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  • Laptop Lid – Close or Keep Open

    Posted on 280park Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support PC hardware Laptop Lid – Close or Keep Open

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      • #2141277 Reply
        280park
        AskWoody Plus

        Not long after I purchased my first laptop computer about eight years ago a crack appeared where the screen bezel attaches to one of the two small lid hinges. This laptop has never left my home and seldom leaves my desk. To prevent further expansion of the crack I almost never close the lid. The screen and keyboard get dustier than would be the case if I closed the lid but that is a small inconvenience compared to a fully broken hinge.

        I recently purchased a new laptop with a lid that is attached to a much sturdier looking eleven-inch hinge.

        Do AskWoody members generally leave their laptop lids open or closed when not in use?

        Thanks.

      • #2141290 Reply
        PKCano
        Da Boss

        Mine are either in-use and open, or in a bag and closed. (I use the desktop).

        A solution for you may be to make (or buy) a dust cover to put over the laptop when not in use. Lint-free cloth, flexible paper, etc. You shouldn’t cover it when it’s on, b/c the cover would hamper air circulation and possible cause heat problems. But it might help when it’s off.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2141291 Reply
        Kirsty
        Da Boss

        I always keep my laptop’s lid closed, when not in use.
        (Helps to prevent cat typing too, as well as dust etc… unless of course, you have some sort of protection, like this ancient option.) 😉

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2141292 Reply
        The Surfing Pensioner
        AskWoody Plus

        Oh, definitely, shut when not in use. When open a laptop takes up twice the space and then again supposing you want to use an aerosol…………………………………..?

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2141296 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Mine (I have two and 1/2 — the ‘1/2’ from NASA) also always closed when not in use. Dust gets into the keyboard, and then one gets real sticky keys; usually the ones most inconvenient to loose are those to go first.

        I always open the lid from the reinforced middle at the top, neglecting to do this is a common cause of screen breakage. For 280Park, however, this could not be the reason, so it looks like just a case of sheer bad luck.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2141314 Reply
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        My laptop sits on my desk most of the time, on and ready to use. I always leave the lid open, for convenience reasons – so that it is always ready to use.

        The downside of this is that dust will get into the keyboard, slowly over time. The upside is that I don’t wear out the hinges and perhaps cause other damage from constantly closing and opening the lid.

        How can you solve this dilemma? The easy way is to get a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, and connect them to the laptop. Once you have done this, you can operate your laptop with the lid closed.

        A side benefit of using a mouse and keyboard is that you don’t wear out the built-in mouse and keyboard. A side benefit of using a monitor is that you will likely have a bigger and better monitor than the one that is built in. The only negative I can see in using a monitor is that if your built-in monitor is touch-screen, you will need to spend extra to get touch screen functionality on your external monitor. But again, you will have the benefit of wearing out the external monitor rather than the built-in monitor.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2141332 Reply
        Bluetrix
        AskWoody MVP

        I did a post on this somewhere (maybe not here) about hinge cracks. From what I recall the main reason for this happening was not closing the lid from the center or by not holding both top edges as it is closed.

        The result was always one hinge developed cracks, depending on which side the lid is closed with.

        Fragile things those hinges are and you torque the hinge closing by either single top edge.

        I have suffered this issue (all HP 17″) and now close the lid from the center. A small pillowcase works well if you just want to leave it open, I do most times. (sans felines)

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2141471 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I always close mine – it is set to hibernate when the lid is closed.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2141479 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        I never close mine as my laptop is on 24/365. The screen and laptop goes in to sleep after 10 minutes while applications work in the background.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2141549 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        I keep my laptop lid closed at all times, and its docked.  I’ve changed the settings on what happens when the lid is closed so that my laptop stays on unless I purposefully put it in hibernation or shut it down.  I use Remote Desktop to use it  Docking isn’t necessary, the same thing can be accomplished just by plugging in its charger and using an Ethernet connection.

        Remote Desktop isn’t necessary, either.  An external monitor, keyboard and mouse can be used while keeping the lid closed if the settings are correct.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2141711 Reply
        280park
        AskWoody Plus

        Thank you to everyone who replied.

        A solution for you may be to make (or buy) a dust cover

        Great idea.

        Helps to prevent cat typing too

        No cats here so not a problem!

        I always open the lid from the reinforced middle at the top, neglecting to do this is a common cause of screen breakage.

        and

        I did a post on this somewhere (maybe not here) about hinge cracks. From what I recall the main reason for this happening was not closing the lid from the center or by not holding both top edges as it is closed.

        Exercising care when opening or closing the lid — good idea.

        @Mr.JimPhelps and bbearren – Interesting ideas but I have very limited space which is the main reason I bought a laptop.

        All your replies were helpful.

        Long live the hinges!

        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2153314 Reply
          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          If I had limited space and therefore only a laptop (i.e. no monitor, mouse, and keyboard), I would leave the laptop open 24/7, ready to use, unless I was packing it up to take somewhere. If I was concerned about dust, I would cover the keyboard with a small towel when not in use.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #2141901 Reply
        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        I keep mine open most of the time when we’re talking about one of my “main” PCs, currently consisting of my desktop, my Acer Swift, and my Dell G3.  The G3 is on my desk next to my desktop’s monitor, and the Swift is on top of my Canon printer/scanner, which is on an end table just to my left, so it’s easily accessible just by turning left (and I’m using in that mode to type this now).

        The Swift is the most likely to be used somewhere else, as it is my out-and-about machine, and when I do, I close it, naturally.  The G3 is more of a desktop replacement for when I have a place other than home where I can set up camp, so to speak… it’s too heavy and large to want to carry it around much, but that’s why I have the Swift.

