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Warranties


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#1 millipede

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:43 AM

Do computer companies ever cover human error in their warranties? 
Someone spilled some soda on their NEW laptop and it's not working.  They asked me to look at it and I will be picking it up today.  Had me wondering... Well, I'm guessing that's not something a warranty would cover but I thought I might look into it before I open it up, mess with it, and then tell them they need to purchase a new motherboard or something.
I wonder if they'll ever make laptops that are child and clumsy person proof... HA



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#2 zingo156

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:49 AM

I have seen ASUS offer 1 year accidental on top of the standard 1 year parts warranty. I would check by using the computer serial number on the manufacturers website. I have heard it is difficult to get them to honor the 1 year accidental though, or rather a difficult process to go through.


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#3 Animal

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:53 AM

Yes there are laptop insurance riders that you can get for drop and spill protection. One example is http://www.squaretrade.com/laptop-warranty

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#4 millipede

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 10:01 AM

Thanks.  I was just looking at their plans.  I would guess this person didn't purchase such a warranty or they wouldn't be asking me for help.  But, I believe they still can purchase it.  BUT... if it's THAT difficult a process to go through... :/
Their 1 year plan is $129.  Since it is a brand new touchsmart laptop, I am thinking a replacement motherboard isn't exactly going to be cheap either.
I'm going to go pick the laptop up in a bit so I will wait until I see the model#s and such and see what options we have.

Thanks Animal, I will look at that also.  Depending on the original cost of the laptop, the warranty might be similar in price as the HP one.
Oh, that website says "Coverage only available for new laptops
bought in the past 30 days."

I'm not sure how recent "brand new" is for this person.  I will find out.  I believe with the HP plan you can sign up any time during the standard warranty. 
I'll take a look at the model and all that...  find out if I actually need to replace the motherboard(or anything else)(at least I hope to be certain of that ha) and see what we can do.

I wonder how HP is with their warranties and customer service.  So far Dell has been the best I have worked with...  Acer, I only TRIED to work with them once, was the worst I've dealt with.
 



#5 Kilroy

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 12:41 PM

The normal warranty only covers manufacturing defects.  Some companies, Apple and HP are two, will sell you an accidental damage warranty that will cover user damage.  I personally don't recommend them as their cost is normally >10% of the cost of the device.  Normally if you tried to purchase the warranty after the fact you would have to bring the device to them to have it certified as working.  This prevents you from damaging the device and attempting to get it covered under warranty.

 

Liquid damage is something that is specifically not covered by the standard warranty.  Most devices have something to indicate liquid damage.  I know HP laptops used to change color on the inside of the case if exposed to liquid.



#6 millipede

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:39 PM

This lady said she was in contact with HP and they gave her the run around on the phone at first.  They kept transferring her.  They'd tell her they'd give her a discount and the next person on the phone didn't know anything about it.  She gave up and now they're calling her and wont leave her alone, and want more than $300 to fix it when she bought it for $278(sometime around black friday, so November).
She'd just go buy a new one before paying more than it is worth to fix it.

With all that said.  I have the machine and I have it opened up.  STICKY...  The bottom of the palm rest is the worst that I can see so far... ALL sticky.  There are quite a few sticky spots all over the motherboard, a few on the heat sink and fan, and the hdd. 
I'm not 100% I can accurately decide if the motherboard is no good, or something else.
Here's part of the description she gave me...
 

 

My son spilt a glass of coke on my daughters brand new hp touch smart laptop yesterday it was turned on when it happened it shut its self down I immediately removed the battery and flipped it upside down shaking soda out of it I tried to turn it back on at that time I could hear the fan running and the wifi light came on and the caps lock key light kept flashing I couldn't get anything to show on the screen. I removed the battery again turned it back upside down while opened and turned on a small fan near it this is something I googled later in I removed the keyboard my self and managed to dry more soda

I've never attempted to rescue a computer from such an accident, but it doesn't sound good.
As much as I don't want to, I might take the mb out and see if there's more soda underneath it.  I might take the hdd out and plug it into my machine and see if that at least works.
I might have to google for more ideas.  How do I determine if replacing the mb would get it to work?  hmmmmm



#7 zingo156

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:53 PM

I just delt with a coffee spill last week nearly the same description except after they pulled out the battery they did not try to turn it back on. The computer is actually back up and running completely fine. I completely disassembled the laptop only minutes after the spill, dried up all of the coffee, and cleaned any residue I could see. I let it sit over night and did a bench test with the computer apart. It worked. I ran diagnostics on the ram, cpu, etc. Everything passed. I put it back together and suprisingly the keyboard (I waited to put the keyboard in for about 4 days) and everything else worked. The computer did shut off when the spill happened and near the dc jack I could see some spots that were corroded on the board. I cleaned everything up with 90% iso alcohol. (Coffee does not leave a sticky residue so this is one benefit over soda).

