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Monday, November 06, 2006

PSP on the Mend from a Broken LCD

Update: New Guide on how to Replace to your PSP LCD

My Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) has become of mainstay of my recent travels, providing an additional means of passing the time in airports and on planes. It came in extremely handy during this past September when I spent more time on a plane and in airports than not. I use it mainly for games, and have not crossed over to the UMD format for movies nor has it replaced my iPOD for music and photos. In addition, it has proved to be fairly sturdy and reliable, as it made all the trips unscathed across the globe, including across India taking its share of bumps and bruises. For the most part, the Logitech PlayGear Pocket has done an excellent job at protecting the PSP with a hard case without greatly increasing the weight.

On one of the occassions where it was not being protected by the hard case, one mishap occurred which resulted in a serious cracking of the LCD glass rendering the PSP useless. My first reaction was to call Sony support and see what they could do for me. Probably, it does not come to anyone's surprise that the price tag for Sony to do an "authorized" repair came to well over $100. Being relatively electronic savvy, having fixed laser issues on my PlayStation2 - I decided to see if there was a cheaper way. After some basic searching, I realized that this issue with cracked LCDs is a relatively common occurrence. Then a quick browse on eBay searching for "sony lcd psp replacement" turned up over 175 current items. After selecting a vendor located in Hong Kong, "gameconsolehk", I placed my order and waited for the item to arrive, for less than $40.

About a week later, the replacement LCD showed up and I started working on replacing the screen. After taking out the obvious screws to open up the case, I noticed the outer shell would still not separate, so I visited the forums which turned up some excellent photos and a video.

On a side note, Sony recently filed a lawsuit against the lik-sang company in order to force them to shut down. Lik-Sang apparently produced a few things that Sony did not care for, so Sony took care of that. The disappointing part is that the tutorial and video included on the forums were excellent and I had hoped to link them to this post.

They revealed that I missed the last two screws underneath the black warranty strip. I removed the last two screws and proceeded with the replacement. The replacement itself is fairly straight forward -- you only need a couple of mini-screwdrivers, a flat-head and a phillips to do the job. Once you slide off the lower metail bar and then unclip the LCD from the housing, the work is almost done. The last and most delicate part of the work is to unlock the clips that hold the LCD cables to the PSP. This is a critical part to take easy, break a clip and you are really out of luck. Once you have unclipped the cable, the replacement fits right in.

In a matter of 15 minutes, I was able to replace the LCD and restore my PSP to working condition and it is behaving like new. If you happen to end up in the situation with a broken LCD, you can do it yourself to save some money. Warranty is not really a concern here, as once you contact Sony support about a broken LCD the assumption is the product has been abused and the warranty is voided.

Best of luck! If you have any questions or run into any problems, just leave a comment or send me a note and I will try to help!