Sunday 23 September 2007

Pleased but hacked off

I'm pleased because it would appear my laptop won't have to go to laptop hospital after all. A couple of weeks ago, the screen started behaving oddly. It looked like somebody had drawn on it with a fluorescent felt pen. I was getting odd vertical blocks of bright pink on the title bars of windows instead of the gentle blue-fading-to-lighter blue we Windows slaves know so well. The clouds on my desktop wallpaper picture had lost their fluffy whiteness and were becoming a garish red around the edges.

Hubby (on my nagging instructions) called Dell and the bloke made him go through the usual IT quick-fix of updating every possible thing there is to update. It seemed to work. But then the fluorescent felt pen came back and it was worse than before. I was deeply distressed. My laptop would have to go to laptop hospital. I was to be deprived of blogging, the interweb... And how long would it take? I mean, I can use Hubby's computer for a couple of days in an emergency but it's not nice like my laptop. What was I going to do??!!!

Hubby sent another email to the man at Dell saying we had a relapse and things were looking critical. Dell-man wrote back with a last resort repair plan to try to keep my laptop out of after-sales service hell. Plug in an external screen and see if the same problem occurs (why didn't we think of that d'oh!). Everything looked fine on the external screen. Well, it wasn't the graphics card, but it was the screen. Oh no, repair gloom loomed... But wait, one last thing to try. The other IT stalwart of "unplug it and plug it back in again". This involves open-keyboard surgery on the laptop, to get to the bit you have to unplug and plug back in again. And it was there we discovered the source of the problem. A dog hair.

"Suction, nurse," commanded Hubby as he prodded at the innards of my laptop with a screwdriver. And no, it wasn't some odd new sex-game we have going on. My laptop was infested with little white dog hairs. Now this is something you can't use a Dyson for. Too much suction. It would have sucked up all my keys. Lucky we still have the ancient cleaner with adjustable sucking speed. Cleared up the dog hairs and put the laptop back together and the felt pen has gone! Hurray!

So why am I hacked off? Well, my new toy is broke. Proper broke. I've only had it for a month. Don't buy a Sony digital camera is my advice! So it has been shipped off to after-sales service hell and won't return for at least 3 WEEKS! How long??!! And what really made me fizz was that if it had gone broke two weeks ago, they would just have replaced it pure and simple. That'll be the fantastic statutory consumer protection in France then. Grr.


Ghosty said...

See, this is exactly why I don't have a laptop. If I needed to fix the thing, I wouldn't know how to get into the unit and do the stuff. I've never actually taken one apart before. I'll keep my desktop, thanks.

Lis of the North said...

Hey Ghosty, I wouldn't have the first idea where to begin either! Dell-man sent us instructions and photos on what to do, it was really very useful. Well-impressed with their customer service.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I feel for, my laptop is my baby !

I used two laptops already, I know the dreaded diagnosis : "it would be more expensive to fix than to buy a new one"... and the customer service that takes forever... I usually take my laptop to Chinatown to have it fixed. Sure, I have to pay but at least it's quick and efficient.

Hope it will recover !

Lis of the North said...

Hi Zhu! I am SO relieved that my laptop won't have to go to the repair shop this time. I would be quite lost without it!
In Paris there is a quartier where you can get your computer stuff repaired cheaper than in the main stores, but I don't know if there's anywhere similar here... Hopefully I won't have to find out!