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Author Topic: Turion 64, rest in peace  (Read 2231 times)
GrannyGeek
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« on: June 11, 2009, 01:31:59 pm »

Yesterday I experienced that event all computer users dread. I turned on my laptop and--nothing. The power light came on for one second, then went out. Screen totally black, no cursor. No drives spun up. A bootable CD was useless because there was no power after the one-second power light display. The computer is 22 months old and out of warranty.

I did the usual: removed the battery and tried on wall power with no battery connected. Same results. I tried on battery with no wall power. Same results. I tried on wall power with battery connected. Same results. I removed one of the two sticks of RAM. Same results. I moved the sticks one at a time to the other slot. Same results. I put the RAM back. Same results.

It's not the hard drive or the RAM or the battery, so the most likely culprits are the power system or the motherboard, neither of which I can fix. Given the cost of repairs and the lowish price of a new laptop, I won't take it to the shop. If I can't find a fix-it-yourself solution, I'll get a small case for the hard drive and use it as a portable and sell the rest of the machine for parts on Ebay. The computer was fine when I turned it off on Monday but apparently had a fatal stroke overnight.

The bad economy has taken a big dent from our retirement income, so I can't just go out and buy another laptop. I'm fortunate that my 6-year-old laptop still works. I had Win XP on it and we called it "my husband's computer," though he didn't use it or any other computer much. It has a 40-gig hard drive and 512 megs of RAM, of which 16 are reserved for video.

Yesterday I repartitioned the drive and left enough of XP for those times I want to do something that can't be done in Linux, like watch a show at abc.com, whose required player does not work with Linux. I also created a FAT32 drive for things like photos and music that are shared. The rest is for Linux.

I installed VL6 Light because I wanted to make a system with what I wanted and nothing more. It's anything but light now, as I've added OpenOffice, Gimp, Inkscape, Scribus, SeaMonkey, Picasa, Amarok, K3B, AbiWord, etc., which brought along their boatload of Gnome and KDE libraries and applets. The system is performing well and I really don't need a newer laptop as long as this old computer continues to work.

I'm an XFce fan, but I wanted a lighter window manager for this laptop and it's also fun to work with IceWM, which is very customizable but a bit of a pain to manage. I was familiar with IceWM from my little 4-gig packaging partition on my Celeron desktop.

In less than 24 hours, this system is almost completely built and customized. Installing Windows takes me about a month to complete by the time I get all my programs in (not installing all the time, of course). Amazingly, it feels like I got a new computer even though it's over six years old! All hardware works out of the box--video, network, sound, removables. I have a Cardbus Firewire card, which was recognized automatically. I use a wired network for this laptop because the network jack is in the back, whereas with my Turion laptop it was on the side and blocked the mouse I use, so I had to use wireless with that computer. Wired is easier.<g>

And so, here I am!
--GrannyGeek
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Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
Windozer
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2009, 04:01:46 pm »

Welcome back, G.G!

and sorry to hear of your loss... indeed, we often take these machines for granted, don't we, until they're gone?

I just went through a similar ordeal. We got zapped by lightning ... three machines got zzzaaapppped.

BTW, the only real surge protector is pulling the plug and having the device in another CITY. Smiley)

One of the machines was unplugged --- the socket and plug were about 16 inches apart. The lightning easily jumped that distance. The other two machines were salvagable. Both network cards were toast, one power supply took the hit. Amazingly the motherboards, memory and drives all still work on those machines. The first one looks like something out of a sci-fi movie... if it weren't in the dumpster already, I'd post a picture.... what a *smelly* mess it was.

Ahhhh, life with - and without - machines.

-Howard in Florida
(The lightning capitol of North America -and maybe the Northern Hemisphere)
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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2009, 04:36:09 pm »

Ah yes--lightning. Never count on a surge protector or UPS to keep your equipment safe. A direct hit will take out anything.

I have UPSes for all my computers, but I unplug everything that goes into a computer  and the UPS itself when I hear thunder that's getting worse. So far my computers and printers have been safe. We've lost three TVs and a VCR to lightning, though. The VCR loss was weird. Everything seemed okay after it happened (the TV was toast, though). But as the months went on, the VCR got flakier and flakier and we finally had to replace it. Sometimes lightning damage isn't noticeable at first, but the circuits or whatever are weakened and gradually fail.

I have a cyber friend on another forum who lives in Tampa Bay. He has kept us well-informed about his dealings with lightning.<g>

I haven't yet encountered lightning that literally fried a computer. Sorry you lost yours like that.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
Windozer
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2009, 05:15:20 pm »

> I haven't yet encountered lightning that literally fried a computer. Sorry you lost yours like that.