 

2 weeks before, exactly the same model (company computers). Less coffee was spilled on the computer, they did not take out the battery and continued to try and turn the computer on. There were many burn marks near corroded components and the computer did power on after cleaning it up however: memtest failed with known good sticks of ram, I swapped the cpu with a known good working cpu, memtest still failed. I cleaned the ram slots as much as possible: memtest still failed. I knew in this case the board was bad. Also the mini pci-e slot did not work and usb ports all were not working.

 

EDIT in the case where I replaced the board, everything (except the keyboard) worked after replacing it. The cost for a new board was $160 and the keyboard was $45 for the backlit model. Both computers were dell Vostro 3460.

 

The only way to know if you need to replace the board is to test every component to verify that it works. Video outputs, usb ports, expansion ports, etc. Also you may have to find known working parts to rule out the board as anything installed at the time of the spill could be affected.


Edited by zingo156, 27 March 2014 - 02:05 PM.

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#8 Kilroy

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:58 PM

If the liquid made it inside the laptop is kind of like the kids joke:

 

Q: "What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?"

A: "Time to get a new fence."

 

As she found out by calling HP the cost to repair it will be more than she paid for it.  Unless she is willing to also pay for RAM, processor, hard drive, keyboard, and touch pad it isn't worth replacing the motherboard.  A $300 laptop is a throw away as repair costs quickly exceed the cost of the machine.



#9 millipede

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:02 PM

Thanks guys.  I am thinking RKilroy is right, that I wont be able to rescue it...  BUT... I have it open, I might as well clean it up and just see what happens.  My hopes aren't very high but, it's something to do...



#10 millipede

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:28 PM

I really don't like compact designs.  Can't even get to the RAM without taking the motherboard out.  That's pretty dumb if you ask me. :/
There's sticky even on the bottom or the motherboard.  It's just about on everything.  I will clean it up but I do not have a lot of hope for it.



#11 OldPhil

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:52 PM

Many will not agree!!!!  I was a marine tech for quite a few years, my shop was in a salt water location and we had several sinkings.  The norm was to chuck all the electronics, I one after noon decided to sink a few expensive items in our test tank.  The next day after work I took them apart blew them out reassembled and much to my delight they all worked just fine.  Point being don't be afraid to try washing electronics you may just surprise your self!

 

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#12 NickAu

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 06:53 PM


 

Point being don't be afraid to try washing electronics you may just surprise your self!

I swear this is true.

 

I knew a guy a few years ago who had OCD, every month he used to take his Tv set outside and wash it, Yes he took the back off and would hose it out ( I swear its true) then he would let it dry out over night and it worked. He did this for years. I do not reccomend you try this

 


Normally if you tried to purchase the warranty after the fact you would have to bring the device to them to have it certified as working

This prevents you from damaging the device and attempting to get it covered under warranty.

Doing this would be Insurance fraud and see you dragged thru the courts getting a criminal record and worst case see you going to jail. If they found out that is.

 

I know this first hand as I tried something similar was caught ended up getting a $5000 dollar fine and a 6 months good behavior bond.


Edited by NickAu1, 27 March 2014 - 07:27 PM.

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#13 OldPhil

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 07:04 PM

Me suggesting washing was only an attempt to save not to send for an RMA, my gut is it will come alive when done!


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#14 zingo156

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 07:39 AM

The biggest thing about electronics and liquid from what I have seen is what happens when they are exposed to the liquid. If all power sources are removed and then the liquid hits: nothing really happens, over time salt water would certainly corrode certain contacts but for a day, probably very little will happen.

 

Now on the other hand: if you spill liquid on a currently powered up laptop (or any device plugged in or with battery power etc) and it physically shuts off, you know something shorted somewhere. There usually is some protection built into some of the circuts but whether that saves you is anyones guess. The more you try to turn on a device with water still on it, the more likely you will cause damage.


Edited by zingo156, 28 March 2014 - 07:39 AM.

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#15 millipede

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 11:12 AM

yeah...  Based on how much soda was inside and the fact that it turned off while they were using it, I would be surprised if somehow it all works when I'm done.  You never know... but, I'd be surprised.
Late yesterday I had it all apart and I cleaned all the soda I found with cotton balls and rubbing alcohol.  Do you think that will be good enough?  Should I actually rinse some parts with water?  I'm guessing not. 
The soda had made it to the ram and the hdd amongst other things.  I will look the hdd over again later today and if I feel I did a good enough job last night and feel it's dry enough(should be, it was just alcohol) I will plug the hdd into my own machine and see if it works.  Will look all components over again as well.






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