After cleaning, Asus UL30A switches off when moved and doesn't see an SD card

Oct 7, 2018
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Hi all,
my laptop was recently at a repair service after I spilt a dense, sticky, sugary liquid on it (the area was not too big, left side of space bar plus C, X, D were sticky, the laptop was in cca 45 degrees position (on a stand), so the liquid flew largely down).
I was told the motherboard was very corroded (after just 3 days...?) and had to be cleaned - which, if I understand correctly, means removed. I don't know what else could have been removed, but my main concern at the time were the sticky keys. They also cleaned the inside with compressed air and replaced a broken hinge that's holding the monitor (in case it matters).
This laptop is quite old but before the accident has always worked flawlessly. Important thing - the battery is dead, so it relies completely on the power supply per cable. If it's unplugged, it goes off immediately.

Now to the aftermath of the repair.
1) When the laptop is switched on (meaning plugged in), it switches off with the slightest move. After that, even if the cable is still in, the battery light is off (normally it's flashing), so it looks like there's no power supply to the computer. The light on the adapter (the "little black box") is on, meaning the problem must be either the part of the cable between the adapter and the computer (there's no visible damage to it) or something in the computer (I find this more likely).
2) When I insert an SD card, nothing happens, the computer doesn't see it at all. I have used the SD card very often and never before had any problems. The slot is on the same side as the power plug. All USB's and audio jack are working OK.
Also, the power plug and the SD slot is on the opposite side (right) than the spillage was (left).
3) After I switched on the computer for the 1st time, the date and time was set to the day when Windows was 1st installed (2009) and some programs at the right side of the taskbar were missing. Is this normal? Also, the anti-virus (AVG) was somehow messed up since it was blocking receiving emails in Thunderbird. Acrobat reader was updated, which was not done by me. I know these may seem minor things but it makes me feel as if someone was going through my personal stuff... and I'm not sure it was necessary for them to get into my computer when they were charged only with the hardware cleaning.... they did and still didn't notice it switches off when moved...???

I'm going to take the laptop back to the service on Monday but before I do this, I wanted to hear from someone competent, who doesn't have a stake in telling me it has nothing to do with the cleaning and I have to pay for another repair. :/ (this one was already quite costly, and the keys are still stiff :////)
The fact that these problems appeared for the 1st time after some components have been removed is for me a clear sign there's some connection, but I know nothing about hardware... Does it make sense and do you have any idea what specifically could be the cause?

 

Ralston18

Dignified
Moderator
My read is that the "repair shop" did not really repair anything.

Maybe did some cleaning and pulled the CMOS battery (which means some default date and time will start the laptop's clock and calendar).

Is there a repair warranty? In any case document the original list of problems and note which ones were fixed and which ones were not fixed.

Keep the list factual and objective. Be detailed and honest.

Then add another list regarding the new problems.

Go back to the shop with your lists (keep your own copies) and see what they say and how they respond.

Speak with a manager or the owner if at all possible.

If you are not satisfied wth their response and actions go elsewhere.

And consider filing a legitmate complaint about the shop via any local consumer advocates or services.
 
Oct 7, 2018
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I have no way to check if the motherboard is really corrosion free (if it ever was corroded in the 1st place). After having the computer switched on for couple of hours the keys are as stiff as they were (it always gets worse with the temperature rising).
The guys in the shop told me they actually didn't pull out the keys (which was the only thing I imagined they WILL do) since they would most likely be broken in the process and the whole keyboard would have to be replaced which would cost a lot of money (they didn't ask me if I'd be willing to pay for it, somehow deciding for me it'd be too much).
There are only 3 keys which are really sticky - the space bar, C and D. Is this true that it's impossible to pull out, clean and if they're broken, replace just these 3 keys and not the whole keyboard?
Needless to say, this was the primary thing I asked them to do - to clean these couple of keys. I could see they were not listening to me when I was describing the problem and in the protocol they just wrote "damage due to liquid spillage". I'm regretting now for not insisting at the time for them to be more specific.... they were rather arrogant and unpleasant so I wanted to end it asap... I had a bad feeling since the moment I left the place... :/


Yes, there is a warranty of 1 year and I want to use it. So I want to prepare myself in case they claim there's no connection whatsoever between what they did and the current problems. So please tell me if this is technically possible - this is my main question. I imagine they took out some things and then didn't wire them back properly, so now the power supply breaks in some positions. Just my lay understanding...



