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laptop... runover


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#1 millipede

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:05 PM

I'm going to refrain from sharing my thoughts on this... I'm going to simply ask, what should I do. HA
My wife ran over her laptop with our van. It was in its case. At a quick look, it doesn't look bad. I opened it, and the screen will definitely be busted. At this point it's difficult to tell if anything is going to work at all but I'd guess no. It's a year and a half old... the hard drive was just replaced a few months back... and, we just don't have the money for a new laptop. This REALLY REALLY stinks. This is going to cause problems, and we just don't need problems... sigh..
Should I turn it on and see if anything happens? Or, what? :(

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#2 James Litten

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:22 PM

I actually deal with this situation now and again.

First check if it is covered by your warranty or your homeowners insurance.

If it isn't...

Tilt it slowly from side to side and listen for any broken pieces rattling around.

Do you have a computer monitor that you could plug into it? If so, plug it in and try this.

If the battery pack seems intact and nothing rattles then try to turn it on from battery power (not plugged into the AC adapter).

Make sure it is outputting to the monitor, usually you push the fn key and an f key with a picture of two monitors on it

If nothing happens or it makes scary noises like crunching or clicking, turn it off and carefully remove the battery.

Let us know what happens. Pictures would be good if there are problems.

James

#3 millipede

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:55 PM

Thanks. I haven't heard any rattling. I have the monitor I'm on now setup so I can connect another computer, hit the scroll lock button twice, and be on the other computer. So, I'll give that a try.
The battery is almost dead, my wife says, but I'll give it a try that way.
The warranty on the computer expired a month before we had to get a new hard drive at the beginning of the year. :( I don't know much about our homeowners insurance but I have a hard time picturing it covering something like this.

Here goes nothing... or, hopefully something.

#4 millipede

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:06 PM

Okay, I think it worked... I got into windows anyway... but, the battery died. Okay to plug in now and test it some more?

#5 James Litten

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:09 PM

Yep, but be ready to unplug it if any weird sounds or smells appears.

James

#6 millipede

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:22 PM

Well, I'm on there and it's working. About 80% of the screen isn't working, all jumbled and a few black spots... When it's booting, some message pops up.. likely telling me it didn't shut down properly... after all, the battery died. But, I couldn't read it as I couldn't get the other monitor to work until windows was loaded.
I think the actual body is a little warped. When I first picked it up I think the cd drive was a little out of whack. Looks like the left mouse button is sunk down lower than it ought to be.
I THINK something smells funny... BUT, it's only at the front where the multi-card reader is... is faint... nowhere else on the computer... and, it doesn't seem to be heating up too much or making funny sounds.
It has updates popping up so, the hard drive and the internet connection are working.
Any further advice?
I've heard of a place in town that fixes screens... don't know how much it is. We can't really afford anything right now.
What steps should I take now? Tests I should run? I don't want to assume it all works just yet.

#7 James Litten

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:25 PM

Hi

I would not leave it plugged in unattended.

Your immediate concerns are fire and electric shock. The highest voltages in a laptop are usually the ones used for the screen.

What is the condition of the screen. Cracked, shattered, dislodged, etc?

I have asked for some other input from another person who has hardware experience with laptops like me. We'll see if anyone else has any immediate concerns.

Shut it down and unplug it for now.

James

#8 millipede

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:31 PM

the screen is cracked up pretty bad but, it looks like there might be a coating on it to prevent any cracks from affecting me... what I mean is, I can see the lines where it's broken but I can't really feel them so much.
Thanks for the help so far.

#9 rotor123

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:34 PM

Just as an addition to James posts.

What Make and Model? How is it running once you get into windows? Internet OK? Can you post pictures of the base unit and the Screen. If it only needs a screen they are not usually to hard to replace nor especially expensive with rare exceptions.

I know the screen is broken but does it light up and what do you see, Once again a picture of that would be helpful too. It really does sound hopeful for returning it to useful from what you have said so far.

Do not worry about cosmetic damage at this point. Some parts are cheap or else Crazy Glue and epoxy work wonders. It is the functioning that matters.

I Await your reply.

