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I have a hardware issue with some of the LCD monitors we have in our office. My problems is not related to video cards or anything else with the computer itself.

I have 2 Dell 17" LCD screens that goes off (blank) after 1 or 2 seconds. The light remains green so it's not idling or sleeping. Just this morning, I had to replace one that goes off on 2 workstations and also on my laptop. Nothing to do with it. I tried the VGA and DVI connection w/out luck.

I strongly think that this is something with a capacitor or something inside the screen but I can't figure out what it is...

Is anybody heard of that kind of issue before?



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migrated from Mar 1 '10 at 18:22

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

As these are machines you are supporting in a professional capacity and not your personal machine, this might get more traction at Server Fault. – ChrisF Mar 1 '10 at 16:33
I guess you're right but this question fits to the SU's FAQ. Let's wait a day before moving my question to SF please. – r0ca Mar 1 '10 at 16:34
Are the monitors still in warranty? If so, your first port of call should really be with Dell. I assume you've done some googling with the model number to find evidence of others with similar problems? Could it be the cold cathode light that's failed? If so, it should be just possible to make out images on the screen. p.s. I expect this would get moved back here if it gets posted on SF instead. – Bryan Mar 1 '10 at 17:30
up vote 2 down vote accepted

It is most likely the inverter that provides power to the backlight failing. This is the first relevant link that turned up in a quick search.

If, when the screen dims, you can see a very faint image of what should be clearly visible then the backlight failing is the most likely cause and the behaviour your describe (being on for a short time) points at the inverter being to blame. It is a relatively common way for an LCD monitor to misfunction.

The inverter is usually replaceable though depending on the monitor in question and your level of (or access to) expertise it may well be easier and/or cheaper to replace the monitor. Obviously if the monitors are under warranty you need to contact the manufacturer or your supplier for replacements.

My five year old 19" LCD went this way and I used it as an excuse to upgrade. Given how many people queued up to take the old one off me via FreeCycle it was certainly worth, to some people, the time and materials cost of trying to repair - your mileage may vary.

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Well as he stated, the light didn't go into standby, and there was no picture displayed. That means there was not a faint image.

It's 2 capacitors that are the problem. It's a known issue that isn't very wide-spread. If you take the backing off of the LCD you will notice two capacitors ont he board popping out. Those are the ones that need to be removed and replaced.

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I had the same problem. My five-year-old LCD (LG Flatron L1718S) went blank yesterday, could be turned back on, but went off half a second later, every time. The flashlight test showed nothing. For a while it has had an occasionally wobbly picture which didn't go away by any cable tweaking, which is maybe related.

I downloaded the monitor's service manual for disassembly instructions, and in the middle of the power board there was a 1000μf 10v capacitor obviously bulging and slightly leaking. I was lucky -- I had a single perfect replacement for it (even the same temperature rating) from an ancient VCR I disassembled. I replaced the capacitor and now it's all working again.

I didn't find it easy (I'm no soldering wizard) and it took much longer than someone more experienced could have done it, but it was worth it. The €300 monitor is as now good as new.

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