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24.11.14 1444
The W - Internet & Computers - Laptop Repair Help
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Bullitt
Shot in the dark








Since: 11.1.02
From: Houston

Since last post: 10 days
Last activity: 10 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.58
OK, the soon-to-be Mrs. Bullitt has a Gateway 6000 series laptop, bought in December '06. Of course, the warranty is expired.

About a week ago, the battery stopped taking a charge. It would only charge if we held the AC power adapter at a certain weird angle, but it won't take it anymore. We got a new adapter, but that doesn't seem to be the problem.

We took the laptop to Geek Squad at Best Buy, where the kid said it was probably a problem with the DC power jack (he thinks it pulled away from the motherboard and needs resoldering.) Looking to get that fixed, we took the laptop to a repair place...where the somewhat shady repair guy said "the motherboard is bad." Nothing further than that...just "it's bad." He said the power jack is fine, but the motherboard needs replacing.

I'm looking for a second opinion from you guys. As a relatively non-hardware guy myself, it sounds to me like the repair guy's trying to screw us. Should a 16-month-old laptop have a fried motherboard already?

I'm assuming it's cheaper at this stage to get a new laptop instead of replacing the motherboard, but we just don't think that's the issue.

Any advice? Thanks.

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PeterStork
Sujuk








Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

Since last post: 73 days
Last activity: 2 hours
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.37
I hate to side with them, but I'd lean towards Geek Squad's opinion. If holding the cord at a certain angle allows it to power than it implies that it's just not sitting right. That shouldn't cost as much as a new laptop, but if it's several hundred bucks then I'd look at a new one; they're getting ridiculously cheap.



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Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 5 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.98
If you're motherboard was "bad", I think you'd probably have some other issues as well. I hate those kinds of answers, and I would probably take it somewhere else on principle - even if I needed a new motherboard.

When I Googled "Gateway 6000" battery not holding a charge, the first thing that popped up was an Craigslisting for a computer repair shop that outlined the very issue you were experiencing:

http://louisville.craigslist.org/cps/650252895.html

Also a Google listing

http://www.google.com/base/a/3214938/D16621252110584115731

Both of these will charge less than what a new motherboard will cost you. I'm not "endorsing" these services, as I've never used them, but maybe you can give them a call at see what they think.

I'm guessing that the power jack sits on the motherboard, and that's why they want to replace the motherboard. The jack is a $5 part, BTW. If you can at least look at the jack and see what kind of condition it is in, you might be able to determine what's going on for yourself. Here's instructions on how to take the laptop apart:

http://lovetech.blogspot.com/2007/05/how-to-upgrade-notebook.html

Good luck.




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ironcladlou
Potato korv








Since: 2.1.02
From: Quincy, MA

Since last post: 2296 days
Last activity: 2148 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.90
The Geek Squad guy is exactly right. It's a common problem among almost all older laptop types. I bought an HP Pavilion for my GF on Craigslist that had the exact same issue with the DC jack. After a month or three of using the jack at an angle, we ended up getting SPARKS AND SMOKE from the motherboard. My advice? Get it fixed soon, or get a new laptop. Here's a link to a Google search for "laptop dc jack repair".



"I could drown the pain, and drink upon commuter trains, and here you stand in eastern standard time"
- Mike Doughty
El Nastio
Andouille








Since: 14.1.02
From: Ottawa Ontario, by way of Walkerton

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 2 hours
ICQ:  
#5 Posted on
Thank you for contac.....er, wait.

When we come across this issue at work, we replace the whole motherboard. Too many variables are involved to simply replace just one piece of it (not to mention the pieces are often soddered onboard). It COULD be just the physical jack....but it could also be the power supply area is a whole. or it could simply be one of the circuits is fried. Anything, really. When I come across this issue, I replace the board.

As for the COST of reparing a notebook's motherboard when the warranty is expired....you're talking anywhere from 350 - 600 dollars. None of it refundable most likely. You can try replacing JUST the jack area however if it is the "power supply area" (which is built onto the board) or any other portion of of the motherboard at fault....get a new system with an active warranty and take this one to a pawn shop.


Thank you for choos....oops.



(edited by El Nastio on 3.5.08 0732)


Yes, I finally have updated the Troll Moment of the Week! This week is brought to you by ;

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STONEBOY!: "THIS GOES MESSAGE GOES OUT TO ALL CANADIANS ESPECIALLY MONTREAL WHEREVER THE F#CK THAT IS".

Kidbrooklyn: "Please god tell me that you're making fun of the douche who started this thread...

Wait, no he isn't. He's serious. I hadn't read his previous brilliance before. I apologize" (in reference to a reply by James1978).


Click Here (The W) to read the rest of it!

BXVI
Kevintripod
Boudin blanc








Since: 11.5.03
From: Mount Pleasant, Pa.

