Wouldn’t you know it, just when you have something important to do on your computer, the screen goes blank.
I purchased my Gateway 24 inch monitor several years ago and have found it to be one of the most helpful computer accessories of all time. You never know how much you miss something until it starts having problems. About six months ago, the monitor would not wake up after going to sleep. So, instead of taking it apart at that time, I simply stopped it from going to sleep. However, that solution for a monitor problem only lasted a few months until the monitor finally went dark completely. I had read online about bad capacitor problems for the Gateway, and having documented the repairs for the iMac G5, I was set to tackle the Gateway.
I figured there would be some documentation online about how to disassemble the case, and I was hoping to find some pictures of how to do it, but searching proved futile. I did read on the various forums, that folks found bad capacitors onboard the PSU and one of the other boards. However, very little information was provided about getting the plastic case apart, other than a few folks saying that you have to pull the case apart. I thought Gateway would have a service guide for disassembly, but no such luck. Come on Gateway, provide some more detailed documentation other than just the outside hardware for service!
So, here is my take on the Gateway 24 inch matter.
- Turn over the monitor, face down on a soft protected surface.
- Remove three screws along the bottom edge.
- Remove the four screws on metal mounting bracket plate located in the middle on the back.
- This is the most difficult step. Carefully pry the case apart, starting with the bottom section and moving along the seam edge using two flat tipped screwdrivers and carefully pry it apart. Be careful not to break the speaker brackets. In essence, don’t pry the nylon tabs apart, but only the case itself. The case is held together along the left and the right side with internal plastic tabs that run the whole length of both the right and left side of the case. So, when you are prying it apart, it feels as though you are breaking the case.
- Also note that the power on and control strip located on the right side has a very small cable with a ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) connector for connecting the very small ribbon cable to the board. The ZIF wire-to-board connector has a little tab that can be lifted up slightly to remove the ribbon cable from the connector itself. There was a little piece of black tape covering the connector that I removed prior to lifting the tab.
- Once the case top and bottom are separated, then the internal guts of the monitor can be removed and set on a protected surface, face down.
- To get inside the electronics, the shielding must be removed.
- Remove the shielding on the left and the right side shields by carefully releasing the lock down tabs, and then sliding the shields away from the hold down clips. The larger of the two side shields has metallic grounding tape to join the side shield to the middle main shield. Lift one side of the tape off the center shield so that the side shield can be removed completely.
- This next step must be done prior to removing the main shielding covering all the power supply electronics. Remove the small USB board by removing the two mounting screws, and carefully unplug the small power connector to the board. Place this board off to the side.
- Remove all screws that hold the center shielding cover in place. Once the screws are removed, the shield can then be slid away from the hold down clips. Once that is done, the center shield can be lifted off.
- Access to the power supply capacitors and other electronics is now visible, and you can quickly check all the capacitors for any signs of bulging. I had four capacitors on mine that were bulging, and some of the electrolytic juice was coming out.
- Remove the PSU board from the chassis by removing the mounting screws and disconnecting the cable from the inverter card. Also, the screws for the power plug connector plate must also be removed before the board can be pulled off.
- Replace the capacitors on the bench.
- Remove the inverter card by first carefully removing each of the connectors, by slightly lifting up the connector clips and sliding off the cable connectors from the circuit board.
- Remove the inverter mounting screws and lift off the board.
- Replace the two capacitors on board.
- Reinstall everything in reverse order.
- Make sure the small ribbon cable connector is fully inserted into the ZIF wire-to-board connector and also that the traces of the ribbon cable itself is fully lined up with the connector edge. My cable had the traces slightly loose from the cable itself and needed to be straightened out parallel to each other.
- Put the whole thing back together by snapping it along the edges. Note to be careful of the power on/off control ribbon cable. You do not want to rip it on the edge of the case, or squeeze it between the two sections.
- If you did everything properly, you should be able to plug it in and turn it on.
The important thing is to take your time and do it right. When I went to turn mine on after reassembly, I found out that it would not turn on. I pulled it apart again, and found one of the cables from the PSU board to another logic card was disconnected. Once I hooked that up, and put it back together a second time, the monitor worked!