PDA

View Full Version : Paying to get computer fixed



jimnyc
04-01-2013, 01:11 PM
It saddens me to have to fork out any money for repairs, considering I've been repairing computers, hardware and software, for over 20 years now. But this is my laptop, which more or less became my sons laptop. I felt bad that he can't use it right now.

He dropped it once last year and damaged the right back corner of the laptop. It appeared to be cosmetic, and maybe a piece of plastic broke off inside and was now rattling around. No issues to speak of as far as it working though, so I left it, as laptops are generally difficult and expensive to repair.

He tells me the other day that now it won't power on. I can tell by putting the jack in and out that it's not holding the cord snuggly enough. I tried a brand new cord and a new battery, same results. The DC jack on the motherboard needs to be replaced. This will require taking out a shitload of tiny screws and small ribbob cables and taking apart the entire thing until you get to the motherboard. Then the jack needs to be soldered and removed, and a new one soldered back on. I'm not willing to send away for that part and go through hours and hours of trouble - and find out I am wrong. (I'm not wrong!).

I got an RA and sent it back to Toshiba, who replied that they now have it in their possession. If it costs me $250 or less I will go for it, anything more and I can just look into a new laptop.

fj1200
04-01-2013, 01:30 PM
If it costs me $250 or less I will go for it, anything more and I can just look into a new laptop.

That's your cut off? :eek: I would have thought much less. I think I have a similar issue, battery is useless and the plug barely holds in but so far so good.

jimnyc
04-01-2013, 01:39 PM
That's your cut off? :eek: I would have thought much less. I think I have a similar issue, battery is useless and the plug barely holds in but so far so good.

If it were the computer that "I" use, I never would have sent it in, and would have just got a new one. The boy has like 24 games on there using the 'Steam' platform. He also has a lot of files and pictures, although nothing he couldn't live without. The $$ I'm willing to spend is higher solely because of the boy.

I like troubleshooting to the board level, not parts and modules. Ever take a laptop completely apart? What a nightmare!! And on an off note, I took an Iphone from a friend a few weeks back, with a brand new screen he gave me, and he asked if I could swap screens for him. He claimed it was easy, and just watch an 8 minute Youtube video showing how to do it. Wow, last time I do that! That thing was WORSE than taking apart a laptop!

jimnyc
04-01-2013, 01:40 PM
Oh, but I was successful changing the screen for him, but swore off ever working on one again. I think that may have put me over the edge for laptops too!

Trinity
04-01-2013, 06:46 PM
If it were the computer that "I" use, I never would have sent it in, and would have just got a new one. The boy has like 24 games on there using the 'Steam' platform. He also has a lot of files and pictures, although nothing he couldn't live without. The $$ I'm willing to spend is higher solely because of the boy.

I like troubleshooting to the board level, not parts and modules. Ever take a laptop completely apart? What a nightmare!! And on an off note, I took an Iphone from a friend a few weeks back, with a brand new screen he gave me, and he asked if I could swap screens for him. He claimed it was easy, and just watch an 8 minute Youtube video showing how to do it. Wow, last time I do that! That thing was WORSE than taking apart a laptop!


You do know that if you get a new computer for him he can re download steam and still have access to all of his games....granted he may lose some file that were saved to his computer but he should still be able to access all the games.

Robert A Whit
04-01-2013, 07:09 PM
It saddens me to have to fork out any money for repairs, considering I've been repairing computers, hardware and software, for over 20 years now. But this is my laptop, which more or less became my sons laptop. I felt bad that he can't use it right now.

He dropped it once last year and damaged the right back corner of the laptop. It appeared to be cosmetic, and maybe a piece of plastic broke off inside and was now rattling around. No issues to speak of as far as it working though, so I left it, as laptops are generally difficult and expensive to repair.

He tells me the other day that now it won't power on. I can tell by putting the jack in and out that it's not holding the cord snuggly enough. I tried a brand new cord and a new battery, same results. The DC jack on the motherboard needs to be replaced. This will require taking out a shitload of tiny screws and small ribbob cables and taking apart the entire thing until you get to the motherboard. Then the jack needs to be soldered and removed, and a new one soldered back on. I'm not willing to send away for that part and go through hours and hours of trouble - and find out I am wrong. (I'm not wrong!).

I got an RA and sent it back to Toshiba, who replied that they now have it in their possession. If it costs me $250 or less I will go for it, anything more and I can just look into a new laptop.

Well, that takes care of that. :slap:

tailfins
04-01-2013, 07:23 PM
Oh, but I was successful changing the screen for him, but swore off ever working on one again. I think that may have put me over the edge for laptops too!