Thanks,

yeah, it's ok. You know, you just deal with it.  Cry  Angry Grin Cool

you're probably exactly right about the weakening effect. This isn't the first time we've been zapped. There's a tree nearby that's taller than all the rest in the neighborhood. My shop, where most of the boxes are, is only ten feet away from it. It doesn't take a 'bolt' per se - the static buildup and discharge is enough to do in these little silicon junctions.

In the case of the fried case, there was evidence of a bolt --- some searing and blackening around the tree and lots of leaves down. It must have been a small hit, however, as the tree was pretty much unharmed and there were no building wires melted - just a huge, fast surge of a Gazillion Amps.

Been meaning to ask some HAM radio people - who know a lot about lighning because of those big lightning rods they call "antennas" - what I might do. Has your friend in Tampa put up lightning rods?

cheers,
Howard
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483,617th Registered Linux Snoozer
Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2009, 08:10:04 am »

I usually only turn off my kit if a heavy storm rolls in

And those are pretty cool sometimes

Quote
The wheels of my chariot
Roll in the thunder,
The blows of my hammer
Ring in the earthquake!
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"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
GrannyGeek
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2009, 04:08:54 pm »

I don't know if my Florida cyberfriend has put up lightning rods. I think he has whole-house surge protection.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
Windozer
Vectorite
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Posts: 386


Have Vector Linux, Will Travel.


« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2009, 11:59:50 am »

Well, I wish him luck with the whole house surge protector.

I have a *large* whole-building surge protector, which does help for nasty power line spikes, but it's useless when the lightning doesn't arrive via the powerlines.

The house of a former coworker had a whole-house protector that inserts *between* the main feed and the breaker box. (That's an unusual config. - normally they parallel across the power legs and shunt-out surges, similar to the little surge-protector powerstrips*.) Anyway, a bolt hit the outside, side of his house - right outside where the breaker box was inside. It blasted through the wall, jumped right around the protector - and literally blew the breaker box out of the wall. Yikes!

G.G.: didn't intend to highjack your thread here --- I appreciate how much work you had to go through to get things running again. (Don't we all !) What you experienced made me think about how much we have to do sometimes to keep using these things.  And how often this odd quote from John Lennon applies:

"Life is what happens when you're planning something else."

cheers,
- Howard

*) PS to anyone who's had a near lightning hit: throw out ALL of your surge-protector outlet strips and get new ones - the "MOV" components, which short-circuit the overvoltage spikes are either shorted or blown open - they are designed for only a few minor shunting incidents. A big zap kills them for certain --- I've tested them myself. This is *almost* a scam it seems.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2009, 12:05:56 pm by Windozer » Logged

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nitehawk
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2009, 03:13:06 pm »

Yeah,..
I'm in Florida, too (a little north of Tampa).  I run around and unplug all 4 of my computers (oldies, but goodies)...everytime a thunderstorm approaches.   Ya just never know,................
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flip city
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2009, 10:50:06 pm »

WOW  this was a fascinating post. Thanks to all. Learned a few things with regards to the surge suppresors. Tongue
We just went through a humdinger of an electrical storm here and I had my PC on during it, but was not home. It did sustain a power spike, and my Belkin SurgeMaster held up. Now I wonder how much deterioration it suffered as a result. Huh
« Last Edit: June 16, 2009, 08:16:00 am by flip city » Logged

Windozer
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Have Vector Linux, Will Travel.


« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2009, 12:38:05 pm »

my Belkin SurgeMaster held up. Now I wonder how much deterioration it suffered as a result. Huh

If the 'protected' LED is still on, then *maybe* it's still ok. There's no way to tell for certain unless you take it apart and test it. (Obviously, unplug the dang thing first).  The component that goes bad after a number of mini hits, and a few big hits, (maybe only ONE hit, if it's big enough) is called an MOV (metal oxide varistor). This is what absorbs the spike, by shorting itself. After a while, they don't work anymore, by degrading, blowing open, or even blowing apart. Sometimes they'll short out. Here's what it looks like:




Here's some reading material about how they work:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varistor
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483,617th Registered Linux Snoozer
flip city
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Way Out In HyperSpace


« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2009, 05:48:40 pm »

my Belkin SurgeMaster held up. Now I wonder how much deterioration it suffered as a result. Huh

If the 'protected' LED is still on, then *maybe* it's still ok. There's no way to tell for certain unless you take it apart and test it. (Obviously, unplug the dang thing first).  The component that goes bad after a number of mini hits, and a few big hits, (maybe only ONE hit, if it's big enough) is called an MOV (metal oxide varistor). This is what absorbs the spike, by shorting itself. After a while, they don't work anymore, by degrading, blowing open, or even blowing apart. Sometimes they'll short out. Here's what it looks like:





Here's some reading material about how they work:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varistor

Thanks for the link....this seems to me to be a replaceable item if blown. Time to start kicking around the electronic bins. BTW that SurgeMaster is guaranteed for life up to $25.000.00 of component damage.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 05:50:54 pm by flip city » Logged

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