10 years of "lost" photos recovered
A USB external hard disk had been plugged in using the wrong power adapter. The hard disk's circuit board had been blown. It contained 10 years worth of pictures that were not backed up. The customer was understandably worried that they had all been lost. We fixed the damaged components and the disk powered up ok.
The moral of the story? Backup your important photos and data! Cavendish Systems can advise you of cheap and easy backup methods. Call us today. Photos.
Apple Macbook Pro with liquid damage
A brand new unibody Macbook Pro had juice spilt on it. Fortunately the client had switched it off immediately so there was no short circuit damage on the main logic board, just a bit of gunk to clean up. The keyboard had taken the majority of the spill so we disassembled it, which is a very fiddly job on the latest Macbooks. The keyboard assembly alone has 51 tiny screws. Cleaned the keyboard and let it dry for a few days before reassembling. It booted up ok. Photos.
Student's laptop screen is blank
A Dell XPS Studio laptop belonging to a Nottingham University student was displaying a very faint image on the screen. It was caused by a faulty circuit board which powers the backlight illumination for the LCD screen. We had a replacement in stock. Once it was fitted the laptop screen was ok.
Various hot and filthy laptops
We see quite a few laptops that are uncomfortably hot underneath. This indicates that the cooling vents are blocked so the heat generated inside the laptop cannot escape. If the internal temperature reaches a critical level the computer turns itself off to prevent damage. However, continual hot running can severely shorten the processor's life time. We offer a service to unclog the cooling vents before things get critical. Here are a few photos of clogged up, hot laptops. Photos.
Student's laptop screen is broken
A fairly common problem. The laptop had been dropped (at a New Year's Eve party!) and the screen cracked. We had a replacement 15.4" screen in stock so were able to fix it and get it back to the owner within a few hours.
Apple iMac, iPad and iPhone training
An all-Mac family needed some training on getting the most from their various devices. I spent a very pleasant morning passing on various tricks and tips that I've picked up over the years for making best use of these beautifully designed machines.
Rogue anti-virus infection
Sony Vaio laptop (a pink one) was infected with a rogue anti-virus program which was falsely claiming the computer had a virus. It was preventing the owner from running any programs or browsing the Internet until it "cleaned" the supposed infection. Of course it required the user's credit card details before it would do this.
PC with nasty virus infection
A Packard Bell PC was running very slowly when in use and seemed to be busy even when the owner was not using it. The router lights were flashing constantly meaning the Internet link was in use. The PC was running a well-known commercial anti-virus package. Despite this, we found several infections on it including a stealthy rootkit virus, a backdoor trojan designed to allow unauthorised remote access and a keylogger designed to steal online banking passwords. The computer had also become part of a "botnet", a network of virus-infected computers being used to send out spam emails. Once all these were removed, the computer was back to normal speed. We advised the owner to change all passwords and install our recommended anti-virus program. Photos.
Apple iPad with smashed glass
The iPad had been savaged by the pet Alsatian and the glass screen cover broken. The underlying LCD panel was ok. Replacement glass and LCD panels are available for all variations of the iPad so we ordered a suitable one for next day delivery. The screen fastening clips are notoriously fragile on iPads so we always fit new ones. Photos.
iPod Touch with smashed screen
This iPod Touch had been dropped onto a concrete floor. The glass screen had smashed but the LCD panel behind the glass was ok. On this model the glass and LCD are a single bonded unit meaning both have to be replaced. Photos.
Set up wireless network for busy family
Busy, city-centre family needed 2 desktop PCs and a laptop setting up on a wireless network. One of the older PCs needed a WiFi USB adapter to connect to the network. The house was in a built up area of Nottingham so we set up a secure, password-protected network that would be safe from any neighbourhood snoopers.
Forest Fields, Nottingham.
French hoax anti-virus infection
A program called Antivirus Action had loaded itself onto this laptop. It was purporting to be a helpful anti-virus program that would clean a list of supposedly infected files. It was in fact a hoax anti-virus program. Indeed it was itself a particularly troublesome virus of a type that is becoming increasingly common. The virus prevented the normal usage of the computer and would not go away until the owner entered their credit card details. We have a virus cleaning toolkit that I use for jobs like this. However, as this laptop was running the French version of Windows, it was rather tricky to navigate around the menu commands. Photos.
IBM Thinkpad crashing when on the Internet
We were sent an old Thinkpad R51 by courier. It would crash with a blue screen error soon after connecting to the Internet. Using our blue screen analysis tools we was able to trace the problem to a leftover part of Norton anti-virus that had not been removed properly. Once that was cleaned out, the system ran perfectly.
Great Missenden, Bucks.
Xbox 360 would not connect to wireless network
The Xbox was using the wrong type of WiFi encryption and was not being allowed to join the family's wireless network. Once fixed the 18 year old son could wirelessly connect to Xbox Live.
