Questions

How does smoking disable a Laptop?

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How does smoking disable a Laptop?

ronaldv73
I have a 2008 HP dv6000 Laptop purchased from Sam's Club with an Extended 3 year Warranty with N.E.W. expires May 2012, covers all Parts & Labor or Replacement of near Value, recently I did a complete defrag running while I was at work, got home done, checked emails, shut it down, next morning my son (29) sends me a text at work saying my laptop is turning on then right back off again while closed! told him to hold down the button until it stops, got home, turned it on and the same thing happened, called support on the warranty, they (MicroMedicsInc.com) sent me a box, over a week passed, I emailed them. they said they had to send pictures to N.E.W., they said it was non-repairable due to smoke damage from cigarettes, Warranty wouldn't cover it! No Repair, No Replacement, not even a fair deal, I'm out $800, they said it was in the Warranty but I seen nothing as I used a magnafine glass 3 times, How does smoking hurt a laptop? I'm only one person with a ventilated room and I'm not lifting it up blowing smoke into the little fan and I may only use it an hour a day or 2 at best, sounds like I may have to contact the ATTORNEY GENERAL's office on this.
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    seanferd

    It probably flat-out states that smoking around the equipment voids the warranty.

    While the tar precipitated on the electronics may not be the cause of the problem, the vendor can probably decline to service a unit exposed to cigarette smoke with impunity. Apple, for one, does. Partially because they also don't want to expose the service techs to the tar.

    Smoke certainly can damage electronics and foul connections and optical lenses. You can have an independent repair shop have a look at it to determine what the problem is, an whether it actually had anything possibly due to smoke. But Sam's and its subcontractors probably have the right to refuse to service the unit. They certainly do if this limitation is noted in any of warranty or other papers to which you signed agreement when purchasing the unit and servicing contract.

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    ronaldv73

    I have read the Warranty 5+ times and with a magnify glass and there is no mention of any smoke damage other than by fire, in today's world with money being so tight, all anyone wants to do is sell, get the money now and we will deal with problems later, don't need to be questioned when buying electronic's but for the purchase of an extended warranty as I did (3 yr) for a computer there should be question to rather there are smokers using the product, if so then they shouldn't be able to purchase it or be sold to, the Warranty is available at any Sam's Club and easy to read, I referred it to the Attorney General's Office for clarification as my service/replacement contract doesn't expire until May 2012 and they want to do nothing leaving me at a $800 loss.

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    seanferd

    Yes, this is one of the legal issues surrounding the legal viability of EULAs, TOS, and hidden rules that companies implement and then inform you of after the fact.

    If there is nothing in the contract about cigarette smoke, you can try pressing the issue. But as general advice, it is best not to smoke around your electronics. The more modern the electronics, the more susceptible they are to failing due to pollutants in the air. And, yes, anyone selling you a service contract should make it entirely clear that such exposure will void a warranty. (Don't smoke around your computer, or keep it in a kitchen, etc.) General computer use tips should also include this fact, and it is likely included in the generic operating instructions at the start of some manuals, at least.

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    We used to smoke. Fortunately, we do all our own computer work but I'll be honest, have you ever seen the inside of a machine that belongs to a smoker? Ewwwwww....it's quite icky to look at. Everything is all black from the tar and chemicals from the cigarettes...and no, I didn't sit on top of my computer either and **** smoke into it. Smoke lays in the air and it doesn't take much for it to get sucked into a pc and then get all clogged up with the smoke and residue that comes from smoking.

    So yes, computer companies are well within their rights to refuse to work on computers that come from a smoker's environment. They are a hazzard to the tech's health.

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    Slayer_

    Got pictures of this?

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    ronaldv73

    That's fine, I'm glad to some point that Michigan now has a Smoking Ban, I personally smoke little cigars (they go out at will) and haven't touched a cigarette for 7 years, wife smoked the same and I couldn't be around her when she was smoking now a non-smoker, my switch cut my habit by more than half, as for the warranty I purchased, No Mention of Cigarette Smoke only Fire damage, my room is well ventalated plus I have an air purifier/ionizer & special filters with my furnance.

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    seanferd

    http://www.squidoo.com/cigarette-smoke-computer-damage I'm sure there are more extreme examples available.

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    Slayer_

    Wow, I showed those around the office.
    I can only imagine what Casino machines look like...

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    ya know, the really bad thing about it is, i've seen worse than what's in that picture up close and personal...it's disgusting...