I think I'll do this and insist they file it together with the papers they're sending to the actual workshop (they're sending the laptops somewhere else).



If there're the same arrogant bastards there, I'm afraid it won't be possible....


This would mean paying again..... they

[Moderator edit: no profanity please.]

up, so I want to use the warranty.... at least for them to fix the after-repair issues and then I may find some sensible person to clean the 3 keys.


 
Oct 7, 2018
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One more thing: a friend of mine who studied informatics some years ago (but hasn't finished and doesn't do anything in the field, so I don't know how trustworthy she is) says:

"you better use it the less possible, because the switching off can cause a shortcut that can burn it completely"

Is it a real danger??!!
The computer doesn't switch off like this now anymore since I'm careful not to move it.
I need to use it for work.... so please tell me, should I just switch it off and not use anymore? (I can borrow a laptop from my boyfriend tomorrow).

UPDATE: I really got scared so I'm switching off my computer and won't be reacting to any new answers until I get my boyfriend's laptop (possibly tomorrow).
 

Ralston18

Dignified
Moderator
Would not expect turning the laptop off to cause a short circuit as power is gone.

However if the spill has created problems that cause electricity to flow in other paths than intended then turning the laptop on may short out some component.

For the most part, a stuck key just sends continual presses to the OS and the system just does not know how to respond or the presses simply blocks/masks other responses and no boot.

Cleaning the inside with compressed air is for removing dust and must be done very carefully on its own merits.

Using compressed air is not going to remove what is essentially glue and such an air blast is more likely to break, crack, and/or loosen internal components.

My focus would be on finding the right person in charge - someone who cares about his or her business and the lack of service provided to you.

Otherwise, you may need to write them off as a bad experience, warn your friends, and find another shop. Use what you have learned when looking for another shop.

A good shop should be able to honestly evaluate the problem(s) and tell you what needs to be fixed, the costs to fix, and the warranty you will receive thereafter.
 
Oct 7, 2018
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Thanks for this reassuring answer. I had to switch my computer on again and will have to work on it till tomorrow since my bf's computer is temporarily unusable for me. Hope nothing happens... :/


Well, this was supposed to be fixed but I have no way to know, if it was...


None of them is really stuck, they're just getting increasingly hard to press with the temperature rising (though I have to say the computer is getting less hot now then it used to). My work consists of writing, so it sucks a lot.


Well, in fact they haven't done the only thing that I explicitly asked them to do, which was to remove the stickiness from the keyboard...


Tomorrow I'm going there with a friend who's a programmer, to file a complaint and request a repair of this switching-off and the SD card problem. My problem is also language since I don't live in "my" country and don't speak the local language well, particularly when under stress, and I felt they took it as an opportunity to treat me even more like a piece of ^&^&*. The friend is a native speaker and (contrary to me) a guy, which (unfortunately) I think also plays a role with these tech guys. They won't dare to sell him any BS, I'm sure. And if they did, he's going to wipe the floor with them. :)



I'm in a big city and it was surprisingly difficult to find anybody to do an after-spillage cleaning.... I've given up on them cleaning the keyboard and will just insist they fix what they themselves f**ed up, as a warranty service. Then I'll try to find somebody to clean the 3 keys, I already have some tips. I should have taken time and asked around for recommendations, instead of giving my laptop, which is my source of income, to people who's credentials I don't know and who were very visibly interested in the money only. Lesson learned.

Actually, why not name them here, maybe somebody will look for a review and find this saga: it was Laptop Service in Berlin, DE, Wranglerstr., on their website they call themselves "Laptop Nonstop". Avoid, if you want your computer fixed.

 
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