Monday, September 22, 2008

That'll Make You SmileSweat

As mentioned, my laptop has being playing up recently. I'm even more dependant on my laptop than Amy Winehouse is on white powder and bad boys, so if ever there is a problem it stresses me out. Alot. Alot alot.

Last week, after a few niggles the charger started to play up and although my laptop was working fine, it just wouldn't charge. So, having had positive experiences there in the past I headed to PC World thinking that at least I'd be able to pick up a replacement power supply there, even if it was a bit more pricey than elsewhere.

Pricey is an understatement. I asked the exceptionally stupid nice man if he could take a quick look at my laptop and give me an idea of what the problem might be. I did say I was fairly sure it was the power supply as the laptop itself was working just fine.

That's where it all got a bit, well, surreal. I realise leaning in porn star pose can be a bit distracting, and perhaps it implies I have the kind of mental acumen most people might believe a porn star to possess, but still. I am not stupid. Um actually...........no, I'm not stupid.

So, when the man dutifully tested my power supply and first told me it was fine I did wonder. Then when he changed his mind as my laptop used it's last remaining battery to turn on just fine and said it was the power supply I wondered some more. Particularly so when the laptop switched itself off in front of him and he said it wasn't the power supply after all. Probably the mother board in fact. Oh, and the power supply needs to be ordered from the manufacturer.

Thinking it was the most stupid technical advice I'd ever heard, I still asked for an estimate of the cost to fix it. £220 for parts and labour. Plus VAT!!! I nearly fell over, and just asked what the point of that was when I could buy a new laptop for less.

Having taken PC World's extortionadvice on board I went to see Ziggy. Stressed wasn't quite in it. I was really worried I was going to be faced with a bill for a new laptop at a time I need to try and save first month's rent, deposit and moving costs. That's going to be a problem alone, but with rising cost of living the prospect of having anything else to shell out for is not a happy one.

Ziggy is as skilled with hysterical females as he is with computers, so having helped me to the office he suggested I use his laptop whilst he looked at mine. Before I'd even had a chance to check my email he'd tracked down the problem. A blown fuse.

£220 minimum parts and labour plus VAT for a fuse. New fuse 25p. Having a Ziggy in your life- priceless.



17 comments:

Mysterious G said...

Glad you got it fixed, but something to bear in mind with laptops to help them live longer. When plugged in make sure there is NO tension on the power cable at all, it should be all loose and free and un strained. If not there are a few possible issues you can get. Cracked cable/ broken joints in the power lead plug itself. Worse still is a fractured motherboard at the point the socket is located on the motherboard, and you can in some circumstances have the damn thing shatter its solder and become a iffy as to it working.

I have fixed the latter myself in my dark past as a computer repair man, stressful is taking apart someones laptop and keeping track of all the tiny screws and pieces and where the hell they came from :) let alone waving a soldering iron at it.

Glad you got it sorted tho. Happy to help if you ever need me.

Silverback said...

Always happy to learn from an instructional blog post.

1) Always see Ziggy first.
2) If 1) isn't available, see mysterious G.
3) If 1) and 2) aren't available wait until one of them IS available.
4) Never NEVER go to PC World for repairs.

Glad it all worked out for you.

Trixie said...

It's not what you know, it's who you know. Ziggy is a STAR! But what a twat at PC WORLD. They don't have a clue.

Dave said...

Ah, I can see where you went wrong.
Shouldn't have gone to PC World. Currys & Dixons were always the most useless retailers ever and changing the name to PC World is never going to make a difference.

Computer teccies are as precious as plumbers. Every householder should find a good one and keep him/her.

Mary said...

£220 for a power supply?!?!

My laptop power supply gave up earlier this year, which, fair enough, the lappie has been my main computer and been taken all over the place for a good couple of years.

I say gave up, it would work, as long as you didn't move the laptop At All, like for instance by having it on your lap and reaching for your cuppa.

Amazon. Less than £30. Quick phone call from them to confirm the make of laptop (ie to make sure I was ordering the right power supply to go with it) and a couple of days later it was with me.

