Whether they get dropped on the bus, knocked off a desk during class, or stepped on by a younger sibling at home, there are plenty of opportunities for Chromebook screens to get damaged. A broken screen makes it difficult for students to get their work done, and when multiple devices have screen issues, costs can quickly add up and overwhelm your school’s technology budget.
Schools that are able to fix a broken Chromebook screen rather than replace the entire device or, even better, avoid damage entirely can achieve significant cost savings. A report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group says that public schools could save $1.8 billion if Chromebooks had longer lifespans. While repairing broken screens won’t take care of all the potential problems that a Chromebook might experience, it could help keep devices in rotation and significantly lower school technology expenses.
We’ve put together a list of troubleshooting and repair tips for Chromebooks that will allow you to take a more proactive stance in reducing technology turnover. We’ve also identified some key steps to ensure student devices stay safe and in good working condition for as long as possible. Keep reading!
7 Steps for Troubleshooting and Fixing Your Broken Chromebook Screen
Do your students know what happens if you break a school Chromebook?
Ideally, you’ve already communicated a clear set of expectations around proper care and usage of students’ school devices. You should also have laid out action plans in the event of devices being lost or damaged.
Should devices be sent in with a “damage/repair” help desk ticket, follow these steps for a more practical and cost-effective approach to repairing broken Chromebook screens.
1. Assess the Damage
Before you can begin repairing a Chromebook screen, you’ll first need to determine exactly where the problem lies. Start by looking for display issues, such as:
- A dark or black screen
In some cases, you might be able to identify a specific point where the screen problem originates. For instance, if the fullscreen picture is only pixelated in a specific area, it’s possible that the screen received an impact in that spot.
After you’ve evaluated the screen’s condition, refer to any previous help tickets or records of repairs. This allows you to determine whether the problem developed gradually or occurred suddenly as the result of a drop or impact.
2. Try a Software Fix
If there’s no visible damage to the screen, the problem might be internal. Try using the power button to reboot the Chromebook or performing a factory reset to discover whether there’s a software glitch or an issue with the operating system. These issues are especially common if an IT department has been lax in securing school devices. If the device boots up normally but the screen still isn’t working properly, you’re most likely dealing with a hardware failure rather than a software error.
3. Explore Warranty/Insurance Coverage
Before attempting to complete a screen repair on your own, it’s always wise to verify whether the Chromebook is still under warranty from the manufacturer. If it is, it may be eligible for a free screen replacement or repair. Your school may also have an insurance policy that will cover part or all of the cost.
4. Weigh DIY vs Professional Repair
The decision you make at this point is a crucial one: will you repair the screen yourself or seek help from a professional? As you consider your options, keep these key factors in mind:
- The estimated costs of a DIY and professional repair
- Your level of screen repair and replacement know-how
- Whether completing the repair on your own will void the device’s warranty
In nearly every case, DIY repairs are less expensive than professional services. However, you run the risk of accidentally damaging the cables or other hardware, which could leave you with a bigger repair bill than you had when you started.
5. Purchase Exact Parts for DIY
If you choose to take the DIY route to repair, you’ll need to purchase the exact replacement screen for the broken Chromebook model. You may also need to buy tools or adhesive kits.
It’s recommended to purchase from the original manufacturer rather than a third party that might provide you with damaged or incompatible parts. Once you receive the necessary items, carefully follow the disassembly instructions to detach the old screen.
6. Follow Specific Repair Guides
Learning how to repair student devices is a lot easier in the age of online content. Manufacturers and other DIY experts create guides and videos that detail how to make repairs to Chromebooks. While you obviously need to avoid instructions for a Mac or PC, it’s also vital to follow steps intended for your specific Chromebook brand and model.
Leave yourself ample time to work through the process and double-check each step, particularly before disconnecting cables or making irreversible changes. Failing to do so could damage other parts of the device, including the Chromebook battery, motherboard, and hard drive.
7. Seek Professional Help
Completing these kinds of repairs can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never done them before, and there’s no shame in seeking help from a professional Chromebook repair shop. The experts there have experience with every component of a Chromebook, from the charging port to the screen, and are knowledgeable about compatible parts.
If you’ve made it partway through the repair and suddenly feel like you’re in over your head, it’s better to stop now rather than to push forward. Otherwise, you might damage the device beyond repair.
Chromebook Screen Repair Costs
A replacement screen usually costs between $20 and $50, but that amount differs based on the manufacturer and model. For example, a large touchscreen for an Acer Chromebook or HP Chromebook might cost more than a smaller screen for a Samsung Chromebook.
According to one Chromebook repair shop, the cost to replace a cracked screen could be as much as $199. A DIY repair would cost significantly less as you would only need to pay for the replacement laptop screen and adhesive kit, which can cost as little as $10.
How to Protect Your Chromebook from Future Damage
Performing a screen repair usually saves money, but you can save more by taking steps to prevent damage to student devices. In addition, unless you have well-stocked Chromebook carts for education, students whose devices have the dreaded black screen will be at a temporary disadvantage.
Take these precautionary measures to help ensure the safety of your Chromebooks:
- Provide students with Chromebook cases/sleeves: Cases and sleeves cushion devices and reduce damage if students drop them.
- Provide screen protectors: Quality screen protectors can withstand serious impacts, preventing the screen from cracking or shattering.
- Provide Chromebook usage guidelines: Provide students with specific responsibilities and recommendations, such as describing how to clean a Chromebook LCD screen and explaining the importance of storing the Chromebook on a flat surface and avoiding leaving it in extreme heat or cold.
Even relatively inexpensive Chromebook repairs can become a drain on your school’s technology budget. Get ahead of device damage by sharing these resources and accessories as part of your school’s Chromebook device deployment process.
Track and Manage Your Student Chromebooks with Incident IQ
School IT departments have a huge responsibility when it comes to tracking, managing, and replacing student devices. Using these tips to repair and protect school Chromebooks can help alleviate the strain on your time and resources.
To streamline your Chromebook repairs, turn to Incident IQ’s school asset management software. It’s an ideal tool to optimize asset deployment and inventory management, especially when used in combination with help ticketing software. You’ll have clear data about device histories, repairs, and replacement needs.
Contact Incident IQ to learn more about improving your school’s student device tracking, related record-keeping (regarding service history, warranties, etc.), and optimizing your help desk solution to get devices back into students’ hands quickly. Schedule a free demo to see Incident IQ in action!