Roger

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#10 millipede

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:54 PM

I had to dig through my other posts to find the laptop info as I didn't feel like flipping it over at the moment. ha. It's a Dell Inspiron n4030
It seems to be running okay. I thought it was a little slow at first but, I'm not sure. I told it to shut down but it decided it had 6 windows updates to put in... on #5 at the moment...
Internet worked fine. My wife had to sit down at my computer, using hers through my monitor and keyboard, and pay for something on ebay. :rolleyes:
The screen lights up... here's a picture... there's a couple inches on the right that didn't make it into the picture... that part actually looks okay.
Posted Image

I just realized that I didn't test out the keyboard or mouse. I have a feeling the mouse buttons wont work right. Personally, I prefer a mouse and not that mouse pad on the laptop... but, my wife likes the portability of a laptop with nothing else.
This is so depressing. Even if the rest is okay, fixing anything at this point is a financial burden. We'll figure something out but, it's just depressing.

Edit: Just called someone that fixes screens... he couldn't give me an exact quote but said it would probably be between 100 and $125 to have a new one installed. That's cheaper than getting a new laptop... my only worry is... what if we pay to fix it and then a few days later something else stops working? I hate not knowing.... hate it.

Edited by millipede, 11 September 2012 - 05:03 PM.


#11 rotor123

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:30 PM

Inspiron™ N4020/N4030 Service Manual

This page shows how to change the LCD panel

I looked on the Internet and if yours is 14" diagonally then the prices were in the $55 to $60 range for the screen, if after reading the instructions you feel like you might be able to change the screen yourself. Keep in mind the LED LCD cable is delicate and you don't want to force it.

Yes there is always the possibility that something else will die, It is a gamble. Test everything, Touchpad, All the Keys on the keyboard, The DVD drive. Run the Dell Diagnostics. Turn on the Computer and when the Dell logo appears, Press F12 for the boot device menu. One option will be diagnostics.

Good Luck
Roger

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#12 millipede

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:49 PM

So far it looks like the DVD player is NOT going to work. It has a little trouble opening and closing... meaning, I have to assist it a little with both. Pushing the button makes it open up but after that, I have to pull it all the way out with a little trouble and I have to wiggle it to get it closed.
Then, it tries... and tries... but never acknowledges there's something there. :(

The mouse... that left button is stuck down pretty far... and in order to use it, I had to actually life UP on it for it to click something. I THINK it works other than that... and, I tested the majority of the keys and they all seem to work.

If I get to a point where I might go ahead and get a screen, I'll ask you where you recommend getting it from. I think the specs are that it is a 15" but I don't have a tape measure nearby to check it.
Those directions look complicated.. Didn't realize you had to take just about EVERYTHING apart to do it... but if it saves money, I'm pretty good with directions. :)

I'll give the diagnostics a try... I'll reboot and hope it comes up on THIS screen so I can catch that. I think it should be okay for that now. We'll see.

Edit: No luck getting into the boot options that way. I managed to hit F12 when I need to but at that point only the laptop screen is lit... so, if the boot options are on the screen, I can't see them... it stays dark for a while and eventually it seems to just go to the login window. I'm going to try again and after I hit F12, hit the up and down arrows in case there's a timer on the screen, maybe it will stop that. Then hopefully, though I doubt it, maybe my monitor will get the signal... we'll see...
Edit 2: Nope... until it gets to the login screen, this monitor doesn't display anything. I may have to connect to something else and see what happens. I have a spare monitor cable somewhere, I might connect it to my tv. :)
Edit 3: Nope... it appears it does not send a signal out through the monitor connection until it gets to the login screen. Not sure why that would be or how to change it. So, hitting F12 lets me look at a menu that I can't see on that broken screen. :(

Edited by millipede, 11 September 2012 - 07:14 PM.


#13 jburd1800

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:49 PM

I hate to jump into this because those helping are way better than I, but while it's running I'd back up everything I wanted to keep...

“May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being, may you walk gently thorugh the world and know it's beauty all the days of your life.”


#14 millipede

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:56 PM

Yes... VERY good point to mention... I had been considering it, planning on it... but, haven't done that yet.

#15 jburd1800

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:39 PM

No pun intended toward your wife and the van... :P

“May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being, may you walk gently thorugh the world and know it's beauty all the days of your life.”





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