When you use the wrong adapter

  ee123 09:24 10 Mar 09
Locked

Friends of mine have just realised they've 'fried' their laptop by using an incompatible adapter. Voltage too high or polarity wrong or something. I know they bought the offending adapter at a well-known high street retailer, taking advice from the sales assistant and, they tell me, reading the instructions which said that the expensive, multi-head, adapter was suitable for their make of PC.

I'm annoyed and surprised that there appears to be no fail-safe mechanism built into this brand new PC laptop to prevent such serious accidental damage occurring. And why aren't there dire warnings prominently written on all accompanying leaflets?

  jack 09:32 10 Mar 09

If this is a 'New' Laptop - it should have come supplied with appropriate bits to make it work including power adapter.
So what sort of adapter were they using- and why?

Secondly it simply is not possible to take on board every sort of dumb thing folk will try.
The best advice is as always
'If does not say it on the tin' - Don't do it.

  oldbeefer2 09:36 10 Mar 09

Daft question, but if it's a 'brand new laptop', why did they need to buy an adaptor? That aside, this is the Helproom - perhaps your post would have been better in Consumerwatch?

  oldbeefer2 09:36 10 Mar 09

must type quicker!

  ee123 10:08 10 Mar 09

Their puppy chewed through cable of adapter it came with.

  jack 10:14 10 Mar 09

It is was only the puppy
Send it back as not fit for purpose and ask for as toothless one.

Seriously
A chewed cable can be repaired or even replaced.
I guess your friends need a brain transplant.

  Stuartli 10:24 10 Mar 09

Not necessarily with an adapter cable and, even then, would probably be cheaper to buy a new adapter.

  jack 10:52 10 Mar 09

We have no knowledge of course of the nature of the damage or whether it was the main or low power side.
So assuming the best scenario a chewed[severed] cable simply means trimming back and rejoining- by solder/connector block/ etc and taping up.
But all will be revealed one hopes - -time.

  Miké 10:58 10 Mar 09

Are you sure that the laptop is "fried" and that is is just not working because of an incorrect setting on the adapter?

  Stuartli 11:08 10 Mar 09

>>..simply means trimming back and rejoining- by solder/connector block/ etc and taping up.>>

Not the most elegant or sensible solution...:-)

  ee123 11:17 10 Mar 09

It's easy to be wise after the event and I think it's important for people who post on this forum to appreciate what it's like for older people who have never had or used a computer and have finally taken the plunge to get one because they realise that life is becoming more and more geared to web access. Obviously I suggested mending the mangled cable, but it was totally mangled and would have been difficult to fix. I don't think that deciding to buy a new piece of kit is a stupid decision.

I wasn't there when they plugged in the new adapter and I haven't seen the literature that came with it, and I wasn't privy to the conversation they had with the sales assistant in the shop, but they told me that lights started flashing alarmingly on the computer when they plugged it into it and then it just went dead. They then went to PC World and bought a second adapter which I think probably would have been OK. Anyway, they plugged that in but there was no sign at all of life in the computer.

My point is that there are so many other idiot-proofing devices built into PCs and we've all been newbies at some point, and I was just surprised noone had invented some way of stopping too-high-voltage adapters from wrecking a PC.

I'm 99% sure that it will prove to be the new adapter that did the damage - PC was working fine for first few days on it's original adapter.

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