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Thanks to those who inquired about my absence
December 30, 2019
7:48 pm
Loonie
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Thanks for the tips, Scruge!

I'm beginning to think we need a sub-forum for computer problems! sf-laugh

Sony had a good computer in the VIAO, but they too have pulled out of the market in Canada.

January 4, 2020
9:44 am
Norman1
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Loonie said

…It is periodically overheating again now. I don't know anything about its innards, but I can feel it underneath and also along the top of the keyboard near the hinge. Eventually, if it runs true to form, the power cord at the computer end will become quite hot as well and will jump out of its socket.

The technicians may not be able to fix it permanently, but they do seem to be able to fix it temporarily, which I find strange. Within a few weeks it is back to its old tricks.

I've had similar problems, ultimately, with all my laptops, but the other ones had run a reasonable course of 3 to 5 years first. One of them was repaired and that repair lasted another year or so - it just required a new connector where the power cord goes in, and they stopped making those available - nothing else was wrong with it (Sony VIAO). But not so with this current ASUS.

Those are significant observations about the power connector. Some of the chips may get hot, like the CPU. But, that power connector should not get that hot. Those are signs of excessive current.

The extra heat from that excessive current could be melting solder joints. That would explain how the technicians are able to fix the problem temporarily. They replace and resolder the power connector and resolder any other loose joints they find. It will last until the heat melts the solder joints again.

Do your laptops have a significant number of accessories or peripherals plugged into the USB ports directly or through an unpowered USB hub?

Such peripherals will draw power through the USB ports. The extra power will be supplied through the laptop's power system via that power connector.

January 4, 2020
1:57 pm
Oscar
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Norman1 said

Loonie said

…It is periodically overheating again now. I don't know anything about its innards, but I can feel it underneath and also along the top of the keyboard near the hinge. Eventually, if it runs true to form, the power cord at the computer end will become quite hot as well and will jump out of its socket.

The technicians may not be able to fix it permanently, but they do seem to be able to fix it temporarily, which I find strange. Within a few weeks it is back to its old tricks.

I've had similar problems, ultimately, with all my laptops, but the other ones had run a reasonable course of 3 to 5 years first. One of them was repaired and that repair lasted another year or so - it just required a new connector where the power cord goes in, and they stopped making those available - nothing else was wrong with it (Sony VIAO). But not so with this current ASUS.

Those are significant observations about the power connector. Some of the chips may get hot, like the CPU. But, that power connector should not get that hot. Those are signs of excessive current.

The extra heat from that excessive current could be melting solder joints. That would explain how the technicians are able to fix the problem temporarily. They replace and resolder the power connector and resolder any other loose joints they find. It will last until the heat melts the solder joints again.

Do your laptops have a significant number of accessories or peripherals plugged into the USB ports directly or through an unpowered USB hub?

Such peripherals will draw power through the USB ports. The extra power will be supplied through the laptop's power system via that power connector.  

Do you ever use the laptop on battery power alone ? If not then maybe you should try it and see if you still experience these overheating issues and also see how long it lasts on battery power alone. It may have something to do with the charger/adapter and this might help isolate your problem. Battery might be overcharging.

January 4, 2020
5:02 pm
Loonie
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I don't use any peripherals.

I do have the screen set for highest brightness as I need this for my vision problems This means the battery drains faster, from what i can tell. If I unplug it, it only lasts about an hour or so, which is a nuisance, so I stopped doing that. Also, it would always be dead if I unplugged it and left it alone with the cover closed.
However, they did put in a new battery the last time, so perhaps I should try this approach again.

August 2, 2020
7:35 am
maxb
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I know its been ages since anyone has commented on this thread, but I thought I might add my experience.

Mac (for my daughter), failed 3 days after the warranty... then nothing but problems... Was told by apple employee "carry your laptop with 2 hands"... It's a feathertop that weighs very little....

Now buy at Costco... they have "no questions asked" replacement policy.. And extended warranty is inexpensive.

August 2, 2020
3:22 pm
Loonie
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To conclude my own story, I eventually had no choice but to buy a new computer. This time I bought an LG, and I too bought it from Costco this time. So far, works very well, no complaints. It was the only place that had the model I wanted in stock and they were going fast in the store.

The whole process of trying to get the old one fixed was a huge nuisance, but I sure was glad the credit card insurance paid for the repairs which, even though done by the manufacturer, did not last.

October 30, 2020
12:02 pm
RetirEd
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As it happens, I'm a lifelong computer geek/tech/programmer.

Reviewing this thread for the first time, I have some comments that may help IF anyone remembers the issues.

OVERHEATING:
Fans can fail, but they can also plug up with dust. CPU heat sinks, too, often plug up with dust. Clean them. Most computers have negative-pressure fans sucking air out of their power supplies, which causes dirt and fluff to be sucked INTO the rest of the computer.

Many custom boxes now do what I've been doing for years - place a toilet-paper-tube-sized tube or pipe over the CPU fan, leading to a filter over a vent in the case. Clean the filter often. Make sure you get proper open-cell filter foam! If you know what you're doing, you can seal up many of the openings in the case to force most of the air to come in the filtered vent and go out the power-supply vent.

If you have overheating power cords, power adapter cords or the like, try another one. Over time, many of the strands in the conductors break with metal fatigue or stress, and the lower number of strands cannot support the current without overheating. This is particularly common in power adapters, which get moved around a lot; you can usually feel a "weak spot" near the "hot spot" in the cord, most often near one end. (This is also the most common mode of failure for hair dryers.)

