Wednesday, July 11, 2007


See the little box with the hole in it? That's the power supply intake for Sir's laptop.

Sir's laptop is a nice thing to have in this household. It makes it so he can do his home-business work outside where it's cooler (and often quieter), it allows me to play computer games that my computer cannot support the graphics for, and it gives us an extra computer that we can just take with us... like on trips or getaways or wherever there might not be computer/internet access so we can check e-mail or look up locations and directions whenever necessary.

Anyway, in the past few months, the power cord for the laptop has had increasing difficulty staying in place. And more recently, when it was in place, the connection to the computer was so faulty that even if you held it perfectly still while it was connected to the laptop, it would fail to charge the computer. It turned out that the power cord wasn't the problem after all. We tried a different cord that was compatible, and there still was little or no power connection.

So, one evening last week, Sir and I spent a good while going through the files to find the receipt for the laptop. We wanted to figure out if the warranty was still any good. It expired in early April this year. That left us with two options: 1. take the computer to a computer repair shop and pay lots to have it fixed or 2. take the chance of taking the computer apart ourselves and either fixing or replacing the power supply intake. We chose option 2. Although Sir had taken computers apart before, he'd never ventured onto 'laptop ground' and wasn't too confidant in his abilities. I, on the other hand, had never taken a computer apart in my life... and the closest I'd come to one was in college when one of my instructors brought an old motherboard to class one time. So Sir started taking his laptop apart and I kept a safe distance so I couldn't be part of why the computer might never work again. I did provide tools and took pictures of the process though, so Sir didn't spend the three hours alone.

These are the 'taking computer apart' pictures. You can click on any of them to get a closer look.

Once the computer was finally apart in dozens of pieces, Sir re-soldered the power supply intake connection points on the motherboard. Then having no way to test his work until the computer was re-assembled, we started the 'put computer back together' process. I have no idea how Sir kept all the miniature screws straight. There were little ones for some things, and tiny ones for other things and just lots and lots and lots of them in general. I didn't take very many good pictures of the re-assembly process, but you can see the monitor getting re-attached and a close up of it getting re-wired to the computer below.

When the laptop finally looked like it used to, we pulled out the power cord and plugged it in. To our delight, the power light came on (indicating that the battery was finally being charged) and for the first time in quite a while, the power light stayed on! The next step was to turn the computer on and hope that we didn't cross any wires and fry it while we were 'fixing' it. So, we turned the computer on and....


Nothing happened. The screen didn't even come up with some dos error message... or a way to alternately boot the computer. Nothing. DEAD. Dead. dead. All that work for nothing. It was 1am and we had a fixed power cord connection for a dead computer. So, we went to bed after consoling ourselves with how expensive a new laptop would be and how much we couldn't afford one for a while.

But that isn't the end of the story. During the night, Sir sub-consciously went over the computer repair project while he slept. By the time he got to work the next morning he had a good idea why the computer was so dead. But he had to wait all day before he could come home and check it out. In the reassemble process, had had forgotten to lock the CPU into the motherboard. There was one little screw that had to be turned to a certain point thereby locking the CPU in and actually giving the computer a brain. After taking apart what had to be taken apart to get to the CPU, Sir found that sure enough the little screw wasn't in the 'locked' position. He locked the CPU, put the computer back together again and tried again to turn it on.

And this time... it WORKED!

So, the laptop lived happily ever after with a fixed power supply inlet! Yay!


  1. Wow! I'm so glad there was a happy ending to that story. That's amazing that Sir could figure it out in his sleep!

  2. Yey! Glad he got it working! I had to laugh at those pictures. Hubby constantly has projects and computer pieces laying about that I am not allowed to touch, or even vacuum close to!

  3. Yay! Glad Sir got it working again! That was fun to read. :)

  4. Yay! Good job to Sir! I would have been staying far away from that job too! I bet it felt so good to see that screen turn on and the computer working!

  5. Hey Jonathan and Joy!
    I forgot to say Happy Anniversary! Has it been 4 years already? Hope you are able to get away and do something fun together. :)