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Old 05-15-2018, 10:07 AM   #1
Dave_075
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Default Bricked NEC PA241W-BK LCD monitor

Hello,

I tried to do a firmware upgrade in my NEC PA241W-BK LCD monitor via the USB port recently. Unfortunately, the upgrade failed during the process, and the end result is that the monitor is pretty much dead - it's not turning on.

I called NEC and they stopped servicing this particular model in October 2017. They are also not offering replacement parts for this model anymore.
Since the panel has about 3k hours on it, I'd like to at least try to get it fixed, assuming it would make sense from the financial standpoint.

According to a buddy of mine who diagnosed it, the power board is fine, but the main board needs to be replaced because the main chip (it has the following signature: NDS0002B-LF) is not working. While the chip seems to available, the replacement of just the chip would be cost prohibitive and he prefers to replace the whole board.

The problem is the availability of that part - NEC told us flat out that they don't stock this part anymore here in the U.S.

Looking for some answers to my questions:

1. Google and eBay searches for the replacement main control board don't yield any results. Does anyone know any reputable source in the U.S. that might carry this part, other than NEC?

2. Any idea how/where can I get the service manual for this particular model of monitor?

3. From what I understand, brand new replacement board needs to be programmed (I was able to locate one in Europe, and I'm trying to see if I can get it shipped to the U.S.). Is that done using the USB cable and the firmware update software (just like the one that failed me), or is it more complicated process that involves special hardware/software?

4. Would chip programming be required also in case of installing a main board that has already been used in another monitor (same model)? I've located another PA241W-BK monitor available for sale (it's working, but it's definitely much more heavily used than mine), so was contemplating purchasing it and just swapping out the boards. Do you think that swapping out the boards would work, or would some additional steps be necessary (like the chip programming)?

I apologize if some of them are very basic ones, but I'm trying to educate myself to determine what would make the most sense.

Please advise.

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:14 AM   #2
Andrew F. Ali
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Default Re: Bricked NEC PA241W-BK LCD monitor

If I were you, I would avoid this headache and just buy anew monitor. From where I am in the world It is not expensive in the US. Just sayin'
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:28 AM   #3
Dave_075
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Default Re: Bricked NEC PA241W-BK LCD monitor

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Originally Posted by Andrew F. Ali View Post
If I were you, I would avoid this headache and just buy anew monitor. From where I am in the world It is not expensive in the US. Just sayin'
The thing is that this is a wide gamut monitor for photo editing, so a new one will set me back $950+tax...
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:31 AM   #4
Andrew F. Ali
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Default Re: Bricked NEC PA241W-BK LCD monitor

OK. I got that. Hope you get it fixed, then.
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bricked NEC PA241W-BK LCD monitor

So what was the problem with the monitor that you felt it needed a firmware upgrade? It is possible the firmware is stored in a spi/flash ic and not the main processor.

Last edited by R_J; 05-15-2018 at 10:43 AM..
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bricked NEC PA241W-BK LCD monitor

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Originally Posted by R_J View Post
So what was the problem with the monitor that you felt it needed a firmware upgrade? It is possible the firmware is stored in a spi/flash ic and not the main processor.
I started having some connectivity issues between the calibration puck and the monitor - the manufacturer recommends performing color calibration with the puck every couple of weeks to keep the color accuracy which is important for photo editing. So while I wasn't able to perform calibration anymore, the monitor itself did work just fine. But I wanted to get fix the communication problems and be able to perform calibration again.

So I did the software update on my PC that manages the calibration process - that didn't help, so I figured maybe there was a newer version of monitor firmware. And to my surprise (the monitor is 7 years old), there was - it was a 2-3 years old, but much newer than the firmware that I had installed. I did everything as indicated in the upgrade notes, connected my PC to the monitor through the USB cable, started the upgrade - and around 25% I got the message "upgrade failed". So did it again, and the same result. I was not able to turn it off using the power button or switch the input. So after a while, I just pulled the plug, just like the manual says. Tried to turn it on - the screen remained blank, but the status LED started to cycle between 3 colors (blue, green and red), then it got orange/red... and that was it.

I think my buddy just wants to save himself the hassle of doing the detailed troubleshooting and went for the easy solution, i.e. since the power is supplied to the main board that's supposed to control the monitor, then something on that board must be broken - either the main chip or something else. So let's change the whole board.

I took a picture of the main board - not sure if it helps to determine where the firmware is stored, but I figured I can share it.

Any thoughts on swapping the board from another monitor that's working? I can get it for about $200, which is I think much less than the new one, and also less than what the new main board would cost me (assuming I can get it from Europe and assuming that my buddy can program it).
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Last edited by Dave_075; 05-15-2018 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:33 AM   #7
R_J
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Default Re: Bricked NEC PA241W-BK LCD monitor

There is a reset procedure, but I don't think it will help but maybe worth a try?

"First, use the front POWER button to turn off the monitor. Then use the POWER button turn the monitor on while holding

RESET (PIP) and SELECT (INPUT) buttons at the same time. This will reset all color parameters to the factory setting.

This reset will take about 10 seconds and then the factory settings screen is displayed."
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:45 AM   #8
Dave_075
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Default Re: Bricked NEC PA241W-BK LCD monitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_J View Post
There is a reset procedure, but I don't think it will help but maybe worth a try?

"First, use the front POWER button to turn off the monitor. Then use the POWER button turn the monitor on while holding

RESET (PIP) and SELECT (INPUT) buttons at the same time. This will reset all color parameters to the factory setting.

This reset will take about 10 seconds and then the factory settings screen is displayed."
Let me ask my buddy to do it (the monitor is in his shop) and I'll report back shortly.
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:10 PM   #9
R_J
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Default Re: Bricked NEC PA241W-BK LCD monitor

Have you read this? https://www.nec-display.com/dl/en/dp...ate/index.html
there may still be a way to upgrade the firmware and maybe salvage the monitor.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:55 AM   #10
Dave_075
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Default Re: Bricked NEC PA241W-BK LCD monitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_J View Post
Have you read this? https://www.nec-display.com/dl/en/dp...ate/index.html
there may still be a way to upgrade the firmware and maybe salvage the monitor.
Hi R_J:

It worked!!! But I have to admit I was skeptical at first -the reset procedure suggested earlier didn't do anything, so I really didn't expect much. But when I plugged in one end of the the USB cable into the monitor and the other one to my laptop and when the laptop recognized another USB device, it started to look much better. Then I did the firmware update - this time it completed flawlessly and the monitor is working. Thanks again for the tip and for saving me a couple of hundred of bucks :-)!
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:05 PM   #11
R_J
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Default Re: Bricked NEC PA241W-BK LCD monitor

I accept cash just kidding, good to here you have it working.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:07 PM   #12
Andrew F. Ali
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Default Re: Bricked NEC PA241W-BK LCD monitor

Good work Guys...
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