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Fixing a HP L2045w LCD monitor that only displays solid white

So when my monitors got to me in Portland one of them only displayed solid white when plugged in. I knew it was the monitor because it would only display white even when it was not connected to the computer and should have displayed the “check cable” box. I also deduced that the issue was only with the LCD and not the backlight because it still went and off in the way it should. It just only displayed solid white instead of the image it should. Also it was a clean even white so I was sure the LCD it self was intact. Therefor it must be the controller or the cable. And I guess the cable. In retrospect this was probably only because I could fix a cable.

So I decided to take apart the monitor and try to remount the cable. I want to apologize up front for not having pictures of the whole process. I started taking them at the beginning and then forgot once I got going because I was so focused on trying not to break anything. So I have no pictures.

First a couple notes on technique:

  • Use a grounding strap!!
  • When you take out screws tape them to a white piece of paper with clear tape. That way you don’t loose them. You can even label them by writing on the paper.
  • Move slowly. You don’t want to slip.

I started by taking off the stand. Then I just took out all the screws I could find. There were only 4 in the corners. Then I spent a long time trying to figure how how to pop the case. Eventually I realized that there must be a set of plastic snaps on the inside. So I just pried open one corner with a flat screwdriver and knife. Once I applied enough force I broke one of the snaps. This really required quite a lot of force though. It was scary. Then I was able to move around the edge of the case popping each snap (also required quite a bit of force). I was also really happy to discover that about half of the snaps didn’t break. They actually just popped out mostly intact. I did all this with the monitor face down on a clean card table.

Once the plastic case was open I had to lift the internal metal case out of the front bezel so that I could remove 4 screws on the sides. Once those screws were out I could lift that back off and see controller boards and such like. I was happy to see that the there is yet another set of screws before the LCD and the backlight are exposed. So I didn’t have to worry too much about the LCD. There are several cables going to various things so you need to lift the back panel carefully. I found that I needed to detach the boards with the interface buttons so I could lift it enough to do what I needed to do. I just had to take out the 2 screws on each one and it they were free.

When I got inside and got a good look at things I could see that the ribbon cable going from the controller to the LCD was slightly out of it’s socket on the LCD end. So I just unplugged it and plugged it back in. Luckily it had a little plastic grip on the end so it was not nearly as hard as those connector less cables in laptops where the end of the wire is used directly as the connector. Then it worked. All was fixed!

Then all I had to do was put it back together. The hardest part was actually the button boards because they have to be mounted on the front flange sort of behind the main metal case. So I had to lift the metal slightly to slip it in. Other than that it was just putting in screws. The plastic case actually snapped back together and required a good bit of force. But once it was in I just put in the screws on the back and remounted it to the frame.

It all went really well. And now I have 2 monitors again.

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