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Compaq Contura Aero Frequently Asked Questions
Section - The screen connection

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[C] Date: Sun, 7 Feb 1999 22:01:29 EST
Subject: Re: Screen or screen cable problem
From: Greg Stewart

> I've read a few incidents on aeros that suddenly have bright or
> colorful verticles lines that run up and down the screen.  I never
> paid much attention to those post, but this AM, I turned on my aero
> and I got these verticles lines going up and down the scrreen.

> Tonight I opened up the aero and could see nothing wrong.  I initially
> thought it was a problem with the connector from the screen to the
> mother board.  Loosen and reconnected.   Same thing.  Tried it a few
> times. Same thing.

> However, if i move the cable out (flex it towards me), the screen
> clears up.  I think I may have a hairline crackin the cable.

In my experience with 3 Aeros, this is a sign that the solder joints on
the screen connector [on the mother board] have broken. If you have a
very fine soldering tip and are a very good solderer, you can remove the
motherboard and resolder these connections. This will resolve the

It may also be a cable, but on all of my Aeros, resoldering fixed this

[C]Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 13:10:42 -0800
From: "C. Leath"
Subject: reattaching the screen cable properly

I had my clutch break on me, and then when replacing the clutch, my screen
cable became detached from its socket near the keyboard. I reattached it
with success, but later I began to have connection problems (the screen
would get lines and static in it).

In attempting to improve the connection, I ended up tearing the cable,
which I am now replacing.

I have learned that I was reattaching the cable in the wrong way.

I am not sure if the proper way is noted in the clutch and screen
connection sections of the aero faq, but it might be good to add this note
in a prominent place in relevant sections because I did not notice
warnings about reattaching the screen cable when I read the faq.

The proper way to reattach the screen cable is (I think):

After removing the plastic cover that sits around the keyboard, unscrew
the keyboard so it can moved out of the way in order for you to have
easier access to the socket.

Then, there is a little grey plastic piece with a slit in it sitting over
the socket. Take this off the socket and slide the cable through the slit. 
Then stick the cable in the socket and slide the grey plastic piece down
until it snaps in place. The cable should be snugly attached to the socket

The grey plastic piece is essentially a little wedge which presses the
contacts on the cable close to the contacts on the socket, and also holds
the socket in place.

[C] Date: Sat, 05 Dec 1998 10:28:47 -0500
From: Andy Kunz 
Subject: Re: How do I keep the Aero Display Cable Plugged IN?

At 01:01 PM 12/4/98 -0800, you wrote:
>My Aero 4/33C Display cable keeps coming loose.  Opening/closing the lid
>flexes the cable and loosens the latch on the display cable connector.
>I can reseat it.  Seems to be tight, but eventually works loose again.
>The top of the case is so flexible that it won't do any good to wedge
>something in there to hold the latch down.  I thought about trying
>to stuff some hot-melt glue between the bottom of the aluminum
>plate under the keyboard and the top of the connector, but it's
>rather far away to get much leverage.  Maybe I could epoxy an extension
>on the underside of the keyboard to hold down the latch.
>Any ideas on keeping the connector closed?
>Thanks, miker


The connector is actually a slide/friction thing.  It's possible to put it
together and have it ALMOST right.

Next time you have it apart, look closely at the two little tabs on either
side of the plastic.  Use those to pull half the connector away from the
circuit board.  BE CAREFUL - it only moves about 1mm.

Then slide the cable in.  When the cable is all the way down, push those
two little tabs toward the circuit board and you should be able to see that
the cable is now crimped, sort of, and shouldn't slide away.

FWIW, I've had my Aero almost since they came out with it, and have never
had a problem with the connector IF I had put it together right.

[C] Date: Wed, 9 Dec 1998 12:43:54 GMT
From: Stewart Rendall
Subject: Re: How do I keep the Aero Display Cable Plugged IN?

>> When I replaced the hard drive, there was a piece left over.
>> Small bent metal piece that I thought was a shield part where
>> the keyboard cable attached.  I couldn't figger exactly where it
>> went, so I left it out.  Is this the part we're talking about?
>Yes, it is! I did exactly the same thing when I first changed my HD.
>I hope you kept the piece, as if you put it back in everything will be
>steve pells

That solves my mystery of what to do with the little metal clip. I
thought it was there as some sort of shielding clip to maintain
continuity between hard disk and the chassis. 

I did notice my Aero cable was on the loose side. Next time I have to
take mine apart I'll put the clip back where it is supposed to go. 


[C] Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 21:55:26 -0700
From: Jon Ong 
Subject: Flickering 4/33c screen...

> From: "Denis Hall" 
> My 4/33c is now 4 years old, and has developed a problem with the
> screen flickering at startup and periodically thereafter.   If I give
> the Aero a light "tap" while it's sitting there, the screen usually
> flickers.

> I have recently opened up my Aero to check and see if the screen
> ribbon cable might have a problem.  I couldn't see anything obvious,
> and also checked out to see if the clutch was failing (it wasn't).
> Does my problem sound like a bad LCD?

> Or, is it more likely a bad connection to the screen?

Denis: I had the same problem, so I took screen casing down and tightened
up the clutch screws and it was better....for about a month and
I've noticed screen casing loosening up again, did you try tightening the
screws?  I've got a feeling it's got something to do with too much flex in
the screen casing affecting connections in LCD, just a guess.


[C] From: <GStew@aol>
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 1996 08:34:39 -0400

... try pressing firmly on the ramp on the
case just above the F3 and F4 keys. If this causes the display to light, then
the contacts on the cable from the screen to the motherboard are dirty...

[Q] My 2 month-old Aero 4/25 monochrome recently developed a "loose connection"
in the wiring between the screen and the CPU so that the screen blanks out when
the clamshell hinge is opened...and the screen works only after you open it
almost fully and then slowly, carefully bring it back to about 110 degrees. The
backlighting still works. I just get a bright, blank screen. I've called
Compaq's product support here in Canada, and they've told me that the "tape
that holds down the ribbon that goes to the screen probably became unseated
within the hinge," and they would fix it under warranty. Has anyone else had
this problem?

[A] Yes. When I opened the case of Aero that ribbon-like cable slipped off the
hinge. I doubt whether it ever was properly seated. Ask them to replace it with
a longer cable if they have one. The original one is definitely too short.

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