        From day to day, though, the laptops are open, specifically to prevent wear and tear on the hinges.  My first laptop, a Compaq Presario (before HP acquired Compaq), had its hinges wear out and become floppy, and I would have replaced them had it not also been obsolete.  I haven’t had it happen since, as I am quite careful to avoid unnecessary open-close lid cycles.  I put them in standby/sleep when I am not using them by pressing the power button, which I have configured for that purpose.  If they’re on battery, they also sleep when the lid is closed (on AC it just turns the backlight off).

        Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2142031 Reply
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        When it does happen maybe a bit of super glue to halt the crack??

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2142156 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Wavy: It would depend of how large and mobile is the crack, so one may be able to get the superglue in there, or not.

          What I do, since same as MrJimPhelps, I use my laptop mainly in the same way as a desktop, is to open it when starting my daily session and close it when I logout either to go out, or late at night, when it is high time for both of us to go get some sleep. This way, I have had already, over nearly thirty years, four laptops, one after another, and nary a lid crack in any of them. Or much dust in the keyboard, with just a grand total of four really sticky keys, most in the old IBM/Lenovo one, running XP.

           

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2142169 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        If you use superglue make sure you leave the laptop open a day or so for off-gas to expel. I was in a rush one time and only waited a couple hours and closed the lid. Now the screen has a permanent bad spot. Still usable but wish I wouldn’t have rushed.

        5 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2153233 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          Most plastic laptop cases are ABS plastic, and you can buy ABS cement from hardware or home improvement stores.  It’s meant for bonding ABS sewer pipes together, and comes as a thick black liquid that melts the surface of the bonding surfaces (like model glue, which might also work, as ABS and plastic models are both made of styrenes).  I’ve used it to repair laptop cases, car dashbards, and all kinds of other stuff.  It is quite smelly though, and the vapors are harmful, so use it in a well ventilated area and keep the lid open until you can’t smell it anymore.  It begins to cure quick but takes a while to reach its full strength.

          Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2153153 Reply
        280park
        AskWoody Plus

        My experience has been that simple mechanical elements of expensive electronic equipment are often what break first.

        From day to day, though, the laptops are open, specifically to prevent wear and tear on the hinges.

        I will probably leave my laptop lid open also, perhaps with one or both of the following modifications:

        I use my laptop mainly in the same way as a desktop, is to open it when starting my daily session and close it when I logout either to go out, or late at night,

        and/or

        make (or buy) a dust cover to put over the laptop when not in use.

        Thanks.

      • #2212327 Reply
        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        Depending on the model, closing the lid may cause contact between parts of the screen and the keyboard or case. Some hinges are made just loose enough to allow a thin piece of Tyvek or padding to be inserted. I have done this when closing the lids of several laptops, and they close (generally) quite well, while protecting the screens and the hinges.

        I close by holding only the center of the screen (top) part, and making sure either the bottom (keyboard) part is on a hard, secure surface, or holding the middle of that part as well. Never close the lid forcefully or rapidly!

        I don’t like hibernate for several reasons, so I usually set the Lid Closed to Turn Off. I’d rather restart than find my system destabilized, possibly with unsaved data. If I’m in the middle of a project with several applications open, I’ll use Standby after saving everything.  Then the lid stays open for awhile.

        When buying mobile PCs I look for reports about how the hinges behave. Most professional reviews include something about this.

        -- rc primak

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212351 Reply
        Canadian Tech
        AskWoody_MVP

        I look after about 120 systems. About half of them are desktop designs. I have been doing this for about 18 years now.

        In most cases, people with portable (laptop) computers rarely if ever move them. They stay in the same place and plugged in continuously. Battery condition is unknown and inconsequential.
        Laptops life-expectancy is about 5 years. Desktops life expectancy is closer to 10 years
        Repairing laptops is difficult, challenging, risky and expensive, parts are proprietary
        Repairing desktops is far easier and cheaper because everything is easily accessible and parts are commonplace and standard
        The desk space required for a desktop is not different. The computer itself can sit under the desk. A screen, keyboard and mouse take little more desktop space than a laptop
        Desktops are less expensive
        Keyboards can be replaced in 5 seconds and cost $20. Much better for the hands
        Screens are twice the size, and can be replaced for about $120, but last a very long time.
        The DVD drive in a desktop costs $20 and is replaceable in 5 minutes. A laptop closer to $100
        Common problem in laptops is the AC power port breaking, as well as hinge breakage
        Replacing a laptop screen in most cases requires complete disassembly. Very expensive

        CT

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212371 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        The main computer that I use is a 17″ HP laptop. Very good except it no longer boots easily. A friend helped me figure out that there was something wrong about the connection between the lid and the rest of the machine. (HP wanted “new” lap top money to fix the problem.) The laptop would usually easily boot if the lid were all the way pushed back from the keyboard half. I needed a wide open clam shell. So now I only close the lid when I have to. This usually happens after I have had to lower the lid to bring my face into the center of the camera field of view during a Skype session. A dust cover helps a bit and the cat has yet to visit the keyboard.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212727 Reply
        georgea
        Guest

        I had 2 ThinkPads that developed fatal hinge failures after 5-7 years of routine use.  Not sure if opening/closing fro the center would have helped – no idea…  I suspect whatever hinge lubrication is used dried out over time, along with the plastic becoming more brittle with age.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2281194 Reply
        Geo
        AskWoody Plus

        The real reason Apple is warning users about MacBook camera covers | ZDNet    You can use a cover but just don’t close it.

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