An extension cord with insufficient current capacity (marked on the wire, usually) will overheat and pass heat into the connectors. Get big extension cords and don't overload them.

Dirty, corroded or not-firmly-plugged-in connectors will overheat.

QUALITY:
I have extensive, long-term contacts all over the computer industry. Every dealer I know points to Apple as the poorest in reliability. They get a lot of DOA (dead on arrival) stuff from the factory and a lot of early returns. And Apple has, for the most part, the shortest warranties and poorest repair policies. They won't sell most parts to anyone but authorized dealers, who are told to always replace even if it's just a matter of re-seating a connector. You can often get grey-market parts, though, a lot cheaper - taken from junked machines, or bought from the same Chinese factories Apple uses. You'll need to use the internet for information on how to do repairs, because Apple won't give you any.

ASUS stuff, which like everyone else uses generic parts, is very well-designed and I build most of my computers on their motherboards. And I run things for decades, as I have lots of computers and use specific ones for specific tasks. (Only one gets connected to the internet, and it never has any data on it. All that stays on off-line devices which are removed when the computer's connected to the net.)

Laptops are more expensive, need more expensive parts, are harder to use, fix and upgrade. Buy what you want when you get the machine because it's rare to get upgrade parts or accessories after a year or even less.

I use only desktop computers. I install Linux. Been using it since 2008 and would never go back. (I went from DOS to Linux without using Windows or Mac boxes; on rare occasions I would run Windows 3.1 from a ZIP disk when I needed certain capabilities.) You can easily set up Linux to look and work like a PC, a Mac, or whatever else you want, and it will read just about any type of filesystem (FAT, exFat, VFAT, MacOS, NTFS and more). All OSX Macs are running a version of Unix (Linux is also UNIX-based) that has been made to imitate the old Mac OS. Inside the software, they are mostly like Linux.

WARNING: Apple is preparing to ditch OSX, which runs on commodity PC Intel/AMD hardware, and new models will run a new Apple-specific CPU architecture. They do not intend to let OSX software or most hardware work with the new system. Apple is famous for orphaning older hardware, and this is a major generation change. Not a good time to invest in more Apple hardware.

FREE GEEK - with affiliates in many cities - reconditions and recycles computers, disposing of stuff with no charge and setting up computers for locals to buy, or to donate to community service groups. They supply all their standard boxes with Linux, and Apple stuff with Apple software. Great people!

Lastly, avoid used hard drives.

Good luck, Loonie and everyone else!
RetirEd

October 30, 2020
3:30 pm
dougjp
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Thanks RetirEd. Lots of good information in there.

The idea for keeping the CPU area from getting clogged is great, but I doubt many including myself could create that. Its such a pain to vacuum out the vents through the fan blades. I'm surprised there isn't a common 'turnkey' solution available cheaply in the market that would bolt on or slide over the CPU casing/vents, which are common sized?

October 30, 2020
4:57 pm
Loonie
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I'm sure these are all great ideas, but they are well beyond my ability to execute or even understand.
So far so good with the LG but I may have to resign myself to buying a new one every couple of years.

Have never bought an Apple product and probably never will.

October 30, 2020
5:41 pm
Norman1
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That would depend on whether or not the LG computer has any design faults or "congenital" problems.

From what you had described, I think its predecessor had a problem with overheating at the power connector. It got so hot that the power plug would pop out! Likely, the solder joints in the area were melting and becoming loose.

Loose solder joints mean higher resistance and higher heat generation. A vicious cycle.

November 1, 2020
2:33 am
Loonie
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If it's congenital, I think the computer industry is definitely anti-Darwinian! I've had more problems with my last two computers than any of the others over the last 32 years except for the very first one which was a lemon and had to be replaced.

November 1, 2020
7:23 am
Norman1
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People will eventually realize the design/congenital issues. Unfortunately, it is after they have purchased it.

My first laptop was from Gateway. It had a design problem with overheating. The area around the CPU and memory got quite hot. The wireless chip would eventually overheat and stop working until the computer was powered off a while to cool down.

Its hard disk started to fail within a few years. First time I had to replace a hard drive with less than five years of service. I suspect it got cooked by all that heat.

November 2, 2020
6:18 am
savemoresaveoften
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Just my 2 cents:
My family are on the ipad / iphone ecosystem. Have over 10 different items overf the last 7 years and so far no issues with anyone of them (Actually one of my phones was recalled for potential faulty battery and replaced). No experience with Apple computers and maybe thats where the reliability issue arises. I do think if one is gentle with their tech stuff (as in don't drop them), they are quite reliable other than design flaw heat issues premature death etc.

Labtop or those mini PCs have all the parts packed so tight in the small footprint that they are truly throw away and not repaired/upgrade when the time comes.
Just dont buy a $2k laptop. $1k laptop is the sweet spot with SSD, enuf ram and speed. If it lasts u 5years+, thats bad. By then technology has improved that one should upgrade to current spec anyway.

A properly ventilated desktop with a decent power supply should last more than 5 years for sure both technology and reliability. Especially if you uses to search forum and internet anyway. My desktop is the reg (old school) tower that has plenty of room inside and at its 6 years of service (I added SSD, video card) since purchase and it is running strong.

November 2, 2020
3:31 pm
RetirEd
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Here's the latest I've seen, from one of the best sites about computer and security news:

http://www.theregister.com/202.....be_swapped

RetirEd

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