how easy is it to fix loosening panels on old MSI laptop?

  theDarkness 12 Jan 12
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Answered

I have here an old 2006 era VR601 MSI laptop, a cheap build made from rather thin easily breakable plastic, which has lasted a reasonable amount of time. One corner of the keyboard section has plastic that has broken off, even without ever being dropped and having been looked after. Its dvd drive died after 2 yrs of use too, which was eventually replaced. Aside from this, what I am mainly wondering about is the plastic casing, mainly around 3 of the 4 edges of the screen and where the power switch is on the keyboard section. These areas have started to loosen/rise-how easy would it be to take apart and fix into place? If possible? Regarding the power button area, pushing down the plastic gently does not seem to help, so im thinking that the areas that are now starting to loosen may have been down to the way they were put together in the first place.. over-tightening on production? any suggestions (aside from binning it)-here's a pic of its general quality-not great, and likely to be the last MSI laptop ill ever purchase :)

  wiz-king 12 Jan 12

Sounds like a 'blue peter' job ---- glue and sticky backed plastic. grin

  bjh 12 Jan 12
Answer

The plastic will probably be quite brittle now - you may cause more harm than good. Is it really just cosmetic (power button aside)?

PVC insulating tape (the stretchy stuff) is far better than sellotape at moulding onto plastic housing; pulled tight, it will reform a similar shape to underlying structure.... and comes in pretty colours (stripey too!).

Many laptops have plastic clips to reassemble them, along with screws. Try fitting them back, and ... ping...

You might be able to find a small computer repair shop, and their expert fingers may do a better job... may also ping more carelessly!

  theDarkness 12 Jan 12

Its largely cosmetic-until the screen starts to do the same with the casing loosening that is :D If you press gently to either side of the plastic casing (gently) the screen can distort, which is probably not a good sign, but its been like that since day one. I dont think the way MSI puts laptops together (cheaply) is so that if anything goes wrong, it must get sent straight back to them for a repair=£, as there doesnt seem to be an obvious way to take anything apart to refit. I could take a chance, but for now at least, Ill probably just 'stick' with it (some pvc tape) until it shows more signs of decay :)

  Terry Brown 12 Jan 12

If the buttons are loose but they work OK, why not try some strong glue (like Evostik) to hold them in place.Be careful only to put a small amount where needed so it does not affect anything else.

Terry

  bjh 12 Jan 12

Just be extra-careful if using glue near the screen. Not only can the long strings of sticky leap out and grab the screen when you least expect it, but many solvent-based glue release vapours that'll attack the screen!

I'd grab the most vivid tape colours I could find, and make a feature of it! Does Screwfix sell reels of "radioactive" label tape? I used to have that on a bag... kept the seat beside me on the train free.

  theDarkness 09 Mar 12

Just thought I would update-the right hinge became so stiff, that it wouldnt move down at all, unless you used pliers or something similar. The hinge as a result, has now snapped right off from the screen :( I dont know how common this is, im guessing its just a case of low cost budget plastic being used for the brands laptops. I have glued the casing back together with UHU glue, strong for plastic but not strong enough overall-the hinge still only moves one way, so using enough force to move the hinge in the direction its stiff, just causes it to crack again-creating a new large break in the plastic. This is my second time in gluing it all back-I think I should have definately tried to untighten the hinge at first. If it cracks again, would WD40 be a bad choice in trying to unloosen the hinge that only moves one way? Its another MSI laptop so Im not sure if theres any other option (eg if its a simple case of unscrewing the hinge to loosen it-but it doesnt look like an easy case to open and get into)?

I would replace the entire casing top and bottom, if it was possible to keep the laptops screen, but thats almost as expensive as a brand new system

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