame with enough pressue to shatter the glass. However, if there is rigid metal in the frame that can bind against the glass it could provide enough stress in the glass to crack it. I would not expect to see a spider web pattern to the crack in those circumstances.

Chill, do you know what type of glass it is. Impurities in toughened glass can cause it to, apparently, spontaniously break, more often when the temperature is wamer than cooler. This would be a fault within the glass its self, unfortunately by the look of the cracks (usually the whole pane will break into small cubes), its not toughened glass unless of very poor quality.

The fact that it's the same side as the cracked hing does raise suspicions though. There may have been fine cracks caused at the same time as the hinge damage which may even have happened before you received the laptop.

Sorry but, it's all specualtion.

31-01-2005, 07:50 PM
Its on the Opposite side as the cracked hinge actually.....

The 'crack' is _actually_ right above the heat output which is on the rear of the notebook now that you mention it.

I'll see about getting another small pic to show where the heat output is in relation to it, and Im sure Ive got the user manual lying around somewhere so I'll dig it up tonight



31-01-2005, 08:12 PM
Nothing in the Manual about use with the lid down

Do not expose the computer to any shock or vibration
Do not place it on an unstable surface
Do not place anything heavy on the computer
Do not expose it to excessive heat or direct sunlight
Do not leave it in a place where foreign matter or moisture may affect the system
Do not place the computer on any surface which will block the vents
Do not disassemble the computer by yourself
Perform routine maintenance on your computer

All the above seem fine....
I'll see if I can find the Warranty info


01-02-2005, 12:28 AM
[QUOTE=Chilling_Silence]Its on the Opposite side as the cracked hinge actually.....

The 'crack' is _actually_ right above the heat output which is on the rear of the notebook now that you mention it.

I'll see about getting another small pic to show where the heat output is in relation to it, and Im sure Ive got the user manual lying around somewhere so I'll dig it up tonight


I have replaced more than one truck windscreen spontaneously faulting in snow and ice conditions allways claimed as road fault.???????????

Having experienced this "Fault" once myself, I observed "Heater" had been left full on winscreen in heavy snow and rain causing uneven expansion contraction in screen, and explosion of part of screen.

Most trucks that experience this "Road Fault" still seem to have the heater left full on screen too, but insurance allways pays for this "Operator Fault" in trucks.

This hot spotting, on a hot day, in a confined hot room, is a possible cause.

Is it warranty, operator fault, design fault.??????????.

If your supplier is interested genuinly you might talk them into a 50/50 + free labour.

I notice that my presario 2500 shuts down when the lid is closed???????

Having read what others say about issues, running L/Tps with the lid down is probably not a go.

Priveleged, you are, to recieve the fruits of this effort.


Murray P
01-02-2005, 12:56 AM
Automotive screens are toughened and laminated. The main cause of spontanious failure of toughened glass is impurities in the glass which expand or expand at a different rate when heat is applied. It is a fault within the glass, so should be replaced. (Automotive glass should be heat immersed to weed out the bad uns)

Stress produced during the manufacturing (laminating), handling or installation (too tight, rough cutting or grinding) can also show up at a latter date as can very small crasks or chips.

Ordinary, common, float glass does not normally have these inbuilt stresses but is considerably weaker i tension than toughened glass (or tempered, if you like). I would imagine though that glass in a laptop screen will have been etched in some way to produce matte anti-glare surface, uless that is provided soley by the coating.

Maybe the comination of heat, proximity of the hinge and not enough rigidity in the lid, is at fault.

01-02-2005, 07:13 AM
Chill, what happens visually to the damaged area if you move the screen slowly backward and forward?

My thinking is that the faulty hinge may be exerting varying pressures on the screen construction.

You’ll see what I mean if you apply light pressure to another part of the screen with something like one of those pencils with a rubber on one end.

(wonder if the still make those pencils) :(

07-02-2005, 11:40 PM
Apparently Protac took photos of the laptop before giving it back.

Now, how can they testify Ive done more damage to it when the 'damage' area is dissappearing?

Sure, a photo would cover them if I went away and threw the bloody thing at the wall and it broke more.
What if the area shrunk though:

Think it should be enough now to convince almost any court. There's no surface damage so I'll leave it at that and call the courts tomorrow unless somebody could suggest a reason to act otherwise?

Thanks again for all your help guys


07-02-2005, 11:41 PM
BTW - B.M.
I didnt try that, didnt want to risk making it worse sorry......


06-05-2005, 02:35 PM
Was wondering what happened or have you already told us the ending?

New lap top or still waiting?

refund? or out the window it flew?