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I want to repair a laptop which has been heavily damaged by a fall.

The display is kept in place by two metal hinges, one by side, whose attach on the plastic underneath and on the motherboard.

The right one is good, but the screws on the left hinge ripped off from their place in plastic, and the laptop can't close anymore. My idea would be to attach them again using some kind of glue.

What glue or solution could I use?

The broken Hinge

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  • 1
    Why not remove the screen and hinges entirely and use the laptop with an external display from now on?
    – Vikki
    Jul 13 '19 at 21:28
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    @Sean - That of course could be an option while waiting to find a spares/repairs laptop for its case Jul 14 '19 at 7:03
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There are some options you have to bond the pieces together but they will never be anywhere near as strong as a replacement casing would provide. If you can get hold of a spares/repairs laptop of the same model I would personally do that. Strip the interior from the spare one and replace with the interior of your broken laptop.

You could try 2-part resin glues as they will be stronger but there is of course Gorilla Glue or SuperGlue.

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    Epoxy is the best solution.
    – Moab
    Jul 13 '19 at 18:47
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    Buy a new case. But...a new case will likely cost a significant fraction of the cost of a new laptop. Therefore, but a new laptop. Jul 14 '19 at 4:35
  • @BobJarvis - I am not necessarily suggesting buying a new case. I am suggesting maybe buying a second-hand (spares/repairs) laptop of the same make and model (laptops no longer working) where possible. Classified ads can be made and searched. Jul 14 '19 at 7:00
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I agree with Chris Rogers that the best and right (and long-term reliable) way to fix it is to replace the shell. There is a lot of stress on the hinges and it is tough to do a repair that will have the original strength and hold up long term.

That said, you may not have ready access to a replacement shell and may need at least a temporary repair to keep you operational. Nothing in the way of glue or epoxy will hold up for long by itself, even if it bonds with the plastic. Here's a more robust fix that will last for awhile.

Gorrila Glue or Super glue wouldn't be good for this. Something like JB Weld would have good strength and bond well, but still not close to the original strength. I would go farther. Where those brass insert were, drill a screw clearance hole through case. Get longer screws with matching threads. Glue the brass inserts back in place and use enough JB Weld to provide some support to the insert and the surrounding plastic. Then screw into and through the inserts and through the case. Use a large washer and nut on the outside of the case, with Loctite threadlocker to secure the nut.

That will look ugly, and will probably extend past any case bumpers, so it will have the potential to scratch your furniture. You could cover it with a thin layer of silicone rubber to hide it and protect surfaces (there is black silicone adhesive or gray silicone caulk, or Sugru or Oogoo, if you want a "stylish" repair). Be gentle with sliding the laptop around because that will likely tear off the silicone or erase it, and you would need to replace it.

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    A dome nut would go a long way towards avoiding scratching furniture. Jul 30 '19 at 12:47
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There is a product called Plast-aid that I've used for years to repair all sorts of broken plastic pieces, including PVC that was under pressure, pool pumps, plastic housings, etc. Unlike glues, it creates a molecular bond with the existing plastic that makes it just as strong as the original. I've never had one repair I've made with it break. It works with most plastics, but not all, so it would be a good idea to try to find out the plastic the laptop shell is made out of. The plastics it's compatible with are in the product description.

https://www.amazon.com/Plast-aid-Multipurpose-Repair-Plastic-Pool/dp/B004DFHSM6

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  • For a similar 'family' of plastics, you can get 'pipe weld glue' at a tiny fraction of the price. The only difference is it isn't a paste; it merely 'melts' the plastic for a short time. Plumbers use it by the gallon ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 14 '19 at 10:56
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The attachment of the hinge to the lid is an area of fairly high mechanical stress, so weak adhesive-type repairs simply won't last.

When I faced this issue in resurrecting an HP laptop which had a metal-backed lid, what I ultimately ended up doing was drilling right through the lid and using small screws and nuts to re-attach the hinge. The result is slightly ugly, but has been very sturdy.

I did make a mistake when the second hinge failed, of trying to use a slightly larger screw that required drilling out the hinge. That did not work well, because the hinges are apparently stainless steel, which tends to work harden. Because I did not make the initial attempt to drill it with enough power and pressure, the material became effectively impossible to drill with a conventional high speed steel bit and simply ruined the drill bit instead - I would have needed a carbide bit. If I recall I eventually found a smaller screw and nut combination which would fit the existing hole.

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