Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

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crossroads
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Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by crossroads »

Hello Linux Mint Community! I own an old, and I mean an old Gateway laptop M210 dated 2001. I bought it used from a fellow student couple years back. It had at the time Windows XP. DVD didn't work, along with several other issues ... I took it to repair shop spent $150.00 to get get a memory upgrade and get the DVD to work. Shortly afterwards Microsoft stopped supporting XP. By then my system was so corrupted I could not even restore off my original Gateway disks. Solution? Migrated to Linux Mint 16. No dual boot schemes, etc. Just went full glory into the Linux world ... talk about calm seas, suddenly my old computer is running silently, cooler, more stable than ever ... It was like watching a lame horse take off in a full gallop!

A week a go I spilled coffee on my keyboard. Lost some keys. Dismantled the machine, removed the keyboard, cleaned it and reinserted the keyboard. Broke the cable connection as a consequence. The entire keyboard went blank. Took the laptop to (2) two computer repair shops. Said to each, " Replacement keyboard costs around 50 bucks, I'll pay you you $60 bucks to install it properly ... up to $150.00 to get it done. Both owners looked at me liked I had insulted them, or worse, their wives. One told me "Your laptop is dated 2001, and Linux does not",... and get this ...."does not push Microsoft, and hasn't since 2005" Not having a clue what that meant, I said, "Okay, but listen my laptop boots up just fine, and all I'm asking you to do is install a keyboard .. you don't even have to mess with the OS". Neither one would touch my laptop. So I went to Best buy and bought a USB keyboard, and an HP photosmart 6520 printer, both of which worked out of the box, and here I am up am running and productive once again.

I'm 55 years old, I drive a 1977 Ford 150 Pick up, which runs better than I do. Like my old truck, I like my old Gateway laptop. It's been a workhorse, and loyal to a fault. Linux Mint gave her new life, energy, stamina ... I ain't giving her up. If I could install Linux Mint in my truck, I would! So it's me, my truck, my laptop, and Linux Mint until the wheels fall off Baby!
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jimallyn
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by jimallyn »

You don't need that kind of negativity in your life. Find another computer repair shop! Or someone who does it out of their home. Check craigslist, maybe?
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by gold_finger »

jimallyn wrote:You don't need that kind of negativity in your life. Find another computer repair shop! Or someone who does it out of their home. Check craigslist, maybe?
Agree -- find someone else to do computer repairs for you. Have seen others post similar stories when bringing Linux computers to repair shops. Surprises me that these so-called "professionals" don't at least take the time to familiarize themselves with the basics of Linux. From my point of view, learning Linux not only gives you a great alternative OS but a better understanding of how computers work in general.

Re: your old Gateway laptop

I do understand your feeling attached to it, but you might consider buying a more modern "used" computer next time it needs repairs. Sounds like you've already spent more fixing it than a used one from 2006-09 would have cost. But, like I said -- I do understand! Back in 2004-05 I stumbled on someone selling an old Gateway laptop (1996-7 model) at a garage sale. I wasn't looking for a laptop at the time, but they only wanted $10.00 for it -- so I couldn't resist and bought it. Thing was built like a tank and worked perfectly! I used that laptop every day all the way up until 2010. If yours is anything like that -- I understand. They definitely don't make laptops like they used to -- sturdy with components that last forever.
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by ClutchDisc »

crossroads wrote:I'm 55 years old, I drive a 1977 Ford 150 Pick up, which runs better than I do. Like my old truck, I like my old Gateway laptop. It's been a workhorse, and loyal to a fault. Linux Mint gave her new life, energy, stamina ... I ain't giving her up. If I could install Linux Mint in my truck, I would! So it's me, my truck, my laptop, and Linux Mint until the wheels fall off Baby!
Thats the spirit! :D :mrgreen: Nice truck... manual or auto? New keyboards are usually pretty easy to install on a laptop.
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by Mangar »

Another die hard! good for you and that sweet truck. I had a keyboard and screen go out on my dell 5150. I picked up a nice USB wireless keybaord + mouse and use it as a media center on my flat screen. Its nice to sit back 15' away and surf the web, watch Netflix and other things like music too :)
Yeah look for electronic TV and PC repairs, most of those guys are skilled enough to do the job too. May computer repair shops want to sell additional service packages warranty stuff their repair work.
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by all41 »

I like my old Gateway laptop. It's been a workhorse, and loyal to a fault
This is not difficult to understand at all! :)

A neighbor had taken a desktop to a "computer repair shop" and was quoted 129.95.
My wife told her NO! We had been getting better refurb desktops for 134.95 delivered price with a warranty.

