R.I.P. Lappy

August 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

This past week has been pretty crazy. I started having what I thought was a minor problem with my laptop – turns out, it was pretty severe.

Last weekend, I decided I was going to play World of Warcraft with a friend. Start up the game, log into one of my characters, get about 5 seconds in and the screen starts flickering, then the computer restarts itself. “Ok, no big deal… maybe there was a Windows update I didn’t see and it required a restart. Where’s the BIOS loading screen? Let’s try again.” *turns computer off and restarts* Still nothing. *unplugs, flips laptop over, pops battery out, finds screwdriver, unscrews panels, and try to find graphics card* Because I’m pretty sure, that’s where the problem is… but I don’t know what the hell I’m looking for. Decide to take the whole computer apart, so I unscrew everything and attempt to pop it open (warranty’s expired anyway). About 3 hours later, I give up – something is preventing me from getting one of the sides to let go, and since everything is plastic, I don’t want to break something that could keep me from getting it back together correctly again. *puts everything back together* A friend logs on to MSN so I talk to her about what happened and she suggests resetting the BIOS. “Oh, duh! Why didn’t I think of that?” *finds screwdriver again and pops the BIOS ‘watch battery’ out* Computer starts this time – and I can see stuff!

This lasts a couple of days… until my sister and I want to watch a movie I have on my computer through my XBOX 360. 20 minutes in,  the movie freezes and a popup comes up saying it lost connection. We’re looking a black screen on the laptop again. Pop out all of the batteries again… nothing. Get pissed off (cause I’ve tried about 3 times), throw screwdriver and throw out my arm (it went numb for a couple of seconds). Luckily, it was at the ground – would have done some damage if it wasn’t. Pull out the batteries again and watch a movie from our DVD collection instead – well, fall asleep during one. Wake up and the movie ends a few minutes later, plug batteries back in and start Lappy up again. Works fine… until I try to watch a YouTube video the next day.

So, I spend the next couple of days trying to reset the BIOS again. At this point, I’m thinking maybe it’s a gfx driver issue. Not having any luck getting Lappy running again, I finally decide to talk to a ‘Geek’ at Best Buy. Apparently, HP laptops (dv2000, dv6000, & dv9000 series) with NVIDIA graphics cards have some problems… they overheat and crap out (mine is, of course, a dv9…, so I’m in that list of doom; come to think of it, I have always thought it ran hot… even for a laptop). He also tells me I can send it in to get repaired, where they will take it apart and look at the card and, depending on what kind of shape it’s in, either repair it or, if it’s bubbly, replace the motherboard (because it’s integrated… of course). I’m probably be better off getting a new computer. Good thing I started backing up stuff from my hard drive…

Guess I’m stuck using my 6-year-old desktop until I can afford to get a new computer – or my parents are nice enough to get me one? At the moment, I’m thinking I might go for a Mac. I’ve never heard any of my friends complain about theirs and I’ve wanted to try one for a while. OS X is very aesthetically pleasing, but I’ve never used a Mac before… how easy would the transition be?

I’ll probably end up stripping the computer for parts I can [possibly] use on my next computer – the hard drive definitely, since there’s still stuff on it.

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