Dells are difficult; the rest seemingly impossible. I found some nice i5 Dell 15R laptops for $580. My kids are heavily into Steam. The get their OS reinstalled every now and then once they sludge up their computers. The get their games back with no problem.

jimnyc
04-02-2013, 03:31 PM
Yeah, I know, he already has his games reinstalled on the shared desktop computer, but he likes using the laptop more. Here's the message I just got:


Our Technicians have run a diagnostic test on your unit and have determined the following item(s) need to be replaced:

Base and dc jack

The estimated charge for your repair will be $229.00 applicable taxes.

This charge includes labor, parts, and shipping back to you. Please contact us at your earliest convenience by phone or email to approve or refuse this quote. Our contact information is listed below. Do not include your credit card number in any email response. Thank you for choosing Toshiba, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding your service request.

So it was the jack as I thought. At least I can feel somewhat better knowing I was troubleshooting correctly. Anyway, looks like they will replace the lower shell of the laptop that has cosmetic damages and solder on a new jack. What you're really paying for is for a guy/gal to do the work that has all the tools and know how. I'll gladly pay it to save myself the inevitable cussing and headache I would have had!

The laptop I really want now is about $600. So I think this worked out good, if the knucklehead learns to take care of it better. Should get another few years out of it.

logroller
04-02-2013, 05:43 PM
Jim- I took my laptop to a biz downtown and they swapped the monitor, parts and all, for less than 250$. OEM is pricey. I'm surprised that you don't have a connect with your experience in IT

jimnyc
04-02-2013, 07:09 PM
Jim- I took my laptop to a biz downtown and they swapped the monitor, parts and all, for less than 250$. OEM is pricey. I'm surprised that you don't have a connect with your experience in IT

None that have small businesses, unfortunately. I brought it to a few "friends" as an inquiry, and they stated outright that they would either a) send it out to Toshiba anyway or b) order a new MB as they didn't go to the component level. I'm confident that had I shopped around I might have found someone willing to do so on the cheap, but I guess I trusted the manufacturer more. I also took a chance and went to Best Buy (geek squad) and asked if they did repairs right there, and they too said they would literally ship it out to Toshiba. Then we have the local Mexican guy down the road who has his own shop called "Computers". There's like nothing in his building and he has like 3hr workdays. And yet he's been there forever. Places like that make me think I'll never see my laptop again!

Most of my contacts were in NYC and NJ. Also, almost every bot of my work was down to the board level. The 2 main players I worked for (corporate), we still ordered MB's when necessary, both desktop and laptop, we never used a soldering iron.

Anton Chigurh
04-02-2013, 09:18 PM
The DC jack on the motherboard needs to be replaced. This will require taking out a shitload of tiny screws and small ribbob cables I hate those ribbob cables too. People rib me about them all the time. :salute:

Robert A Whit
04-02-2013, 09:21 PM
I hate those ribbob cables too. People rib me about them all the time. :salute:

I wish I had some of those ribbob cables rather than the ribbon cables in my computer too.

jimnyc
04-03-2013, 11:45 AM
I hate those ribbob cables too. People rib me about them all the time. :salute:

They call them that because they resemble shish kabobs! :coffee:

fj1200
06-03-2013, 09:45 AM
Oh, but I was successful changing the screen for him, but swore off ever working on one again. I think that may have put me over the edge for laptops too!

My laptop screen is going funky, funny colors because of a loosening connection methinks. Nothing of importance on the laptop; anything to be done or just suck it up and get a new one?

Marcus Aurelius
06-03-2013, 10:07 AM
My laptop screen is going funky, funny colors because of a loosening connection methinks. Nothing of importance on the laptop; anything to be done or just suck it up and get a new one?

How old is the laptop? If it's more than 3 years old, could be a number of reasons for your problems. Screen could be dying... flex cable connecting screen to board may be dying... could be just a driver issue. Was it sudden, or did it develop over time?

jimnyc
06-03-2013, 10:30 AM
My laptop screen is going funky, funny colors because of a loosening connection methinks. Nothing of importance on the laptop; anything to be done or just suck it up and get a new one?

Drop it or anything like that? A loose connection would be weird without something pushing it that way. Could just be dying. I doubt a driver, unless it got corrupted, but re-installing the latest video drivers certainly wouldn't hurt. But anyway, the screen is attached to the MB with a flat ribbon cable, and if that becomes loose or even a tad detached, you can see that issue. Do you know how to take it apart and put it back together if you go to check? Do you know anyone in the business that can help for a lower rate? I'm afraid that a small company or similar will tell you anything to make money even if it's a small issue. But screens are expensive to replace and it would be better to replace the laptop in most cases. (that's IF the screen is dying).

