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- Laptop Service problems
- Matt Colie
August 29, 2004, 5:38 pm
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I did previously post a note to this NG about his incident, but I
recently got a good bunch of more specific information that I though I
would pass along. The prior posting was in January this year.
Last September my Compaq 1700 took a hit that disabled the 10/100 port.
This was just at the time that the HP-Compaq merger was going on and I
could not raise anybody at Compaq to inquire about service. So I found
a place on the web, and made arrangements for them to repair the unit.
This required three months and took a return shipment as it was not
fully functional (the port that was the problem still didn’t work) when
When it was shipped back to us the second time, it all sort of worked.
Unfortunately the unit could no longer be used in public and the
esthetics of the unit has been hit with a mortal blow. What had been
pristine, now looked like it had been a garage doorstop. The screen
face even had been gouged just about dead center. I contacted that shop
about this issue and received no response at all. Not even an envelope
containing some screws or a replacement for the now cracked hinge cover.
The unit was also not reliable as it kept doing the “blue screen with
writing crash”, and often locked up so hard it required a battery pull.
This required that the unit be replaced a year ahead of schedule and
before it was depreciated. The unit was put aside and used only for
My friend Greg borrowed it, and then called me up to ask what had
happened to this poor thing to make it into such a POS. (He knew this
line well and had be the hardware service provider for a company that
had a number of unit of the same family.) I told him it had been
serviced by and independent shop. While we were on the phone, he
identified four problems and asked if I would mind if he cracked it
open. He sent me back this e-note.
I do not know who opened this unit last but if the screws that were
missing had been left loose inside, it would have sounded like a rain
stick (a stick thing he has that makes rain-like noise when
inverted)whenever you moved it. Fortunately, the tech that assembled it
last put in enough screws to keep the case closed. (My note: He did
not, I had to go out to a specialty fastener supplier and buy screws to
stop the case from rattling when I tried to use the unit.)
This many screws missing would easily have caused the problems you have
experienced. With heat sinks not attached and shielding parts not
connected or occasionally connected, it is anybodies’ guess what could
The Compaq Evo N160 case has about a dozen internal screws, your unit
was missing ten. We cleaned out our reserve stock of 2mm screws.
It would be good to know where you sent this for service. So we can
The company that was contacted to service this unit was:
P. O. Box 220
613 West Hwy 11E
New Market, TN 37820
The aforementioned incident is very completely documented in our files.
Matthew Colie <www.southpointechandler.com>
Re: Laptop Service problems
That's why I _never_ would let anyone fiddle around with my notebook except
myself and the manufacturer service...
There are too much "computer specialists" out there that think because they
managed to install a gfx card in a PC that they are computer professionals.
Re: Laptop Service problems
And there are lots of gotchas that are not easy to learn by experience.
My laptop has 8 identical looking, and 2 different screws on the bottom.
The identical looking screws are however slightly different lengths.
Putting the screws in the wrong holes can lead to anything from the screw
not going in all the way, to the keyboard not fitting, to the case cracking.
Lots of stuff is even model specific.
While repair experience can give you valuable hints about what to do,
for example how much force you can likely apply without breaking something,
where manufacturers might hide screws, the importance of picking the right
screwdriver, the right grade of loctite when replacing screws, ...
It can't tell you that the only way to remove a screen bezel is to
poke a flat-bladed instrument in 87mm up from the bottom right-hand side,
and trying to work round the edges gradually splitting it will just break
all the latches.
I consider myself competant to repair all laptops.
If I can have a scrap model of the same one that it doesn't matter
if I break it when dissasembling or reassembling.