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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Notebook Case & Static Electricity

    I've had a Dell Inspiron 3800 notebook since August of last year, and everything seemed to work okay (with the exception of the keyboard having worn out on me). I just recently purchased the Kensington "Saddlebag" notebook computer case The day I got the case, I put the notebook in it and the next day, I the notebook appeared to be "dead" except for the num/cap/scroll lights being on, I think, when I removed the battery and plugged in the power. I called Dell up, and explained the situation, after which the tech I spoke to, suspecting that it was a memory issue, walked me through the process of removing and reseating the memory, (taking both memory pieces out, testing it, then putting one back, testing it again, then putting the other piece back, testing it again, then putting the battery back in, testing it again, etc..) which "seemed" to fix the problem.

    The next morning, the notebook was dead again, and I was unable to fix the problem with those same steps.

    Does anyone know of ANY situation in which the lining of this case Kensington can, possibly, allow static electricity to build up to the point where it can wipe out a notebook's motherboard? Or, was it simply that the motherboard was simply on its way out, and walking through those steps merely revived it for a short time.

    I need to know this BEFORE approaching Kensington regarding this matter, as this situation definitely lies within their legal obglitations of "fitness for a particular purpose."


    Thank you,
    Sincerely,
    Steve Weber

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Notebook Case & Static Electricity

    Steve,

    IMHO I would say this is extremely unlikely. I'm no physics wizard, but I would imagine the lining would have to be made of some pretty special stuff in order to do this, especially if the charge had to go through the plastic casing to get to the m/b. Maybe there would be a very slight possibility if it were to enter via one of the ports at the rear or side, but I still very much doubt it.

    Are you sure the notebook hadn't gone into standby mode? Maybe the battery is faulty. Is it a Ni-Cd or Ni-Mh type? I remember the older style nicads always had memory problems if not fully and properly discharged before recharging.

    What anti-static precautions did you take when you removed the memory, or is it in the form of a (relatively protected) Flash PCMCIA card?

    My <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15> is that it was just a Friday afternoon m/b.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Re: Notebook Case & Static Electricity

    Well, when the memory was taken out, I made sure I was holding on to something that was grounded, and I also made sure I didn't touch any of the chips or the edge connectors. But the problem occurred before I had removed the memory (since the tech suspected that the problem was the memory)

    Steve

  4. #4
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    Re: Notebook Case & Static Electricity

    I agree with the way the thread is going here. The carrying case seems to me to be a very unlikely cause. We have an almost exclusively Dell shop and I think the most frequent reason to have a Dell tech come in is to replace notebook motherboards. I asked the tech about this one day, and he said that this kind of problem is the most frequent reason for him to do a service call. I also have to say that overall we've had very little problem with our maybe 150 Dell desktops and about 25 Dell notebooks.

    But as to the cause--there seems to be no condition or circumstance that I've been able to find.

  5. #5
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    Re: Notebook Case & Static Electricity

    Hi Steve,

    All I can add is that I have never heard of static electricity from a carry case zapping a laptop. Not saying it can't happen, but I do have strong doubts about the possibility.

    Just my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>worth.
    Granville

  6. #6
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    Re: Notebook Case & Static Electricity

    I have to wear anti-static coats at work. The labeling says something like 2percent conductive nylon. Check for similar labeling on your bag. If it's just 100 percent man made fibres then there is a good chance that large charge can build up. As has been already stated, it's questionable whether this would enough to fry the electronics unless the port connections were exposed.
    I would have thought just damaging memory (or even ports) wouldn't leave a dead laptop, at least some POST screen/sound indication would be given about corrupt/missing memory.
    Ewan

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