Technology Essay

2574 words - 11 pages

Laptop Troubleshooting and Repair - Toshiba, Dell, HP, Thinkpad, Acer and Sony laptops
The first step in repairing any laptop or notebook is troubleshooting the problem accurately. For example, some people will run out and buy a new battery on the assumption it's failed when the problem is a frayed wire or a bad connector on the power cord, something that can be fixed with a little solder or electric tape. Likewise, a "dead" LCD screen could be a mainboard or video adapter failure, a bad inverter or a burnt out backlight. When the LCD itself needs replacing, it will probably be due to a physical crack in the glass or blocks of dead pixels. If your CD or DVD drive won't work anymore, make ...view middle of the document...

One of the oddities about troubleshooting laptop power failure as opposed to PC power failure is that the battery gives the laptop an independent power system for as long as the charge lasts. If the PC in your home is plugged into a bad power outlet or its power strip is accidentally switched off you'll quickly figure out why. But if the power strip gets turned off while you are operating your laptop, or a breaker trips, or the local power grid suffers a brown out, you might not even notice until the battery runs down. That's why it's important to not jump to conclusions about laptop battery failures, and to try charging the battery under different conditions before giving up and buying a new one. Just because the battery didn't charge while the laptop was plugged in doesn't mean the battery is bad. | Expand laptop power troubleshooting flowchart |
There's very little difference between troubleshooting a Dell Latitude, Toshiba Satellite, Sony Vaio, IBM Thinkpad, HP Pavilion (and Compaq) or even an Apple Powerbook or iBook. The basic designs of all of these laptops are the same, even if one model uses an Intel CPU, another an AMD,a third a PowerPC and a fourth a low power Transmeta. A technician troubleshooting Toshiba laptops may be more like to start with the battery, as they are notoriously weak, just as troubleshooting HP and Compaq notebooks often begins with the RAM. However, it's a mistake to approach any notebook problem with a pre-conceived notion of the outcome rather than following a logical process of elimination. Just because one model of Dell tends to blue blotches on the screen when it ages doesn't mean that Dell kept manufacturing notebooks with the same problem. IBM and Sony and Apple laptops have generally been viewed as the higher quality than the more popular brands, but they all suffer similar failures due to overheating, wear and tear, and the occasional run of bad components. |
New laptops are equipped with Lithium Ion (Li-ion) batteries, which are much lighter and don't require any special behavior on the part of the laptop user. However, they have a higher internal resistance which makes them prone to overheating at a high rate of discharge, so they have to be equipped with more sophisticated monitoring circuitry. There have also been a series of manufacturing problems with these Li-ion batteries that have led to recalls due to fire risk. One other negative characteristic of Li-ion batteries is they lose capacity, whether you use them or not, at a rate of 15% or 20% per year. If you are having problems with a Li-ion battery, the first step is always to check on the manufacturer website to see if it has been recalled. The first step in troubleshooting battery life or charging problems is to check your owner's manual or the manufacturer's website for how to interpret the status LEDs on the laptop or the battery itself. Some batteries come equipped with built-in LEDs and a button you can press that will roughly display...

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