Monday, October 3, 2016

Tell Tale Signs That A Video Card Is Dying

Diagnosing tell tale signs of a dying video card can be difficult because the sympoms are not exclusive to video cards.  They can also suggest other hidden problems, so dont read your video card its last rights yet. You'd do well  to eliminate other potential hazards that could be lurking in the back ground.

One sure tell tale sign of a dying video card is overheating.  Hardare efficiciency slows down with time. To avoid overheating, clean out air dust and other build up from the laptop's interior. If the car is still hot, it may be reaching its sell by date.

On and off Freezing
If your operating system freezes on and off or crashes during vidoe-intensive tasks, you video card could be the culprit. Or if you get the dreaded blue of screen, it could be one of the drivers. Fortunately it is usually listed when the screen flashes blue. But if the driver in question is a video driver, it may indicate the card is dying.

Degraded performance..A video driver may also be dying if  previously robust games or movies are either running sluggishly or not at all. Your drivers could also be out of date so you'd do well to update them.  You also need to eliminate  problems such as hardware changes or programs running in the background.

Video not working at all
The most predictable sign that your video card is dead or dying is if your video card is not worrking at all.  This happens when you cant see anything on your screen or if your operating system isunable to detect your video card.

Now that you've learnt hwo to troubleshoot a dying video card, how about learning how to salvage a dying video card?

That's  a wrap for "Tell Tale Signs That A  Video Card Is Dying." If you have any questions or comments, drop them in the comments box.

Till then take care

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Friday, September 2, 2016

How To Troubleshoot A Failed Laptop Hard Disk

Hard disk failure is the laptop owner's worst nightmare, especially if it endangers data stored on the laptop. Even worse, a failed laptop hard disk can damage other files stored on the hard disk. In light of these twin dangers, it's absolutely crucial that you're able to establish whether the laptop's hard disk has failed..But first let me show you how to troubleshoot a a failed laptop hard disk before you declare it a failure

Unplug External Devices
Unplug external devices such as printers, speakers, and cameras. Next, press the power key to start the laptop. If that doesn't work, try booting the laptop in safe mode. You then reboot the laptop and press the F8 key. If the reboot is successful, then the problem could be software-related and not a hardware issue.

Reset Hard Disk

 You need to reset the hard drive disk.  Before you reset the hard disk, turn off the laptop(you may have to remove the battery too), open the laptop and unplug all connections and cables from the hard drive. I suggest your you the hard disk with another hard disk to ascertain whether the hard disk is the  culprit or not.

Plug all Connections
Plug all connections back into the hard disk and restart the laptop. Reset the hard disk again if you have to. If the laptop does not restart, it's likely that the hard disk has failed. It also  means that the hard disk  needs to be replaced.

Well that's a wrap for for "How To Troubleshoot A Failed Laptop Hard Disk." If you want to learn how to repair a laptop hard disk, click on this post.  If you have any questions or comments, drop them in the comments box.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How To Fix A Laptop DC Jack

Last time We touched on  Troubleshoot a Laptop DC Jack.  We deduced  that the broken  contacts were the cause of the laptop DC jack going faulty.   This time we are going to  tackle how to fix a laptop DC jack.

Things needed  for exercise

  • Electrostatic discharge wrist strap
  • Rosin - core solder
  • Soldering iron
  • Desoldering pipe
  • Replacing DC Power Jack

Slide your electrostatic discharge wrist

Slide your electrostatic discharge wrist  strap onto your wrist. Lift the motherboard up and out of your laptop and set it aside. Now apply soldering iron to the three contacts of the power jack to heat up the existing solder on the contacts. Having applied the soldering to the contacts  of the DC jack, use the desoldering pump to remove the solder from the power jack. You then shake the DC jack until it separates from the motherboard.  Having separated the DC jack from the motherboard, apply the soldering iron to the jack pins and the DC jack.

Lay Replacement Jack
Lay the replacement jack in the original  position of the old jack. After the replacement go ahead and apply solder to the jack pins and DC jack and then put the motherboard back here you removed it. And then finally reassemble your laptop.

That's a wrap for"How To Fix A Laptop DC Jack" Hopefully you've grasped ho to fit a DC charger. Till next time take care. If you have a question or comment, drop them in the comment section.

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Monday, August 1, 2016

How To Troubleshoot A Laptop DC Jack

Is your laptop battery failing to charge?Or is your laptop losing power? Chances are there could be a problem with your laptop DC jack. But not to worry! I'm going to show you how to how to troubleshoot a laptop  DC Jack

Equipment you'll need for troubleshoot

  • a Phillips-head screw driver

Now onward to the troubleshoot

Shake Adapter Cable
Gently shake the adapter cable while it's connected to the jack and a wall socket. If the adapter goes off  intermittently,  your adapter could be experiencing a short circuit or the jack could be bad.

