Troubleshoot your own tech problems
Troubleshoot your own tech problems
5:29

Troubleshoot your own tech problems

Culture
It seems like the minute a warranty expires, big expensive pieces of tech decide to fail. Don't despair. In this world of the Internet, you can do a lot of troubleshooting on your own and save some money. I'm Tom Merritt from CNET.com on this Insider Secret, I'll show you how to research a problem, maybe fix it yourself, or at least save some money on the repair. This TV is my example problem. One day I turned it on and instead of a luscious high- definition picture, I got a blank screen and a steady red power light. First DIY troubleshooting tip Tip ? RTFM ? read the fun manual. If you're lucky that's all you need to do. In my case it says contact the dealer or authorized service center.(1) So on to the Next tip ? Search for similar problems I searched for people with my TV model and the phrases no picture, and red light.(2) I kept looking until I found several posts, with folks who solved the problem in the same way.(3) Next tip ? Search for documentation I got lucky with this one. On one message board thread, a kind soul had posted links to the Mitsubishi service manuals.(4) You may have to search a little harder. I printed these manuals up, and used them to guide me during the next tip(5) ? Do some exploration- Reminder here! Only do this if you're out of warranty and only do as much exploration as you feel comfortable with. You don't want to make the problem worse. As you can see, I've already unscrewed the back and removed the chassis.(6) I used labeled paper cups to keep track of the screws.(7) The pictures in the manuals also come in handy. (8) Then I unhooked just enough wires to be able to swing the chassis out.(9) Only unplug wires that have labels on both ends that you can re-match easily later.(10) If they aren't labeled you can use colored twist ties to mark them. (11) The postings from my earlier research indicated some bad capacitors were the common cause of my problem. They described them as bulging.(12)In mine, you can see that slight swelling at the end. That means they can pass enough charge to power the TV on but are leaking enough not to be able to actually run the TV.(13) These capacitors were 75 cents a piece to replace online.(14) At this point you could pay someone to finish the job. Still a big savings over sending the TV to the shop at the start. Of course you could also do it yourself? or you could ask a friend. Just to be safe I asked Patrick Norton from Revision3's Systm and Tekzilla, who does a heck of a lot more soldering than I do, to lend a hand. Thanks for coming Patrick. Before I begin I want to stress that capacitors are nasty little buggers meant to hold an electrical charge. Be sure your device is powered off for at least 24 hours and that you're solidly grounded before you mess with them. Better yet, don't mess with them. Let an expert do it. * Remove old capacitors -Solder on new ones Thanks Patrick. Now let's put this thing back together. OK the moment of truth. Did this work for me? I see a flashing green light. I don't have a good feeling about this. No, nothing. Oh well, since it didn't work I've only lost time. Since it was out of warranty anyway, no loss. I can still call a repairman or if you enjoy this sort of thing, hit the boards again and try to do more troubleshooting. That's it for this Insider Secret, I'm Tom Merritt CNET.com. Happy troubleshooting but be careful.

Up Next

This Van Builder Has Tips for Life on the Road
thumb-vanlife-2-00432-1

Up Next

This Van Builder Has Tips for Life on the Road

Super Nintendo World: We Tried Everything!
question-block

Super Nintendo World: We Tried Everything!

Real Estate Pro Breaks Down Property for Sale in the Metaverse
experts-react-11

Real Estate Pro Breaks Down Property for Sale in the Metaverse

Reggie Fils-Aimé on Nintendo and the Future of Video Games
gmt20220518-190025-recording-avo-1280x720-00-15-09-11-still001

Reggie Fils-Aimé on Nintendo and the Future of Video Games

I Lost My Mind on Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster
1202231812667975-b8hrndwonamcg2sdaf5l-height640.png

I Lost My Mind on Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster

I Went Shopping in the Metaverse and Tried On a Gucci Bag
shopping-1

I Went Shopping in the Metaverse and Tried On a Gucci Bag

How to Download Kanye West's 'Donda 2' for the Stem Player
donda-for-site

How to Download Kanye West's 'Donda 2' for the Stem Player

MoviePass will be back this summer -- this is how it'll work
moviepasscnet

MoviePass will be back this summer -- this is how it'll work

Watch ferrofluid turn into art
ericmesple

Watch ferrofluid turn into art

How Black Friday is very different this year
htdia-blackfriday-v2

How Black Friday is very different this year

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core.png

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city.png

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
top-5.png

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
the-daily-charge.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future.png

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today.png

Tech Today

Cooley On Cars
on-cars.png

Cooley On Cars

Carfection
carfection.png

Carfection

Latest News

Apple's Find My vs. Android's Find My Device Network
find-my-thumb.png

Apple's Find My vs. Android's Find My Device Network

The Galaxy S24 Ultra With Samsung DeX Replaced My Laptop
240613-site-samsung-dex-1

The Galaxy S24 Ultra With Samsung DeX Replaced My Laptop

The Great Apple AI Divide Is Coming
240613-yt-omt-apple-ai-divide-wwdc-v07

The Great Apple AI Divide Is Coming

All the Big News from Elon Musk at Tesla's 2024 Annual Shareholder Meeting
elon-1

All the Big News from Elon Musk at Tesla's 2024 Annual Shareholder Meeting

Our Fave EV Truck Gets Even Better: Testing the New Rivian R1T, R1S
240610-yt-rivian-off-road-experience-v04

Our Fave EV Truck Gets Even Better: Testing the New Rivian R1T, R1S

Home Security Cams Like My Nest Doorbell Are Getting Smarter With AI
must-use-subject-ring-doorbell-device

Home Security Cams Like My Nest Doorbell Are Getting Smarter With AI

Apple Watch: New Features Coming in WatchOS 11
cnet

Apple Watch: New Features Coming in WatchOS 11

Apple's MacOS Sequoia: The New Features You'll Want to Try
240610-yt-macos-ai-mac-vs-ai-pc-v06

Apple's MacOS Sequoia: The New Features You'll Want to Try

Apple Intelligence: What to Know About Apple's Gen AI
cnet

Apple Intelligence: What to Know About Apple's Gen AI

Apple Introduces Private Cloud Compute for AI Processing
ipados-00-09-14-29-still003

Apple Introduces Private Cloud Compute for AI Processing