Sunday, December 28, 2008

Calling H-Town Techies: Help Save our Laptop!

One quick request for Houston-area Tech repair knowledge.

Seems that over the last few weeks, our Gateway laptop has been sick.  The screen was flickering and it was going on/off battery-power even though plugged into the AC brick.

At first I thought it was the AC cord up by the plug, so I picked up a replacement adapter/plug set but that didn’t help at all.

Now I am certain that the DC plug has been damaged. 

For a while I could do a funky cousin to the old-school rabbit ears tweaking and by putting the cord a certain way and putting just a certain bit of pressure, the AC power would flow steady.  Now that is next to impossible to do.

I’ve done some research and though I am bold enough to try a motherboard swap on the laptop, I’m not yet ready to drop approximately $400 for a replacement just yet.

I am NOT brave enough to attempt a re-solder job myself.  But I don’t think the issue is with the pins.  From some web-searching, I think that these units (and similar brands) are using a plug that had slightly more brittle plastics and the component itself is cracked.

I’ve done some research and it looks like there is an outfit down in Webster that seems like it can do a replacement of the DC plug.  Unfortunately, they’ve been closed during the holiday season so I haven’t been able to contact them just yet.

I’ve also found a shop up in the North East that specializes in these as well, but I really would like to try to stimulate the local economy first (and avoid the ship-off).

Do any of my Houston tech readers have any recommendations for a reputable shop in the Houston-Metro (south/east/southeast preferred) area that could replace the DC plug on the laptop systemboard?

I’d really appreciate any leads as it turns out I have grown more attached to this laptop for blogging than I would like to admit.  Lavie likes it as well as that means I can sit with her in the living room and not holed up in the study on the desktop system.

I’m planning on yanking the HDD from it first (for security).  I figure the system will still power up and hit the BIOS so that should be sufficient.


--Claus V.

1 comment:

Nathaniel said...

Umm, yikes. sounds scary. Can't reccomend anything, as I live all the way up in Oregon, but... you might stop by the NotebookReview Forums. There is a chance that someone might know of a shop that woudld do it.