Saturday 25 May 2013

The Acer Ultrabook

Acer    Ultrabook    MS  2346

Can you fix  my computer?
It has  a white screen.  That is the initial contact point and  then the work begins. I've has  white screens before and sometimes its  a  relatively simple matter of  reconnecting a  wire that has come loose. It could be  a bent pin  on a connection for example. Without that pin there is  no clear signal and white screen is displayed.

In the case of the Ultrabook the whole  screen needs to be changed. The main display connector is under the mother board so a full removal   is recommended. This is tedious  work as the components are very small and easy to break.

The price for  genuine screen including module  is  about 220 dollars. There is always ebay, luck may be on your side. The genuine article  however comes with warranty, service and a reputable company backed by Acer.

So the screen is changed and all is well.  Customer pays for the product and service and was content. Two and half months go by and a call is received. The Acer is giving problems. Another white screen. I immediately assume that there is a white screen   because of  a loose  connection. Customer hands over the machine and I set it down on   my bench.

Two hours go by and this ominous looking machine is beckoning me  over to  do some repair. So I turn it on. Nothing. No white screen. No logo. No cursor. Not even  very fine faded words  or pictures in the background.  There is some sound.and pressing CTRL ALT DEL seems to be rebooting  the computer but this assumption is coming from the fact that the machine sounds like it is rebooting.

Try another  monitor ................. Nothing there either
Remove the battery which in the case of the Ultrabook is  a delicate task.  Depress the power button  and hold for  a while  to let remaining power drain.  Attach  adapter  without installed battery  and still nothing.
Could  it be the adapter itself? No. tested adapter  with multimeter  and outputting a steady 19.6 volts.

At this  point. since there is no removable graphics  card or RAM, the option becomes one of swapping the motherboard. Prices  fluctuate from just below  to just over 200 dollars on ebay.  From an Acer  supplier it  would probably be around 700 to 750  dollars.

How   do I break the new to my customer? Uneconomical to repair if the information on the machine is not important is how I'll break the news. It never is one thing that I enjoy doing but that is just the way it is. There is one final option and that is for the customer to wait for a  used  motherboard  that is still in good working order and to use that   to repair the machine.

Why the  motherboard failed i do not know. There could be several reasons  including static discharge, knocks and bumps or simply a faulty component. The original machine cost  $1800 dollars. That is a lot to pay for sleek compactness  which  is the big selling point of the Ultrabook. Unfortunately the minimal space means that components need to be smaller and smaller generally equates to more delicate  and difficult to fix.

1 comment:

  1. I have the very same ultrabook, now after 3 years the battery died and consider replacing it with an oem replacement. I have not found though opening instructions for the case. Can you point me to a pdf or html about the dissasembly process for the battery? Do I need philips screwdriver or other specialist tools?


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