- Computers & Software
Fixing an Aspire 5580 with No Power On (In Michigan)
This Aspire 5580 was traded in from a graduate student when he picked up the IBM T41 Thinkpad from laptop.shelter.
On this laptop, the power button was missing. The student told me that it could not be powered on and he removed the hard drive which contained his data. He also pointed out that the LCD bezel at the top left corner was melted a bit. From inspection, the paint on touch pad was off due to lots of usage. Even the E, L, C and N keys had paint partially off.
I opened the laptop and inspected the power jack. It looked good. There was a power on button on a power board which could be detached from the motherboard. I used a meter to measure the on/off behavior of the power button and compared it to the other buttons on the motherboard. The one on power board had difference. From my testing instinct, the power board should be defective rather than the motherboard which would be expensive. I bought a new power board and replaced it. After changing the power board, the laptop had power again. Before assembling back the laptop, I cleaned up the fan and applied silver thermal compound between the CPU and heat sink.
The next step was to install a 120GB hard drive according to the product specification. I noticed that the hard drive caddy and screws were not inside the hard drive compartment. I contacted the student to see if he still had them. He replied me to give him a day to find it. The other day, he emailed me that he found it and would dropped it off to my house in the evening. On that evening, I had a dinner gathering with some Toastmaster club friends for celebrating one who found a job. I missed the chance to thank the student personally for passing by and dropping off the caddy and screws.
For the 120GB hard drive, I waited several weeks to get a used hard drive in reasonable price. However, the guy sold me a faulty one. When I installed it, it had clicking sound that could not be recognized by the laptop. I emailed the guy but he didn't reply. I thought that he might need money that day. If the money could help him, it was a good thing. A few days later, I got a email for another 120GB hard drive which came from a young lady who upgraded her Apple computer to a bigger hard drive and larger RAM size. I was not sure if Apple hard drive could be recognized by PC. So, I brought along a USB adapter and asked her if I could connect the Apple hard drive to my laptop to check if it could be used. She agreed. From her talking, I was sure that the hard drive was good. When the device shown up on my laptop, I didn't bother to check further and paid for it. Along with the hard drive, she passed me her 4x512GB left over RAMs for free. The experience for having these 2 hard drives was totally opposite!
I cleaned the laptop. For the bezel, I thought of buying this part together with webcam since the motherboard supports webcam. However, the cost was around $90 including shipping. I didn't go for it which would increase the cost of this laptop too high. Instead, I polished the melted part and taped a small plastic sheet to cover it. For the missing power button, replacing it would take $30 including shipping and it would still be flimsy. Instead, I built a sturdy power on button from the broken plastic pieces. The power on button could pass on the light below (see photo).
Later on, I located 2 Acer recovery DVDs for this laptop. I installed it to a bigger 160GB Toshiba hard drive. During my testing, the LCD video disappeared sometime that should be due to the LCD cable. The cotton string tired around the LCD cable was not a proper fix. I ordered a good used cable together with a used touchpad/palmrest and replaced both.
Finally, the laptop passed my testing on 10Jan2011. I painted the keys with missing paint and ordered a new $25.99 battery for it. The laptop was picked up before the battery arrive. A few days later, the battery seller emailed me that the battery was held up in custom. I informed the new owner the options to cancel the whole deal or ship without the battery. The new owner is nice. He accepted the laptop without new battery. I checked the battery selling in the US. It is $27.9. I refunded $27.9 to him.to thank for his kind understanding. The laptop is serving in Michigan.