My monitor won't turn on
August 23, 2009 10:10 AM   Subscribe

Is my Dell monitor dead? CPU boots up but the monitor is black and on/off switch is not lighting up.

My computer and monitor are about 3 years old. I have no idea what the model # of the monitor is. All I know is it's a Dell 15' flatscreen that I bought with the computer. Everything worked fine last night. I shut down and turned the monitor off. This morning when I turned the computer on the monitor remained black. Usually once I boot up the on/off switch on the monitor turns orange and then I'll turn it on and it will turn green. Today there is no light at all on the on/off switch. The computer seems to be booting up fine.

So is my monitor dead or is there a deeper issue with my video card? I don't have a 2nd monitor to test this with although I'm about to go buy one and test it.
posted by bingwah to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Make sure to check that all connections are made, and firmly seated, before you spend money on another monitor. The power cable to the outlet, the power cable to the monitor, the video cable to the monitor, the video cable to the computer.
posted by Flunkie at 10:13 AM on August 23, 2009

Also swap power cables computer to monitor and monitor to computer, and try them in different outlets as well. I've had a single outlet on a power strip go bad.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 10:26 AM on August 23, 2009

Response by poster: I checked all connections and everything is tight. I tried switching the outlet too and nothing.
posted by bingwah at 10:34 AM on August 23, 2009

Flatscreen or flatpanel?

I've seen cases where the flatpanels "freeze" so that they can not be turned on, the solution is to unplug the power, wait a few seconds, and plug it back in. Unless you switched outlets fairly quickly, this isn't your problem and you probably need a new monitor.
posted by Sonic_Molson at 11:49 AM on August 23, 2009

Your monitor's power light will always come on if it's working properly and powered, regardless of what, if any, inputs it has.

It sounds like it's dead. Could be a logic board of power supply issue, but either way, you're going to need to buy a new one. Dell has some great displays--I love the 2009W (NOT S2009W or any of the other ones) which is $200 for a 20" with a 3 yr warranty.

You should also call them to check the warranty--the 2 20" I just bought came with a 3 yr.

If you've swapped power cable and outlet and still get nothing (and you can do this without the computer nearby; the monitor will go amber/green/amber as it tries to find a source), then it's dead.
posted by disillusioned at 12:16 PM on August 23, 2009

Response by poster: It's a flatpanel and unfortunately I think it is indeed dead.
posted by bingwah at 12:37 PM on August 23, 2009

Does your Dell monitor have multiple inputs? Did you try pressing the button that cycles through which input is currently displayed?
posted by Nelson at 2:43 PM on August 23, 2009

This doesn't sound good for your existing monitor, but on the good side you can replace it with a 24" widescreen for $200...

You say the computer seems to be booting up fine. This means you can hear the windows start sound (or whatever you've replaced the default sound with)? That no light at all thing is a very bad sign.

good hunting!
posted by Busithoth at 3:25 PM on August 23, 2009

It may be dead, but it may have also blown its fuse. If you're handy with a screwdriver, open the case up and look for the fuse, which will be near where the power cord goes in. Don't touch any capacitors nearby as they can bite in potentially lethal ways.

While a new 24" is a nice option, 50c is less than $200.
posted by polyglot at 7:00 PM on August 23, 2009

Response by poster: So I ended up buying a nice new 23" monitor. Of course the dead one was just past the warranty period.

I AM going to try and fix the broken monitor myself just for the hell of it. It's not like I can do any more damage to it. I've read a few posts online about the on/off button becoming stuck on this particular Dell monitor (which is I've found out is the 1907FPc). The button does seem to be stuck somewhat so maybe that's the problem.
posted by bingwah at 8:07 AM on August 24, 2009

Response by poster: Turned out the on/off button was broken. I pried the front bevel off and took a look at the cheap plastic power button. The piece of it that is supposed to touch the sensor was cracked. The actual sensor that turns the monitor on/off is off center from the plastic button. I tried krazy-gluing the plastic button piece that was broken and reassembling it but that didn't work. So I basically followed the advice here:

I ended up drilling a hole through the front plastic piece so that I could see the actual chip that turns the monitor on and off. I cut off a small piece of a wooden skewer and taped it in the hole. I press the skewer piece in to touch the sensor to turn the monitor on/off. This isn't the prettiest or most elegant solution but it works.

After all is said and done though I'm keeping my new 23" monitor because it's really tough to go back once you go that big. But at least I have a backup 2nd monitor now.
posted by bingwah at 1:36 PM on August 24, 2009


Rather than using it as a backup, consider using it as a secondary monitor for all the little things that you always have running...IM, desktop gadgets, etc.
posted by Sonic_Molson at 3:58 PM on August 24, 2009

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