Humming monitor may mean time for new one


Plugged In


Lately my monitor has been flickering between light and dark and also humming. I don't suppose this is good news. Anything I can do, or is it time for a new one?

- Judith Baird

I think the power supply inside the monitor is going bad. If so, there's a very slight fire risk. But it's far more likely that the power supply will just stop working without flame and smoke.

Replacing a monitor power supply is not a do-it-yourself job. There are dangerous currents inside the case, even when the monitor is unplugged (capacitors store power very much like a battery).

Unless it's a very expensive monitor, I'd consider junking it rather than repairing it. Prices are so low that you'd likely pay as much for the repair as the replacement.

The light to dark flickering could be caused by a lot of things, but the humming makes me think my guess is good.

Just to be safe, do not leave the monitor turned on unless you or someone else is sitting at the computer. The fire hazard is slight, but why take a chance?

I attempted to download the Ad-Aware software from the Internet today, but I kept getting a message that I had to register for $19.99 in order to complete the download. On my other computer, I did not have to pay for Ad-Aware. Is this a new fee that I must pay to use it? I used both Griswold and Ad-Aware in the past for free.

- Morgan Condo

It is often hard to make sure you are downloading the free version from a company, such as Ad-Aware, that also sells enhanced versions.

To add to the confusion, some companies offer "free downloads" but charge you when you try to use them.

Ad-Aware does have a completely free version. You can download it here:

Bill Husted writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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