The cable inside my laptop that connects to its monitor has come loose....

...is this something I can try to fix myself, or should I leave it to a professional to repair? I dropped the backpack in which I was carrying the laptop onto a hard floor from a height, and now the monitor no longer works. I know the laptop itself is working fine, because I connected it to a separate monitor via an HDMI cable. So it must just be the internal monitor cable that's loose, right?

My laptop is a Medion P7647, if that helps. Not sure if different laptops are wired differently in this regard!
 

cgori

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Oct 2, 2004
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SF, CA
I'm assuming it's not under warranty anymore - if it is, find a place to have them fix it.

Usually these are ribbon cables or other flexible-connector type of things. That means it'll be either trivial (replug it in, works great) or impossible (some subtle failure in the connector that you won't be able to fix/crack in the printed circuit board).

This video seems to show the general principles you will need to follow; he's replacing the cable, you hopefully just need to reseat one or more of the connectors which is a much easier job.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnHVOy86KwU
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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...is this something I can try to fix myself,
Likely: yes, if youre handy and not intimidated by electronics.

My son had the same issue with his laptop, and it was due to the ribbon cable being pinched in the hinge. We took the laptop apart enough to get the cable exposed, and as soon as we did that his display came back on. Reassembled the laptop/case, and it's been good to go ever since. didn't even need to replace the ribbon cable.

EDIT: if you need to, find the part number on a repair website, then cross reference that part number on ebay. Likely you can find it cheaper on ebay than on repair sites or other etailers.
 
Likely: yes, if youre handy and not intimidated by electronics.
What if I told you I watched the video @cgori posted and was terrified at the noise that guy's Toshiba made when he was pulling the cover off? I think I'd be able to figure out how to connect the cable; I think I might have a conniption trying to get the case unscrewed and safely removed. I'm not intimidated by electronics as such, but I'm frightened as hell of wrecking the laptop on which my life's work is effectively housed: low risk + exorbitantly high punishment for failure = I guess I'll leave it to a professional.

(But thanks to you both for your replies.)
 

Tangled Up In Red

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Nov 8, 2004
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You won't ruin the hard drive by trying to reconnect the monitor ribbon. And I'm sure your data is back up (right? right?!)
You may damage the case/housing... but as-is it's not usable as a laptop anyway.
Depending on risk/cost tolerance, I'd give it a try (I've done it successfully in the past).
 

edoug

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Jul 15, 2005
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You won't ruin the hard drive by trying to reconnect the monitor ribbon. And I'm sure your data is back up (right? right?!)
You may damage the case/housing... but as-is it's not usable as a laptop anyway.
Depending on risk/cost tolerance, I'd give it a try (I've done it successfully in the past).
Yeah, Back it up. If you haven't, this might be a very fortunate accident.
 
Just to wrap this up, I wound up taking my laptop into the shop, and it was just the cable having come loose - so in that sense it was a very expensive (£40) trip for a very small fix. But on the other hand, I was moved before I did so to back up all of my most essential files on an external hard drive *and* invest in a cheap (for the first year, at least) IDrive cloud backup solution. And the repair guy looked at my fraying power cable and flat out told me he wouldn't give it back to me, lest I shortly electrocute myself or set my house on fire - gave me a new cable for free, so that's a bonus in several senses. Could have all been much worse!