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Uh-oh: Girlfriend's laptop asploded

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So, my girlfriend's laptop didn't really "asplode" but it sure as hell did something. I'm looking for some advice, suggestions and maybe a potential fix for this mess.


Story time!

Last night, while the laptop was running (adapter connected, on desk), my girlfriend left the room for a second to do some sort of girly thing...or something. She then heard a "popping" sound and when she ran back to her room she could smell burning plastic. The laptop was off and the power button did nothing but flash the led indicators on the front of the laptop. She tried removing the battery, holding down the power button, disconnecting and reconnecting the adapter but nothing has worked. My first thought is that the power supply and/or motherboard are fried but I'm not sure how I could confirm this without taking it to a shop.


FYI, it's a 4-year old Toshiba Satellite A210 and it's notorious for being hot as **** all the time, like most Toshibas. So, there's no warranty and I'm sure it's not worth the cost to take it to a shop. I'm wondering if I could open it up and look for scorch marks of some kind and possibly replace a piece of hardware, if needed? I've had it down to the CPU heatsink before but I assume replacing parts on a laptop would be fairly pricey and maybe even impossible in some cases. Should I just salvage the HDD and RAM and cut our losses?


On another note, I've already started looking for a new laptop for her as the Toshiba was her only computer. I came across this: http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/...8ffc7a76e5en02

It's quite a bit better than her Toshiba and it's very affordable. Opinions/suggestions on that particular mode or Compaq laptops in general?!
Edited by Frosty88 - 2/15/11 at 12:54pm
post #2 of 17
i would get a new one. Usually popping and burning plastic mean something important has fried and you cant fix that without replacing the part. Besides, 4 years is a long time for a computer! New laptops are shiny too!

What was in the old laptop anyways?
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post #3 of 17
"Popping" is usually the sound a capacitor makes before it meets its maker. If its only a cap tat blew and your skilled at soldering you may be able to replace it. However ... the voltage spike/dip may have damaged other components as well. I would salvage what I could and look into a new machine.
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post #4 of 17
Since it wont POST you might as well take it apart and see what you can see. Sometimes Ebay has really cheap replacement parts for old laptops if you want to try that route. Get the service manual and find what part number you need then put it into Google/Ebay to see if its worth it.
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post #5 of 17
If you ever open a laptop up, make a video of you doing it or keep awesome notes of what screws go where. They're very hard to put exactly back together.
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post #6 of 17
it could be that the cooling fan overheated, or was clogged with so much dust it shut off, causing said heat to build up and burn something. or your power brick overvolted


id get the new laptop and save the HDD
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post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShtSh00ttr View Post
"Popping" is usually the sound a capacitor makes before it meets its maker. If its only a cap tat blew and your skilled at soldering you may be able to replace it. However ... the voltage spike/dip may have damaged other components as well. I would salvage what I could and look into a new machine.
This!

Take the ram, hard drive, CD drive, and any thing else that has value out of it. After that, take the carcass and sell it on ebay for replacement parts. Let the buyer know the board is dead and CPU may be dead as well. So they can use it for parts only.
 
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post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Easy to see that the general consensus is to salvage what I can and get a new laptop.

Since I've had it apart before it shouldn't be too hard to tear it down and peak around. I think I'll do that.....and then when I've confirmed that it's dead (my girlfriend needs closure, it was her first....well, technically it was her second, shazam! ), I'll just salvage the valuables and chuck the rest. Realistically, it's reason enough for a new shiny toy.



So any opinions on that Compaq linked at the top?



Oh, and rep to all helpful posts. Thanks guys!


EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by hfcobra View Post
i would get a new one. Usually popping and burning plastic mean something important has fried and you cant fix that without replacing the part. Besides, 4 years is a long time for a computer! New laptops are shiny too!

What was in the old laptop anyways?
Sorry, didn't notice that question. I assume you mean specs.

It has an AMD Turion 64 x2 TL-60 CPU, 2GB DDR2, and a 250 GB HDD .
Edited by Frosty88 - 2/15/11 at 11:50am
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosty88 View Post
Easy to see that the general consensus is to salvage what I can and get a new laptop.

Since I've had it apart before it shouldn't be too hard to tear it down and peak around. I think I'll do that.....and then when I've confirmed that it's dead (my girlfriend needs closure, it was her first....well, technically it was her second, shazam! ), I'll just salvage the valuables and chuck the rest. Realistically, it's reason enough for a new shiny toy.



So any opinions on that Compaq linked at the top?



Oh, and rep to all helpful posts. Thanks guys!
Alright, i admit i loled a bit, but still....

That compaq is a good buy, i would just get the cheapest compuer with the best parts vs screen size. that is how i deal with all laptop buys. Just look around and try to find the best parts you can afford in a laptop, then look for those parts with different sizes and get the cheapest size laptop! Who knows? Maybe it will be cheap enough that you can upgrade the parts a little bit and keep it that same size

Other than all that i would have to say the one you have listed is just fine. I would take a look here though. They usually have some great deal on laptops. Personally i buy laptops that are refurbs. They are a great deal and are tested twice as much as a new model, so you have less of a chance of them breaking than you would with a new one. The only problem is that you dont get a long warranty. My laptop i have now is 18.4" with a Core2duo T6400 that i got over 2 years ago for $650 refurbished and it still runs great! Although i will have to say it could use a good reformat and clean install of windows, its getting a little slow
Edited by hfcobra - 2/15/11 at 11:56am
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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosty88 View Post
Easy to see that the general consensus is to salvage what I can and get a new laptop.

Since I've had it apart before it shouldn't be too hard to tear it down and peak around. I think I'll do that.....and then when I've confirmed that it's dead (my girlfriend needs closure, it was her first....well, technically it was her second, shazam! ), I'll just salvage the valuables and chuck the rest. Realistically, it's reason enough for a new shiny toy.



So any opinions on that Compaq linked at the top?



Oh, and rep to all helpful posts. Thanks guys!


EDIT:



Sorry, didn't notice that question. I assume you mean specs.

It has an AMD Turion 64 x2 TL-60 CPU, 2GB DDR2, and a 250 GB HDD .
Haha I lol'd. Also, have you taken a look at the for sale, mobile computing section? Good stuff there if you don't mind used.
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