An Option

The part that broke is called an LCD Mask, Toshiba part number P000388420. I did a Google Search for it and the prices are around $180 ± $50. This, as it turns out, is very close to the “official” price from Nation Parts Depot (Toshiba’s parts vendor) of $172.22.

For fun, I decided to check on eBay. Low and behold, I found an auction for the exact part I’m looking for. Even better, it would only be about $60 with shipping, as of now. But seriously, how often do these buggers break? Methinks not that often.

Despite the fact I would have to spend 60 of my hard earned dollars, it would still be cheaper then driving down to Lone Tree and back, and paying the $75 express fee to get them to look at my laptop now…instead of in 10 days or whatever.

I’m going to check with Toshiba directly to see if they’ll just send me the part if I send mine back.

Oh Crack

I’m at Ryan Goodwin’s house, doing my Statics homework like a good boy. I flip by screen around and ever so gently tap the pepper shaker and my screen cracks. Actually, it’s just the plastic on top of my screen that cracked. It’s still usable, but now it has a hairline crack going through one corner.

I called up my good friends at Central Telecom, down in Lone Tree, Colorado:

Bad news: They won’t be able to look at it until Monday at the earliest.
More bad news: They currently have a 10 day turn-around time.
Maybe good news: Toshiba should cover it.
Good news: It stills functions just perfectly. I just have a hairline crack in it.

Here we go again.

Computer Down:Part XIII – The End of the Saga

I was finally able to get my Tablet back up and running yesterday, although I’m still loading all those little programs I need. Thanks to everyone who commented and the people at MCS for getting fixed so fast. Let’s not do this again, please?

Computer Down: Part XII – One Week Later

It’s been an entire week since my computer when kaput. What has changed? Not a whole lot. Life still goes on. I don’t blog as much and I don’t upload as many pictures. I’m not also checking my email as much, perhaps only 3 or 4 times a day. I’m also not on IM very often, perhaps once every couple days and only for a few minutes. Programming has been a bit on the slow side, but I got what I needed to get done, mainly thisBoard.

I’m giving up on trying to find a compatible USB DVD Drive and just waiting until I get back home. But I’ll be happy once I get my tablet up and running again.

Computer Down: Part XI – The Search is On

I returned the HP to Costco and went to CompUSA to see what they had. I picked up their in-house brand and brought it home to try it. And it didn’t work, as in the PSU was fried. Ugh. So I trucked all the way back to CompUSA and exchanged it. This time I brought my Tablet and and a car inverter so I could just try it out in the car.

The exchange was simple and I spent 10 minutes in the car trying to make the bloody thing boot from BIOS. Still no luck. So I returned it and picked up a Dynex brand CDRW/DVD-ROM Drive. Still no luck.

At this point, I think it’s just going to be easier to wait until I get back to Colorado unless anyone in the Greater Seattle Area has a drive that knows for a fact will work with a Toshiba M200.

Computer Down: Part X – The Recovery

Now starts the fun part. Picked up my tablet and now I have to install Windows XP Tablet PC Editition on it. Fun part is, the M200 doesn’t have a DVD drive built it and in all my infinite wisdom, I left my drive back in Colorado because I didn’t think I would need it.

So I stopped by Costco on the way back home and picked up a HP DVD Writer dvd740e to use. And it doesn’t work. Well, it works…it just doesn’t want to be bootale in BIOS. I’m going to return it tomorrow.

Computer Down: Part VIII – “Succesfully Diagnosed”

From the Inboxen™ of Andrew Ferguson:

Your Toshiba with serial # ********* has been succesfully diagnosed by J***** on 1/5/2006. We will contact you once the job is completed or if we need any additional information to finish the repair. The rest of the repair process is now dependant upon part availability and the time it may take to complete the repair. Your repair will be completed as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Please do not respond to this E-Mail. You will be notified if we need any additional info or when your repair is complete.

Thank You,

Micro Computer Systems
Service Department Team

Nice of them to send me an email, although I’m not quite sure why takes so long for them to figure out what was going on. I told them that my hard drive had crashed and that it wouldn’t spin up. They’re not equipped to diagnose anything beyond that. They even asked for my Windows password to which I replied, “You’re not going to need it.” Not that I would have given it to them anyway, I would rather drive up and type it in every time they wanted it.

In any event, I was previously told that Toshiba would overnight the part once they knew what was wrong. Hopefully the part will be in tomorrow and I can pick it up and get back to my normal life…whatever that is.