Turn Power Off
In that case turn the laptop power off. and unplug the power cord from the jack. Leave the adapter plugged in the outlet.

Measure DC Voltage
Set the multi-meter to measure theDC voltage on the adapter. The DC voltage is marked by a line above three dotted lines . You then plug the probes into the voltage and COM sockets according to their color codes.

Turn Off The Laptop and Remove The Battery
To further investigate the DC jack problem, first turn off the laptop and remove the battery. Then start disassembling the laptop by removing the screws.Then remove all internal components, until you arrive at the motherboard.  When you reach the motherboard, remove all screws holding the motherboard and then remove the motherboard. 

Now take a close look at  power jack at the edge of the motherboard. Look for signs such as  loose soldering between the jack and the motherboard, nearby burn marks that indicate electrical arcs, or any signs of looseness. If these signs are evident, it means the power jack has lost contact with the motherboard.

Now that this diagnosis has been established, you then go on to to fix the  Dc jack. But we'll touch on this next time. 

That's a wrap for"How To Troubleshoot A Laptop DC Jack". Next time we'll touch on how to fix the Dc jack like I promised. If you have a question or comment, drop them in the reply dialog box.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tell-Tale Signs That Your Laptop Is About To Crash Part I

We all know that laptops crash quite often and without warning. And when that happens you're left totally helpless. So the only thing left for you do in this situation is wait for a reboot or force a reset manually. What makes  a laptop crash so frustrating is the randomness of the crash. One minute your  laptop is fine, and the next minute, it crashes and takes all your precious files along with it.

However not all crashes are that random. There are  potential signs of impending doom that you should look out for in such a situation. These signs may seem like a nuisance to you but they may point to a an even bigger problem that can result into a huge crash and become a huge inconvenience for you.  Here are five  tale signs that your laptop is about to crash

Hardware Conflict
Sometimes you get a a situation where two laptop components gobble up all the resources. This causes hardware conflict, which manifests into freakish behavior while certain tasks are being performed. For instance, audio conflict might render certain programs useless . But not all programs suffer the same fate. Not all hardware conflicts disable laptop programs, but they do cause the dreaded blue screen of death, or, a reboot of the operating system.

The best way to catch hardware conflict is to open the Windows Device Manager.  You can find the Device Manager in the Control Panel.  Now once you get into the Windows Device Manager  you'll see a yellow exclamation mark. That's a sure warning that you have hardware conflict. Now having established this fact, try re-installing the drivers for the defective hardware. If you experience difficulty trying to stop the two piece of hardware from clashing with each other, you can go ahead and disable one in the Device Manager. If that doesn't work, you will have to remove one of the conflicting components.

Random File Or Program Corruption
One bonafide sign of a  laptop about to crash is random file and program corruption. All of a sudden, these files stop working, or they seldom work, and they rarely come with any error message. So to diagnose possible problems, scan your laptop hard disk for possible malware with an  up to date anti-virus software such as Avira. It's possible a virus could be the cause of your file corruption problems. Also check your hard drive for errors, and if that doesn't work, go back to the Window Device Manager to check for possible hardware conflict. Usually behind this conflict is a driver issue.

Noisy Hard Drives
Noisy hard drives are the  most persistent cause of most laptop problems. Although they've improved in quality over time, their mechanic parts still wear out- a  stark reality laptop users must get used to.  

Another possible sign of hard drive demise is programs loading too long.  You should check your hard drive for errors, but you need to back your files before , or just in case your  hard drive crashes. 

Boot Device Not Found
Another sure sign that your laptop hard drive is on its way out is  the dread"Boot Device Not Found."  Now in this scenario, windows usually fails to boot, but but will respond later- even if you hit the reset button.  That's a sure sight that your hard drive  is about to peter out or your windows installation is  corrupt. In that case replacing the hard disk or  or reinstalling windows is your only recourse.

However, a note of caution. Before carrying out either operation, be sure to unplug any external drives plugged into your laptop. This to avoid your laptop making the fatal mistake of reading your external hard disk. This make cause a boot error.

Poor Form
Poor form, or poor general  performance is a consequence of multiple programs you installed on your laptop. This is puts a lot of pressure on your laptop and forces  it to overcompensate.This of course  causes the laptop to perform poorly. Cleaning the windows operating system might help somewhat, but to  save you further misery, you'd be better off re-installing  your operating system.

