[svlug] Laptop horrors: AC Power supply breakage

mbillens@one.net mbillens at one.net
Mon Nov 19 15:16:01 PST 2001

Yeah, I've seen this happen on a Compaq laptop before...  I think we ended
up taking it to a local Compaq shop for repair (they replaced the
motherboard) under warranty...  We ended up losing the unit for a few days,
but wasn't a big deal.

What are they going to do just solder the thing back on for you?

I'd think if the unit is still under warranty that they'd fix it for just
shipping or at least give you a deal better than $325.



Matt Billenstein
mbillens (at) one (dot) net

> I'm having one of those interesting "customer service from hell" stories
> at the moment.  The key plot element is the laptop I purchased earlier
> this year.  Appears one of the problems is that the internal power
> supply connector has broken loose from the motherboard, the connectors
> being three solder points.  The problem dates to the first few months of
> use of the system.  It has been dropped once, from about three feet,
> onto a well-carpeted floor, after which the system seemed fine.  
> The service vendor is ARM Computers (http://www.armcomputer.com/).
> The system is a TuxTops Amethyst 20U, also sold as the King by QLITech
> and carried by ChemBook.
> At least one vendor no longer refers customers to ARM for repairs
> following numerous complaints.
> The warranty service vendor is calling this damage, with a total repair
> and shipping cost of $325, so far.  "You were lucky not to damage the
> motherboard".  I've a number of reasons to believe 
> My questions:
>   - Anyone have similar experiences?  How common is it to have an
>     internal power supply come loose?  Anchoring to the mobo with solder
>     points rather than a more solid connection to the laptop frame
>     and/or case itself seems like a failure-prone design.  This would be
>     a workmanship or design flaw.
>   - What are the design characteristics of laptop power supplies in
>     general?  Is a mobo anchor typical?  What's common for, say, Dell,
>     Compaq, or IBM ThinkPad systems?
> Other information that might be useful is appreciated.
> Peace.
> -- 
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