It's hard to say without being in front of it.

Marcus Aurelius
06-03-2013, 10:49 AM
Drop it or anything like that? A loose connection would be weird without something pushing it that way. Could just be dying. I doubt a driver, unless it got corrupted, but re-installing the latest video drivers certainly wouldn't hurt. But anyway, the screen is attached to the MB with a flat ribbon cable, and if that becomes loose or even a tad detached, you can see that issue. Do you know how to take it apart and put it back together if you go to check? Do you know anyone in the business that can help for a lower rate? I'm afraid that a small company or similar will tell you anything to make money even if it's a small issue. But screens are expensive to replace and it would be better to replace the laptop in most cases. (that's IF the screen is dying).

It's hard to say without being in front of it.

If it's the screen or ribbon cable, it's actually very easy to do it yourself, with minimal risk. The screen and cable can be found online for almost any laptop. I've replaced several for friends, and the dis-assembly and reassembly is usually fairly straight forward. It's a lot cheaper in most cases than replacing the laptop.

That all assumes the screen or the cable are the problem of course.

fj1200
06-03-2013, 10:49 AM
How old is the laptop? If it's more than 3 years old, could be a number of reasons for your problems. Screen could be dying... flex cable connecting screen to board may be dying... could be just a driver issue. Was it sudden, or did it develop over time?

The initial issue was sudden but it's getting worse and depends on the position of the screen, it flickers almost constantly now. But yes, over 4 years old and the wife is already budgeting for a new one for Father's Day so...


Drop it or anything like that? A loose connection would be weird without something pushing it that way. Could just be dying. I doubt a driver, unless it got corrupted, but re-installing the latest video drivers certainly wouldn't hurt. But anyway, the screen is attached to the MB with a flat ribbon cable, and if that becomes loose or even a tad detached, you can see that issue. Do you know how to take it apart and put it back together if you go to check? Do you know anyone in the business that can help for a lower rate? I'm afraid that a small company or similar will tell you anything to make money even if it's a small issue. But screens are expensive to replace and it would be better to replace the laptop in most cases. (that's IF the screen is dying).

It's hard to say without being in front of it.

Not dropped that I recall but because it flickers I'm thinking cable or connection type issue. I'm thinking that I'll either use it as a learning tool for the 10-year old to take apart and try to fix, with my help, or repurpose it as a HTPC and record OTA TV signals or hook it up to a monitor.

Then the question becomes what do I get to replace it. :)

fj1200
06-03-2013, 10:52 AM
That all assumes the screen or the cable are the problem of course.

That's my best guess but I suppose I could test it by connecting it a monitor or the TV.

jimnyc
06-03-2013, 10:54 AM
The initial issue was sudden but it's getting worse and depends on the position of the screen, it flickers almost constantly now. But yes, over 4 years old and the wife is already budgeting for a new one for Father's Day so...



Not dropped that I recall but because it flickers I'm thinking cable or connection type issue. I'm thinking that I'll either use it as a learning tool for the 10-year old to take apart and try to fix, with my help, or repurpose it as a HTPC and record OTA TV signals or hook it up to a monitor.

Then the question becomes what do I get to replace it. :)

For me anyway, I consider 4 years an extended life for any computer! :) And Fathers day is right around the corner! I bought a laptop at Officemax believe it or not, less than $400 and performs great, unless you install crazy gaming and stuff. But for everyday use, you can't go wrong. Best Buy will be $600 and up for a decent one. Look on tigerdirect.com as well and see if you find anything you like.

If you're lucky, you have a laptop like Marcus is stating - take off all the screws on the bottom and get the case off, then check the cable that goes from the board to the screen, disconnect it and reconnect if possible. Lookup the make/model online and you'll likely even find directions, or believe it or not, even a Youtube video showing step by step directions.

But if the wifey is willing, get the new one! LOL Then see if you can fix this one on your own time, and if lucky, then you have 2 of them! :)

jimnyc
06-03-2013, 10:55 AM
That's my best guess but I suppose I could test it by connecting it a monitor or the TV.

Excellent thought! If it's a driver or built in video, the problem should follow to a monitor. If it's a screen issue, then the problem should be fixed when going to the monitor. BUT, you still won't know if it's a bad screen or just a loose cable - but it's a good and easy way to get started.

Marcus Aurelius
06-03-2013, 10:58 AM
The initial issue was sudden but it's getting worse and depends on the position of the screen, it flickers almost constantly now. But yes, over 4 years old and the wife is already budgeting for a new one for Father's Day so...



