Back in October, my laptop screen started acting funny after a business trip. It didn’t take any major hits or anything that I’m aware of – but it was showing every other line as black. Then it started having every two second freeze and flicker. I plugged in the HDMI port, and everything showed fine there – so I thought it was probably the LCD assembly itself.
The Reston store was booked for the next two weeks and not accepting appointments, so I went to the Tysons Mall store.
Once I got there, I demonstrated the error, they ran some tests, and told me it would be about $580 to replace. Gave them a sigh, told them ok. They took it in the back to try reseating the LCD cable and in general ‘check it out’.
The lady who was helping me came back about five minutes later. She said that Apple wouldn’t repair this out of warranty laptop because it had a non-Apple solid state drive, and according to Apple, such devices weren’t ‘user replacable’. She said that if I could go home and find the original drive and put it back in the laptop, then Apple would do the repair. She also said that is was dirty, there was some weird gummy material inside and two screws were missing. I pointed out that dust is pretty common inside a four year old laptop, and not much you can do since Apple discourages anybody from even opening the case. I started getting a “ugh, dirty laptop user” vibe from here, and was pretty ready to go.
So, I went home to look for the old SSD. After half an hour of search without luck, I determined it was probably lost, and if I wanted a working laptop, I would need to do the replacement myself.
I found this item on Amazon for $290. It wasn’t the cheapest (there were ones $50 less on Ebay) but this one had good reviews and I knew that if I purchased it from Amazon and it was totally broken or incompatible, I could send it back.
The repair wasn’t actually that hard, I’d say it took me about 45 minutes. I went slow, following the steps here.
When done, it looks great. Like having a brand new laptop again. So, moral of the story. If you need a new LCD – it’s work saving the $300 to go ahead and do it yourself with Amazon parts. Especially if Apple decides to refuse repair because you want a larger hard drive than they sell bundled :-(.