Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Well, that bites

Some time ago, my computer got water spilled on the keyboard, & then got Diet Coke spilled on the keyboard. I finally ordered a replacement from Amazon & got it switched out. Great, right? Only, the only thing I didn't know was that the ribbon that attaches the power button to the comp itself was likely to be pulled loose when I pulled off the faceplate to switch out keyboards. So that happened. And I couldn't get it back together, so Erik suggested taking it to a repair shop. I figured what the hey, they couldn't mess it up too bad, right? All they had to do was put it back together, a task I could almost accomplish myself.

So Erik took my laptop up the road to Rico's World (God, sometimes a business name SHOULD be a fucking clue.) and after being very patient and allowing them to have my computer for THREE FUCKING DAYS with no contact, Erik went to ask them what the fuck was up, & they said they hadn't been able to do it because I hadn't included the little clip that holds down the ribbon in question. Only, I had, because I am not a fucking idiot and it was obviously necessary. So I can only guess that they lost this vital part and my darling husband agreed with them that I would have done something so colossally stupid, & instead of calling them out on it just brought my non-working computer home. So I now have a $430 paperweight.

None of which I would bother blogging about but for this: at the same time my keyboard got fried, we started to have problems with his. The power adaptor wouldn't charge, & it fit kind of loosely & the battery was badly in need of replacing. He'd wanted to get a new one, but I asked him to wait until we got everything else we needed to get because he wants to replace one Mac with another and dammit you could buy a Kimber for that much. So he decided to buy a new adaptor and battery and swapped them out and for a while it was all good. Then it started being finicky about charging again.

So yesterday I went to turn on his computer and it wouldn't work. I noticed it was unplugged so I figured the battery had run down and plugged it in. The light wouldn't come on at all, so I checked the surge bar and did all the usual things & about that time realized it smelled kinda funky. You know the smell. I figured at that point we were probably fucked but turned it over to him.

Long story slightly shorter, we now have about $1630 worth of high tech paperweights. So blogging is gonna be touch and go for a while.


Roberta X said...

Oh, this has to be fixable. Especially the little clip-thingie. (the removable part of the socket for a plugless ribbon cable?). Might find one at Digi-Key. Or a better computer repair shop -- the guys who looked at it sound clueless.

Anonymous said...

The "clip" is actually a cam that forces the ribbon cable against the fixed contacts. Without it the contacts won't make reliable connection. And you're right: Rico's fouled up, but you aren't gonna get 'em to admit it. You might get satisfaction if you know a couple big guys with small consciences, but that won't fix your computer.

Okay, dig back into it and scrutinize the connector very carefully. Take a cell phone picture if you can to make sure you're looking for the right thing.

Then hie yourself to Altex and rummage through the bins. You won't find the clip by itself, but there's a good chance you'll find a whole connector like that. Rob the clip, throw the rest away, and install.

Wonky power connectors are usually failure of the solder connections and/or foil on the circuit board. Sometimes they're fixable, but the problem there is that Apple makes it as hard as possible to take Macs apart. It still might be worth a try.


JohnMXL said...

Pardon my ignorance...I'm new here, directed your way by Roberta X.

With what kind of laptop are you having keyboard connector issues?

Sabra said...

Bobbi, it does annoy me that it's plainly such a minor issue. It should have been simple to switch out the keyboard.

Ric, you are the second person to mention Altex. I shall have to make the trip over there.

John, it is a Compaq CQ60, a little over a year old. Not expensive, but has my stuff on it. And the problem is the connector for the power button. The keyboard connected just fine, but I messed up the other somehow pulling the faceplate off to get to the keyboard connector.

Roberta X said...

...I wonder what Compaq's got in the way of online support? Looks semi-helpful. This can't be that uncommon a problem.