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madwedge

Sisters Laptop Kaput?

Question

Ok so sister has given me her laptop to look at. I'm going to look at it later today but symtoms are as follows:

- Won't boot up!

- Turns on with loud fan noise but nothing on screen.

Any initial thoughts? I'm going to plug my monitor in in case it's the screen that's gone. If it's not the screen though is it a major fault if nothing is being displayed? Not sure if it's even POSTing until I get to look at it. Cheers.

Darrenoi likes this

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Sounds like it could be the motherboard, though try the obvious things of removing the battery and power lead, discharging any static, one stick of RAM. But if it's not POSTing it's probably the mobo, in which case it's time to find a new laptop.

madwedge and Nige like this

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There's many a Dell laptop I've revived by taking out the battery, then holding down the power button for 5 seconds!

Mmmmm .... Dell batteries. Quality. :|

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Tried Nige's trick. Tried one stick of RAM at a time. Tried plugging in my monitor via VGA. Tried taking it apart completely to check all connections and any signs of component damage (burnt capacitors etc). Nothing.

 

New laptop time?  Or is it worth exploring getting a replacement Motherboard?

 

Thanks

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Depends - you're the one who's going to have to fit it, so how do you feel about completely dismantling a laptop, replacing the board and reassembling it all? How old is the machine and what spec? I've been buying new Lenovo laptops with dual celerons at less than 200 quid, so if it's just going to be a browser and word processor, don't waste your time and just buy new.

 

I have a mate who can try to repair motherboards by reflow/reball, but he's based in Romania so it'd be a week or two turnaround  and, again, probably pointless.

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Well I pretty much dismantled it earlier without too much issue so I'm quite confident. It's a Toshiba Satellite C660d by the way.

 

Speaking to my sister she's happy to get a new one though. Budget up to £250.  What's these Lenovo's you speak of?  I rate them very highly. Built like tanks!  I have a Lenovo T420 for work, and we bought my mum a Lenovo G770 for her birthday a couple of years ago.

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The Lenovo ones are the b50-30 here

 

http://www.ebuyer.com/665844-lenovo-b50-30-laptop-mca2wuk

 

Until last week they were also doing 30 quid cashback on top, so the last one I bought will effectively cost me 149 quid. I've been chucking them out the door since October time and they're perfect for home/office use. There's a cheaper AMD equivalent but I thought 1Ghz processor was probably a bit too weedy these days.

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My sis and bro-in-law said they've got vouchers for PC World/Curries. He won £1000 worth of them from work!!

 

As such they're looking at this one. I did steer them towards the Lenovo though.

 

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/lenovo-g50-70-15-6-laptop-red-10030396-pdt.html

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A quick Google would suggest that you may need to try the power button trick a few times (in case you haven't already)

https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/33273/Powers+up+but+black+screen

madwedge likes this

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Will give it a try tomorrow.  Thanks Nige.

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Without wishing to disagree with anyone who says it worked from experience, the power button trick shouldn't be any different the first time - static should be discharged as soon as you press the power button for more than a few seconds, so I can't see how it would fail on the first attempt but not the third or fourth.

 

Still, does no harm to find out.

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As you say, can't hurt to try. Any thoughts on that Lenovo link I posted? It's an i3 processor which, I think, has a bit more grunt in it.

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Any thoughts about getting a chromebook instead? A laptop at ~£250 will be slow and clunky, so to speak.

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I don't know anything about Chromebooks to be fair? Anything special about them?

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Any thoughts about getting a chromebook instead? A laptop at ~£250 will be slow and clunky, so to speak.

They're honestly not - they boot up perfectly well - less than a minute, applications open in a couple of seconds etc. If they were slow and clunky I wouldn't sell them because I'd feel I was ripping people off.

 

Chromebooks are a waste of money in my opinion - you've got a bespoke OS and hardware designed only to run it, nothing else. You can't really install any software on it, you have to piss about setting up Google Cloud Print to use a wifi printer. The main thing going for them is they're cheap and they have an SSD instead of a HDD, but they're not even that cheap now.

 

Chromebooks are basically tablets with a keyboard bolted on - no optical, walled garden OS, bespoke hardware and software, small storage space, not particularly powerful CPUs(the best I've seen uses the same Celeron as the Lenovo) to improve battery life etc. Given they retail around 180, they seem a waste of time to me - especially if you've the money for a higher-specced Wintel machine, in which case you'd obviously get a nicer machine than the one I linked to.

 

The easiest thing is to get them to go to PCWorld to have a look at a few and confer with you on the pros and cons, since I presume you'll be the one setting it up and stripping out all the bloatware(one possible pro for the Chromebook - no bloat?)

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Yes, absolutely I'll be setting it up. First thing I always do is strip out the crap!

I'll think I'll pass on the Chromebook. Dont think it'll suit their needs.

Today's job though; to get them Microsoft Office Professional for £8.95 trough my work! I forget what the latest version is though. Is it still 2013??

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lol. since we "upgraded" to 2010 at work a couple of years ago I've gotten used to it now. I agree 2003 was the best though. Knew where everything was!

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In fairness to MS, I don't do anything with their software that wouldn;t be on a ptrimary school IT lesson - I'll add text, change colours, fonts and sizes, insert a few images, maybe tinker with the margins a little, and that's it.I can't use spreadsheets and any attempt invariably ends with me yelling at it for inexplicably failing to do what I thought I'd asked. I've never even tried to use Powerpoint...

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I have a hex on MS for changing the layout, the old one was so much easier to find things, 2010 version has everything hidden away!

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I use Excel every day at work and am actually not bad at it. I'm the "go to guy" for excel queries, formula generation and Macro fiddling!

 

The price had gone up a little, but I just bought Office Professional 2013 for £9.95. Includes, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, InfoPath (?) and Lync.

 

And I'm sure they'll use them all!!!!  ¬_¬

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Lucky swine, the NHS used to have a "partnership" thing with MS which meant cheap software, they have stopped it now though!

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We're going for O365 at work - every users gets an additional 5 Office 2013 licences for nothing to install wherever they want.

Only restrictions are, no tech support for those installs and if they leave the firm the licences stop working.

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That's pretty good Nige.

Sister bought a new laptop yesterday. The one I linked above she said the screen felt flimsy, so she's gone for a Lenovo Flex 2 instead. Basically the same spec but also touchscreen for an extra £50. Yes it is Windows 8!

They're home this weekend so going to set it up for them then. Should be interesting!

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