My Nine Year Old Laptop With Broken Case

Sad State Of Affairs

My son Eric. who runs a computer repair shop in Canton, New York, headed up the acquisition of a new laptop computer for me in the year 2010. I have been using it for the last 10 years. He was able to get a good deal for me for about $700. The only major improvements he made to it in that span of time was to upgrade the RAM and Hard Drive periodically.

The last upgrade included a 1 Terabyte Solid State Hard Drive, a new cooling fan, and replacement of the bottom case of the computer. It was starting to crack more and more every time I lifted the screen to open it (putting stress on the rear left corner hinged section of the laptop case).

Since the durability of the case had been in question for some time, I installed mini bolts through the back top corners of keyboard panel (see photo). This kept the panel from flexing, caused by the pressure exerted from the stiff hinges each time the top was closed. The opening motion did not cause the same type of stress.

Finally Bit The Dust

A few weeks ago, I noticed the replacement bottom case starting to crack so much that the whole corner broke off. Since the internal functionality of the computer itself was working fine, I tried to live with it by holding the broken piece tight against the bulk of the bottom case each time it was closed.

Finally, a week ago, the top itself sheared off as well exposing a data wire leading into the monitor. When I tried to find the bottom replacement case part online, no problem. It was available from several sources. However, the newly fractured top which holds the keyboard was not available.

Even if it was, the only options available came from China, and the wait would have been 2 to 3 weeks. By then, I was looking at the possibility of having critical wires chopped off by the damaging action of the broken pieces.

So I had to give up on the old bird and explore my options. Since I am retired now, and not flush with cash as in my working days, I needed to keep my cost outlay minimal for a replacement.

Ebay Seller To The Rescue

As soon as I discussed the new situation with Eric, he went on eBay and found a seller of a similar computer that wasn’t near as old as mine for $150.00. He saw nothing wrong physically with it when viewing the seller’s pics.

He had it shipped to him via FedEx ground to inspect the condition and functioning of said unit. It was in pristine condition and taken care of very well by the previous owner.

Since my Hard Drive was a 1 Terabyte Unit and would fit nicely in the replacement computer, I pulled it out of the old laptop and sent it to him along with the RAM chips that gave me 6G of Random Access Memory. He added one of them to the other existing RAM chip in the replacement laptop to boost me up to 8G of RAM.

Final Steps

When he got the Hard Drive I sent him, he installed it, along with one of the RAM chips, and then used his computer expertise to reconfigure the whole setup.

With shipping costs included, the whole setup will cost about $267. This is a far cry from the $700 to $900 cost of a new computer with similar features, sans a 1 Terabyte Hard Drive.

Since my life is buried in that hard drive now with writing blogs and novels, I was down for about a week or so and entirely dependent on using my iPad and iPhone (the latter of which I used to write this blog).

Since I was able to finish the first revision of my latest novel just before I disassembled the old laptop, I got everything done in the nick of time. I pushed the envelope by getting to the UPS Store on a Friday a half hour before the delivery driver was scheduled to leave with weekend shipments.

For some strange reason, I have a habit of cutting things close. Eric had already received the replacement computer and was waiting for me to get my stuff to him so he could get it all together. I almost missed the cutoff for him to get the necessary components in a timely manner. Some things never change. Phew!

When I got the new computer back from him about a week and a half later. it looked great and booted right up. After I reconnected to the internet, I was good to go. It even has a beefier case. Voila! :mrgreen:

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