14 December 2009

'Tis the Season to Get a New Laptop

...unless repair costs for this one are going to be significantly under $300. A new HP netbook is currently going for $350 at CostCo, and this one also needs a new battery. All in all, I'm suspecting it will be much cheaper to get a Netbook. I've already pulled most of my files off of this one and put them onto an external 500gig hard drive (I calculated the other day that I'd paid roughly 13 cents per gig for the thing).

So what is my laptop doing? It started with the screen. When I adjust the angle, the screen will start reflecting across itself and producing overlapping duplicate images, which are completely useless as far as navigating the screen goes. There's just enough detail that I can see that it's a duplication/reflection thing, but not enough detail to use it while it's doing that. I finally found a reasonable angle to put the screen and figured out that, so long as I didn't adjust the angle at all, there was no problem. So no more shutting it to keep it out of the cats' way while I'm gone.

Yesterday, it started doing something worse: randomly dying after being on for about 30 minutes. I think it may be overheating, but I'm not really sure. No clue if this is connected to the screen or not. The screen may just be a loose cable, and the trick is to find a position where contact is maintained in spite of this. The randomly shutting down...? The only connection I can think of is if the loose cable is resulting in excess heat, overheating it, and shutting it down. That seems a bit of a stretch, though not impossible. So it's likely there are 2 separate problems to fix, plus the thing needs a new battery. I strongly suspect it will cost more than $350 for all that, which will result in me getting a new netbook.

ADDENDUM: As of late this morning, the laptop will not run at all. It tries, but never gets past the "loading your settings" screen. So it is now at Galaxy awaiting diagnosis. I'd been hoping to hold onto it until Thursday, but there's no point if it's not running at all. One caveat on the netbooks: no optical drive. For not quite twice the price, I can get a slightly bigger HP that does have an optical drive, and twice as much memory. That might be worth it, but it does up the "allowable repair cost" range.

I may hear back from Galaxy tomorrow as to whether or not the thing is even worth trying to fix. I got all but a few downloaded pictures off of it, and those are eminently replaceable. My only concern is if there was still a hidden cache of word processing files from the last time it had to be repaired. I think I moved all of those to be with the regular ones, but I'm not sure. Everything else is programs that can easily be reloaded (at least, easily reloaded if there is an optical drive...).

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