Why you should not use a Universal Laptop Power Adapter

One Power Adaptor/Charger to Rule them All?  Not So Much..

I am writing this because I am seeing a trend. A trend in people replacing their original laptop Power adapter (Charger) with Universal Power Adapters (Chargers). These universal ones can come with different tips or you buy the tips separate. Some also have the ability to charge the laptop from a car, boat or other 12V Dc power point. While not all of these universal adapters are bad, they can cause problems. I have lots of experience with universal type chargers, using the Kensington Wall/ Ultra , a couple different ones from Targus and a few other ‘non’ major brand types.

Let’s look at some of the problems created by Universal type Laptop Chargers-

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FBI Moneypak Virus/Malware/Ransomware Problem

Lately I have seen a LOT of this problem. You’re surfing the web and all of a sudden, the screen goes black and a box pops up stating the FBI/DOJ has locked your computer. In order to remove the box, you have to do a Moneypak transfer for $200. DO NOT DO THIS, you will only waste money as this will not unlock it. Do not attempt to fix your computer yourself, System Restore will not help you and can only make things worse.

This is picked up and caused by surfing the internet with inadequate virus/ malware protection. This is really not a computer virus, but more of what we call ‘ransomware‘, as it actually attempts to hold your computer hostage. Despite what the Geeks at Geek Squad have said (according to a client), this is not a hard problem to fix, however its well beyond the scope of a normal user.

If you have this problem, call me. I can fix. You won’t lose any of your data, and it takes about 2 hours (or less) Cost $60. (Special price as I see this a lot) NOW OFFERING REMOTE VIRUS REMOVAL (may not be available in severe cases) for $25 more. Most of the time I can repair this issue same day. Drop it off in the AM, Pickup in the PM. Drop off after 3, pickup next day.

If you do not have this problem, save my number, you may need it. But I would definitely update whatever antivirus program you are currently using. If you do not have an antivirus, I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials. Its a good solid, free antivirus, built by Microsoft. You can find it here. I would also make sure Windows is up to date. To do this click on the start menu and find windows update, follow the directions from there.

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5 tips to keep your laptop screen intact and uncracked

Lately I’ve been seeing a LOT of broken LCD screens on Laptops. Some have been dropped, stepped on, fell off the desk, or even fell off the roof of the car..

How to keep your laptop screen intact and unbroken:

1. Never place it on the floor. That’s a great way to get it stepped on by you, a child or a dog. Yes, dogs are heavy enough to crack LCD screens.

2. Always have it on a flat and stable surface.

3. Don’t put anything heavy on top of it. Books especially are a no-no.

4. Don’t put it in a bag with anything else.

5. Always close the screen when you aren’t using it. If it were to get bumped or fell, it would absorb the shock better closed.

Remember to be careful with your laptop. Laptops can be fragile sometimes and all it takes is one drop or bump and WHAM your screen is shattered in to many little pieces.

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Now specializing in Laptop Repair Mobile Alabama

We are proud to announce we are now specializing in Laptop Repair. This has been something we have done since Day one, but the number one question we get is “Do you Work On Laptops?”

YES! I LOVE to work on laptops.

That’s right, no more overpaying those “computer fix-it guys” to learn while they earn, now you can save big money with us with your laptop and your desktop.. I do everything from LCD replacement, AC jack repair, replacing keyboards, replace/restore hard drives, hinges, replace trim pieces or even just virus or malware removal. If it cane be done on a laptop, I can do it. I am Dell, Toshiba and HP certified to work on laptops. Very few people in the state of Alabama have my same training and certifications. Why go somewhere else and pay more?

How much can I save?

Recently  I replaced the bezel and lid on a Dell 1521 Laptop. The customer had called around and even taken to a local shop. The local shop wanted $150 for LABOR and $100 for parts- that’s a total of $250 to replace a couple of non electronic parts. The customer sourced the parts on ebay for around $40 and I charged her $20 for labor for a total savings of $190!

Please visit our Repairs Page for our latest prices and services!

We also work on Desktops, Servers and can even repair LCD screens…

Call us today! 251-418-4286

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Laptop DC Jack Repair – read me first

Did you laptop suddenly stop working? Battery won’t charge? Sounds like you might need a new DC jack. That’s the plug in the motherboard where the ac adaptor plugs in. Its a pretty complicated repair as the laptop has to be dissassembled and a new jack soldered directly to the motherboard. Its a big deal. Most shops charge $200 or more, others refuse to do it and just will try and sell you a new laptop.

BUT,  are you SURE you need a new DC jack on you laptop?

I had a client dropoff a laptop a couple of weeks ago that she was told needed a new DC jack. She asked me how much, and the price I quoted was half of the local shop where she had taken it. So she went and got it from the shop . First off, this partiticular laptop had a type of DC jack that should not have broken. Most DC jacks break because they are sodlered directly to the motherboard and the stress of plugging and unplugging causes the solder to come lose. This particular motherboard had a DC jack that was connected to the motherboard with a plug. That was the first question in my mind, how did this one break? When I got the laptop the wire had been cut and the plug was missing. Ok, I figured they removed it so they could order the correct part. BUT it still should have been returned to the customer.

So I order the part and put it in. The laptop STILL doesn’t work.. Hmmm.. I get my voltmeter out and start testing stuff. Nothing, no voltage. No voltage anywhere on the board, and none on the ac jack..  Turns out that was the problem. A bad AC adaptor. Knowning that this laptop doesn’t have common issues with the dc jack breaking, that makes me wonder about the shop. Were they honest? Did they test the ac adaptor or did they even check to see if the dc jack was intact? The odds of BOTH parts failing could happen, but my client could win the lotto easier. I’m under the belief that this laptop just needed a new ac adaptor, but the tech wanted to gouge the customer and insisted it was a broken dc jack in an attempt to sell the client services they didn’t need or a new laptop. I won’t mention the shop here, but have heard two or three stories about this particular shop that coroborate what I believe.

So what I am trying to tell you is BEFORE you commit to a costly repair have the tech check out the ac adaptor or try your laptop with a different ac adaptor. A new AC adaptor is cheap ($30-$50) compared to a expensive repair that requires dissassembly and resoldering of your laptop.

When I wrote this, I had not written my article on Why you should not use a Universal Power Adaptor. I think anyone experiencing problems with their DC Jack should use a OEM (or generic) to test the computer. Using a Universal Power Adaptor could cause more problems and due to lose fit or incorrect voltage, may not work, leading to a needless repair….


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