Spaghetti Programming

Fixing a Loose Screen on the Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook

Samsung 550 Chromebook
About one year ago I purchased a brand new Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook around the time when they were first launched. While not as seductive as its now newer cousin, the Pixel, the hardware on the 550 is still really nice both on the eyes and functionally. I used it quite frequently for several months and then I noticed that the screen started to become floppy, like it had a dead spot where if you opened it up just enough, the tension on the screen to hold it in place was lost. This was rather disappointing considering it was only a few months old and being the previous flagship of the Chrombook lineup it was not exactly cheap.

So I could have RMA'ed the device through Samsung and have them repair it. I thought about that, but then decided that this process would probably take weeks, leaving me without use of the device during that period. I decided instead before sending it out to Samsung to crack the case carefully and see if I could see anything simple that might fix the issue.

I started by flipping the device over and prying off the rubber feet covering the two screws closest to the hinge with a small flat head screwdriver. If you pry carefully on the rubber feet they will stick back on just fine. Then I started to unscrew those screws. I noticed something though as I was loosening them. They were already pretty loose. So on a hunch I tightened them up and like magic the screen was now held firmly in place at all angles. Basically, I think that these screws are supposed to clamp down on the hinge mechanism somehow to keep it tight and since they were loose it allowed some slop in the hinge.

Clickable thumbs to images showing the screws that I tightened.

Remove rubber feet Screw underneath Screw closeup

The only tools used for this fix were

  • small flat head screwdriver
  • small phillips head screwdriver

And by small I mean like small enough to use on the screws in eyeglasses. Also, from memory I do not believe these screws had any thread locker on them which may have prevented them from backing out. I did not think to put any on when I was working on it, but if they come loose again I will put some on the threads. Happy fixing!