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Chris R.
Chris R., Computer Tech
Category: Computer Hardware
Satisfied Customers: 661
Experience:  BSBA CIS, A+ Certified
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I also have a Dell SP2309W monitor which is developing the

Customer Question

I also have a Dell SP2309W monitor which is developing the same symptoms. Buzzing (sounds like a hard drive running) and the screen can suddenly go white/wibbly-wobbly/black. This is obviously a heat-based problem, and I would like to know how to remove the casing so that I can add forced ventilation, however there are no screws or obvious clip-release slots.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Computer Hardware
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 8 months ago.
.
Hello my name isXXXXX look forward to assisting and am very sorry to hear that you are having this problem.
There is no guide specific to this model unfortunately so all I can do is give you a general overview on how to take this type of monitor apart.

First lie it down so the back is facing you.
Are there any stickers on it, or small plastic squares?
.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

I've already done the search for hidden screws. There are no rubber covers, and the only accessible screws are the VESA mount.


 


Between the facia and the back cover there is a third layer of plastic into which I am convinced the front and back irreversibly clip.

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 8 months ago.
.
Ok if you removed all stickers, all stoppers, and all visible screws the only thing that would keep the bezel on is small plastic clips. You would need to use a plastic separation tool to unclip them. They work similar to the way a cars door panel is clipped on. Any local hardware or electronics store should carry them, they look like this:

http://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/sGRPmGGbpTd2xMHW.medium
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Yes, I have also tried that approach, but the bezel is so tightly attached that even a finger nail doesn't get in. If I didn't believe "better", I would think it had been glued on, as there is no give in the "gap" at any point, and I have thoroughly gone around both sides of this extra plastic layer and have failed to find any points where entry can be gained to loosen clips.

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 8 months ago.
.
A fingernail will not work, Dell designs there monitors so that only something very very thin with a pointed edge like the tool I posted will be able to get in. The closest thing to that tool that most people would have is a precision flathead screwdriver normally used for eyeglasses.
.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Finger nail was only an example. I have even tried Razor-thin (box cutter blades, etc.) and achieved no penetration.


 


A screw-driver blade of the size you describe only does external damage.

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 8 months ago.
.
I was using the screwdriver as an example of the size you would want. This is not the same model but uses the same clips yours does: Click Here As you can see without the separation tool he would not have been able to get it apart. Dell designs all their monitors this way.
.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

I still remain unsure. If a box cutter blade cannot achieve penetration, then I am not satisfied that a plastic tool would achieve entry either. I note the model in the video has a very wide WHITE surround which is part of the back cover. This would seem to be equivalent to the third layer of plastic (black) that I mentioned previously, except that it LOOKS like I should be able to detach from either side. It is only 5mm thick, and clearly not part of the molding of the front or back.


 


Expecting that the interior at the back will have full RF shielding, I guess I will have to use a hole saw very carefully, and then glue the fan over the hole. Obviously, if the monitor dies, then it becomes sacrificial to maintain the rest of them.


 


Overheating is a major problem in Australia. It's 23:30 real time, air-conditioner going flat out and room temperature is still 28C.


 

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 8 months ago.
.
As I mentioned in my reply the video was only to show you the clips as the one in the video although different uses the exact same type of clips. Since you will not try with a separation tool I will opt out and open this to all experts.
.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

I have equivalent (except not plastic) tools right down down to the micro-star for opening iPhones here and have not achieved any penetration (even in corners) which is why I'm starting to think it's glued. Despite having tried previously, I have followed all your instruction and repeated my actions as you've instructed them.


 


The last time I had need of a super-specialized tool was the foot-long torx Mac-cracker.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

While clips are my natural expectation, penetration with the most appropriate tool available still failed. As this monitor has some other problems, it can be sacrificed when it finally fails.


 


Maybe this extra layer between front and back is the secret. If necessary, I can then use a chisel!

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

As I said, this monitor had other faults, so I was prepared to sacrifice it.


CONCESSION: I found the clips subject to the following qualifications:


1. The amount of overlap between the layers of plastic is nearly 2mm and a VERY tight fit, which is why nothing could penetrate.


