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Dell LCD Monitor Repair - Smoke coming out from back!!

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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May 4, 2011 12:11:36 PM

Hi Guys

I'm totally oblivious to electrical engineering and computer parts etc so please bear with me as I'll probably be screwing up most of the terms used when describing my problem

After turning on my computer this morning, I saw smoke coming out of the back of my Dell S2209W monitor

I am in China and with the computer being out of warranty, I had to take the monitor to a local shop to get it repaired

I do not trust these shops but with Dell not offering a repair service or partnering with any repair centers, I am stuck having to choose a local repair shop, which is really akin to having to choose from a groups of STDs

After opening the monitor up, the guy at the repair store studied the electrical board and pointed out a visible burnt mark/patch on the flat part of the board (not the capacitors etc sticking out of the board) - I described to him that the power board which the monitor was plugged into had a flickering light and he posited that the irregular/unstable power supply could have been the cause of the problem

He then told me he would have to change only a few components/parts on the board for the monitor to work again

This sounded simple enough and he quoted a price of around $55 USD (with a 3 month warranty) - To me, this doesn't seem an outrageous price

My source of distrust stems from the possibility of behind the scenes shenanigans with this type of repair service - He had promised me the job would take 2 hours and when I returned, he was still tinkering with the electrical board and told me he needed to order special parts from the south of china and would not be able to finish repairs until the next day

I know my monitor (Dell S2209W) isn't anything special but is it possible that he could replace the unaffected components on my monitor's electrical board with components of an inferior quality? Could he replace the actual LCD screen with one that is of a lesser quality and somehow profit from this switch?

I understand that the graphics card is a major determinant of video quality and that is inside the actual computer - But I am also aware that there are differences in the quality of LCD panels that make some more valuable than others - Not to generalize overtly, but with this being China, I am worried that he may replace certain parts of my LCD monitor with parts of a lesser quality without me realising

Any tips/help would be appreciated - Please let me know what, if anything, I should be wary of

thank you
May 4, 2011 4:01:54 PM

i doubt you will have to worry about the entire lcd panel being swapped out. instead i'd be more worried about what parts he is putting in. not to say that the repair shop will do this, but sometimes items like transformers can be taken from inferior sources and used as temporary fixes. i know for example you can take a cellphone charger transformer and put it on one of the boards in a projection tv and make it work for awhile.

$55 for parts and labor.. with a 3 month warranty isn't terrible. just make sure its a reputable company that actually stands behind its warranties. and make sure you get a paper copy detailing the warranty and the dates which it covers.

i understand your skepticism and paranoia but there really aren't many options for you. used monitors don't have too much of a street value and to try and swap out parts on you isn't very efficient. the best you can do is do what i said above and check the monitor out at home.
May 5, 2011 3:37:09 AM

Really appreciate the response and heads up

Thanks again!!
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