laptop repair – Replacing a broken screen bezel on Fujitsu-Siemens Esprimo V5535

This week in my workshop, well my parents living room actually, is this Fujitsu Siemens laptop which looks rather battered, two of the keys are missing, Vista is dog slow with 1gb of RAM (the video card uses 256Mb of this)

Software wise, this computer had an antivirus client called System mechanic but I couldn’t test it for spyware as it would blue screen, seems like System Mechanic would cause AVG or Malwarebytes to crash horribly.   I decided to get rid of System mechanic, and AVG once installed showed the computer has two conventional viruses, Malwarebytes picked up over 26 threats though.  Once this was cleaned up I put on Service Packs 1 & 2 for Vista, to lock the machine down against future security issues.

An extra 1gb of memory was ordered and fitted, easily slots inside the trap door underneath the machine, a new keyboard is coming from a company in China, this will take a few weeks to get here though.

For now I noticed the screen bezel, the plastic frame surrounding the LCD panel has broken as it appears to have been dropped at some point.

Here I am going to show you how to remove and replace the screen bezel.

This is quite simple, remove the rubber pads which cover the screws as shown, these are just gently prised out with a small flat bladed screwdriver.  Next remove the philips screws, there are four in the top and two at the bottom, sometimes there are screws in the side that might need to be removed (like a Dell Latitude I once did)   Note the right hand side part of the bezel was cracked so badly, it came off in my hand.

DONT use a screw driver to prise off the broken panel.  You run the risk of scratching or damaging the LCD or the inverter (the long circuit board at the bottom which provides voltage to the LCD backlight)  use sharp fingernails or some wooden or plastic implement, for me this was easy as the bezel was already broken, but if its not coming out, I would use one of those wooden stirring sticks you get from coffee shops and cut and file the edge into a sharp point to prise it off, I would start by easing the top off, on this particular laptop the bottom piece needs to be bent slightly to get the two corners out of the screen hinges.

This can discarded now and we are ready to fit the replacement bezel.

This is very simple, bend the bottom gently to get it to fit inside the two hinges, the rest just snaps into place, double check all the edges feel flush, you may need to slide the screen latch to get the hooks aligned with the gaps in the new screen bezel.  You can now re-fit the screws and the rubber pads.   Removing the LCD panel is quite easy, its is very fragile, so it would need to be gently removed by holding the edges of it only and the flat cable on the back of the LCD and the wires for the screen backlight can be disconnected.

Here is the laptop done with the broken bezel next to it.   The cost of the new bezel?   £5 including shipping!   The company I bought it from on ebay appeared to have too much stock of this part I think!

Jonathan is not working at the moment, but welcomes any offers to do laptop or PC repair work in return for a donation towards his second trip to Jerusalem to carry on doing IT support and administration for Bridges for Peace.   This is purely a voluntary position and not waged so would appreciate any kind of rewards for IT consulting or donations of course.  He is hoping to fly again possibly early March.

car number plates collecting

I have a sad collecting hobby to confess.

I like collecting car number plates.   Its started with a visit to the US in 2001 (LA, Las Vegas and Arizona)  so I bought a Nevada state plate from a store on the Las Vegas strip, and progressed onto getting the other states I have been to, and also Florida, New York and New Jersey which I went to in 1998.

They are more fun than collecting stamps as you can hang them on the wall, its just an interesting challenge for a car nut to collect automotive history from different nations.

To look for plates to buy online, you really have to look on ebay Germany’s site, as the UK site doesn’t really have them.  Some people just get the US ones and aim to get all 50 states, after then you can get the Canadian ones and then go for Mexico and southwards.  Here in the UK, almost all large articulated trucks I see delivering things are all foreign, mostly from Poland or Eastern Europe, its sometimes fun on a long journey to spot the more unusual ones, just around were I live and work in Portsmouth and Southampton, I have seen Turkey (letters TR on blue band but not EU logo)  Morocco (white letters on green, no symbols – I think)  Estonia (blue band with letters EST)  and a car seen outside my old house from the Ukraine (UA on pale blue/yellow band)

I only collect the ones from countries I have been to.   My collection is a bit lame as I really only have the easyish ones.    When I went to Iceland on a lads road trip with Ian H, Rich T and Peter O, we got to the gates of a scrap yard near Akureyri only to find the place locked up and close and the piles of stacked cars appeared to have their plates missing.  In a used car spares warehouse in Talpiyot, near Jerusalem, they had car parts neatly labelled on shelves, and stripped out shells of dead cars waiting to be disposed  in a building close to one of my workplace their where I volunteered, when I tried to ask if they would sell me some plates, they refused (although maybe as their English wasn’t good enough) I am guessing in some countries its possibly illegal to buy plates from junk yards, maybe as it could be used for some kind of criminal activity.

Of course the other challenge is car scrap yards in most countries tend to be in fairly dodgy parts of town and therefore going shopping for a plate as a tourist with no much knowledge of the language might be quite unsafe experience.   When I visited Jordan and the Palestinian territories, bringing a plate through checkpoint would be probably land me in lots of trouble so I didn’t want to try that.

Of course particular nice ones to get are often small countries like Monaco (narrow plate with 4 numbers, white or blue with royal diamond emblem)  San Marino (another tiny EU nation popular for motor racing)  Isle of Man (part of UK, but has its own government, plates have red band with three legged Manx emblem) also various different Caribbean nations and some obscure places like Bermuda, Tuvalu etc.   For this reason the more rarer and aesthetically interesting plates might cost 50 Euros or a lot more on ebay like this one.

Some plate design change with the political eras.   Poland and Romania now have the EU logo with the letters PL or RO where as before they had their own flag, or prior to that no symbols at all.

This is my collection, just need to find a wall to hang them up again 🙂

If someone reading this would like to swap, ie: maybe I could source English or Israeli plate as a swap for something I want for my collection,
This is my wish list 🙂

Monaco (ok bit ambitious maybe!)
Finland (blue band with FIN)
Jordan (with blue or green band)
Iceland (later blue letters on white background with IS logo of possible)
Palestinian territories (green on white or white on green)

By Jonathan Posted in me