Impossible computer repairs

Both laptop and desktop computers are assembled from components, allowing them to be disassembled for troubleshooting and repair. However, there are some components and sub-assemblies inside components that are impossible or impractical to repair. These components should never be repaired and instead should be replaced.

1. LCD CCFL backlight bulbs:

The CCFL light bulb inside an LCD panel is impossible to repair. Not only is it not designed to be removable, it’s extremely fragile. The glass tube is only 1-mm in width and up to 300mm (ten inches) long, making it incredibly fragile. The tubes are sealed inside the panel using aluminum tape that easily tears. When the bulb fails, the only practical option is to replace the entire LCD panel.

Most laptop LCD panels can be replaced for $99 and are easily replaced by our technicians. Desktop LCD panels frequently cannot be repaired, since there are very few replacement panels available for desktop LCD’s.

2. Failed motherboard capacitors:

Many desktop motherboards fail when the capacitors begin to bulge, crack and leak. While the individual capacitors cost less than a dollar each, the labor and skill to replace them is expensive and time consuming. Since there are a wide variety of capacitors used on motherboards, stocking replacement capacitors is difficult.

Replacing capacitors requires removing the failed capacitors, cleaning out the remaining solder from the holes, and then soldering in new capacitors. For a skilled technician with the best equipment, it may take several hours to replace ten capacitors. Many replacement motherboards are $99, so capacitor repair is not cost effective when a matching new motherboard is available.

Changing motherboards may also require a new CPU and RAM, pushing the total replacement cost up to $300. Therefore, capacitor repair is a feasible option when a matching replacement motherboard is unavailable, or for high value motherboards, or when there are fewer than five failed capacitors of the same type.

3. Ink-jet printers:

Ink-jet printers are not designed to be repaired, only replaced. There are no replacement parts available for any printer from any supplier, so when an ink-jet printer fails to print, the only option is to change the ink cartridge or the printer.

4. CRT monitors:

CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors are another item that never benefits from repair. CRT tubes will dim as they age, and replacing a tube is impossible. Instead, failing CRT monitors should be replaced with a new LCD panel. Some CRT monitor problems can be repaired using the color return or de-Gauss feature on the monitor.

5. Desktop LCD’s:

Desktop LCD’s are another item that has components that can be diagnosed but are impossible to repair. Common problems with desktop LCD’s include failed CCFL bulbs and burned out backlight inverter circuit boards. Very few desktop LCD monitors have replacement inverter circuit boards available, so repair is frequently impossible.

Similar to laptop LCD’s, when the CCFL bulb in a desktop LCD fails, it is easy to diagnose but impossible to replace or repair. Unlike laptop LCD panels that are widely available, almost no replacement LCD panels are available for desktop LCD’s. Any failure on a desktop LCD requires replacement of the entire LCD monitor.

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