Librem 13 Panel disassembly

So my display backlight does not come on anymore when lifting the lid of my Librem 13. Sometimes it is just the backlight, and sometimes it is the entire video signal. Either way if I slightly wiggle the screen forward it will come back on. Sometimes during use the screen will go back out. I assume this is because of the vibration of typing and using the device. One thing I’ll add is that sometimes when I wake the laptop and try to wiggle the screen forward it doesn’t turn on. What I have to do then, is to lower the screen some (without putting it back to sleep), and then take my finger and run it along the bottom of the hinge spine, applying some light pressure and pushing it up. Then when I put the display back to normal wiggle it slightly forward the screen comes back on. This works everytime. So much so that I’m not really worried about the screen not working anymore.

Now Purism was great and I was already able to purchase a replacement screen. It is more complicated of a swap than I initially thought ( I thought it would be a couple cables and that is it, but there is a card, more than a few cables, and antenna), and so I decided to keep using the screen I already have until it really just doesn’t work anymore. However the more I use it the more I think that my display is just fine, it just has a loose connection. I mentioned this to customer support as well and they said that the only way to fix it is to replace it. I don’t not believe that. But I’m been able to pry open the spine of the Librem 13 and I can see the cables running into the device, etc.

I’m curious about whether there is perhaps some way for me to push a cable in from the open spine to make this problem fixed? Has anyone disassembled their Librem to this point and would be able to help?

This laptop has been great and will continue being great if I can just get the flaky screen fixed. Having a new screen on hand has given me the confidence to fiddle with the one already on it. I’m positive I can get the screen going. I suppose I could canabalize the new screen, but in case you really can’t do anything about the wires once they are set from the factory, I don’t want to mess with it.

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This is most likely a broken display cable, you only need toreplace the cable. Routing the cable through the hinge is a bit tricky, i.e. you need to carefully place it so it does not get bent sharp when the lid is opened and closed, this will break it over time.

So if you have the replacement display you now should have two cables too.

The bit sad news is that you have to break the bezel frame for this operation :frowning: The connector on the display side is hidden under the bezel frame. The bezel frame is a thin aluminum sheet attach to teh LCD frame with double sided sticky tape. There is no way to remove the bezel frame without bending it irreversibly. The connector on the panel saide is located on the bottom egde, facing toward the keyboard, so to speak. Maybe you can get away with just liffting it slightly. Best would be to unmount the LCD lid from the laptop first to do this operation, then carefully looking at it from the side, you should see the connector. It is a pretty find metal (brass) connector with a lot of pins. It can be carefull fulled out from the panel. It might be secured by some sticky tape, I don’t remember anymore. I think you would be able to pull the connector without remocing the bezel frame but putting the new one in will be very tricky without. You must be very careful with these display cables! The wires are super thin and there are many of them in there. Also these wires carry very high frequency signals so that even shapr bents can cause signal distortion which again can cause the display to behave weird (loosing sync, noise etc.).

Good luck!



Sounds like you’re better off replacing the screen outright if that bezel frame is going to be a problem.

Thanks Nicole! As @Gavaudan said and as Purism’s tech support also said, it really does sound like it is a lot easier to just replace the whole lid. Glad I was able to get a new one.

Thanks again!