    On another note: now, i may not be the best housekeeper in the world, but I don't do too shabby a job either...it surprises me how bad some things in our house still smell 14 months after Darryl and I quit smoking...it's awful!

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    Time for painting the house then PurpleSkys, it gets rid of the smell. Though it is better to do a full house clean before hand with paint stripper. :)

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    PT...we were more thinking of just buying a new house (well, new to us). The place does need a good cleaning and when we get to the moving part, I'll have to give it a good go...I recently gave the bathroom and kitchen a good scrub down, now I just have to get to the bedrooms and the livingroom...I'm thinking our bedroom won't get a good teardown until we actually move everything out of our room; waterbeds don't tear down and put back up to easily

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    bradhansen

    Should make you think about the dangers of second-hand smoke. But the big problem with smoking and PCs (from the PCs I've seen), is that the tar is sticky. That shouldn't be a surprise. And laptops run hotter than desktops, due to all the components being packed in tighter. So there's more air being pulled in (and therefore more smoke/tar). And with those small clearances, the dust piles up on the sticky tar and causes local overheating, and in some cases even short-circuiting.

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    robo_dev

    So if you add a nice sticky tar film on everything, the dust is going to get glued on there.

    I've seen computers used by those who are 'housekeeping challenged' who have multiple pets, and it's a miracle the computer even works. Some of the old computers used air-intake filters, and this would make sooo much sense.

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    jeh_it

    That may be because years ago, HVAC filters would not have been as efficient as they are now.
    How long a machine survives under abuse may have something to do with the quality of the hardware.

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    frank-cox

    If the warranty does not expressly state that smoking voids it Sam's is wrong.
    Good luck getting anything back. Sam Walton died along with his policy of just paying the claims his employees said were just and that policy has been replaced with a policy of fighting claims even when video evidence makes it clear they were at fault.
    Buying a computer from any huge retailer is a bad idea, you may get a better price but odd are you will also get a "custom" version, a downgrade in the fan , the heat sink ,power supply etc. They have the power to demand the best quality parts but what they end up demanding is low price period. If you buy from a place like Dell tell them it is a business computer and you get a better machine for about the same money.
    As a tech I would not blame them for including that clause but as a businessman I would also give them a discount. In other words if I chose not to work on machines that were smoked around I would make that clear upfront and allow them to opt out of the warranty at time of purchase.
    Personally I would put in a clause that if it was dirty enough for any reason that I had to clean it that would be an additional charge and if I believed the smoke or whatever fouled it caused the failure it would void the warranty on that particular failure.
    I have had a few machines come in that were really fouled by cigarette smoke but much more often I have the problem of people leaving their desktops on the floor which is a disaster.
    It has been more than a decade since I smoked so I am sensitive to it but people who are angry and act like it is a major and very common problem with laptops in particular I find a bit disingenuous. I can't recall more than a few lappies that have been overly fouled by cigarettes.
    Take the machine to a well recommended tech and don't mention the problem with Sam's , see if they have a problem , I really doubt it.

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    moondookie

    anything that belongs to a smoker is gross,
    including but not limited to the inside of their body..LOL
    I smoked for 6 years and when i quit it took many cleaning sessions to get that **** off the walls of my home

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    Nunob

    My two cents is to get your laptop back contact HP and ask them for a resolution to the problem. I suspect they are less likely to want their name tarnished than the folks at Sam's Club. You will likely have to invest a significant amount of time calling and asking to be escalated up to tier 2 or 3 and sending e-mails but in the end you may get a resolution to your problem. Also I would request pictures from the other place and as much information as you can gather just in case you need it for litigation or to protect yourself from litigation. I wish you the best of luck.

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    CG IT

    Tar and cigarette smoke?

    What's the consumer gonna do? go back to Sams Club or HP and say "Those guys at TechRepublic said this?" so Sams Club or HP would fix his laptop or desktop?

    Gimme a break.

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    DPeek

    Its been said but tar is sticky. I smoke a pipe but never in the home. I have had to service machines that were around smokers. One set of machines belonged to a group that smoked indoors in the US. The other belonged to a Japanese company. They kept the machine in a room reserved for smoking. In both cases both areas were very well ventilated. It. doesnt. matter. Tar gets sucked in by the machine (even though no one is blowing smoke into it), and stuck to the MB and internal components. Then dust gets stuck to the tar, then more tar to the dust, and by now youve got the idea.

