We have two laptops at home. One is an older Dell which has become mine… and a Sony Vaio PCG-FXA59 which Helaine adopted and used to be mine. When I woke up this morning Helaine gave me the bad news, the Vaio had gone bye-o (I’m sorry – unavoidable).
Actually, what she saw was the screen blink a few times and then nothing but black. For the past few months the laptop had exhibited a reddish tint on its screen when starting up – that now seems to have been a symptom of the impending doom.
I brought the machine upstairs and plugged a monitor into its external VGA port. It worked. So, the laptop is alive, the screen just won’t fire.
I could have sent the laptop to Sony, which meant shipping it to San Diego. Their repairs are flatrate, with LCD repairs costing $600. That seemed too pricey. Instead I went to a place I’d seen advertised on TV, PCW Computers in Orange. They charge $30 to do a diagnosis and then separately for the repair.
The funny thing is, in their ad they reference their location by saying, “across the street from CompUSA.”
I walked in and it was unlike anything I had ever seen. People were carrying in towers mostly. And there were plenty of them. Behind the counter were a number of workstations, with monitors. There is no shortage of computers to be fixed, I suppose.
My hope is the problem will be the inverter (which creates the voltage to light the bulbs that illuminate the LCD) or the Cold Cathode lights themselves. Neither are incredibly expensive (though I’ll assume the total cost of repair will be at least $200). If the actual LCD went, this laptop is toast – and not worth fixing.
In the meantime, Helaine has adopted the Dell.