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Thread: Would it be safe to use my laptop?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Would it be safe to use my laptop?


    I've got a laptop with pretty good specs (Pentium 4, 30g hd, 256 ram). Its a VPR Matrix brand (translation -- Best Buy brand).

    The problem is its just killed its 4th ac adapter. After it killed the second adapter I got a new one under warranty. After the 3rd one I think they replaced the motherboard & battery (it came back looking extremely new anyways). Unfortunately about a month ago it killed its 4th ac adapter; I'm out of warranty & not going to buy another ac adapter so right now all i've got is whatever's left in the battery.

    I'm not sure exactly how it would ruin the ac adapters (maybe its drawing too much current -- maybe VPR didn't currently match their laptops to power supplies?), but it gets really hot on the bottom of the laptop, the end of the ac adapter that plugs into the laptop also gets very hot, and the back of the laptop where you plug in the power has a black/burnt color look to it.
    I can post pics later if its important.

    If I use this laptop as a Car PC, is there any possibilty that it could ***** up my car? I just bought an Acura TL and don't want to risk f'ing up the car cuz I used a bad laptop. Or is there any special connection (between car & laptop) that I should use to make this work without risk? On the other hand I'd love to be able to make some use of the laptop since it would save me a few hundred and right now its not being used.


  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate BiohazrD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Katy TX
    If its the AC-DC converter that came with your laptop, I would say your laptop is completely jacked.
    Quick! To the Popemobile!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Ya it is the ac-dc adapter that came with the laptop. The laptop (other than the power issue) still seems to work perfectly.

    I just read this on a site. Seems my laptop is a repackaged samsung p10 --
    The motherboard power input jack is a very poorly designed part. I haven't found a high quality exact replacement at this time. It might be necessary to replace the jack with a totally different, but much more common jack. This would require a new AC adapter connector be grafted to the adapter output lead and/or just replaced with different adapter.

    So it appears the power input just plain sucks on my machine.
    The other option I just thought of was gettting power thru where the battery resides.

  4. #4
    Raw Wave god_of_cpu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    SilverSpring Maryland
    As long as you use fuses and directly wire it to the battery, there shouldn't be much electrically that it could screw up in your car.

    Well as long as it doesn't overheat, start a fire, and burn the car itself down. Developer (I am Chuck)
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  5. #5
    MySQL Error MatrixPC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Beach City, Socal
    You don't want to risk a 1K+ laptop killing your 30K+ car right?

    If it already kill 4 AC adapter, it is drawing too much power and the adapter can't provide that much or something really wrong with the laptop (I assume not).
    I would brought it back to Best Buy and complain. They can said that it is out of warrantee. But that is the 4th time. So there is definitely something wrong with the design of the laptop and/or the adapter. I am glad that you didn't burn the house yet.
    If the laptop is a car, that's a lemon.
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  6. #6
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Does sound like a bad connection in the jack if the case is getting burnt. 1st try complaining and if that fails maybe try replacing the connector with something that can take a high current (remove the old socket fromt he board if you can) - this is a bit risky but worth a try if they wont replace it. Also after you have one it thoroughly test it by fully chaging a batery a few times while running programs etc in your house. If there are any more problems don't risk it. P4 lappys generally do get quite hot and the adapters can get very uncomfortable to hold but yours sounds excessive but it could be as the result of a bad connection or simply the laptop is pulling too much power and making the jack take too much current.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Thanks for all your help.

    I decided I'm not going to bother trying to use it. Changing the power connector probably isn't the effort (plus I don't have good solder skills). And I don't want to bother haggling with any customer service people.

    I think right now I'm going to use an old desktop pc I have; and once I get that up & running then I'll swap it for a mini-itx system (and reuse my dvd/cdrw drive & harddrive from my laptop). The rest of the laptop I think I'll part out & sell on ebay for whatever it can fetch.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    I have had MANY different laptops & I can tell you from experience that a p4 is a bad design in the first place for a laptop. the two main problems are #1 they use too much power & #2 they run VERY hot, to the point that I now have two different machines in my possesion with bad system boards just simply from overheating! a p4 laptop is really only good if you use it as a desktop, always on a flat hard surface to not impeade airflow, if you use it the way a laptop is generaly used (on your lap, on a car seat, on your bed, etc...) you will overheat it & eventually kill it! as far as your cooking 4 power supplies, are you using ANY periferals or drives attached to this system that is drawing power from the laptop itself? this could be a problem, if it's cooking your power supplies just by suppling the laptop itself then the power supplies themself are inadiquate for it, have you tried instead of getting the stock replacement 4 times & cooking all of them, you can find a power supply that puts out more amperage than the stock one is rated, if you go big enough this WILL solve your problem.

    to use that p4 laptop in your car is feasable, BUT you MUST consider the overheating problem mentioned above in your install design, & realize the high power draw requirements of that system, although pretty high for a laptop, it is still lower than most desktop designs & if your frustrated enough with it to part it out, then it sounds like a good candidate for an in car install..........especially if your on a budget.........

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