    One thing that no one has mentioned is that in addition to the possibility of frying the cooling capability of the machine (which will surely fry the rest of it in short order)... Is that all that "wet" dust stuck to electrical components can pose a short problem. Short the wrong contacts on a hot MB... and youve got a new doorstop.

    Bottom line is, dont smoke around anything you dont want destroyed. That includes desktops, portables, and offspring.

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    1 Votes
    seanferd

    It probably flat-out states that smoking around the equipment voids the warranty.

    While the tar precipitated on the electronics may not be the cause of the problem, the vendor can probably decline to service a unit exposed to cigarette smoke with impunity. Apple, for one, does. Partially because they also don't want to expose the service techs to the tar.

    Smoke certainly can damage electronics and foul connections and optical lenses. You can have an independent repair shop have a look at it to determine what the problem is, an whether it actually had anything possibly due to smoke. But Sam's and its subcontractors probably have the right to refuse to service the unit. They certainly do if this limitation is noted in any of warranty or other papers to which you signed agreement when purchasing the unit and servicing contract.

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    0 Votes
    ronaldv73

    I have read the Warranty 5+ times and with a magnify glass and there is no mention of any smoke damage other than by fire, in today's world with money being so tight, all anyone wants to do is sell, get the money now and we will deal with problems later, don't need to be questioned when buying electronic's but for the purchase of an extended warranty as I did (3 yr) for a computer there should be question to rather there are smokers using the product, if so then they shouldn't be able to purchase it or be sold to, the Warranty is available at any Sam's Club and easy to read, I referred it to the Attorney General's Office for clarification as my service/replacement contract doesn't expire until May 2012 and they want to do nothing leaving me at a $800 loss.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Yes, this is one of the legal issues surrounding the legal viability of EULAs, TOS, and hidden rules that companies implement and then inform you of after the fact.

    If there is nothing in the contract about cigarette smoke, you can try pressing the issue. But as general advice, it is best not to smoke around your electronics. The more modern the electronics, the more susceptible they are to failing due to pollutants in the air. And, yes, anyone selling you a service contract should make it entirely clear that such exposure will void a warranty. (Don't smoke around your computer, or keep it in a kitchen, etc.) General computer use tips should also include this fact, and it is likely included in the generic operating instructions at the start of some manuals, at least.

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    0 Votes
    PurpleSkys Moderator

    We used to smoke. Fortunately, we do all our own computer work but I'll be honest, have you ever seen the inside of a machine that belongs to a smoker? Ewwwwww....it's quite icky to look at. Everything is all black from the tar and chemicals from the cigarettes...and no, I didn't sit on top of my computer either and **** smoke into it. Smoke lays in the air and it doesn't take much for it to get sucked into a pc and then get all clogged up with the smoke and residue that comes from smoking.

    So yes, computer companies are well within their rights to refuse to work on computers that come from a smoker's environment. They are a hazzard to the tech's health.

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    Slayer_

    Got pictures of this?

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    ronaldv73

    That's fine, I'm glad to some point that Michigan now has a Smoking Ban, I personally smoke little cigars (they go out at will) and haven't touched a cigarette for 7 years, wife smoked the same and I couldn't be around her when she was smoking now a non-smoker, my switch cut my habit by more than half, as for the warranty I purchased, No Mention of Cigarette Smoke only Fire damage, my room is well ventalated plus I have an air purifier/ionizer & special filters with my furnance.

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    0 Votes
    seanferd

    http://www.squidoo.com/cigarette-smoke-computer-damage I'm sure there are more extreme examples available.

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    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Wow, I showed those around the office.
    I can only imagine what Casino machines look like...

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    0 Votes
    PurpleSkys Moderator

    ya know, the really bad thing about it is, i've seen worse than what's in that picture up close and personal...it's disgusting...

    On another note: now, i may not be the best housekeeper in the world, but I don't do too shabby a job either...it surprises me how bad some things in our house still smell 14 months after Darryl and I quit smoking...it's awful!

