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My laptop broke down, but the screen is still good. Is there an easy way to recycle the screen and make a monitor out of it? Just for the fun of it.

The laptop is a Compaq Presario V6700.

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Thanks all. I guess it's too much fuss. –  ZEDA-NL May 7 '12 at 15:28
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4 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The easier you want to make it, the more expensive it is going to be.

I'm going to quote a pile of stuff here.

The first thing to note is that VGA is an analogue display technology. Secondly, laptop LCD's are 100% digital. There is no correlation between VGA and LCD they are two totally different beasts and LCD's will only accept a correct digital input.

The standard for this input for most LCD's is presently - Low voltage differential signaling (LVDS). In fact that thin "paper ribbon cable" on the back of your LCD is referred to as a LVDS cable. To read up on LVDS go here LVDS on Wikipedia.

The other cable going into the back of your old laptop LCD is the backlight power. The makeup of this cable varies between model but the norm is roughly that this cable is fed from an LCD inverter. In other words the LCD backlight normally takes power in the form of AC rather than DC and it normally needs lots of it. Input power to the inverter is normally in the range of 5v - 12v. What you need to do is find the (EXACT) model number of your LCD on the back of it then go searching Google for specifications. Once you have that you can go to Digitalview.com as they sell a VGA input board hopefully suitable for your LCD screen. As far as I can tell Digital View doesn't sell direct so you will need to find a local distributor willing to order the board in.

Of course if you are going to go to the trouble of getting a LCD controller and power supply etc. it would probably be cheaper to buy a used external LCD monitor on Ebay (although not as cool).

So... you need to find the right VGA to Digital converter for your screen, and you need to find an adequate power supply for your screen inverter (so you can illuminate the screen), and you'll need to have a steady hand and a good soldering iron... and some disposable income.

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Interesting, didn't realize they used different cables in a laptop, instead of some special DVI or HDMI cable. –  Simon Verbeke May 7 '12 at 14:47
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You didn't realize they used different cables on a LAPTOP... they don't. However, there is a big difference between the cables used to connect to a laptop's external monitor ports, and the connection between the LCD panel and motherboard inside of a laptop. –  Bon Gart May 7 '12 at 14:50
    
Laptop screen cables may vary as LVDS does not specify wire count or how bits is ordered or anything that could help you examining actual signal. –  Sampo Sarrala May 7 '12 at 15:07
    
@Sampo Exactly! There is no standard wiring harness for laptop LCD panels. –  Bon Gart May 7 '12 at 15:10
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@SimonVerbeke The different internal cable problem should be going away in the near future. All major GPU vendors have committed to phasing out LVDS in favor of DisplayPort by 2013. While you'd still need to buy an cable adapter and find a suitable backlight powersupply; the adapter should be much simpler/less expensive since it would only need to change the shape/pin layout instead of doing signal conversion. pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2374034,00.asp –  Dan Neely May 7 '12 at 17:26
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It is not easy task as laptop screens takes digital signal input that is, in many cases, not following any standards. You will need expensive signal converter if you want to drive laptop screen using either DVI, VGA or any other standards compliant interface. (note: LVDS is not standard for signal, it is the physical layer specification only).

However, there is not too many different types of screen drivers and same screen may (or may not) work with another laptop (even different manufacturer). Backlight inverters may still vary even if image signal works.

Final answer is that you should use screen for repairing another laptop, it's worth to try if broken screen is same or at least almost same size as working one (yes, it could work even if screen dimensions vary. I have tested this myself).

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Probably your best bet is to put the laptop on Ebay or another auction site and allow someone to use it to repair another laptop.

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That's not really what the user asked for is it? –  slhck May 7 '12 at 14:59
    
No ... but this is a good (and easiest imho) way to recycle the screen. Worked at a computer repair shop where most of the time they would look to ebay for parts. I imagine many ther local mom-and-pop computer repair shops do the same. –  ultrasawblade May 7 '12 at 15:18
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There is such parts selling in China at about 50$ ,including shell, driver circult and wires. What is left for you is mostly connecting the wire and embed them into the shell.

But I guess it will cost much less, if you are willing to build the circult yourself.

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