Posted By RichC on March 14, 2007
After 4 years of pretty much rock solid performance from my well (ab)used Gateway computer, my favorite notebook is starting to show signs of wear. Today its USB ports, two weeks ago it was the DC power connector. I was ready to replace it when the connections would no longer work, but being my favorite traveling companion (sorry Brenda), and not really wanting to configure a new computers … never mind not liking what is out there or spending $1000 to $1500 dollars on a new one, I decided to see what I could do. Gateway (and my guess most computer manufactures) didn’t make this procedure easy.
First let me tell you, I exhibited some extraordinarily rare patience in figuring out the maze of what plastic parts snap fit and which are screw fit … in the right order. (not a job for those who believe the only essential tool is a hammer) After finally getting to the circuit board, it didn’t take long to figure out that the female DC power adapter plug was sadly not designed to be repaired or replaced. It was well fastened to the mother board in a tweezer only accessible area. Eventually patience got the best of me and I not only wedged in a needle nose pliers, but managed to get a ‘de’soldering iron near enough. With the skills of a military dentist, I went to work … yank … the fouled component was out. Hmm … now to see what Radio Shack had. The size M panel mount DC power jack looked to be just the fix … if I could make only make the connections with out cooking everything on the motherboard. Thankfully the ‘guess’ was a good one and the new better made component did the job far better than the original hardware. (Palm Treo 700p photo above) Yippie … I was back in business until this week.
Now its the USB connections. They have all gone pooie. Might it be from my tinkering inside? I suppose the life expectancy of a heavily used notebook is only 4-5 years? Whatever, I have resided myself to buying a new computer and its another Intel chipped Gateway — look out Vista, here I come, or is it … “look out Rich, here comes Vista!”