Not dropped that I recall but because it flickers I'm thinking cable or connection type issue. I'm thinking that I'll either use it as a learning tool for the 10-year old to take apart and try to fix, with my help, or repurpose it as a HTPC and record OTA TV signals or hook it up to a monitor.

Then the question becomes what do I get to replace it. :)

I would agree with your conclusion. Go to New Egg online, see how much a new cable would be. That's the easiest and cheapest thing to try. Next is screen (again, I've found New Egg cheap and fast). Drivers are doubtful, with your 'flickering' comments.

If you're already budgeting for a new one, that is always a good thing. The idea about teaching your 10-yr old with the current one is great. You can let him fix it, and assuming all is well and you get your new one, pass it on to him/her as a reward for the experience.

fj1200
06-03-2013, 11:09 AM
Thanks guys.

jimnyc
06-03-2013, 11:58 AM
FJ, just as examples. This one is quite similar to one of my laptops:

http://www.officemax.com/technology/computers/laptop-computers/product-prod3940988

And there are cheaper Toshiba's, and other names there, depending on what processor/memory you want.

Here's a few more:

http://www.officemax.com/technology/computers/laptop-computers/product-prod4570214
http://www.officemax.com/technology/computers/laptop-computers/product-prod4580104
http://www.officemax.com/technology/computers/laptop-computers/product-prod4380340

You can sort by brand and look at the HP models too, here is one as an example, with an I3 processor, and of course will be higher for I5 or I7 and more memory:

http://www.officemax.com/technology/computers/laptop-computers/product-prod4590013

You can of course do the same with tigerdirect, newegg, staples and other places. I just always found good deals at Officemax, not many people think technology when they hear that name. Just an extra place for you to look!

Marcus Aurelius
06-04-2013, 12:25 AM
Side note... stay away from HP laptops. They are underpowered, poorly designed, and tend towards overheating on even minimal workloads.

We used to have a corporate contract with Dell for our servers and laptops... until HP undercut the pricing and we switched. I still have an Dell Latitude D830 from 2007 I use for work. I refused to turn it in, and corporate gave up and renewed the warranty so I could keep using it.

logroller
06-04-2013, 02:57 AM
I realize I'm a little late to the discussion and it sounds like you've come up with some sense of identifying the problem. I would suggest getting your new computer before tearing into the one you have; or otherwise transferring your files before attempting to salvage/repair the unit. Also, have you been worshipping mail daemons at all? :dev2:

jimnyc
06-04-2013, 06:51 AM
Side note... stay away from HP laptops. They are underpowered, poorly designed, and tend towards overheating on even minimal workloads.

We used to have a corporate contract with Dell for our servers and laptops... until HP undercut the pricing and we switched. I still have an Dell Latitude D830 from 2007 I use for work. I refused to turn it in, and corporate gave up and renewed the warranty so I could keep using it.

I like Dell too, but they are more expensive. Hell, I like alienware and such more too, if you don't mind $2k a pop! LOL

My wife has an HP laptop for about 5 years now and runs perfectly! After about the 3 year mark, when it got bogged down, I went in and restored the HDD to default and started over, and it ran like new again. My point is - it depends on which model and what's in it - not all HP is that bad! Maybe lower end models, but the higher ends will be just as good as others.

And as much as I LOVE Dell - I have a bookend here. My last Dell died about a year in, and it turned out to be the MB. They wanted $600 to replace it!! No matter where and how I looked, simply couldn't get it outside of Dell. I just chalked it up and bought a new one.

My Dad has an Asus I recommended to him and he loves it, says it runs better than any other he has before. My friend here in NY bought a lower end model, now thinks Asus sucks. I think it depends on what you get and what you're willing to pay. Someone with a celeron processor and 2gig of memory may think a brand sucks. The next guy may have an I7 quad core with 8gig and swear its the best ever! :)

fj1200
06-04-2013, 08:54 AM
I realize I'm a little late to the discussion and it sounds like you've come up with some sense of identifying the problem. I would suggest getting your new computer before tearing into the one you have; or otherwise transferring your files before attempting to salvage/repair the unit. Also, have you been worshipping mail daemons at all? :dev2:

Good suggestion, there is precious little on this laptop that I would need to worry about. The last part? Now that would defeat the purpose of fixing this one. :slap:


Side note... stay away from HP laptops.

I have an HP which has done the trick for 4+ years but it does run hot and the battery has been toast for probably most of that time. Add it all up and a new laptop is the wise choice but I just don' wanna... yet.