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Thursday, February 14, 2008


No, not Cascading Style Sheets, "Computer Services & Solutions" is the name of the company that's been fixing geoff's laptop, and they're doing a hell of a job. The place was a little hard to find, and the inside of the building is a little skeezy, but I'm glad that they are doing the work on the laptop (and i'm double glad that I'm not monkeying through it myself here at home). Total cost is going to be about 185$. That covers labor costs, a new hard drive, and software installation. Plus, according to their expert diagnosis, I didn't screw anything up royally with my little soldering expedition. Maybe they just left that part out because they're so sweet and it's Valentine's Day today.

The problem, as it turns out, is not the known DC power supply bug that's so common with that laptop model. This is good, because repairing the DC power supply problem involves replacing the entire motherboard: a 500$ repair.

The problem was that the software on the drive was corrupt. The computer shut down during reboot, not because of a power problem, but because of corrupted software in the boot sequence. This, in and of itself, is not a big deal, because the software can be reinstalled. I really should have diagnosed this problem myself, but because I knew about the common DC power problem, and because our symptoms mimicked those so well, I didn't take the time to try and diagnose any further. However, the point is moot: even if I had diagnosed the problem it wouldn't have mattered. When the guys at CSS tried to reformat the drive, it died completely. Even if I had diagnosed it properly, we would still be in the market for a new harddrive, and the laptop would likely be up at school now with geoff where I couldn't get to it. So, in short, it's good that it died while it was in for service.

I'm going in to the city tomorrow, probably to pick up the computer. I'm very happy with the service in this place, so next time I have a computer problem (they service both IBM and Toshiba!), I'm going to them first.

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