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Author Topic: Hardware advice sought... Notebook power supply problem  (Read 3370 times)

Darwin

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Hardware advice sought... Notebook power supply problem
« on: February 18, 2008, 04:27:27 PM »
My soon to be six year old and his friend dumped my wife's *just* upgraded and spiffied up two and a half year old Compaq Presario R4225 notebook on the floor recently. The power cord was plugged in and the notebook landed on it, loosening the power supply thingy on the motherboard. Great. NO ONE will fix it locally - everyone wants to sell us a new one or send it to Ontario (I'm in BC) and charge me big money to solder the "power supply thingy" back onto the motherboard. I did find one electronics shop that will do the soldering but won't disassemble it. None of the computer repair shops in town will disassemble it for me, either. So... should I:

1. Take the advice of the last repair shop that I spoke with, who suggested that I take it back to the vendor and play dumb and see if they'll replace it/fix it (my guess is that this is going to simply massively prolong the length of time my wife is without it and wind up costing us serious cash. Note, however, that this is my wife's personal notebook and she still has use of her employer provided notebook so taking our time with it isn't the end of the world), as it is still covered by the three year extended warranty that I bought. I'm not seriously considering this option.

2. I have the pdf version of the maintenance manual and could disassemble it myself and deliver the motherboard to the electronics shop for repair. This is the option I'm seriously considering.

Thus, does anyone seriously think that there is any point in trying to get this done under extended warrarnty? Does anyone think that I have a hope of successfully stripping the computer down the the motherboard and reassembling it after repair? I'm quite comfortable doing this but I don't have much in the way of workspace and would need to sort out storage of the screws and things... Basically, I just need some reassurance  :o

EDIT: typo in the subject line  :-[
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 04:31:05 PM by Darwin »

mouser

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Re: Hardware advice sought... Notebook power supply problem
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2008, 07:12:05 PM »
your thought that it will take a long time to get it repaired under warranty is probably right, but it seems likely that they might repair it and cover it under warranty.  i've not had great experience with getting laptops repaired by company under warranty but eventually they mostly fix things and don't charge you.  rather than re-solder it they may just put in a new motherboard or even just replace your laptop completely.

the manually dissassemble and solder route sounds much more likely to result in disaster to me :)
might be worth trying if it was a spare pc you don't need or could afford to replace if it goes haywire but i don't think i'd chance it with an expensive pc i need.

tinjaw

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Re: Hardware advice sought... Notebook power supply problem
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2008, 08:52:22 PM »
Darwin,

Bummer. Is it still under warranty after 2.5 years? If so, claim it came loose after normal usage and you want it repaired under warranty. If it is out of warranty, you should disassemble it yourself and have the local electronics guy solder it for you.

Here are my tips for being super hyper paranoid about taking something apart.

First of all, if you don't own a full set of the following high-quality tools, go buy some:

And a empty table with a cloth table cover.

I can't tell you how much time I have saved by having those tools for just such projects.

1. Video tape yourself while you disassemble it.
2. Take tons of digital photos while you disassemble it.
3. If you're video taping it, talk to the camera while you are disassembling it.
4. If you're not video taping it use a voice activated tape recorder and talk into it.
5. Get a box of the snack sized (smaller than sandwich sized) zip-lock bags.
6. Take a medium sharpie marker and number the bags as you remove screws and put them in the bag.
7. On a sheet of notepaper write the number and where the screws go.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 09:10:46 PM by tinjaw »

mouser

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Re: Hardware advice sought... Notebook power supply problem
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2008, 08:59:43 PM »
nice advice tinjaw  :up:


Darwin

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Re: Hardware advice sought... Notebook power supply problem
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2008, 12:49:08 AM »
Hmm... thanks for the input, guys. I guess I'm off to Staples tomorrow with a vacant - yet exasperated - expression on my face... My wife's company provided notebook is fine over the period that her personal notebook is gone so we won't miss it. I've realised, too, that if they do conclude that the damage isn't covered I don't have to have them do the work, I can just request that they ship it back to me. My only remaining qualm is that they might charge me for the inspection?

