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I have been having a problem with my LCD monitor recently. When I boot up, the screen turns on for 1-2 seconds and then immediately turns off. I have to cycle the monitor's power on and off several times to get it to stay on. Each time I turn it on, the screen turns on for a second and then turns off. Eventually the screen will stay on.

I realize that this probably means my screen is near death, but I thought someone might have experienced a similar phenomenon and might have some tips.

The monitor is a few years old 24" Acer X241W.

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It might be the so called capacitors(but those are in the power supply part of the LCD).. but it could be your inverter is acting up. Are you sure its "OFF!" and not just "DARK" - if you look very carefully you will see the picture but very very dark picture. A common fault on LCD on many laptops. Replace the inverter and it works. a few bux usually. NB. Cycling your monitor like that damages it more. –  ppumkin Mar 30 '12 at 15:57

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

First off, AndrejaKo's answer is incorrect - it is INDEED cheaper to replace the capacitors and to buy them. I recently bought a kit of capacitors for a customer's LCD. In fact, several sites on the Internet show you the user how to repair a LCD monitor yourself - all you need is some capacitors, solder, and soldering gun, and a putty knife and a exacto blade and a Phillips screwdriver. A kit will run you $13 on eBay - just type in the name of your model of your LCD and look them up - most supply capacitors and solder - you just have to have the rest.

Generally the only capacitors you need to replace are the ones on the power supply on the back of the case of the LCD - it's not hard to do. Also as costs and repairs have changed - if you didn't want to do this - it would run you $30 for someone to repair them - so whoever says it's costly hasn't seen the price for a new LCD - they are still more pricy than repairing your current one - and most LCD monitors are shipped with capacitors that last only a few years - but it's not hard to find capacitors that will last you many more years.

Take it from a tech who knows - not someone who assumes.

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+1 for the intro –  nixda Aug 15 '13 at 20:34
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The usual disclaimers apply here - you could easily kill yourself if you don't know what you are doing. For instance, the primary side capacitor can be at 400 volts a long time after the power has been removed. –  Peter Mortensen Apr 26 at 21:05

Issues such as this one are usually caused by bad electrolytic capacitors used inside the monitor. With time they lose their capacitance and their equivalent series resistance (ESR) increases. Such problems are common in computer power supplies, but it can happen on anything that uses electrolytic capacitors.

The several restarts are required because as the capacitors age, more time is required for them to charge and when the screen is restarted several times in succession, they don't have enough time to discharge while the screen is off, so the stored amount of charge increases with each restart.

The electrolytic capacitors are often used with voltage regulators and that could explain the restarts. The monitor will usually have pre-programmed amount of time in which the regulator output must stabilize. If it doesn't safeties will kick in and turn it off. Once the amount of charge in the capacitors is enough for the regulators to work correctly, the screen will stop turning off and will work more or less normally.

The solution to this problem isn't very easy and probably not very cheap. You (or a repairman) will have to locate the failing capacitors and replace them, hopefully with capacitors of higher quality.

Another option is to trash the monitor and get a new one. Depending on the costs of repairs, this could turn out to be a cheaper option than fixing the monitor, if you don't know how to replace the capacitors yourself.

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Solution (replacing capacitors) actually is pretty easy and also cheap if you already have required tools: soldering iron, tin solder and some screwdrivers. Capacitors for single PSU board would be around $1-5. Most of time locating failing capacitors is also pretty easy task to do, see superuser.com/a/464527/132604 –  Sampo Sarrala Apr 26 at 21:21
    
@Sampo Sarrala I wholeheartedly disagree with such comment. I don't think it's safe for someone who doesn't already have experience using soldering iron to attempt to replace capacitors. First problem is the iron itself. A beginner won't be able to see difference between dx.com junk that will catch on fire and dx.com junk that won't catch on fire. Next, there's some training that's needed in order to be able to actually desolder a capacitor from a PCB without damaging the PCB itself. Lifted traces aren't going to make repair any easier. –  AndrejaKo Apr 26 at 22:27
    
@Sampo Sarrala Then we have the problem of iron being fit for the job of working with the capacitor: Too powerful and non-temperature controlled as well as too weak can result in damaged PCB. Next, there's the knowledge needed to pick and install a replacement capacitor. Again, getting a capacitor from eBay or similar source can be problematic and it takes some experience to find a reliable distributor of safe capacitors. –  AndrejaKo Apr 26 at 22:32
    
@Sampo Sarrala Anyway, my point is that learning how to solder just in order to save money on capacitor repair is false economy. On the other hand, if someone is already in electronics, then it's not as problematic because the basic foundations will already be there. –  AndrejaKo Apr 26 at 22:32

It sounds like a monitor issue, but here are a few things to try:

  • Confirm your video card is working. If your video card is not sending a signal to the monitor, it will turn on for a few seconds, then go to sleep. Do you see your desktop (or anything other than a black screen) when you power cycle the monitor?

  • Change video inputs. It could be the port on the video card and/or monitor is going bad.

  • Get a new DVI Cable. A quick google search found people with a lot of issues with the X241W. One fix was to get a new DVI cable if you are running resolutions beyond 1920 X 1080. The one supplied is a single-link DVI and to run higher resolutions you'll need a dual-link DVI cable. http://forums.techguy.org/hardware/611883-lcd-monitor-standby-problem-2.html

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I am able to see the desktop briefly before the screen goes blank, so I don't think it is the video card. I am going to take the monitor to work tomorrow to test on another system, I'll also try to bring a monitor home to test on my system. Thanks for the ideas. –  karnage May 23 '11 at 6:09
    
I tested the monitor on another computer and it had the same behavior - on both the DVI and VGA ports on the monitor. The cable was different as well. Perhaps it is an issue with the capacitors or the backlight as @AndrejaKo and @Spectre suggest. Thanks! –  karnage May 24 '11 at 1:28

Before you trash the monitor or even open it up to repair it be sure to check the warranty on the unit. Acer monitors have a 3 year warranty from date of purchase that covers parts and labor. If you can't find your receipt then check the mfg date on the label on the back of the monitor, if it's within the 3 year warranty then contact http://www.acer.com to have the unit serviced.

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Also, many countries have regulations on consumer goods purchases that specify reasonable liability on the behalf of the distributor of the goods with regards to faults. This is separate from the producer-consumer warranty agreement. –  Eroen Mar 30 '12 at 16:26

I would hazard a guess and say the fluorescent backlight (or its control circuit) are dying, and that it needs to warm up a bit in order to stay on (hence why it goes off and one several times before staying on).

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