Since last post: 7 hours
Last activity: 7 hours
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.01
    Originally posted by Bullitt
    Looking to get that fixed, we took the laptop to a repair place...where the somewhat shady repair guy said "the motherboard is bad." Nothing further than that...just "it's bad." He said the power jack is fine, but the motherboard needs replacing.


I can name at least 15 people I know that have taken their computers to a repair shop for different problems, and all 15 of them were told that they would need a new motherboard. I've never known a single person who ever took their PC to get fixed and wasn't told that they would need a new motherboard.

I always figured the "you need a new motherboard" was a common scam so that PC repair shops could fleece a little more money out of their customers.




The best part of waking up, is not Folgers in your cup, but knowing that Chuck Norris didn't kill you in your sleep.
Bullitt
Shot in the dark








Since: 11.1.02
From: Houston

Since last post: 10 days
Last activity: 10 days
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.58
So we had a third guy take a look at the laptop. This guy actually took it apart.

The verdict? Yeah, the DC jack is bad.

The problem? No one in this city seems to want to fix it. Apparently it's a hassle and no computer repair people seem to want to do it. Guess people only do the parts of their jobs that they *like* to do, or something.

It makes me wonder, though...how did the shady guy "know" the motherboard was bad? With no physical signs of damage, wouldn't he have to remove it and install it into a different computer to make the call that it was bad?
El Nastio
Andouille








Since: 14.1.02
From: Ottawa Ontario, by way of Walkerton

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 2 hours
ICQ:  
#8 Posted on
Regarding the "scam", I disagree, and think it's actually the otherway around.

You see, mark-ups on hardware is very small. Typically companies mark up periphals and services. They're not going to over-charge you to the motherboard, because it'd be fairly simple for you to check out the price for it. Now the DC jack on the other hand, although cheaper than the board, you WON'T be able to find a price for, enabling them to mark that up a bit more. Yeah, the motherboard will cost more, but it costs THEM more to use it.

The thing about the DC jack;

1) Often it's soddered onto the board, which means they need to be careful taking it off AND need to re-sodder it back on.
2) After parts and LABOR the price is out of proportion to your (the consumer's) gain.
3) There is MORE labor involved with this, as the tech still needs to get to the board. And labor is what will wreck you. As an A+ Certified tech, do you really want to know how much I could charge people?
4) Companies like Dell and Gateway won't carry just the DC jack, in large part because it's soddered onto the board/hard to replace.


There's a reason why we replace just the board. It's easier, quicker, and cheaper for everyone in the long run to do it that way.


As for the shady fella, well, most people (techs included) assume bad port| bad board.



Yes, I finally have updated the Troll Moment of the Week! This week is brought to you by ;

"STONEBOY!" , who brought us the following such pieces of wisdom as:

STONEBOY!: "THIS GOES MESSAGE GOES OUT TO ALL CANADIANS ESPECIALLY MONTREAL WHEREVER THE F#CK THAT IS".

Kidbrooklyn: "Please god tell me that you're making fun of the douche who started this thread...

Wait, no he isn't. He's serious. I hadn't read his previous brilliance before. I apologize" (in reference to a reply by James1978).


Click Here (The W) to read the rest of it!

BXVI
Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 5 days
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.98
    Originally posted by El Nastio
    Now the DC jack on the other hand, although cheaper than the board, you WON'T be able to find a price for, enabling them to mark that up a bit more.

    ...

    4) Companies like Dell and Gateway won't carry just the DC jack, in large part because it's soddered onto the board/hard to replace.



While Dell or Gateway may not carry the part, I doubt Gateway is using some proprietary part. Even if they are, they are using it on more than one machine - it would be way too expensive for them to use unique parts for something as simple as a DC jack. And I doubt they are manufacturing this part in house, so I am sure there are retail parts available.

You'll pay a markup, but it will be way less than what an entire motherboard will run you.

    Originally posted by Bullitt
    The problem? No one in this city seems to want to fix it. Apparently it's a hassle and no computer repair people seem to want to do it. Guess people only do the parts of their jobs that they *like* to do, or something.


I would look for a electronics or Audio/Video repair shop, and not a computer tech. At this point, you need someone with basic electronics and soldering skills more than you need a computer tech.

I still think replacing a faulty jack makes more sense than replacing the entire motherboard.

(edited by Leroy on 4.5.08 0051)



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SQL Dejection
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 15 days
Last activity: 1 hour
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.87
The odds are that the jack is fine, just that isn't soldered on at this point. I don't know how to do this, but I think you can use a cheap meter to check continuity across the jack... Or you could just try to see how it is soldered on and if you can recreate it, take it off and solder it back on.




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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 15 days
Last activity: 1 hour
AIM:  
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.87
Obviously, your mileage may vary and if you don't know what you are doing at all (Like you don't know basic electronics) then don't try this yourself. Safety first.




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