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    0 Votes

    Time for painting the house then PurpleSkys, it gets rid of the smell. Though it is better to do a full house clean before hand with paint stripper. :)

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    0 Votes
    PurpleSkys Moderator

    PT...we were more thinking of just buying a new house (well, new to us). The place does need a good cleaning and when we get to the moving part, I'll have to give it a good go...I recently gave the bathroom and kitchen a good scrub down, now I just have to get to the bedrooms and the livingroom...I'm thinking our bedroom won't get a good teardown until we actually move everything out of our room; waterbeds don't tear down and put back up to easily

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    0 Votes
    bradhansen

    Should make you think about the dangers of second-hand smoke. But the big problem with smoking and PCs (from the PCs I've seen), is that the tar is sticky. That shouldn't be a surprise. And laptops run hotter than desktops, due to all the components being packed in tighter. So there's more air being pulled in (and therefore more smoke/tar). And with those small clearances, the dust piles up on the sticky tar and causes local overheating, and in some cases even short-circuiting.

    +
    0 Votes
    robo_dev

    So if you add a nice sticky tar film on everything, the dust is going to get glued on there.

    I've seen computers used by those who are 'housekeeping challenged' who have multiple pets, and it's a miracle the computer even works. Some of the old computers used air-intake filters, and this would make sooo much sense.

    +
    0 Votes
    jeh_it

    That may be because years ago, HVAC filters would not have been as efficient as they are now.
    How long a machine survives under abuse may have something to do with the quality of the hardware.

    +
    3 Votes
    frank-cox

    If the warranty does not expressly state that smoking voids it Sam's is wrong.
    Good luck getting anything back. Sam Walton died along with his policy of just paying the claims his employees said were just and that policy has been replaced with a policy of fighting claims even when video evidence makes it clear they were at fault.
    Buying a computer from any huge retailer is a bad idea, you may get a better price but odd are you will also get a "custom" version, a downgrade in the fan , the heat sink ,power supply etc. They have the power to demand the best quality parts but what they end up demanding is low price period. If you buy from a place like Dell tell them it is a business computer and you get a better machine for about the same money.
    As a tech I would not blame them for including that clause but as a businessman I would also give them a discount. In other words if I chose not to work on machines that were smoked around I would make that clear upfront and allow them to opt out of the warranty at time of purchase.
    Personally I would put in a clause that if it was dirty enough for any reason that I had to clean it that would be an additional charge and if I believed the smoke or whatever fouled it caused the failure it would void the warranty on that particular failure.
    I have had a few machines come in that were really fouled by cigarette smoke but much more often I have the problem of people leaving their desktops on the floor which is a disaster.
    It has been more than a decade since I smoked so I am sensitive to it but people who are angry and act like it is a major and very common problem with laptops in particular I find a bit disingenuous. I can't recall more than a few lappies that have been overly fouled by cigarettes.
    Take the machine to a well recommended tech and don't mention the problem with Sam's , see if they have a problem , I really doubt it.

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    0 Votes
    moondookie

    anything that belongs to a smoker is gross,
    including but not limited to the inside of their body..LOL
    I smoked for 6 years and when i quit it took many cleaning sessions to get that **** off the walls of my home

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    1 Votes
    Nunob

    My two cents is to get your laptop back contact HP and ask them for a resolution to the problem. I suspect they are less likely to want their name tarnished than the folks at Sam's Club. You will likely have to invest a significant amount of time calling and asking to be escalated up to tier 2 or 3 and sending e-mails but in the end you may get a resolution to your problem. Also I would request pictures from the other place and as much information as you can gather just in case you need it for litigation or to protect yourself from litigation. I wish you the best of luck.

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    0 Votes
    CG IT

    Tar and cigarette smoke?

    What's the consumer gonna do? go back to Sams Club or HP and say "Those guys at TechRepublic said this?" so Sams Club or HP would fix his laptop or desktop?

    Gimme a break.

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    0 Votes
    DPeek

    Its been said but tar is sticky. I smoke a pipe but never in the home. I have had to service machines that were around smokers. One set of machines belonged to a group that smoked indoors in the US. The other belonged to a Japanese company. They kept the machine in a room reserved for smoking. In both cases both areas were very well ventilated. It. doesnt. matter. Tar gets sucked in by the machine (even though no one is blowing smoke into it), and stuck to the MB and internal components. Then dust gets stuck to the tar, then more tar to the dust, and by now youve got the idea.

    One thing that no one has mentioned is that in addition to the possibility of frying the cooling capability of the machine (which will surely fry the rest of it in short order)... Is that all that "wet" dust stuck to electrical components can pose a short problem. Short the wrong contacts on a hot MB... and youve got a new doorstop.

    Bottom line is, dont smoke around anything you dont want destroyed. That includes desktops, portables, and offspring.