I have two Dell 3007WPF monitors at home and one recently started making a really loud (painfully loud) snapping noise about once an hour. It's like an electrical discharge -- very sharp. There's no change in the display when this happens and as far as I can tell, there isn't any kind of flash or smell from the monitor.
The monitors are plugged into a UPS, if that makes any difference and the one monitor that's exhibiting this behavior is driven by an active DisplayPort to dual-link HDMI converter (my video card only has one dual-link HDMI output and these monitors predate DisplayPort). It's hard to tell if my second 3007WPF monitor at home is doing this because the sound is very short so it's hard to localize it, but I suspect it might also be doing it occasionally.
I'm writing now because I also have a Dell 3007WFP at work, and after 7 years, it has recently started making this snapping noise. It also uses a DisplayPort to dual-link HDMI converter but is plugged directly into an outlet. Again, no change in the display when this happens.
Is this a known failure mode for these monitors? Might it be a dust accumulation problem -- is it worthwhile unplugging the monitor, taking the back cover off and blowing it out? I tried blowing compressed air through the vents without much success.
No, not a Dell documented known issue for this 10 year old model. A search on google for "monitor popping noise" does show some older monitors with the issue. I would be very cautious about removing a monitor back panel. As a rule, we do not recommend disassembling a monitor which is why there are no instructions to do so in our monitor User's Guide.
I'm also getting a popping/cracking noise from my 3007WFP, though I wouldn't describe it as "really loud". Is your monitor still working after these few months? Did you repair or replace it? Did it experience any kind of electrical failure?
EDIT: Found this thread, which implies that the "problem" is just the lamps heating up & cooling off, or perhaps expansion and contraction of the bezels:
To further bolster the thermal expansion/contraction theory, this popping noise sometimes happens shortly after the monitor is completely disconnected from all power. However, I've also read that it could be a capacitor discharging in a rather unsafe manner. Not really sure what to make of this noise...
I've been doing more research here on the Dell forums, and found several posts about this issue. It does not seem to be restricted to the 30" models, although it does seem to be most common among monitors with the "WFP" suffix.
...and there are more examples of this. The consensus seems to be that it is thermal expansion and contraction. One person even had their bezel crack apart because of it, though that seemed to be isolated. Most people seemed to be able to carry on without any issue despite the loud, but only occasional, noise.
It would be nice to hear from Dell on this. Is this merely a symptom of age? Is my monitor doomed to failure?
Most likely an age issue for these out of warranty monitors. Is my monitor doomed to failure? Unknown. As I stated above, "As a rule, we do not recommend disassembling a monitor which is why there are no instructions to do so in our monitor User's Guide.". All you can do is use it as long as it functions.