The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

Gateway FPD2185W 21″ LCD – Dead by Design

Posted by Deliverator on July 14th, 2008

Well, my Gateway FPD2185W 21″ LCD mentioned here earlier, finally gave up the ghost. The blue power light comes on when I plug it in, but the display stays blank and the Gateway logo does not come up on the screen and the controls seem totally unresponsive. For a while, I was able to work around the issue by unplugging the DVI and power cable, leaving the monitor disconnected for several hours and then plugging it back in. This would sometimes work and once on, the unit would stay responsive until powered down again. These last couple weeks, this trick has yielded increasingly diminishing returns and it has gotten bad enough that I haven’t been able to “reinitialize” it for several days.

I disassembled the display tonight and found eight 470 uF 25V Samxon GF series capacitors which had bulged on the power supply board. These 8 capacitors are boxed in on 3 sides by a bunch of large block heatsinks and a transformer. This obviously creates a great deal of heat in this localized area of the board and there is next to no ventilation. The blown capacitor issue mentioned in numerous comments is likely not solely the fault of the Samxon capacitors, but more likely due to poor board layout/ventilation considerations. There can be a lot of finger pointing on this one, but the buck has to stop somewhere, and ultimately that means Gateway. Gateway has created a real lemon here and has been less than forthcoming in responding to the issue. I am going to try and source replacement capacitors locally, and if I can’t, order some via an online parts supplier such as Digikey. If replacing the capacitors manages to resurrect the monitor, I will likely do a little dremel work on the back of the case and wire in a small cooling fan to prevent the issue from rearing up in the future.

For numerous other reports on this issue and the steps that people have taken to address it, see:

Good luck!

For reference, I’ve included a picture of the bulging capacitors on my board.

Gateway FPD2185W - Bulging Capacitors