"VOID IF TAMPERED" be damned

My treasured little 4.5-lb Averatec subnotebook has given me a couple of fits. This February, its video began to flicker erratically. I shut her down at once, then carefully found the screws that covered its video card. A phillips screwdriver bit punched through the VOID IF TAMPERED seals covering them. I blew a can or so of air through the copper heatsink and put it all back together. No more video flickering. I should go back in and apply a drop of heatsink paste on the chip, but . . .

Now the power cord has been overheating. Where the plug wart enters the case of the computer, there have been baked-plastic smells, and incredible amounts of heat, so much that my valued iGo Power power supply's jack got so hot that its insulation started to melt. I've been jiggling the jack so the charge indicator lights. But on my latest trip, even jiggling doesn't get the computer to charge from the wall.

Being a consumer product, the Averatec is built to frustrate shade-tree computer mechanics such as your humble narrator. However, I strove to get to the eentsy printed-circuit board where the plug wart attaches, and slipped it out.

Cold solder joint, oh very yes. I combed through my brother's garage for solder and iron. Found two rotary tools that wouldn't start, they would have been handy to clean the joint prior to soldering, but too bad. I touched the joint up, reinserted, had no continuity (couldn't find a multimeter in brother's garage either, bummer), took the board back out, cleaned the cold joint with a pencil eraser, resoldered.

Bingo. Now she charges and runs without jiggling. No overheating to the point of etching my fingerprints into the plastic of the jack.

How many people would sh17-can an $800 notebook computer rather than sleuth a power supply problem? Should I put out a shingle for fixing stuff like this?

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