Lines appearing all over laptop screen
A classic problem with some laptops with Nvidia graphics chips (GPUs). The soldered connections on the graphics chip develop microscopic cracks. The solution is to de-solder the chip and apply better quality heat-resistant solder. Photos.
Apple iBook G4 laptop not starting
The stylish 12.1" Apple iBook laptop would not start. It beeped 3 times and the sleep indicator light flashed continuously. One of the quirky built-in memory chips (which are soldered to the logic board) had gone wrong. We disabled the chip by de-soldering its 3 tiny power supply legs using extra fine soldering iron tips. Photos.
Windows PC running slowly
The computer had gradually accumulated a lot of programs and utilities together with 2 anti-virus programs which were doing battle with each other. We ran our standard clean up routine (the computer equivalent of an MOT/20,000 mile service) after which the computer was running as good as new.
Langley Mill, Derbyshire
Asus laptop dropped & power socket damaged
An Asus X53S laptop had been dropped on one corner, damaging the power jack socket. Disassembled the laptop to remove the motherboard to which the power jack was attached. The metal connector behind the pin of the socket had been broken. Soldered the break, cleaned dust from internal fans and heatsinks, re-assembled and the laptop powered up ok. Photos.
Random web pages advertising dubious products keep popping up
All the family's computers were randomly displaying the same set of web pages advertising dodgy products. The computers all had up to date anti-virus software and were running the latest security patches. It was also affecting a mobile phone that was being used to browse the Internet and an Apple Mac. It turned out to be the family's Wi-Fi router that had been hacked. All the computers were using it as their gateway to the Internet and their Internet traffic was being routed via the dodgy web sites. Once we'd secured the router and changed the settings everything worked ok.
Slow running Fujitsu-Siemens PC in need of a speed up
This elderly PC had accumulated a lot of auto start programs which were gradually reducing its performance. We ran our usual cleanup routine and removed some defunct user accounts. We also replaced the client's default anti-virus with one of our favourites which has a much lower impact the performance of older systems.
Power socket damage to a Compaq CQ61 laptop
A Compaq CQ61 laptop had been dropped during a student party. Flexing the DC power lead by the power socket was causing an intermittent break in power. We replaced the DC power jack inside the laptop which was broken. However upon reassembling the laptop, the intermittent power problem persisted. We stripped the plug at the end of the power cable and found a broken wire inside. When the cable was flexed the wire was moving apart breaking the circuit. We resoldered the wire, hot glued the plug back together and all was well.
Apple eMac with multiple issues
A much-loved and venerable, 2002-vintage Apple eMac used for photography work was in need of an overhaul. The hard disk and CD drive were failing and it was running on old version of OS X not suitable for modern Internet browsing. We upgraded it to OS X 10.3 Panther which allowed it to continue running its OS 9 Photoshop and other programs but was modern enough to run Safari or Firefox web browsers.
Hot tea spilt on netbook
Small, pink Acer Aspire One was being used by the owner's husband when he spilt hot, sugared tea all over the keyboard. It suddenly went off. It would not start, no lights, no beeps, completely dead. I took it back to the workshop, stripped it down to the motherboard and cleaned off all the sticky green gunk coating the electrical components. The keyboard was a sticky mess with many of the keys staying down when pressed. After a thorough clean up and 4 days drying out, the keyboard looked like new and all the key actions worked perfectly. After reassembly, the netbook started up ok.
Toshiba laptop not getting onto wireless network
Laptop could see the family's wireless router but could not connect to it. It worked fine using a cable to connect to the router. The router was not set up correctly and was not passing Internet addresses over the wireless network. Once this was sorted out the laptop connected ok.
Laptop damaged by playful toddler
A mature student studying for his Mathematics PhD at Nottingham University was working at home on his laptop. His young son suddenly ran up to him and abruptly shoved the laptop from behind slamming shut the lid and pushing it off the coffee table. The laptop would no longer boot up. The hard disk had been damaged and one of the screen hinges was loose. Fortunately he had his course work backed up so we fitted a brand new hard disk and reloaded Windows. The metal hinge had broken and needed a little welding to fix it.
Old family videos transfer to DVD
Footage of an old family pet needed to be transferred from miniDV video tape onto DVD.
Mansfield Woodhouse, Notts.
Virus infection on holiday
Whilst on holiday in North Wales, I got a call from a customer with a virus infection. With their help, I used my laptop and a handy, local Wi-Fi hotspot to remotely dial into their system. I ran my usual virus cleaning routine and managed to fix it without leaving the confines of my campervan. Nice!
From somewhere in N.Wales to somewhere in Notts.
If you'd like our help with your computer problems, please call us today on 07720 966517 or email email@example.com