This is -- hopefully -- the final chapter in the Saga of the Laptop. I shipped the old laptop, Mt. Terror, up to Coppertop so she could use it while traveling. It made it through the shipment process, and worked in the airport, but she had to run to make a connection and the extra bouncing was too much for it. By the time she got to her hotel room, the display had died and stubbornly refused to come back.
So, after the trip, she took it to her local CompUSA. They diagnosed the problem within 15 minutes (compared to the several days at mine): the motherboard had cracked near the power switch. Someone had tried to glue it back together, but the crack was spreading and that's why the video had gone out. So, Mt. Terror will now be relegated to non-portable duties. In fact, it'll probably become a Linux web server eventually.
In the meantime, I'm wondering about a number of things.
First, how did HP manage to design a laptop computer that had a motherboard with poor enough mechanical support that it could crack in ordinary use? I was fairly gentle with that machine.
Second, how did my local CompUSA manage to diddle around for several days, on two different occasions, and miss something as obvious as a cracked motherboard? Or, if they were the ones who glued the motherboard back together, why didn't they tell me that's what they did instead of saying it "just worked" when they turned it on?
And finally, who glued the motherboard? There are only three possibilities: HP when they manufactured it, MicroCenter where I bought it, or CompUSA where I took it when it was failing. And none of those possibilities makes a whole lot of sense.