Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Can’t you hear that beeeeeeping????

Yesterday afternoon, in the midst of issues with my printer/scanner, I started to hear a faint beeping. It was erratic, in many ways – the length of the beep, the frequency of the beep, the time in-between beeps. I figured it was somehow related to the fight I was having with the printer, and dashed out the door, hoping it would somehow magically resolve itself. Or perhaps just my imagination.

Ahhh, magical resolution. I sense I’m not the only one in the universe who’d like that shit to happen.

Of course, it didn’t. The beep was on such a tone/frequency that made it incredibly difficult to figure out exactly where it was coming from. I bitched about it on Ravelry. Several people suggested the usual suspect – smoke detector with a failing battery. And certainly, I’ve been plagued by that one, before, but this was different. Those tend to chirp, sharply, so even when they’re on another floor, you know you actually heard it. This beep was just enough to make you question your hearing and sanity.

I stood by the printer. Beep sounded far away. Stood in the living room. Still could hear it. Stood in the breezeway. Sounded further away. Put head in stairway leading upstairs. Nothin’. Put head in stairway leading to basement. Nothin’. Stood in living room. Faintly heard it again. OK. Gotta be in the living room, and lord help me if it’s some random thing like a digital watch, because I’m currently sitting in my very own mouse nest of knitting, papers, books and other flotsam. It has to be coming from my laptop. Unplug the speakers and the cooling mat. Yep, still beeping. WTF?! Turn it off, shut it down, and blessed silence. Indeed. It’s the laptop.

So this morning, even with the sound shut off, it persists in beeping. Rav peeps (yay #LSG) are also suggesting motherboard and cooling fan issues, and that I can go in and turn it off, but it’s probably trying to tell me something important. Dell service doesn’t seem to start until 8 am (that was the online help, I discovered), so my orange creamsicle came along for the ride to the office.

After some initial language barriers, Sir India Help Man and I were off to the races. I think he finally realized he wasn’t dealing with a plain old tack, but that in fact, I was fairly sharp, and we didn’t need to spell out “D-E-L-L” twice because I was already loping ahead of  him down the path. A few system updates and then came the inquiry, “Do you have a screwdriver?” spoken like Apu from the Simpsons, and now we were going into new territory. I’m good at putting furniture together, I read directions, I follow the steps, I enjoy the process, but things like popping off the bottom of my laptop felt a little treacherous. Fortunately, I only had to take out the battery. I thought. (My first clue should have been the fact I didn’t need to use the screwdriver.)

So after SIHM and I determine which side of the computer is which and it’s upside down, he’s telling me to find THE COMPARTMENT. Ok. The Compartment. I totally felt like I was disarming a bomb with very limited guidance. TWO SCREWS, TWO SCREWS. Well, dude, there are FOUR. No, no! They should not come out! (But they DO! they DO! I skipped telling him they just fell right on out.) Plus my line to India had a bobble that every couple of minutes we had a little 5-second tab of silence, which, when you’re unscrewing the laptop components, is enough to make you keep asking for shit to be repeated, and we were talking over each other, it was a-ok fun times, yesirreeApu. I did get the hard drive taken out, and then I was instructed to re-start the computer. (Me, ever linear and instruction-based: “Don’t I need to put the battery back in first?” “Yes! Yes! I am so sorry.” ) Well, the beeping was over at that point. So it’s the hard drive, and because I had also mentioned the mousepad getting hot, he decided to have the hard drive, motherboard and cooling fan all replaced.

Did I mention I have a two-year warranty that came with the laptop when I bought it? Thank heavens. Some tech person is going to call, make an appointment and fix it on the spot. Double thank  heavens for that part of the warranty.

So now I’m trying to make a backup, but it’s my own twisted form of backup, as Windows keeps hitting some component or software that won’t let it make a traditional backup, and I don’t want to call the Help Line back, because I just can’t imagine the fun that would be. arrrrrrrgh.

But speaking of fun, there was a point that I held the phone to the underside of my laptop and asked him if he could hear the beeping. (No, no he could not.)  Now as long as I don’t start smelling burning hair, at least I know it IS the laptop, and not the onset of a stroke.


  1. SKC Observer

    OMG! This is a wonderful write up of your computer adventures–made me laugh, made me cry and even taught me something. Now I know that if my laptop starts beeping, my hard drive is dying. Thanks for the post!

  2. mosker

    The last time Dell sent a technician to work on my personal computer, it took several days for the guy to show up. The first day he called from the lot and said he would not be coming into the building because his company does not pay for parking. Apparently someone helped adjust his attitude because he did show up the next day. Here’s hoping your guy is more reasonable (or that you have free parking)! It is nice having the on-site repair warranty though, because they really do come to you (eventually).

  3. sue

    I can so relate… well, except for the fact that I’ve not had issues with my laptop, just desktop. Good luck with the repairs. Nothing like having a ‘puter down to put a damper on things!

  4. PlazaJen

    Thanks for the info, Mosker. I was getting a bit impatient yesterday, as they haven’t even called yet to set up the appointment. I’m fortunate in that the computer hasn’t actually died, but the beeping is a bit maddening. And of course, I’d like to have it fixed as soon as possible! (My work does have free parking, at least, should I need to have it handled there.)

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