Laptop Flop, Part 22

| Kansas City, KS, USA | Learning | July 6, 2017

(I work for a K-12 school district as on-site technician. Most of my job is actually along the lines of dusting out overhead projectors and replacing their bulbs, and putting laptops back onto the network after the students decide to be lazy brats and use the old “computer doesn’t work” excuse — by making it not work. Given the teachers are usually so busy, I end up supporting their work laptops, too. I am kind of the laptop guru, somehow. Before the big district-wide teacher-laptop upgrade, I have a bunch of clunky ten-year-old Dells to support, a couple Gateways, too, and to say the least, they all have a lot of problems. One such laptop sticks out.)

Teacher: “My laptop keeps shutting itself down. This is not acceptable; I need it for the overhead. I’m lucky if it makes it through first period.”

Me: *turns laptop on, listens* “Sounds like your fan is in overdrive. I’ll dust it out.”

Teacher: “You think it has a lot of dust?”

Me: “These old things can get clogged up with dust and such very easily, and it will impede the function of the cooling fans at high densities, so if it’s been a while since it’s been dusted, it probably needs it.”

Teacher: “Last time was when [Teacher that left four years prior] had it.”

Me: “Yeah, that’s probably it, then. Should be good.”

(The next day…)

Teacher: “My laptop shut itself down again. It was really hot.”

Me: “Possible your laptop fan isn’t working at optimum level any more. I’ll swap it out with a new fan. You have lunch soon, right?”

Teacher: “In an hour.”

Me: “I’ll be down during lunch, then.”

(I go back down with a fan pulled from another old laptop that had already fried, and swap out the fan. Two days later…)

Teacher: “The laptop is really hot. I thought you fixed it?! This is not at all fixed, I can’t even touch it it’s so hot!”

Me: “I’ll come take a look again.”

(I got down there after school’s let out and fiddled with the laptop. The fan turned on and ran. I dusted it out again, and amid dusting it, I picked it up to get under the keyboard and into the inside. The screws for the keyboard were on the bottom. Underneath this laptop was a monstrous stack of letters and papers, envelopes, sheets of stickers… all, of course, extremely hot for paper, stacked high enough to have been squished against the bottom of the laptop. She never did figure out not to do that, despite my repeated warnings, and continued to block the in-flow vent on the bottom and burned through six laptop fans before I quit. My boss would not let me refuse to fix her fan if she continued to break it herself, so I had to keep swapping them out. Wonder how her new-model laptop she was due to get soon after I quit fared… On the bright side, job security?)

 

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