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Old May 9, 2017, 12:30 PM
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Question How to charge for weird repair scenario

Sorry if this is the wrong place for this, but....

I've been doing light repairs and computer work on the side for over 5 years with excellent results. I've been able to speed up/fix everything....until now.

Guy gave me two laptops:

1) spilled milk on a $700 HP. No boot. I told him it is probably fried, but would take a look, and do data recovery if possible.

Outcome: after opening it up and cleaning residue off the motherboard, it still doesn't boot. It powers on, and fan spins up, but black screen. I've pulled the hard drive and am about to burn 4 dvds worth of photos. What should I charge? If it had booted. I would have charged $120.

2) $400 HP with busted hinges, no boot due to busted fan, and flaky display due to hinge fraying the display cable. (The guy didn't mention the display part)

Outcome: installed replacement fan ($10 - ebay) and it boots/works fine. I haven't given him options on the hinge/display cable. If it was me, I'd just drill through and bolt the hinges down, and replace the display cable. If I did this, how much should I charge? This one was a pain because the fan/heatsink had to removed, cleaned, fan swap, new thermal paste, etc.

I'm really conflicted about how to charge. "no fix, no charge"? I don't think so, but I've never handed someone a dead laptop and asked for money. (Although I DID tell him that there was a good chance that it was DOA).

Any advice extremely appreciated!
Mike
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Old May 9, 2017, 01:12 PM
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Well hard to say I would have originally told the peeps there would be a min charge just too look .
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Old May 9, 2017, 01:18 PM
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Here's how I'd handle it.

Laptop 1 - diagnosis - 1/2 hour. Data recovery - $x amount per DVD, like $20. "I'm sorry but after cleaning and reassembling your laptop it's confirmed dead. However, I was able to recover all your family photos. I've only charged you for 1/2 hour diagnosis and the time spent saving your pictures and burning DVD's for you. I'm sorry your machine is dead, maybe try to keep your new one away from the kitchen table?"

Laptop 2 - Parts and time spent so far, tell him about the hinge/cable and warn him that it will die again soon unless he spends more to fix the hinges. And give him a firm price to fix the hinges and cable.

He's into you for probably $200 between the 2 already, so don't be surprised if he decides not to do the hinges. And you're not handing him just a dead laptop 1, you're handing him the memories he had stored on it. Those are valuable.
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Old May 9, 2017, 01:38 PM
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agreed

this type of shit happens to me all the time.

i just bill by the work ive already done and explain the rest.
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Old May 9, 2017, 01:54 PM
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Yeah, if you didn't have an agreed upon fee for assessing the damage, or data recovery if necessary, you need to talk to the owner before spending any more time on them. They may want to cut their losses, but as mentioned, with one now working and the possibility of data recovery on the other, that should be worth something to them. Good luck with it!
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Old May 9, 2017, 02:00 PM
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Thanks so much. I really needed an outside the box opinion.
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Old May 9, 2017, 06:04 PM
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1)time is money pay data recovery

2) when customer omits issues when giving you stuff, call and
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarJ
Parts and time spent so far, tell him about the hinge/cable and warn him that it will die again soon unless he spends more to fix the hinges.
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Old May 12, 2017, 04:52 PM
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New problem with the laptop with the broken hinges (now bolted down). Last night I had it running - fan, boot, normal - even the flakey display connector worked.

Today, the fan comes on and no display (screen or VGA out, and no boot!) It's as if the display connector finally died, and took the gpu with it - along with the hard drive. I'm almost out of ideas. Everything has been disconnected and reconnected. If I can't figure it out, do I have to buy the guy a replacement laptop?
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Old May 12, 2017, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hfxmike View Post
New problem with the laptop with the broken hinges (now bolted down). Last night I had it running - fan, boot, normal - even the flakey display connector worked.

Today, the fan comes on and no display (screen or VGA out, and no boot!) It's as if the display connector finally died, and took the gpu with it - along with the hard drive. I'm almost out of ideas. Everything has been disconnected and reconnected. If I can't figure it out, do I have to buy the guy a replacement laptop?
try vga port if any screen

to rule out gpu

next time see another broken hinges or any case loose/busted issue's up front say no guarantees

try data recovery if any important stuff on drive
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Old May 12, 2017, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaptCrunch View Post
try vga port if any screen

to rule out gpu

next time see another broken hinges or any case loose/busted issue's up front say no guarantees

try data recovery if any important stuff on drive

There is no display on external monitor via vga. right now i'm checking the hd on my desktop for errors, but it mounted fine and all of the files are there.

not sure how to tell the guy that his laptop was working, but then completely died - for reasons I don't know about.

many lessons learned on this one.

i'll try to get a boot with external display. if i can't get that, then I must have somehow shorted the board. (hard to believe, with anti-static, no power, no battery, etc while working on it.)

*edit - checking and repair bad sectors stalled, so i'm backing up the hd...

Last edited by hfxmike; May 12, 2017 at 07:29 PM. Reason: add info
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