Friday, September 2, 2016

Gateway LE1936 Repair.

In early 2012 my friend gave me his old PC, along with a pretty darn snazzy monitor. Up to that point I was using a laptop and before that I was using an ever dying Dell PC with an HP Pavilion vf17 monitor. The HP monitor was the very first plat screen monitor I had ever seen and used, but when I got the Gateway LE1936, which is significantly wider and looks better, I put the old vf17 away.

After only a year and a half in service the Gateway eventually started acting up. When I would start the computer and start up the monitor the power indicator LED would flash on and quickly off, as would the display. After a few minutes the monitor would heat up and work perfectly fine the rest of the day. As time went on the time it took for the monitor to start working increased and eventually the monitor quit working completely.

I couldn't afford a new monitor, I didn't want a new monitor! What was I to do? I couldn't go back to the vf17, it wasn't as good as the Gateway. At this point I had no choice but the pull out the HP vf17 once again and use it as my monitor. To be fair, the vf17 has worked like a complete and utter trooper throughout this whole thing, an amazing feat once you realize this monitor is the better part of 15 years old. Sure it's not as wide and the colors aren't as vibrant, but the monitor did exactly what it was asked every single time it was asked, without fuss.

After taking a while to adjust back to the HP monitor I decided it was time to figure out what I could do about fixing the Gateway. It turns out Gateway has quite an array of monitors that are now infamous for having bad capacitors. Ah ha! Well then, it's only a matter of taking the thing apart and seeing what I could find inside.

After a quick and careful tear down I finally reached the power board, where I immediately found the root of the problem. If you have keen eyes you can clearly see the two big capacitors up front are bulged and have been spewing brown gunk. You may also notice the two rotund capacitors in the back are also quite bulged.

After changing only two of the four bulging caps I put the board back into the monitor and hoped for the best. Much to my surprise the monitor came to life and worked for quite some time. I wouldn't say it's going to last very long without taking care of the other two capacitors, but the ones causing the main power failure seem to have been cured, for now.

If you run across this blog entry because you too are having issues with a Gateway monitor let me assure you that as long as you can find the capacitors and have a soldering iron, you can easily replace them and fix your monitor. Soldering isn't difficult, just prepare yourself and test your skills on some smaller things if you need to boost your confidence. Also taking this monitor apart was far harder than any of the tutorials I watched would lead you to believe. Most of the other Gateway monitors are simply screwed together, as where the LE1936 is snapped together. All I did was take a guitar pick and careful pried the snaps open.

For now it seems to be fixed but I know someday I will need to get back in there and replace the other caps. Hopefully using it, sparingly, won't do any further damage that I can't repair, but I'm satisfied with the results I'm currently getting. This monitor is a pretty good monitor, all it needed was some caps repaired, a job I'm all too willing to do.

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