Several weeks ago I had the unfortunate experience of wrapping my foot in the laptop power cord and yanking it off the coffee table as I started for more coffee.
The results were disastrous!
Yep! the screen cracked and although a small portion of the desktop displayed correctly it was useless. Totally bummed me out.
Within several days I had a new screen delivered. With a little patience and a video from the internet I was able to replace the cracked screen with the brand new one. The computer seemed to work fine.
DIY fix was not complete
I was proud of my accomplishment (pat on back). Though I have torn many computers apart to replace or add components I never had the opportunity to replace a laptop screen.
As I waited for the screen’s delivery, I utilized an external video monitor. I have other computers available but my laptop is specifically configured to respond quickly to mortgage requests with passwords and settings for various lenders.
For two weeks after the screen replacement the computer was running as normal. All of a sudden the laptop began turning off by itself for no apparent reason. It would restart upon request only to turn completely off after a few minutes of activity. I tried every trick I knew to remedy the problem. No luck.
Vienna Tech Help to the rescue
Running out of options I decided to take a new approach. Not liking the idea of taking the laptop to a big box store I checked in with the Vienna Virtual Yard Sale group. There I found promising endorsements for James at Vienna Tech Help.
I gave them a call and described my problem to James Orsinger mentioning that the machine was telling me to replace the battery. It was no longer holding a charge. James suggested to first replace that – it was relatively inexpensive and I would need a new one eventually. The weak battery may be the source of the problem.
That was Tuesday. So much for overnight shipping as it was delayed until midday Friday when it finally arrived. When I popped the new one in, the laptop seemed to respond nicely and run longer than before. Initially, I thought the problem was solved. As soon as that thought crossed my mind everything went dark.
This fix, if available was going to take a professional.
It was well after 3 pm on that same Friday afternoon before I dropped the laptop off at Vienna Tech Help in the Town of Vienna. After the initial inspection and logging the machine in to their system, James suggested it would be Monday before they were able to look at it.
Not expecting any news until after the weekend I missed the email and call from James on Saturday alerting me to the repair completion! Their tech had stayed late Friday and found the problem. Apparently, the coffee table drop not only cracked the screen but broke the seal between the processor and the thermal coupling. Additional heat from increased activity created the unwanted shutdown of the machine.
Now, the laptop is on my desk and humming away as I write. I am most grateful to James and Eric at Vienna Tech Help. They offered much more than just the fix in terms of advice and commentary. Without their expertise I would still be in the dark.
Several important takeaways from this experience:
- Seek guidance from those you know and trust about valued business services (thank you Vienna Virtual Yard Sale)
- Back up your computer on a regular basis – locally or to the cloud.
- Make sure the venting system on your computer is clear – get a can of the compressed air and blow it clean.
- Laptops break. Although it’s not the end of the world, be careful.
- Support small local businesses near your home. You may help send a neighbor’s kid to ballet class or college.
- Some fitting occasions such as this or obtaining a mortgage requires a professional’s expertise.