Repairing laptops

I used to do a lot of computer repairs. Things like replacing keyboards, fans, speakers, LCD screens, etc.

Early to mid 2000s, you could easily get spare parts for most notebooks and desktops.

Desktops are obviously easier because they usually follow a standard such as ATX. However, lately, I’ve noticed that Dell has its own proprietary power supply units which you can only get from Dell. The good thing is the motherboard still uses the ATX standard. This means I can take an everyday PSU and plug it in, it’s ugly and it’s hanging outside of the case on a desk, but it fixes the computer.

On the laptop front, things have gone down the shitter. They’re making them not be repairable if you ask me. Parts are scarce. Replacement batteries after your warranty run out are non-existent. Before you tell me to run over to eBay or some other surplus store, don’t bother. I have tried purchasing batteries from there and they claim to be true OEM replacements, but they’re not. I’d have to imagine they’re exceptionally good counterfeits.

I tried going direct to the manufacturer which you used to be able to do such as HP’s Part Surfer and 9/10 times the part you’re looking for is no longer being sold.

They call this planned obsolescence.

The one thing I do know is that business class laptops and desktops typically can come with a standard three-year next business day warranty. And in doing so, you guarantee yourself three years’ worth of parts if anything goes wrong. I can’t say for sure how the parts market looks after three years.

The only reason I’m writing this is because I left the computer repair world a few years ago and moved towards supporting small businesses with their IT needs. I help procure desktops and laptops, typically from Dell small business such as their OptiPlex and Latitude offerings. Again, three-year next business day warranty. You can add on, a four-hour window too.

Overall, I agree with the right to repair movement. Computer manufacturers are hurting consumers by not allowing us to repair our devices. Having readily available parts is one part of the right to repair, IMHO. Without it, you’re having to go to places like eBay and hope and pray that the part you order is the right one. They have so many different part numbers for a single laptop model, but most of the time there are a lot of small variances in the actual model.

In closing, the right to repair should be given to everyone. The way these companies hurt consumers is by and large. Planned obsolescence should not be a thing.

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