Checking the fuse is good too, though.

Claire said...

Computer techies are sooo useful... mine (my bf) has been priceless in terms of helping keep my laptop alive. Including opening it and trying to solder bits together so I could get audio back - Im very clumsy and constantly trip over the audio cable plugged into my laptop, and consequently one day managed to pull the whole lot apart. He never quite fixed it but at least the laptop still worked after puttinbg it back together, although he never did find homes for all the screws... :)

Have to say I would never ever go to PC world for any advice - my friends have been much more truthful and loyal than them.

Unixman said...

hiya

Word of warning: why did the fuse blow? A 5amp fuse blows at a pretty high wattage - say 1200w - whereas the input to the power supply is much less than that - say about 1 amp. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you have a fubared power supply as well.....

Unixman said...

Just to put my last post into perspective: 1200w is about the same as the output from a 1 bar electric fire ...

Nicey said...

PC World the theiving bunch of ****
I am sooo glad that you managed get it sorted, don't want you off line for to long ....

Fire Byrd said...

PC world.... I've just being playing with what PC stands for, but I'll save you from the embarresment of taking the words pointless cunts off your comments by not telling you!!!
xx

cogidubnus said...

Delighted to hear you had such a cheap resolution to the problem...

I have to say, my first diagnosis would've been power supply too...and like unixman, I do wonder whether yours might just be on the way out...It's probably a false alarm, but do keep an eye open for "funnies"...

Can't believe the PCWorld price though...just how much labour cost do they front-end you with for gods-sake? Jeez...

Mysterious G said...

Perhaps the fault was with the fuse and not the PSU ? Or if the cable from plug to PSU is a removable type (IE apple style) there is potential for lots of arcing fun and shorts within the socket...

assuming our bendy friend hasn't been using the power lead to drive some of her more entertaining toys with a much higher power draw :)

:)

Casdok said...

Well done Ziggy! :)

brainblogger said...

I am glad you got your laptop fixed. it is nice when someone like ziggy can help you out. I only go to PC world when I am desperate just to buy parts or consumables. I would rather fix my computer myself than pay PC World prices.

gemmak said...

PC world! Sorry but my experience is that even the 'knowledgeable' staff there have the IQ of a peanut!

I would be panic stricken too if I gthought I was going to be lappy-less, yayyy for Ziggy, can I borrow him from time to time please?

Rae!xx said...

Why does this not surprise me?, glad to hear you got it sorted though..xx

BenefitScroungingScum said...

MysteriousG: Thank you, I have heeded your advice to be sure the power supply isn't pulled in anyway. I think that might have been the cause of the last one's demise, falling over it!

Silverback: Yes, thank you. Ziggy is available to be loaned out at very reasonable rates ;)

Trixie: I know!!

Dave: Wise words of advice you have there thank you :)

Mary: I know! Outrageous! I have actually needed to replace the power supply which cost a bit more than 25p, but still says volumes about how overpriced things are!

Claire: Hello, it's always good to know I'm not alone in the clumsy breaking things stakes!

Unixman: Thank you, I have indeed got a fubar'd power supply but also a spanking new one too!

Nicey: Thank you lovely, I'm so addicted to the internet I'd go into full blown withdrawl after a day!

FB: I'm liking your style there ;) x

Cogi: Thank you my darling. You're right the power supply was fubar'd and I have since bought a new one. But yes, I was appalled at the amount they would have charged just to not diagnose the correct problem! Unbelievable! Especially when any teenage boy (and probably the girls too) could have had it sorted in seconds

MysteriousG: I have done no such thing ;)

Casdok: Ziggy is a superstar well used to rescuing me from myself ;)

BB: You are quite right! I only went thinking I might be able to pick up a new power supply there but they didn't even have that!

GemmaK: Yes, I rather think you are right...although in all fairness they have fixed minor problems for free for me before now. Hands off my Ziggy ;)!

Rae: I have a new power supply now thank you :)