We Nickel and Dime You to Death 

Tech Support Expert - 5 Cents
Posted by: Mark Nichols

19 Sep 2011

Do you have a technical question you need answered? You could try to submit a request for help on a tech support website. Heres an example question and conversation you might have:


[11 Aug 2011, 8 AM] DimeBrother: When I turn on my laptop all I get is a black screen no other text appears. What could be wrong? Ive checked all the other solutions on this site but they dont apply to my case.


[11 Aug 2011, 11 AM] SuperAwesomeUser: What is your operating system and computer specs?


[11 Aug 2011, 2 PM] DimeBrother: Its Vista, HP tx2510us with 3 gigs of RAM and a 250 GB hard drive. Heres a link to the specs.


[13 Aug 2011, 2 AM] AplusHelper: Whats the processor and graphics card info?


[13 Aug 2011, 10 AM] DimeBrother: I provided a link to the specs, but heres the info: 2.10 GHz AMD Turion X2 RM-70 Dual-Core Mobile Processor, and the graphics are ATI Radeon HD 3200.


[17 Aug 2011, 4 AM] AplusHelper: Is your laptop plugged in or on battery power?


[17 Aug 2011, 9 AM] DimeBrother: Ive got the laptop plugged in and at full power. There is no issue with the battery or cord or anything.


[20 Aug 2011, 3 AM] AplusHelper: Youre going to have to get that looked at.


[20 Aug 2011, 8 AM] DimeBrother: So I guess the graphics card question was just small talk?


[27 Aug 2011, 8 AM] DimeBrother: I thought this tech forum would be able to help me a little. Heres what I now know:


- Ive checked the RAM - reseated it, tried different slots, etc. Its fine.

- I dont have a heat sink issue - my fan is in good working order and I just cleaned out the entire system.

- Lets assume my screen works; its just at startup the system isnt even loading BIOS before leaving flashing lights glaring at me. If it was just a screen issue Id hear the computer get to a login screen.

- Its probably not the integrated graphics, because Id hear my computer still starting up, right, similar to the screen issue?

- I now understand about BIOS and beep codes at startup, except my laptop is too old to have codes that make any sense. Ive replaced the BIOS battery, which doesnt seem to be a problem.

- Is there a way to update BIOS when I cant access my system? Any other thoughts out there? So is it time for a new motherboard?


[4 Sep 2011, 1 AM] DimeBrother: I replaced my motherboard. Now the system works fine.


[14 Sep 2011, 2 PM] DimeBrother: Now my touchpad isnt working. The ribbon cable that connects the touchpad to the motherboard is fine. Ive also updated the drivers. Any other thoughts?


[21 Sep 2011, 9 PM] DimeBrother: Of course not.


As you can see, seeking out tech support help is a great way to become an autodidact.


© 2011 Dime Brothers
Category: Pet Peeves    

Reader Comments:

Also why HP is failing.

I assume they're failing.

Funny how the little things seem to matter. Else your business goes out of business. I'm looking at you, Borders.

Speaking of which, Netflix became streaming eligible in Mexico a week ago, but with 1/1000th the content they offer in the States. Not that they communicated that tidbit.

I'm trying to follow one of these tech support questions down the rabbit hole at work. I'll let you know how this turns out in a couple months (if I remember), but initial suggestions indicate this could be a whopper of an e-mail trail. I'm 2 months and 2 agencies in, and still no further than when I began. Someone on the other side wants to prevent me from saving folks tens of thousands of dollars and improving the morale of thousands of people.
19 Sep 2011
It should be mentioned...
This scenario above isn't specific to one case, but an amalgamation of recent experience with tech support people. My experience with tech support has generally been very frustrating.
20 Sep 2011

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