Gateway Laptop Problem

United States
June 25, 2007 3:49pm CST
To make the story short, about maybe around June 11th my laptop screen suddenly stopped working on my me while I was using it. So the next day my dad takes it back to Best Buy/Geek Squad; mostly due to the fact that's where we bought it from. As well as the warranty. (Performance Service Plan, for those who might need to know.) About a week after that, we called them up and found out that both my hard drive and my mother board had stopped working. In that time it had been shipped out from Geek Squad. Most likely Gateway, or some other place that deals with fixing laptops. Yesterday, I drove to Best Buy with my day to pick up my laptop. After waiting for five minutes we receive it, and we are on the road again. The first thing I do when I get home is check to see if it works, and it does. So I 'hook' it back up to the internet. (It's wireless, so all I had to do was enter in the WEP key. Nothing magical about that.) It works fine. Perfect. It does, however, take a few minutes to get the internet to work. My dad turns the computer off, it turns back on. He changes a few settings, and it works. We had also had a paper stating that both the hard drive and the mother board had been replaced. That, and they had put the Operating System back on. (Which we knew ahead of time---no problem there.) I had only downloaded Firefox, Gaia Online Toolbar, Winrar. None of these problems in the past have given me a problem; I have them all on my computer. So earlier today I decided I would take a nap as I was not feeling well. Before that, I turned off my laptop, plugged it in to charge, and set it down on a stand about two feet away from my bed. About a hour passes, and I wake up. One of the first things I do is turn on my laptop as I wanted to check the weather. Nothing happens, despite the fact I press the power button. The screen simply remains black. However, some of the LED lights turn on indicating that my laptop is technically on. That, and there's a slight sound coming from inside it. I know it's charged---there's a light indicated that it's ready for action. That, and I recently got a new power supply about four weeks ago. I panic. The problem is that I am going to need my laptop when I go on vacation. Most of my family members rely on me to bring it; either because they need to check their e-mail, work information, or continuing education. I know I can live without that. That is not the problem. But I have a problem of feeling really, really guilty even if it might not be my fault. Personally, I feel as if Gateway, Geek Squad, or whoever failed at fixing my computer. Or that maybe there was something else wrong besides the mother board and the hard drive. It could also be a case where the parts might of been bad for one reason or another. Even so, it was working fine. Until an hour ago. I had also had some other problems: * Had the power supply replaced twice. * Sent my laptop [to Geek Squad] to may because one of the keys fell off. My dad has a feeling that somehow they screwed something up back them. * There was another time, I think. I can not remember. However, due to the warranty I got from Best Buy, I can not get a replacement unless the fourth time they repair it ends up failing.
1 person likes this
3 responses
@pallidyne (858)
• United States
25 Jun 07
You're right, they didn't get it right. To be honest, I trust Geek Squad about as far as I can throw a team of them. Their hiring practices and training do not prepare them to change a paperclip correctly. You have pockets where folks are competent there, but are not the norm. It actually sounds to me like an assembly issue, where the motherboards connection to the power supply was loose to begin with and the heat of being on for a lil while then the cooling of being off broke the connection, OR they did not fully test the new motherboard when they put it in. This is why I always buy Dell, from Dell with Dell warranties. Have not had an experience where they did not have something fixed in the first service call, and thats with my entire firm of 1200 PCs/Notebooks and people.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jun 07
What I am wondering [now] is why would my laptop work, and then suddenly die on me? The only thing I did was turn it off before I went to take a nap. Unless it takes awhile for the faulty parts to work their 'magic.' I have heard through various sources that the Geek Squad members you see at Best Buy are not hired based off of their skills, but more on how well they can sell a product. However, I have heard that the ones that go to your house are actually trained to deal with computer problems. (I would not know. My dad is smart enough to fix computers. Even so, he can not fix every problem that comes up.) What I noticed if that the wherever-they-sent-my-laptop to sent them a little note saying that all Geek Squad had to do is install the Operating System back on. I am not surprised that Geek Squad did not check to see if my laptop worked or not. Dell Laptops are nice; considering I am used them before in school. My computer is a Dell, and not one time had I had to send it back. Of course, I have always considered the HP Pavillion to be nice.
• United States
26 Jun 07
HP makes some decent equipment, but their service (at least on the commerical side) sucks dingos kidneys. Based on service alone I'd go Dells direction, but they also make good boxes. "It actually sounds to me like an assembly issue, where the motherboards connection to the power supply was loose to begin with and the heat of being on for a lil while then the cooling of being off broke the connection, OR they did not fully test the new motherboard when they put it in." I'd lean alot towards the former, solder joints can be sensitive to heat if they are not done evenly. If I was in your neck of the woods (hey give a shout if you are near Pittsburgh) I'd pop it open for you.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Jul 07
:| Hm. When I received my laptop from Geek Squad sometime in early June for the second time, it was somewhat in a bad condition. The screen, the keyboard, the touch screen, etc were dirty. There was various pieces of tape over my laptop---and my dad thinks that one of them was across the vent. Just based on the fact that when we got my laptop back yesterday there was a piece of tape over the vent. So in return, my laptop overheated and my motherboard fried up. Now the modem, attached to the motherboard, does not work. Usually when I go on my vacation I use a trial version of AOL. But with the modem not working correctly... We're going to get an external one; a card. That's if reinstalling the OS doesn't work.
@santuccie (3376)
• United States
26 Jun 07
I had a Gateway laptop that went through three hard drives and one DVD burner over a period of eight months ownership before Best Buy replaced it for me under the California Lemon Law with a Toshiba. One thing I seemed to notice was that, among others, there was always at least one Gateway or eMachine in the Geek Squad being serviced. They happen to be the same company. When I finally got my machine replaced, the supervisor actually told me that Best Buy was contemplating the ending of their vendor relationship with Gateway. Sounds pretty bad to me! I don't recommend any of their products.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jun 07
Ouch. Like I might of stated earlier/before, I am not going to get a Gateway Laptop next time. Just for the fact that the both computers I have had with them end up breaking down every month. Hell, it is up to the point where I can't even use it anymore because it's always being repaired. That, and I have gone through two power supplys simply because they were both faulty/terrible/etc in the first place. Now I feel slightly bad for my dad, who has just recently bought a eMachines computer in the last six months. Ironically, he just had it fixed just around the time my laptop broke. The CD ROM drive didn't work, and he found out that whatever-you-call-where-you-plug-in-your-headphones were too small.
1 person likes this
@santuccie (3376)
• United States
26 Jun 07
Very ouch. Yah, those people aren't trying hard enough. When it came time to get the unit replaced, I was lucky that Best Buy had done their paperwork. As it turned out, out of a factory-sealed box had come a laptop with a non-matching serial number! But, when they found it matched the serial number on the warranty slip, they took care of me.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jun 07
From your description, it sounds like they have either damaged or improperly connected the video cable (that goes through the hinge).
• United States
25 Jun 07
True. That, or maybe there was a problem besides the hard drive and the mother board. People have told me that its slightly odd that both would die at the same time.