She brought it over and her IE had been hijacked--about a 2 minute job.
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by jsalpha2 »

Same vintage as my old thinkpad R50. Keep it in the trunk of the car where lesser machines would melt from the heat. Have a adapter so I can plug in into the lighter to charge.Perfect for using the free wifi at a McDonalds. Keep an eye out on E-Bay. Sooner or later you will be able to get parts. Those ribbon cables can be a pain in the rear, especially when your eyes aren't what they used to be.
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by Mangar »

all41 wrote:....

She brought it over and her IE had been hijacked--about a 2 minute job.
Yeah love those "let us run some diagnostics" my neighbor went home and had extra software added with open doors so they could get in at any time to monitor and repair stuff, even by passing the request permission popup. He ask me to take a look and I found his troubles and lock it down again and had to remove the complimentary add on software's from a local Computer Repair shop. he was away hit with virus every month after that visit. He finally let me fix it for him and he never had a problem with funky changes to his computer again.
It gets like a diamond ring at a jewler, don't let it out of your sight from the front counter. LOL you might whined up with a cubic zirconia walking out the door.
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by ClutchDisc »

crossroads wrote:I like my old Gateway laptop. It's been a workhorse, and loyal to a fault.
I too can understand that as well. My everyday computer is a 10 year old Dell Dimension E310 desktop.. 1 GB or RAM, 2.80 GHz CPU, runs on Mint 17 VERY well. It was my Grandpa's computer from 2004 until Jan of 2014.. that is when I got it, with Win XP and it was SLOW.. I "upgraded" the RAM from 512 MB to 1 GB. (was sill very slow with XP) I then installed (at the time Mint 13) and now I have been on Mint 17 since the RC. Mint breathed new life into this computer.. it's like having a new computer. This computer has never let my Grandpa down, and never let me down either. Nothing has been replaced on it at all.. same 10 year old HDD in great shape. I plan to run the computer forever if it will let me.. :D
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by DrHu »

Online, I would try..

If I was doing it, I would probably check the motherboard model/data and try to find a replacement part
--if it is a cable connection, that could be replaced easily via a parts supplier (computer cables and parts/motherboards/devices etc..)

If it is a circuit board connection and it is broken at the keyboard end, same thing, getting the interface riser that connects to the keyboard
--however: I think most of these keyboards connect via ribbon cables

Otherwise, it is find a reliable technician, who can solder well and perhaps recreate the interface connection
http://www.ebay.com/sch/items/?_
--or in some other way (replacement part) make it functional..

Had a quick check for your computer brand..
http://www.ebay.com/sch/items/?_nkw=Gat ... =&LH_CAds=
http://www.amazon.com/IPARTS-Laptop-Key ... B00GY82VLI
--it is a small ribbon cable (black) that I see on the keyboard (one's Hong Kong shipper, the other is Amazon (USA shipper)
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all41
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by all41 »

There is a keyboard on ebay for this laptop for 11.99 delivered

oh---http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gateway-M210-CX ... 417e3d4191
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by Habitual »

jimallyn wrote:Find another computer repair shop! Or someone who does it out of their home. Check craigslist, maybe?
Hey Wenatchee, WA!
I miss Moses Lake down the road from ya...

Good advice, sans Craiglist. ;)
I wonder if they would have done the job on a dual-boot with Windows?

When I started in IT. There were 5 techs for every 50 jobs.
Now there are 50 Techs for every 5 jobs.

