Ebay the model and see if someybody is parting your model out. The "hinge" can cost up to $100 for one side if purchased new. I needed both sides and the diplay clamshell for my Toshiba and got it for $35, including a signal cable and invereter.
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I would loosen or unscrew the 8? screws that hold the display on, this will loosen it off without everything coming apart, then tilt the screen down, lift the from the bottom of the screen, pry without breaking, take that panel off and see if you can replace or find the part that came out, it maybe screws or another piece. You can probably put it back together if it fell out, then just put the screen plate back on.
The only people who have the hinge is Dell themselves. I've checked all over. The only parts available are the Center Console Cover & The Back Cover. If the hinge itself is broken, then you will have to send it to DELL. They'll tell you that the whole screen needs to be fixed- just to hike up the price of repair. If you want, you can buy the back cover, which for the most part, will cover the exposed wires on the hinge, but the front of the hinge will still be exposed. What I would love to find is a metal hinge for the DELL Inspiron 1318, like that found in the Dell Studio XPS version. The plastic hinges only guarantee that we will remain loyal customers. Sorry if this didn't help much.
hinges take alot of stress as they have to be quite tight to hold the screen in a certain position, alot of laptops can have over tightened hinges and cause splitting in the housing. Hinges can quite often come loose. Make sure all screws are present around the hinge area and if you can tighten up your hinges. If the hinges are badly damage you can buy replacments for a few $ off of ebay
With the power disconnected. First off there are 4 rubbers on the screen bezel itself. Take those off and then unscrew the 4 screws.
Then take off the screen bezel itself, it will be held in by clips so you may have to use a flathead to pry it off.
Once you expose the screen, there might be one screw on each side holding in each screen hinge, if so that those screws out.
At this point there will be 4 screws holding the screen in on both the left and right side hinge.
Go ahead and take off the 4 screws on each side of the hinge and this will loosen the screen completely.
At this point go ahead and unseat the connector that goes to the inverter toward the bottom of the screen. Also unseat the connector that goes to the back of the lcd.
At this point you will have the old screen removed.
Now go ahead and screw in the screws on the left hinge and right hinge so the new screen will stay in place. Go ahead and hook up the connector to the inverter, hook up the connector to the back of the lcd. At this point go ahead and turn on the laptop and just verify that the screen works and that there is no defects such as lines in the screen or weird colors. If there is then you'll need another screen.
If you have the 2 screws, screw each one on each side of the hinges to keep the hinges in place.
Then go ahead and snap the front bezel in place, then go ahead and put the 4 screws in place and then the rubbers on and you'll have a working laptop with a new screen in place.
You do not need to dismantle to base, you have some star screws under the battary and one either side that loosens the small panel near the screen (where the power button is). The screen cover has screws under the plastic covers then just unclips, be gentle. after that it is self evident
It sounds like the hinge itself is broken. I have a relative with exactly the same problem, her laptop screen became floppy and didnt stay in the upright position. The hinges for the screen are complicated in that they appear to come as a top/bottom part already joined together, and need to be replaced as such. The metal used for the hinges is really flimy and easily snaps. this sounds like what has happened to yours. The problem is that is appears to be not econimcally viable to repair, and your probably better off scrapping it or buying another with say;.. a cracked screen and doing a swap-over of parts to get one fully working one (thats what I did)