Thursday, July 17, 2014

Antique Laptop revived, XP lives

Couple a weeks ago, getting ready for a trip, I pulled antique laptop out of his carry bag and fired him up to charge his batteries and update his software.  You know how it is, leave the laptop on the shelf for a little while and every piece of software needs an update. 
   Arrgh.  he would not fire up.  LEDs blinked but the screen stayed dark.  So Antique Laptop stayed home and then sat out on the table for a couple of weeks 'til I got around to him today.  Antique goes back quite a ways.  I gave him to youngest son to go to high school with.  That was maybe ten years ago.  Youngest son is hard on his gear, and it shows.  Scratches, scraped off paint, ding marks.  Somewhere along the line, youngest son bought a hotter new laptop to make his games run faster.  Antique Laptop came back to me.  So I cleaned the games and craplets off the hard drive, zapped endless virii, applied my list of Windows fixes, and he ran pretty well.  Ran my C compiler, Office, and my CAD programs.  What's not to like?  And he runs XP, which is higher performance that the follow ons, Vista, 7, and 8.
   Thinking back over Antique's life, I remembered youngest son showing me an electronic module behind the screen bezel that had given trouble in the past.  Why not?  I  pulled two screws and popped the bezel loose.  The module was right there where I remembered.  So I unplugged it, blew some dust out of it, and plugged it back in.  Voila, screen lit up, XP booted, and happiness roams the land.  I don't have to learn Win 8, replace elderly software that won't run on 8.     Motto of the story.  The most likely failure in electronic stuff is connectors.  Over time air gets in, oxidizes the pins and sockets, and they stop conducting electricity.  Connecting and disconnecting often wipes the oxidation off, and it works again.  If it just stops working, take it apart, and put it back together.  You have a pretty good chance of fixing it.
   It's an HP Pavilion ZE4900.  Still looks pretty good.  In fact I bought him a new battery this winter. If you are looking at buying a used laptop, this one is durable. 
 

2 comments:

Kenzie Rowan said...

Excellent post!
Laptop Screen Replacement

Dstarr said...

Thank you for the kind words. I post this sort of thing partly to let others in on my tricks, and partly just to put it in writing for that time way in the future when I really wish I knew what I did to the thing many years ago.