Laptop Flop, Part 23

, , , , , | Working | April 13, 2018

My laptop, which is vital to my schoolwork, has been experiencing charging issues. It will charge to a certain percentage, then stop. This percentage has been decreasing slowly over time, and as the laptop’s maximum charge begins nearing the single digits, I start to fear the worst. I schedule an appointment to have a technician come to my campus and replace the battery. In the call, I am also pushed into replacing the motherboard. I am concerned, but cannot risk losing my laptop, so I agree.

A week later, the technician arrives. He is an older man with glasses and a generally pleasant disposition. I bring him to our school’s library, and boot the machine to demonstrate the issues I am having. He seems to follow along just fine, so I power the machine down and pass it over.

I first begin to grow concerned when, as he removes the case and components, he removes his glasses and lumps the screws haphazardly together in the same pile, making no effort to remember where each one came from. I ask him about it, and he is quick to brush me off. After finally examining the pile — without glasses — he tells me that it does not matter where they go; they are all the same. I am confused, as many of them are clearly different lengths, but I say nothing, figuring he is more of an expert than I am.

More time passes as the technician speaks to me while he works. His progress is very slow, and it takes several hours before the new components are in and the moment of truth has arrived. He presses the power button, and… nothing. The screen is dark. I am panicked, but he assures me that the new board must be bad, and he puts the old board back in. Again, he pays no mind to the screws, and at the end of it several are left over, and he cannot determine where they should go. I am a little upset by this, but at this point I no longer care so long as the machine boots again.

Still nothing. At this point, it is so late that the library is closing, and we must leave to find a new place to work. We are now outdoors, in front of a local cafe. The man, frustrated by the lack of progress, calls another tech support official to help. The next two hours are a maddening string of being put on hold and unhelpful advice intermixed with failed attempts to revive my machine. At the end of it all, the technician gives up and hands my laptop back to me — still broken — telling me that I will have to send it in to be repaired. Frantically, I tell him that I can’t; my classes demand I have access to my computer, and there is no way I can go that long without it without suffering academically. He tells me that waiting for new parts will probably take longer, anyway, and would be much more likely to fail again.

This technician’s “repair” ends with a previously perfectly operational laptop becoming totally unbootable. It no longer responds to any attempts I make to restart it. I now have to send it in and hope that it shows up in one piece. I have long given up hope that any of my data will be recoverable. And I still have a single mystery screw hiding in my pocket.

Related:
Laptop Flop, Part 22
Laptop Flop, Part 21
Laptop Flop, Part 20

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