Help needed with laptop

bonehead1185

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Oct 20, 2008
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San Marcos/Lake Dallas, Tx
I'm hoping that some of you computer people can help me with a problem with my laptop.

First some history about the problem. I bought the laptop several years ago from best buy and got the extended warranty thing they offer through geeksquad. It is a Gateway 3018GZ. It was performing great for all those years until about 6 months or so before the warranty expired on it. I started getting the blue screen of death and having it not turn on correctly. I called the gateway support and they told me to run my recovery discs. I didn't have them on me at the moment so I waited. Then one day I was talking to a geeksquad person at a best buy and he told me to bring it in so they could check it out. Of course it didn't act up for them but they still ran all the checks.

I took it home and immediately it acted up again. The next day I took it back for them to check it again. They said they would send it off for more intensive checking. I got it back and they said they could not find anything wrong and that I should try to do the recovery discs as well. So I go home and run them. For some reason it messes up and a driver does not get installed correctly so I take it back to geeksquad for them to do it and check it again.

After getting it back yet again it still messes up. I continue the cycle of taking it in over and over again. I know I took it in atleast 6 or more times but they stopped putting the stickers on it after 4. Finally, on my last trip to pick it up after being sent out for about 2 weeks they say that the memory chip is bad. I'm not sure why it took so long for them to find this out since that was about the third time they sent it off. Plus by this time I only had a couple of weeks left in the warranty.

I got busy with school and set it aside until I could afford a new memory for it (luckily I bought an iMac when the laptop started messing up).

So fast forward to recently............ I finally did some researching on what memory was in it and found out it was a PNY brand. So I contacted their tech support and found out they have a lifetime warranty on their products so I got it replaced for free. I put in the new memory and boot it up. It works! But then when I look at how much memory the comp says I have it does not register it. So I take it back out and try seating it again. Now it wont turn on again. In about 500 times of turning it on it only booted up maybe 3 times. All it does is spin the CD drive twice and the power button is lit up. Thats it! Nothing ever comes up on the screen.

Sorry for the long post but I just wanted to give all history related to the problem. Is it possible that geeksquad just lied to me so my warranty would run out? I have two friends who work in the best buy I was going to as geeksquad agents and they both said it was about time they just replace it for me, they actually were trying to convince them to do it. Then they "magically" find a problem. Is there another problem going on? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

nalioth

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Oct 13, 2008
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If your friends will get it replaced, go for it. If they can't, it sounds like geeksquad bent you over.

Do a Google search on "geeksquad".
 

smschulz

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Apr 13, 2008
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Using the "Geek Squad" for computer work is like taking your gun to a Boy Scout with a Merit Badge in gun cleaning for Gunsmithing work. :confused:

BTW is it working now?

Memory can be a source for problems. It may not boot if it is not seated properly. If it does not recognize it ~ it may not be the correct memory/speed/size for the machine. Bad memory should be checked with bootable memory-checking program.

I don't think they were trying to let the warranty run out ~ just incompetent. They only help my IT business. ;)
 

bonehead1185

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Oct 20, 2008
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Well I just tried taking the memory stick out and............voila! it powered up and ran! So I guess this means that PNY either shipped me a bad memory or the wrong type for my laptop. Guess I will be calling them tomorrow to discuss this with them.

The only thing I worry about now is that it is possible it might do it again. The reason I say this is because I let my brother borrow it for a few months when I did not want to mess with it and he said it would just freeze up and then would not boot back up after powering it down. It had no extra memory installed, just the built in 256mb. So the same symptoms of what it used to do with memory in it. Any ideas on this?
 

smschulz

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Well I just tried taking the memory stick out and............voila! it powered up and ran! So I guess this means that PNY either shipped me a bad memory or the wrong type for my laptop. Guess I will be calling them tomorrow to discuss this with them.

The only thing I worry about now is that it is possible it might do it again. The reason I say this is because I let my brother borrow it for a few months when I did not want to mess with it and he said it would just freeze up and then would not boot back up after powering it down. It had no extra memory installed, just the built in 256mb. So the same symptoms of what it used to do with memory in it. Any ideas on this?
1. A bad battery can cause issues ~ even if it on AC . Take out the battery completely ~ plug in the AC then see if you have the same problems.
2. Look at the power settings in the control panel and adjust so it does not hibernate or go in stand-by.
3. Most laptops have two slots for memory ~ take out the existing mem module and put in the suspect module and see what happens. If it boots and runs them the combo of both mods are the issue. Go to Crucial.com and down load there helper api and let it detect your memory and options ~ just for frame of reference.
 

lonewolf23c

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Oct 2, 2008
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That 256mb of built in memory, is actually accessible if you take the keyboard off. That other memory module is located under the keyboard in a lot of laptops. That module might be bad also causing the random bootup problems. Replace both modules with the same type of memory. Also if for example the first module was one bus speed, and PNY sent you a different bus speed module than what the original 256mb module was then its not going to recognize it and therefore either won't let the computer boot, or if it does boot it will act like that 2nd module isn't installed.

Bill
 
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