2. Because of the extra thickness, finding a clip with the appropriate tool was still like winning the lottery--I shall be going around my "fleet" and putting little dots in the correct locations but, the apparent ease with which the tool was slid in the video is not likely with this particular model (unless I encountered the usual rarity for me and got one that was slightly mis-molded.


Therefore, despite this particular model not quite fitting all the usual expectations, I now consider my question answered. $22.00 to save $3000 worth of monitors is a good investment.

Expert:  Chris R. replied 8 months ago.
Hello my name isXXXXX and I would be happy to assist you today.

Buzzing is an electrical problem, not a heat problem. Perhaps a bad capacitor or other electrical component. Unless you are familiar with repairing electrical components in monitors I would just replace it under warranty or get a new monitor. Trying to rig up some way of cooling it will just be a waste of time. Computer equipment can handle a lot of heat anyway.
Chris R., Computer Tech
Satisfied Customers: 661
Experience: BSBA CIS, A+ Certified
Chris R. and 11 other Computer Hardware Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

The buzzing sounds like a coil, and it only happens when things are overly warm (4am and it's 28C even with air-con, so convection doesn't stand a chance). As I said to Freddy M, this monitor had another problem (bruised screen from shipping) but it's out of warranty. If I can audibly track it down to a particular component, that type of work is not a problem.If it's a capacitor, super easy. If it's a coil, then getting it as a spare part could be a nightmare.


The problem that I faced was getting the thing open. The case was a very tight fit and even with an appropriate tool, finding the release clips was like winning the lottery.


Now that it's naked and hanging back on the wall, it hasn't misbehaved (yet).


In all fairness, how do I direct my payment (or part) to Freddy M? He was exceptionally patient in going through the casing issue.

Expert:  Chris R. replied 8 months ago.

He would have to post an Answer and also opt-back in for you to accept and give him credit. If you want you can just accept my answer and I will contact customer service and have them transfer the accept to him. Otherwise you will have to wait for him to respond back to you.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

It's easier for me just to accept. As you've both made an effort, and I've mostly achieved what I set out to do. I think it only fair that you both get something for your work. I'm too stupid and don't charge people enough!

Expert:  Chris R. replied 8 months ago.
No problem at all. We will work it out between us.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

PS: Forced cooling has worked in the past. I've encountered the occasional display where the super-fine soldering to the LCD panel get flaky in the heat, and I don't have the sorts of tools required to fix that. Where does one find a pin-point soldering iron that can stay hot enough? A couple of USB powered fans in just the right spot has extended their useful life considerably.


Cheers,


Mic

Expert:  Chris R. replied 8 months ago.
Sorry that I do not know. I don't repair electronics. You would have to ask someone that does those kind of repairs.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

The soldering iron question was rhetorical. Now that I'm inside the unit I'll be fine. I also be marking where the clip-tags are on the rest of the "fleet".


PS: I tipped you a bit extra.

Expert:  Chris R. replied 8 months ago.
Yes. I see. That is much appreciated. Thank you.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

UPDATE: Since the successful removal of the cover and while awaiting arrival of fans, the naked monitor has been hung on the wall again.


Despite yesterday being hotter than the day before, there has been no misbehavior of the screen, and no buzzes.


I think I'll wait for Winter and then try to track down the sensitive component with a heat gun.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

I appreciate the seven-day offer but, the chances of asking a similar type of question inside the next week are very slim.


Given the price of repairing/replacing the monitor, $22.00 was an excellent investment and I have certainly made a point of saving a link to this site should a future curly/obscure situation arise.


Regards, Mic

Expert:  Chris R. replied 8 months ago.
Mic,

You must be getting automated sales offers from the Just Answer system. Experts on the site don't actually send them out. No problem though. If your not interested in any of the offers just ignore them. Have a great day.

Chris R
Customer: replied 4 months ago.

Following on from this now "stale" question, I hope you were adequately able to share payment with Freddy. I have searched for the plastic "separation tool" to no avail. What is the correct name for such a tool, and where would I obtain one?

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