A customer called, saying her packard bell laptop wouldn’t start.
I now feel like crying every time I hear the words “Packard Bell”… Its one of the most difficult brands to work with, due to the strange problems, and the near-impossible-to-find drivers.
Then I got to the laptop, it started normally.
I tried restarting it a few times… no problem.
At this point, the customer is annoyed at the laptop… as it wouldn’t start for a whole day.
I decide to look at the components underneath… just in case it stops working as soon as I leave.
I check re-insert the RAM (2 X 512MB SODIMMs), reinsert the wireless card, re-insert the hard drive, check the CPU/GPU cooling fan and heatsink… but it all looks normal.
I flip the laptop back around and start it one last time.
It doesn’t startup.
The cpu fan would spin, the leds would light up, but screen didn’t do anything. The HDD led was off, and after a few seconds, the cpu fan would stop.
So I take the laptop back to the office for a more thorough test… But it just wouldn’t start.
I adjust some of the underside components again, and it starts working again.
OK, I’m starting to suspect the RAM, So I run a memory test, but it finds nothing wrong. While the test is running, I give the sodimm a slight push, and the laptop froze.
started again, ran mem test… it worked fine, until I gave the ram a gentle push, and the ram test froze.
I take out the RAM and have a very careful look at it.
The gold contacts seemed slightly “worn”, and the colour is dull. I wipe the contacts & re-insert the RAM… and then couldn’t get pc to fail.
This had the potential of many return visits, with no clear solution, and lots of wasted time and money.
Sometimes its worth being “clean and tidy”.