Windows Woes

22. October 2013 23:19

Technology troubles were at the root of why summer came and went without any posts here.  One morning in mid-May, shortly before I was heading to the other coast for a visit with family, my HP Windows 7 laptop refused to wake up.  Some of the LEDs blinked, but the screen stayed black.  The diagnosis tured out to be a failed mother board, so it was not going to be a simple fix.   Because the family visit was triggered by my father having been very seriously ill, repairing the computer simply went to the back burner for several weeks.   I limped along with my old XP laptop for email and web browsing and my spouse's Kindle for Skype. 

While repairing an older laptop seemed of dubious economic value, I hoped that it would be possible since it had a very nice docking station and migrating to Windows 8 was not remotely something I wanted to do.  Besides, it was summer and playing out in the garden was prefereable to spending hours in front of a computer re-installing and tweaking programs and dealing with a brand new, bigger than any previous set of "windows annoyances".  So I told the tech to try for a replacement motherboard.

Unfortunately, his usual supplier did not have the required board.  He did find another vendor who claimed to have a brand new (not used or refurbished) board.  It was a little more expensive than the initial estimate, but still in the same ball park.  He was very slow to ship.  Finally, around the July 4th holiday, the board came, was installed and I got my laptop back.  Things were back to normal at last!

The next morning, the laptop was back to non-functional, much like the initial failure.   We suspect, that it was a refurbished board, not new.  And he was even slower in refunding the purchase price when the failed board was returned.  I hope that vendor has some bad reviews now.

After some research, the tech found a company that would repair the mother board.  It would replace defective or know to the troubled parts and return an improved working board that was guarenteed to work.  This would cost more than a replacement board, but it was supposed to be including upgrades.  This one also turned out to be a very slow vendor.  And then when the board finally arrived and was installed in the laptop, the result was a big nothing.  The machine would not even power on.

At that point it was Labor Day weekend, the end of summer and it was time to give up on the repair and start dealing getting a new laptop set up.  I am still baffled how Microsoft thought that removing features from Windows in version 8 was a good idea for customers who actual do use "windows" and want something more than is available on a smart phone. 

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