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Ki Mendrossen
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Recently in the computer store we keep getting lots of dead laptop computers. We plug in the ac adapters and the systems will not power on. Many times we don't get any power good indicators lit up. Its like the laptop is completely dead. What I like to do is check the ac adapters with a multimeter to see if I am getting any juice to the part that plugs into the system. All the time the voltages on the ac adapter check out to their rated output. So then I am able to determine that its something wrong with the system itself.

In our shop we do not do any board level repairs at all. Which I suppose is good because I don't know how to do them. My boss seems to have the impression that I want to do that kind of repair and he has often told me that I need to find another job if I want to do that kind of work. He is tired of me telling him that the system needs a board level repair in order to work. I tell him and the customer that the problem more than likely lies with the system board and because we are not equipped to do that kind of repair the board will have to be replaced.

My boss is getting tired of me telling him it is a motherboard problem everytime we receive a dead system like that. He seems to believe that I am not doing a good job troubleshooting or diagnosing and that me saying "the motherboard is bad" is a copout or excuse because I don't want to deal with the system and he wants me to try other things. I ask him what other things? and he said that I should already know and if I don't I need to perservere and don't give up. Essentially he is saying he wants the laptop repaired without me doing any board level repair (which I have no clue as how to performed if he did want it) and without replacement of the faulty motherboard (which is very expensive for laptops). Its like he is asking for the impossible.

Because of the problems people have with notebooks. I have grown to hate them passionately. I'll take a desktop system anyday over a laptop.
My question to you guys is when I receive a dead laptop what other things can I consider besides the power adapter, possible bad battery, or switch failure?
T-R-A



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 576
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Most lappy's I've run across have batteries so dead that they won't even take a charge. You also need to load the P/S down when taking those measurements (if you're not already). They may look ok unloaded, but can't supply juice when plugged in...
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Puckdropper
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:20 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Know how to use a multimeter? While you can do board-level diagnosis with one, there's only a few places the average computer tech would want to check:

Batteries
Power supplies
Switches (If you can get to them... they're easy enough to test)

It sounds like you may need a new boss, though...

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KickinWing
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:29 am Reply with quoteBack to top

..
creepingnet



Joined: 19 Oct 2004
Posts: 137
Location: Lynnwood,WA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I know what you mean about laptops, I did repairs under warranty for a well known PC manufacturer, and our tech support was in india (the ones who would dispatch parts for the repairs). Man, that was nutz,

(Calls tech support because they sent him "bottom plastics" instead of a motherboard)

Tech Support: "Elo', Welcome to ____ customer support, My name is Jack, can I have your ID number and trouble ticket number please......."

Me: "ID ____ Trouble Ticket_____"

Tech Support: "Thanks, now just hold for a minute while I bring that stuff up...."

(on hold with annoying techno music)

Tech Support: "Ah, and this is on a 2700 series laptop right?"

Me: "Yes, you guys sent me the bottom plastics, the reason this thing is not working is because the motherboard is apparently fried, I've seen it....."

Tech Support: "Oh, well sir, i believe it's the bottom plastics, because the bottom plastics are checked by the CMOS at bootup, and if they are damaged, the PC won't boot"

Me: (mutes phone and curses) "Noooo, it's the MOTHERBOARD! I checked the bottom plastics, I see no switch or electrical conncetion that could have ANYTHING to do with the CMOS, not even a ground plate"

Tech Support: "Hold on while I send you to level 2"

(more irritating techno music proceeds, I jam a headphone with Dokken in my other ear)

Tech Support "Hello, welcome to level 2 Technical support, My name is Jack, may I have your ID and TT numbers?"

Me: "Hey, aren't you the same guy?"

Tech Support: "Yes, except I am now a Level 2!"

Me: (thinks: What the hell is this, a phone version of Final Fantasy!?!?)

Tech Support: "What seems to be the problem Mike."

Me: "Simple, the laptop computer won't boot becase the motherboard is blown."

Tech Support: "Oh, so you want the bottom plastiqes...."

Me: "NO! I don't want the friggin bottom plastics, I need a motherboard."

Tech Support: "Hold on while I pass you on to level three"

(more irritating hold music, me fires up Postal 2: Share the Pain on my computer to sooth my violent urges)

Tech Support" Hello sir, this is Jack, I'm now Level THREE Tech Support, may I have your..."

(me gives em the information a third time, holding in any possibility of cussing em' out and telling my boss to take this job and shove it!)

Tech Support: "Okay, I'll be sending you the bottom plastiques"

Me: "NO! NO NO NO NO!!! It is the MOTHERBOARD!!! NOT THE BOTTOM PLASTIQUES!!!"

Needless to say, I had to use my well known nasty temper just to get laptops fixed all the time, and people wonder why I left that job, because if the traffic did not kill me, the stress from India's tech support WOULD. Because of it, I hate laptops, and am hoping that maybe that someone or even I could create a standardized design eventually, like "white box" laptops. Just pick yer screen, pick your motherboard, CPU, and such, and be done with it. A part breaks, just go to office max and replace it yourself. Not so much because it's easy, because I love hard repairs, but because I HATE dealing with out-of-country tech support who are badly trained.

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Anonymous101



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 54
Location: Nottingham, England

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It may be worth checking/replacing the cmos battery on some of the laptops. I recall that I had an old laptop (a Compaq I think) that completely died... it just wouldn't power on at all.
Strangely, replacing the cmos battery fixed it - from what I could gather this was a common problem with that laptop. I don't know if modern laptops can be affected in the same way though, but it may be worth checking.
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Puckdropper
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:20 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I've heard the same thing about some Macs.

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