1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


More Ranting of the Retiree Vol III
Barry Worrell 08

A couple of months ago my PC started this very annoying little problem by starting to boot up, but it would stop before it would boot completely.  Like any "guy" I counteracted with things like spraying the switch with contact cleaner or keep pushing the switch in and out repeatedly. I stopped banging on the case with my fist years ago, because that also stopped working. As time went on it became more difficult to start and since the computer is my life, so my wife says, it looked as if I might have to opted out for outside help.

My computer is a Gateway, which I purchased about 8 years ago, and it has been very serviceable for me. I have upgraded the memory and got a larger hard drive. But compared to this power switch they were easier to deal with.

For my first source of outside help I called Geek Squad. They make house calls and I didn't want to leave my PC at a repair store because I have information on there I wouldn't want anyone to see. Probably the reason I didn't use them was they charge 55.00 an hour and also for the house call. I don't really begrudge them for charging, after all they should be paid for their service, but I decided I'd think about this a little more.

My second outside assistance (should have been my first) was from my son, mainly because it's free, and he treats me well. While I have him on the phone he tells me to do a couple of things and he comes to the same conclusion as I did, a bad power switch.  It's amazing how much better you feel when you know what the problem is. It's sort of like a rattle in your car. As long as you know what is rattling it's much easier to put up with whether you can reach it or not.

My next step was to call Gateway. In case you don't know this, when you call customer service for technical assistance, chances are you're not really speaking to a technical person, just some one who has a big book of a lot of possible problems and  possible cures. That some one was who I got, although I didn't realize it until I got the piece they said I needed, and it wasn't the piece I needed. The power switch wasn't mounted on the front panel, it was a "plunger" that activated the power switch, which is mount on a little bracket behind the front panel. I called Gateway the second time and talked to a guy who knew what I was talking about. He sent the correct part and I sent the front panel back for credit.

 In the process of installing the switch, I had to call Gateway again so they could tell me how to remove the front panel. He said I had to push in the clips on the left side and swing the panel open like a door. The left side clips unsnapped OK, but the right side would not swing. (Didn't know it at the time, it actually doesn't swing, it unclips like the other side. You can see the frustration coming.) Then I thought, the pc will still run just as well without the case! Although the front panel is not suppose to, it now swings open just as the fellow said. I broke off some tabs when I forced it open and the case doesn't fit so good any more, but the pc functions just like it should. "Where there is force, the will is broken, literally".  I made that up.