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DEAD vista laptop


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#1
gtwyuser

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I have a 3 year old Gateway laptop with vista home premium. I made some improvements when I first got it and it has been running flawlessly for over 21/2 yrs. Last Thursday, 6/16/2011, it was turned on and not doing anything specific, just on and sitting on the kitchen table. When I came in I noticed that it was off. I went to turn it back on and saw that the charging lite was not on-it was plugged in so it should have been on. I poked the power switch, and NOTHING--. No fan starting, lites blinking. hdd clicking, NOTHING. I unplugged it, nothing. I pulled the battery and let it sit a while, put it back in, nothing. I plugged it back in, nothing. I checked the power cord and everything read correctly, right down to the dc amps. This thing is just dead. I've talked to a couple of my geekier friends and they say motherboard. Tom's net says motherboard, HTG says motherboard. Gateway, on the other hand, didn't even mention motherboard. This guy, and someone helping him, walked me thru different areas that I could get at without disassembly, and with my trusty multi-meter, I must have checked a hundred different components and all tested correct. I also got a map of others to check that couldn't be checked until I took it apart.Well, it's apart, I checked the rest and they checked out. Now, I have the motherboard right in front of me, and I'm using a big magnifier, but I can't see any flaws. No cracks, no burn spots, no loose components, it LOOKS good. I know that doesn't mean it is good, but I wanna be sure before I throw money at it. And-if the motherboard is burned out what about the cpu, memory, hard drive, lan card, would they get taken out too? All those components would cost more than a new laptop. Motherboard is $120 alone! Should I try a motherboard? Should I try something else? Do you guys know of anything that would shut a computer down so thoroughly. One minute it was on, the next minute it was gone. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated. gtwyuser(for now)
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#2
underscor3

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Ah, welcome to the wonderful world of laptop repair. :)

I work at a local repair shop, and we see quite a few of these around the shop. Unfortunately, we usually just recommend saving whatever data is needed off the hard drive and getting a new system. When a motherboard goes out, there's no way to tell what parts it's taken with it, and playing the guessing game can get old and frustrating (and expensive!). If there's any data you need off the drive, you can plug it into another system with USB to SATA/IDE adapter and copy the data from there.

Unfortunately, laptops (especially lower-end models) just sometimes break- it's an unfortunate danger of the products and parts we use. You can try replacing the board, but know that there's a chance you'll spend more in parts, time and energy than you would getting a new system.

That's another thing- you'll be repairing a laptop with Windows Vista, which has far more than it's share of bugs. Getting a new laptop means getting Windows 7; that would be reason enough for me, given the circumstances.

I hope that helps! Let us know if there's anything else we can do. :unsure:
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#3
gtwyuser

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I appreciate the quick response underscor3. I'm gonna give the new board a try(I found a pretty good deal), hopefully it'll work, if not, I guess I'll hunting for a new laptop. Board is supposed to arrive tomorrow,6/22/2011, I'll stick it in and let you know what happens. Thanks again.
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#4
Bing7

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way back on the day it happened you said you took out the battery and unpluged it for a time ,then reinstall batt and plug ,still no go, did you at that time, try it with just the power cord and no battery .did you try it without the ram or hdd or wireless card before you
took the motheboard out.with any luck its the video chip and the new board will fix your problem ,good luck

Edited by Bing7, 24 June 2011 - 06:27 PM.

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#5
gtwyuser

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Thanks for all the replies-the good news is -the motherboard was the problem and the new one fired it right up. The bad news-what a pain in the ---some of those connections are sooo small I got cross-eyed getting them together, I'm still fighting with the cpu fan. But it works, that's the main thing. Thanks again, gtwyuser
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#6
underscor3

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And that's why my shop charges so much for laptop labor... :)

Glad to hear you're up and running. :unsure:
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