If it helps clarify things, I bought Staples extended warranty when I bought the notebook, so it's not at this point the manufacturer that will be taking this on...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

mouser

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Re: Hardware advice sought... Notebook power supply problem
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2008, 12:52:03 AM »
if you bought an extended warranty, there is a VERY good chance that they are just going to fix it for you quickly without question.  so stop worrying.  you just might not want to volunteer that you dropped it.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 12:53:41 AM by mouser »

tinjaw

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Re: Hardware advice sought... Notebook power supply problem
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2008, 03:55:36 AM »
With an extended warranty, it most likely will get fixed, no questions asked.

Concerning extended warranties in general: I never used to get them. I always figured that I would break it by dropping it or stepping on it before it broke on its own, and extended warranties wouldn't cover such damage. However, that has recently changed. I purchased a digital voice recorder from Office Max a few months ago and the sales person offered me the extended warranty. I reflexively declined. It turned out that the sales person was the head manager and he asked me why. I told him about breaking things before they broke on their own. He pulled out the sales pamphlet and pointed to a paragraph in the warranty. He explained that things were different now and that you don't have to lie about how it got broke. It explicitly states that the damage may be caused by accidents like dropping or running over the item with a car by accident. He explained that these companies knew people lied and so they just decided to allow accidents and adjusted the price accordingly. Spread out over so may warranties, the price didn't rise much. So I ended up buying my first extended warranty. Additionally, I noticed a few weeks ago that Newegg now offers multiple types of warranties. One of which is for Extended Coverage that explicitly includes things like dropping on the ground or in a swimming pool.

I doubt the terms of your extended warranty include such language, Darwin, if you purchased it 2.5 years ago, however, more recent warranty purchases very well may.

[Update]
Here is example language from the warranty from Newegg.

Quote from: Newegg.com has partnered with Service Net
FOR ACCIDENTAL DAMAGE PROTECTION (ADP) CUSTOMERS (Optional). This coverage pertains to You if listed on the reverse side of this Contract. Products are covered against accidental damage protection if indicated on Your Contract. Accidental damage consists of an operational or structural failure of the covered product due to failures resulting from normal operating conditions and handling, including accidental impacts, drops, falls, spills, power surges (when protected by an Underwriters Laboratory approved operational surge suppressor), and other accidental damage. ADP coverage will end prior to the expiration date when We have, as a result of service provided to You, replaced Your product or incurred costs under this plan equal to the original purchase price of Your product (as indicated on Your invoice) and have not completed repairs in progress. Accidental Damage Protection (ADP) may NOT be sold in: For Consumer purposes: DE, MA, OH, PA, FL, ID, & MN For Business purposes: ID, MN.

http://www.newegg.co...xtendedWarranty.aspx
« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 04:02:06 AM by tinjaw »

Darwin

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Re: Hardware advice sought... Notebook power supply problem
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2008, 08:20:26 AM »
Thanks guys  :-*
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

cranioscopical

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Re: Hardware advice sought... Notebook power supply problem
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2008, 09:50:00 AM »
Thus, does anyone seriously think that there is any point in trying to get this done under extended warranty?

I think it depends on who was the original vendor, and who issued the extended warranty.  Was the latter a third-party supplier or warranties?

I've had little but hassle with extended warranties and now will only use them if they guarantee a carry-in, over-the-counter replacement.

Time's money and I'd rather just pick up a new item, suffer the short-term pain in the wallet, and get on with things.

It hurts when you've just refurbished something, I know. 
I was in a similar situation a year or two back with my wife's then recently-updated computer. 
I looked at the options then bought another.
Looking back, that was the smartest thing I could possibly have done in the circumstances. I don't
regret it for a moment.
My wife ended up with a better machine and I was freed from a bunch of time-wasting hassle .

Whichever route you choose, good luck and I hope it works out for you.

I'm sure you appreciate all the blessings of children despite with the occasional accident.   :)


Darwin

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Re: Hardware advice sought... Notebook power supply problem
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2008, 10:51:37 AM »
I'm sure you appreciate all the blessings of children despite with the occasional accident.   :)

Little sods cherubs  :-*
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Hardware advice sought... Notebook power supply problem
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2008, 04:14:53 PM »
UPDATE: cheque's in the mail - Staples is replacing the notebook.

NB Cross-posted this here, as well.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Curt

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Re: Hardware advice sought... Notebook power supply problem
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2008, 05:36:55 PM »
I wish this type of warranty came with my PC. A music CD 'exploded' in the CD draw, and the store insist that I am to pay all expenses. No, I am not going to buy my next machine at the same place! I am terrified (terrorfied) by the thought that I will have to take the tower apart myself...