I have a fairly recent laptop. It works really well, except that the screws in it keep dropping out. This must be because I have taken it apart to mend or upgrade it that many times, that the teeth have worn down.

It's not the part of the screw which fits into the screwdriver, it's the tooth spiralled along the shaft of the screw which is worn, or the corresponding groove in the hole in the laptop. What can I do, that the laptop screws will stay screwed in and not drop out like this?

  • I used the hardware tag since it's about nuts/bolts/screws – Wilson Oct 30 at 6:39

the problem with putting glue down the screw hole as a repair is that most glues will grip the screw threads tightly and will not want to unscrew at all. This grip can be so great that you will shear off the screw head before unlocking the threads.

What I do is look for the next larger size screw and see if it can be made to fit in the assembly. If it will, then it will cut fresh thread grooves into the stripped-out plastic part and hold tight without glue.

If this does not work, then I backfill the stripped screw hole with a mix of epoxy and wheat flour (the most flour with the least possible amount of epoxy in it), let it harden completely, and then very carefully drill a pilot hole through this mix and then screw in the screw.

  • Instead of outright glue, a liquid to secure bolts against vibration loosening (such as Locktite) should work though. They are available in different strengths. – tanius Nov 10 at 2:30
  • the threadlockers are generally not designed to fill gaps between loose-fitting parts; this is one thing that makes repairs like this difficult. – niels nielsen Nov 10 at 5:31

In wood work, If you try to insert a screw into a larger hole a trick is to place a match stick into the hole beside the screw to give the screw something to bite into and wedge itself inside.

as in this picture: enter image description here

What is likely to have happened is that the holes that you are screwing in and out of will be plastic and will have worn away somewhat.

You could try adding some "Loctite" or other alternative glue type substance to see if that will hold the screw in place, you wouldn't need a lot to fix the screw into place.

alternatively if the casing is metal and the screws are unthreaded, you can purchase a replacement set online for pennies. (I know not a life hack but would be a more professional fix).

  • I think the holes are made from plastic and have worn away their threads, like you have suggested. Is there some kind of glue which will allow the screw to come back out later? – Wilson Oct 31 at 10:32

Wrap the threads with a layer of tape. Any tape will do, but I prefer electrical tape, because it is thin, pliable, and doesn't tear easy.

Edit: I will note that there's actually nothing wrong with your screws. It's your case that needs help. Whatever you have been doing is damaging, and whichever solution you choose, you should be careful on the pressure you apply on the screws.

Your Answer

 

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.