Computer Down: Part VII – Day 4

…if you count Sunday, otherwise Day 3; unless you don’t count Monday because it was a holiday and then it would really only be Day 2.

In any event, I called MCS just after lunch to see if they had an update on my tablet. And they don’t, just to say that they haven’t even gotten to it yet (which also means they haven’t even ordered the part yet). They are supposed to get to it by the end of the day. The part may come in tomorrow, but I probably won’t get it back until Friday (that’s my guess at least).

In the meantime, feel free to send me email, but your best bet to get a hold of me will be cell phone. I also won’t be on IM.

[tags]Toshiba, m200, tablet pc, repair[/tags]

Computer Down: VI – Cross Me and You Will Pay

Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc.
Computer Systems Division
9740 Irvine Boulevard
Irvine, CA 92618-1697

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing to express my concern over a recent and unpleasant experience I had while dealing with Mura, a Customer Relations representative at Toshiba. The Case Reference Number is 1-295858363. My name is Andrew Ferguson and the call occurred on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006 at approximately 9:30 am Pacific Time:

The Sunday prior to my call, my Toshiba Portege M200 suffered what I believe to have been a “head crash,” where the read/write head of the hard drive physically crashes into the disc platter, causing the drive to lock up and become completely useless. Fortunately, I had made backups of my critical data and my laptop was still under warranty. I called Toshiba that night and was told that I could either send my laptop in for repair or take it to one of the local repair shops. I opted to take my laptop to a repair shop because I believe that it would be a faster turn around time.
Monday was a Federal Holiday, so on Tuesday, I drove up north to Micro Computer Systems, Inc., a certified Toshiba Repair Center. I asked them about what could be done and if they might be able to recover any more of the data on my hard drive. They said that data recover was not covered under warranty and it would cost about $1000 to recover the data. I then asked if I might be able to keep the hard drive so I could personally try and recover the data. Micro Computer Systems said that they were required to send my old hard drive back to Toshiba.

At this point I made another call to Toshiba Customer Relations, asking if might be able to keep my old hard drive for two days after I received my new one so that I could try and recover the data myself. The first woman I talked with indicated that she did not think this was possible, however she offered to elevate me to a level 2 Customer Relations person.

After talking to Mura, the Level 2 person, for some time, it was clear she was very adamant that nothing could be done. I asked if there was someone else I could speak to or if I could have my case elevated to the next level. Mura retorted that there was no one else to speak I could speak with and that in order to elevate my case to the next letter, I would have to write a letter. I then asked if Mura was in customer service or technical support. Before I could finish asking my question, Mura had interrupted to correct me, saying, “Customer Relations.”

I paused a moment in disbelief that she had interrupted me mid-sentence and then restated my
question, “Are you in Customer Relations or Technical Support?”

Mura responds that it does not matter and if there is anything else she could do. I politely ask her again, “Are you in Customer Service or Technical Support?”

Again Mura interrupts to correct me, saying, “Customer Relations.”

I restate my question again, “Are you in Customer Relations or Technical Support?”

And then Mura hangs up. Not a single word, just ‘click’.

This left me very frustrated and confused. I sat in a state of shock for a few moments, then collected my thoughts and called back.

I was finally able to talk with someone who explained to me that it was an issue that Micro Computer Systems would have to deal with. It took over 45 minutes, but I had finally received an answer.

After I had gotten of the phone, I talked with a rep from an independent data recover agency and we agreed that since I had all my critical files, it would not make much sense to try and recover anything else. Micro Computer Systems agreed with this assessment and I turned over my laptop for repair.

This, however, does not resolve the absolute horrible way I was treated my Mura, an authorized representative of Toshiba. I have been a loyal Toshiba user for 6 years, purchasing 3 computers in total. Many friends and family members also consult me before purchasing a computer and I have always directed them towards Toshiba machines. Mura is not representative of the service and commitment that I have received from Toshiba in the past and I hope that it is not indicative of the service I can expect in the future. What will be done to remedy this situation?

Furthermore, while I understand and acknowledge that Toshiba is not responsible for my data, I believe that it is only fair that a user be provided an appropriate amount of time to attempt to transfer or recover data from the old hard drive to the new hard drive. Is this something Toshiba would consider offering in the future?

I look forward to reading your response.

Respectfully Yours,

[Andrew Ferguson] //signed//

Andrew Ferguson

[tags]Toshiba, customer service, customer relations, letter[/tags]