Recently my Compaq Presario v4000 completely died. On boot it would simply give me one long beep, followed by two short beeps. This appeared to be a video card problem.
In a desktop computer this would be an easy, and relatively cheap repair. One of the challenges with laptops is that in most laptops the video card is integrated onto the system board, or motherboard, or main board, depending on what you want to call it. So to fix the video you need to replace the entire system board.
Again, replacing a system board in a desktop computer is easy, but with a laptop it’s a lot harder, and way more expensive to replace a system board in a laptop.
I priced out a new system board for my Compaq Presario v4000 and here in Australia it would cost nearly $700 for a new system board! I can almost purchase an entire new laptop for that price, with a one year warranty on it. The replacement system board would only come with a 90-day warranty.
I decided to check out e-bay to try to find a replacement system board, but when I looked the only one I could find was an untested board, with no warranty, over in Canada for $75.00 + shipping. That doesn’t help me much here in Australia and seems like a bit of a risk.
The other problem is that the Compaq Presario v4000 laptop seems to have an inherent problem with frying the CPU and/or system board. I am definitely not the only person to experience this sort of problem with Compaq Presario laptops. This is already the second system board in this specific Compaq v4000 laptop, and with it being out of warranty I am very hesitant to replace it again, especially if it would happen again in 6-months time.
In the end I decided not to try to fix the laptop. With the history of the laptop, the inherent problems with the Compaq Presario design and the cost / risk involved with fixing it I decided that it just isn’t worth the heartache.
I will be selling off most of the working parts, everything except the system board, on eBay Australia. I have kept the 2.5″ hard drive and purchased an external USB2 case for it, so I will also be keeping that.
Now I’m needing to raise the money for a new laptop. I’m probably going to be looking at the Dell Vostro 1400 to replace my old Compaq. When I get it I am going to make sure to pick up the 3-year Complete Care warranty, which has served me extremely well with my old Dell Inspiron 2650, which my wife is still using four and half years down the track.
With desktop computers the extended warranty isn’t usually needed, but as the dead system board in my Compaq Presario v4000 has illustrated, an extended warranty on a laptop is definatly a good thing.