Tuesday, December 09, 2008

(laptop swashbuckling, ar har har)

Roughly about 12 hours ago, my laptop started showing disturbing bright green vertical lines. Being the nice owner of laptop that I am, I thought that it might have "been overworked" and kindly shut it down for a relatively early night. So, when this afternoon I rebooted it, I expected it to work properly after a quiet night. And it did, until...

...the lines reappeared at 1PM.
Then the whole screen went fuzzy, light-grey and practically died on me. Did I mention the machine hyperventilated?

I'm generally careful with my laptop, as it's heavy and expensive and that I like it a lot - friends have poked fun at me for keeping the plastic elbow-rest cover on in attempt to reduce hand grease. I've had it only for two years, which is a relatively short period of functional time for electronic gadgets (my mobile phone is over 3yo and the digicam is turning six this December.) The weirdest and most taxing things I've installed are graphic tablet and Adobe Creative Suite. The heaviest type of keyboard- and motherboard-bashing related to my gaming habit is online Sudoku. So, with wear-and-tear risks minimised, I set out to find what ails my laptop.

I had it running at networking safe mode, and called up Toshiba Customer Service. The CSA (customer service assistant) kindly suggested that since my warranty has run out, Toshiba would kindly charge me a nominal fee of £35 to have it taken in, be looked at, be fixed (if I would pay for fixing fees) or be returned to me with a quote. I politely declined. (Paying for a creator to look at what went wrong with its expensive creation? Definitely bad value for money for me!) I asked if there are any walk-in places where I could speak with somebody and have it looked at, and he gave me another repair establishment's contacts to get me going.

So I called the other establishment.
This time, they were much more helpful and claimed that it would cost me £450 to have the display/LCD fixed, £380 to get the motherboard replaced, and £90 for labour charges on top of the £30 collect-and-return service. Unwilling to be much more lighter pocket-wise, I set myself to find forums where people with the same/very similar problems might've done. All for the lovely laptop...

And I nailed what the problem is.
£500 equates to two-and-a-half Hermès carrés, and spending it wouldn't necessarily fix the problem and get my computer working well for four more years, I took matters into my own hands and uninstalled the graphics card. Seriously, the carrés would last longer than that.

I uninstalled the graphics card, tried to install a new NVidia driver (which somehow didn't install), and ran Windows on normal mode.
The laptop now runs just alright, albeit for the faint red/pink vertical lines I have on darker colours. Scrolling has become a visual chore. It's disturbing, but I think I can live with it for a few more weeks.

I still like this laptop very much for its in-built memory card, media buttons and marvellous in-built speakers (all used regularly), but I would probably get myself a display unit and connect the laptop to it. Or even "another one". But I'll make sure this time it's built by another manufacturer, and with a different graphics card.

Thus end my foray into the electronic computing world ^__^

Now, let's get back into portfolio-making...

1 comment:

Devi said...

4.8 kilos? OMG that's a real heavy for a laptop. Electronic problems are common things and I think you should get a new one :D