If the problem still lingers, blame it on  your hardware.   Your best bet is to try a benchmark program such as Clickfix Utilities,  to determine the component  slowing down your laptop. Based on the testing results, you then determine whether that component should be replaced.

That's A Wrap For  "Tell-Tale Signs That  Your Laptop Is About To Crash Part I". Next Week we'll  continue with Part II. Till then take care.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Inverter Board Has To Go

You've trying fixing your laptop inverter, but it keeps getting dark. So you sadly conclude, "Yep it's about that time. The inverter board has to go."  In case some of you have forgotten, the inverter board is  circuit board in your laptop that passes electronic current to the LCD.  It basically gives light to the LCD. And when it fails to do its job, you know it's time for a replacement. So let's see how we can replace the faulty inverter board.

Tools  needed for exercise

  • Phillips#2 screwdriver
  • Flat-headed screwdriver
  • Container For Screws
  • Antistatic wrist strap

Now onward to the exercise

Turn Off The Power
Turn off the power to your laptop. Close the screen and unplug the power chord. Disconnect all power cables connect to the laptop.

Flip The Laptop Over
Flip the laptop over to view the battery pack on the bottom of the laptop. After flipping the laptop over, slide the battery latch to the left, and as you hold it, gently remove the battery from the laptop.  Once you are through with  taking the battery out of the laptop, flip flip the laptop Right up again, and open the display screen.

Pry Open The Keyboard Edge Bezel
Pry open the keyboard edge bezel with the flat head screw driver.(The keyboard edge bezel is located under the LCD display screen).  To pry open the edge cover, start on the right side of the edge vessel, and work your way slowly  across the bottom of the edge bezel with the screw driver. After taking off the edge cover, remove it and set it aside.

Unscrew The Screws
Unscrew the screws located above the function keys on the keyboard.  Then use your fingers to lift the top edge of the the keyboard to give you access to the ribbon cable that connects to the motherboard. Next remove the keyboard cable  connector from the motherboard.

Pry Open The Rubber Screw Covers
Use the flat-head screw driver to open  the small rubber screw covers along all four sides of the LCD screen.

Remove Screws  On Edges Of LCD Display
After removing rubber screw covers, set the screws aside in a small container.

Insert Flathead Screw Driver Into Small Crevice
Insert the tip of the flat-head screw driver into the crevice located between the front and rear pieces of the LCD screen's plastic bezel.  Next, separate the two pieces of the bezel. Next remove the front bezel to gain access to the inverter board.

Unplug Harness Cable
Unplug the small harness cable from the left side of the inverter board  that leads to the inverter board. Then unplug the small cable plug leading to the LCD back light bulb on the left side of the inverter board.

Remove Two Retaining Screws 
Remove the two retaining screws that secure the inverter board to the rear bezel assembly. And pull the faulty inverter board out and set it aside.

Slide New Inverter Board Into Its Slot
Slide the new inverter board into its slot to replace the old inverter board. Then use the retaining screws to  tighten the new inverter board  to the rear bezel assembly. Then connect the motherboard and back light cables to the new inverter board.

That's a wrap on "Inverter Board Has To Go" Till next time take care.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

How To Replace Your Laptop Battery

When you try  troubleshooting or repairing your laptop battery, but  the battery isnt responding, then it's time to replace the battery.  Most batteries are set up to last 5-7 years. Just so you know, besides,the battery that you charge through your power supply, there is another battery connected to the motherboard, which helps stabilize the CMOS settings when the laptop is turned. However, if you allow the battery to die completely before replacing it, you risk losing your CMOS settings as well. Here is how to replace a laptop battery.

Things Needed For Exercise

  • Laptop
  • Computer Tool Kit
  • Anti-static wrist strap
  • Laptop user manual
  • Pen and paper
  • Manufacturer's laptop service and repair manual
  • New Laptop Battery

Now Onward:

Boot Your Laptop Into Setup Mode
First, buy the recommended laptop battery by your manufacturers. Boot your laptop into setup mode according to your laptop manual's instructions. Then write  down the settings for each page in the setup menu and then exit the setup mode. Next, turn off the laptop, unplug the laptop and remove the external battery, following the your manual's instructions. Then put on the anti-static wrist strap and attach the clip end to a piece of metal to discharge static electricity before opening the laptop casing.

Lift Old Battery
Lift the old laptop  battery from its slot in the laptop and replace it with the new laptop battery. Then  put the external battery back in its slot  and plug on the laptop. Boot your laptop back in supply mode and enter the settings you jotted down on the piece of paper. Finally, exit the setup mode and let the laptop boot normally.

That's a wrap on "Time To Replace Your Laptop Battery" Till next time take care.

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