Find another shop. Check around Bellevue!
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by crossroads »

Thanks to everyone here for your comments. I'm tempted to replace the keyboard myself given the links and advice offered. There are many reasons for keeping an old computer/laptop alive, same as an old reliable truck. Yet, no matter how well you take care of either one, eventually both will reach the end of its life. Nice to know that Linux Mint lives in such a dynamic and diverse community. I won't be surprised to learn when I'm in my nineties that Linux is a part of a house that people live in to migrate to another planet. When that day happens, I'll look over at that dilapidated hulk of my old truck, knowing this old laptop is resting on the front seat, and smile ... wondering whom among you had a hand in making that miracle happen. :wink:
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by coffee412 »

Hello,

I run a small company down in Northern Indiana. I get repairs like this in all the time and have no problem with parts. I have been offering Linux Mint to my customers for a replacement for windows for some time now.

I dont know where you live or even close to me but I do repairs and installs at reasonable prices. Not the prices that I have seen qouted in this thread. Keyboards are actually not that expensive either. What normally happens is the latch for the keyboard ribbon cable breaks and needs to be repaired. Do it all the time.

So, If you are interested and near me I will help you out. www dot renuecomputers dot com

Take care and keep using linux!! :)

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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by scryan »

Beh.

I came here to defend the shop, and to say that its not an issue of willingness, they may simply not know HOW to work on linux.

But for a shop that replaces keyboards to not replace keyboards because the OS...
I would left, taken it back later and insisted for privacy they not boot, just change hardware. Don't give em power cord or battery :lol:

Reminds me of when I put a limited slip in my car, and needed an impact gun to remove the old ring gear from my old gear set. I didn't have one, and it was damn impressive how many shops it took to get someone to agree to hit 12 19mm bolts with an impact. The shop that finally did it looked at me like I was crazy for being so amazed they were willing. I mean, what automotive shop WOULDN'T loosen 12 easily accable bolts for money :lol:

I guess they are afraid when the fix it correctly you will be bad enough at computers that it wont work and they will have to stop everything and learn enough about some random operating system to prove its your fault not theirs... But its crazy places are so worried about covering their asses these days that they can't just turn a damn bolt.
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by ashbaby »

And what does opening up a dozen screws and replacing a keyboard have to do with 'knowing' or not knowing Linux? Its just harassment meted out because they know he is an advanced user and probably not a recurring one, cuz a> He is using a 10 year old laptop and managed to keep it good condition and b> He is using Mint which means they cant put in sneaky stuff into his computer to open up backdoors or even infect him once in a while to get him to come back.

This is lame, you defending the shop. Besides, some shops will just not touch an old laptop for the sake of it.
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by coffee412 »

If anything, It should put the bug in the shops ear to get started repairing and working with linux.

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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by Pierre »

coffee412 wrote:I run a small company down in Northern Indiana. I get repairs like this in all the time and have no problem with parts. I have been offering Linux Mint to my customers for a replacement for windows for some time now
and did you get any takers??.
:)
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by all41 »

Hi Pierre
and did you get any takers??.
I do. Especially XP users.
I just hand them my dual-boot laptop while I am repairing their Windows and let them play as they wish.
When they see the desktop and how quickly it loads it pretty well whets their appetite. When they connect to their wireless router
with a couple clicks they become VERY interested--and by the time I get their system straightened out they are
like Pavlov's dog.
Probably a dozen or more wanted it installed, and at least a couple of those are now using Mint only. (Yeah!)
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Re: Computer repair shop won't fix mine because I use Linux

Post by coffee412 »

Pierre wrote:
coffee412 wrote:I run a small company down in Northern Indiana. I get repairs like this in all the time and have no problem with parts. I have been offering Linux Mint to my customers for a replacement for windows for some time now
and did you get any takers??.
:)
Sure.

I have converted a lot of my customers to linux mint. Of course you have to size up your clients to make sure its a good fit. You cannot convert someone to linux if they use things like itunes, ipods, ipads, iphones because apple likes to keep them locked up. However, For clients wanting to cruise the web, get email and do some documents and spreadsheets, Video work its a great fit. The customer is extremely happy and then I offer remote support and I also get the sale for hardware upgrades, printers, scanners and such. The only issues I run into occationally is some wireless adaptors do not run well in linux. But those problems are overcome. I stock some wireless cards so I can replace them. Sometimes, Like in the case with Lenovo, They have a whitelist for wireless adaptors. So, You cannot replace those. You just set them up with a usb adaptor that works.

I provide complete support in my area for all flavors of linux and windows.

coffee
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