Moment of silence for one bugger of a trooper...

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Vchat20, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. Vchat20

    Vchat20 New Member

    Moment of silence for one bugger of a trooper...

    As of approximately 9PM EST on December 4th, 2007, my laptop finally gave up the ghost. And I mostly blame myself since the underlying cause has been going on for about a year now and I haven't bothered to properly get it fixed.

    Needless to say the actual DC jack recepticle on the motherboard has been loose for the past year or so, so AC power is always intermittent depending on the circumstances. As it stands, I should have realised early on this wasn't a good thing to let go as is. Pumping about 3.5 amps of 19V juice through a millimeter sized 'short' is just asking for trouble.

    The date of it's death I had just gotten a brand new battery to replace the dying 5-10 minute tops Nimh battery that came stock with it when I bought it back in February of '06. The new battery was Li-Ion and also of increased capacity. With wireless running and in an idle state I was estimating about 4-4 1/2 hours of runtime. For a non-speedstep/non-undervolted or underclocked Mobile Celeron @ 1.4Ghz , this isn't shabby at all.

    But during the time of trying to get the new battery topped off, the AC power was, as normal at the time, going intermittent. Plus both the power brick and the jack going into the laptop itself were hot enough to the touch where they'd be burning your fingers real good. Laptop power bricks are hot anyhow, but this was teetering on a fire hazard. Yet, my own bad habits kept me from making any preventative repair before it got worse.

    Anyways, long story short, at 9PM that evening thereabouts, the thing dies completely, no real noticable noise, and white smoke (or more infamously known as the magic smoke to some) started billowing from the vicinity of the DC jack and the nearby vent on the back accompanied by a rank 'dead electronic smell'. As it stands here this evening, the smell still lingers a small bit, but not nearly as bad. I tore the thing down the following day to examine the damage and low and behold there's a nice charred bulge on the underside of the motherboard where the jack is situated, a few nearby transistors are fried, and the actual copper layer on both sides is peeling off. Thankfully none of the capacitors went and the nearby CPU is safe.

    I'm surprised its lasted as long as it has. It's been through some harsh situations. I know it's kissed the wall a few times tripping over the power cord coming up stairs. Battery pops out and the cd tray comes off track, but nothing busted. Modded external antenna after I found something was causing a short with one of the internal 'sheet metal' antennas, and a 'velcro'd' white-on-black xana icon to replace the dell badge on the lid that fell off and disappeared. But this finally did it in sadly.

    So yeah. If you've all been wondering where I've been the last couple days, that's it. :D

    My friend's mom is out visiting family this weekend so I have her desktop to myself till she returns and hopefully she'll be bringing back spare computer parts in addition to my friend's closet full of hoarded junk dating back to stuff as far back as two (working!) apple mac os7 laptops so an attempt at building a working machine can be made. That and my mom is gonna attempt to ship her old 500mhz P3 inspiron 7500 down here so I have something mobile to work with.

    Also, not sure if anyone is at all interested, but I'm parting out what remains in working order on the laptop if anyone's curious. I may open a separate thread or just add here. It's mostly just the cpu, the gig of ddr sodimm, the stock slim dvd/cd-rw drive, brand new battery, and the lcd that are salvageable. The hard drive's I'm keeping for obvious reasons. ;) (Thank god for an existing 2.5" usb enclosure)
  2. Mirelly

    Mirelly Active Member

    LOL You have my sympathies, Vchat. Almost exactly the same thing happened to my laptop a year or more ago. Except that, for me the symptoms of a short circuit were present for a matter of few days only before the day of the grand shut-down arrived, heralded by the acrid smell of ozone and heat-tortured plastic. The trouble is that laptops are now so cheap I can never decide to buy a new one. I always think the next bargain will contain more RAM or other shinys and find something else to spend my few hundred quid on. For me a laptop is a luxury to add mobile computing to my deskbound mileu ... I don't actually need a laptop as much as I could easily find umpeen uses for one if I had one.
  3. Vchat20

    Vchat20 New Member

    Yeah. The sounds and smell of an instantly dead laptop is not something I'm gonna soon forget. >>
    But yeah, I think my biggest thing right now is no job=make do with what you have. ;) I'm certainly more than willing to return to a desktop-only situation which'll probably happen anyways. But when getting a laptop it ends up being one of those things that really entices you and gets you accustomed to the portable lifestyle. Just ask my mom. She's hardly even computer literate herself and has been happy with just a desktop. But ever since I willingly helped her shop for a laptop of her own, she's been tickled pink about the mobility. And she's upgraded beyond me to a fairly recent toshiba widescreen laptop and she spends most of her time on it as it stands. :p

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