• Norm McLaughlin

Laptop Repairs in Brisbane: Also Fun


laptop repairs brisbane
Laptop CPU fan replacement

In my last post I talked about computer repairs in Brisbane. This time I’d like to talk more specifically about laptop repairs. Norm’s Computer Services provides laptop repairs in Brisbane, Logan and the Redlands for all sorts of laptop computers. These include Windows laptop repairs and Apple MacBook repairs, both for MacBook Pro's and MacBook Airs.


Most computer repairs can be categorised as either a software repair or a hardware repair. In the case of laptops, I would add a third category, which I would define as mechanical repairs. These would be the sort of repair you require if your laptop has started to physically fall apart, or has some other mechanical defect. In such cases, the laptop may in fact still be functioning normally.


In order to clarify the types of laptop repairs I provide, I’d like to describe some of the laptop repair jobs I’ve completed recently in a number of local suburbs. Norm’s Computer Services offers laptop repairs in quite a wide range of suburbs in Brisbane and throughout Logan City and the Redlands.


No WiFi on MacBook


I was contacted earlier this year by Karley in Mount Cotton. She had lost WiFi connectivity on her ageing MacBook. There was an X in the centre of the WiFi icon at the top of the screen, and clicking on the icon resulted in the message WiFi: No hardware installed.


It was clear to me from the outset that, in all probability, the computer’s WiFi hardware had failed and that this would not be something which could be readily repaired. Many laptops have a small WiFi card which is connected to the system board, and replacing this card is extremely straightforward. The difficulty with any older laptop is that it may not be possible to readily procure a replacement part.


I carried out a number of troubleshooting steps on Karley’s MacBook, and confirmed that the WiFi hardware had indeed failed. In this case the most straightforward resolution for the issue was to recommend the purchase of a USB WiFi adapter. Such an adapter provides WiFi functionality simply by being plugged into a USB port on the computer.


A more recent client in Carbrook had a similar issue. In his case he had a fairly new Lenovo laptop which was regularly losing its WiFi connectivity. The first step in such a scenario is normally to update the device driver. I reinstalled the WiFi driver, but to no avail as the problem persisted.


We decided to erase everything from the laptop, since my client hadn’t stored anything on it which he required. I cleaned the hard drive and reinstalled Windows 10. Unfortunately, the WiFi problem persisted and I was able to confirm that it was a hardware issue. Since the laptop was still under warranty, I didn’t want to disassemble it to replace the WiFi card. The client was happy to use a USB WiFi adapter in the meantime and, as a result, I had his WiFi connectivity up and running within a few minutes.


Data Retrieval


When anyone’s computer fails, and can no longer be started, they are often most concerned about loss of the files stored on the computer. The good news is that, in the vast majority of cases, the contents of a computer’s hard drive will still be intact after a system board or power supply failure. This applies to both desktop computers and laptops.


I’m regularly called upon to retrieve clients’ files from computers which have failed. It’s always a relief for a client when I’ve removed the hard drive, installed it in an enclosure, connected it via USB to another computer, and been able to confirm that all the files are still accessible.


I was recently able to assist Monique in Ormiston with data retrieval from her MacBook, and also Sue in Springwood who had an HP laptop which had failed. In both cases I installed their hard drive into a USB enclosure and left this with them so that they could access the files at any later time by connecting to a USB port on another computer.


Microsoft Office Issues


MS Office issues can occur on any sort of computer. I was recently contacted by Julieanne in Carbrook who was having difficulties when using Microsoft 365 on her MacBook Air. She’d been working on a Word document, had somehow lost all her work, and discovered that AutoSave hadn’t been working. As a result, she was having to start all over again. However, she was finding that when she tried to switch AutoSave on, she was unable to do so.


As it happens, the AutoSave feature in Microsoft Word will turn on automatically when saving documents to Microsoft OneDrive. In Julieanne’s case, the feature wasn’t working correctly, but I was able to provide her with a solution.


A client in Thornlands contacted me because she was no longer able to open Microsoft Word documents on her laptop. I was able to resolve this one simply by running a Quick Repair on the MS Office 365 installation.


I’d been able to assist this particular client previously with a completely different issue. She was using a rather old laptop which didn’t have Bluetooth functionality, and she wanted to be able to listen to her music from Spotify using a Bluetooth speaker. I was able to install a Bluetooth USB adapter for her, which implemented the required functionality on her laptop. As a result, she was able to connect her laptop to the Bluetooth speaker.


Reinstallation of Operating System


One of my most regular activities is the reinstallation of either Microsoft Windows or the macOS. This can be necessary if some corruption of the existing operating system has occurred or, more often, after installation of a new hard drive or Solid State Drive (SSD).


Alan in Rochedale South had a laptop which had become stuck in a loop whilst trying to repair itself. Unfortunately, after exhausting the other options, the only alternative was to reinstall Windows 10. Fortunately, it’s possible to do this without the loss of any user files or data.


Ranjit in Salisbury had inherited an HP Workstation laptop from his workplace. It had previously been running Windows 7 and he simply wanted to wipe it clean and start again with Windows 10. This was a straightforward operation, and I was able to activate his new Windows 10 Pro installation using the existing Windows 7 license key.


Alex in Gordon Park had purchased a used MacBook Pro. He was logging in using the previous owner’s log-in but the computer was cluttered and displaying frequent irritating pop-ups. I erased the MacBook’s hard drive and installed macOS Big Sur, the latest Mac operating system. As a result, the computer behaved like a brand new machine.


Trish in Underwood had resurrected an old Asus laptop but didn’t know the password required to log in. It would have been straightforward enough to assist her to regain access to the laptop, but we opted for a fresh start. This meant erasing the hard drive and reinstalling Windows 10. Once again, this meant she would be using a laptop which behaved like a brand new computer following the installation.


A Few Other Laptop Issues


Grant in Crestmead had a Lenovo laptop on which the touchpad appeared to be behaving strangely. The cursor would spontaneously move to one corner of the screen, and Grant wondered if the issue could have something to do with dust or debris around the touchpad. As soon as I observed the issue, I recognised that it had a different cause. The touchscreen was misbehaving and the problem was readily resolved by disabling the touchscreen. This was a perfectly satisfactory solution for Grant as they weren’t using the touchscreen on the laptop. The only alternative would have been to replace the touchscreen, a much more expensive repair.


To list but a few more, I’ve also recently assisted the following clients with their laptops –

  • Neil in Wishart was locked out of his laptop after forgetting his PIN

  • David in Durack was unable to activate Microsoft 365 on his Microsoft Surface Pro as he’d forgotten his password

  • Kath in Rochedale needed a new system board for her dead MacBook

  • Dean in Tanah Merah had a noisy CPU fan on his HP Pavilion laptop which needed to be replaced


All Sorts of Issues


Hopefully this post has given you a good idea of some of the types of laptop repair issues addressed by Norm’s Computer Services in Brisbane. I’ve described just a few recent examples of both hardware and software repairs of laptops. You may recall I also mentioned mechanical repairs at the beginning of this post. This is the one type of laptop repair I don’t normally address. So if your laptop is coming apart, or has a problem with its hinges, or it’s a touchscreen laptop which needs a new screen, you’re probably best to look elsewhere.


Other than mechanical repairs, for all sorts of hardware and software related laptop repairs in Brisbane, Logan or the Redlands, don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m here to help.

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