Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Some Laptop Failures Easy Fixes, Others Require Skills of Expert

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Some Laptop Failures Easy Fixes, Others Require Skills of Expert

Article excerpt

When I switched from a desktop computer to a laptop, the idea that everything that previously took up my entire desk could now fit in such a small, portable device was revolutionary. But when my first keyboard failed, I realized it wasn't all wine and roses. The smaller footprint means that parts and pieces often aren't as easily interchangeable. I could no longer toss the old keyboard and plug in a new $30 generic version; this one would have to come from the manufacturer and would require a skilled technician to replace it.

But not every failure of a portable electronic device warrants replacement. Many laptops are as easy to fix as a desktop. Cleaning a virus or malware infection off a laptop is no different than it is on a desktop. Software issues shouldn't require that you spend any more than on a standard PC, or that you find a specialist.

While laptop hard drives and RAM differ from those found in desktop PCs, they conform to certain standard types and sizes, so you don't have to get them through the manufacturer. Any computer technician or tech-savvy do-it-yourselfer can replace these.

A laptop's power supply actually is external (it's the "brick" about halfway down the power cable), so replacing a dead power supply can be as easy as a Google search with the machine's make and model number. However, if the connector where your cord plugs into your system has failed, it probably will require a specialist and soldering.

While the card that enables newer laptops to connect to a wireless network often is integrated into the motherboard, you can use an external adapter if your WiFi card fails. A wireless "dongle" plugs into a USB slot and is about the size of a money clip.

On the other hand, certain laptop elements are much more challenging to repair or replace than on a desktop PC. …

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