Asus UX303U not turning on/battery not charging - Page 2
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Thread: Asus UX303U not turning on/battery not charging

  1. #16
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    Thanks for the update. I hope they can get the charging issue resolved, now that the system powers up.

  2. #17
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    That's a lot to spend and not to have it fixed.
    I would definitely be contacting that company, it's fixed how?

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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugspop1 View Post
    That's a lot to spend and not to have it fixed.
    I would definitely be contacting that company, it's fixed how?
    They did fix half of the problem. They clearly didn't test properly after fixing the first half though. It's possible there may be additional charges for parts - for example, maybe the battery was damaged when the power cups shorted - and that would be fair enough. But I will argue additional labor charges because all the disassembly-reassembly work would not have needed to be done twice if the system had been evaluated correctly the first time. I dropped it back off yesterday and am waiting to hear back on the new diagnostic.

  4. #19
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    The repair shop says the battery is toast and must be replaced. This makes sense given that it wouldn't charge at all, but I am rather surprised because the battery health was doing very well right up until this failure. I asked whether sudden catastrophic failure was common and the guy said it could happen. He said that the battery failure could have been the cause of the power chip failure, in fact. I tried to get an idea of what could cause sudden catastrophic failure of a previously healthy battery, and he gave suggestions such as power outlet not being grounded (not the case here) and manufacturing defect. He wasn't the technician though, so I don't know how much weight to give this.

    The good news is that they aren't charging labor for the battery replacement. This is nice, but of limited value since replacing the battery is easily within my skill set. The bad news is that they want $69 for the parts cost. They don't have it in stock and are ordering from another vendor. I pushed to get the model number, and once they provided it I did some googling. I found prices for this model battery online ranging from $38 to $99. Three vendors on Amazon ranging $40-56. A couple on NewEgg from $38-62. Some have free shipping, some not... but in any case, $69 seems like the high end in terms of pricing. The one thing I am not sure about is how to determine whether a vendor is dependable or likely to provide crappy batteries. (Might be same model, but could be older, stored under poor conditions, etc.) Can anyone point me to reliable vendors for laptop batteries? I'm really tempted to call back the repair service and complain about their price. (Model I am looking for is AS-C31N1339.)
    Last edited by alisonb; August 24th, 2018 at 09:05 PM.

  5. #20
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    Sorry that that it has taken me so long to update my laptop repair status, but I just this evening finally heard back from the repair shop. To be honest I feel like I am being jerked around by them, and would greatly appreciate some unbiased feedback here on both their (ongoing) diagnosis and whether it is time to cut my losses.

    Recap of earlier stages:
    1) Laptop was in perfect working order before I was away for a week. While gone I left it unplugged in hibernation mode. When I returned, it wouldn’t initially power on. I plugged it in and it powered on, but a few minutes later it shut down abruptly and wouldn’t power again.
    2) After verifying the problem was not the power adapter (measured normal voltage), checking that it wouldn’t work while bypassing the battery (power adapter plugged in, battery cable unplugged) and realizing that I couldn’t easily tell where to trace power past the adapter port, I took the laptop into the repair shop. (Central Computer, Santa Clara, Ca). The stated complaint on record was that the laptop would not power on and the battery would not charge.
    3) The shop’s initial diagnosis was that “two power chips” were fried. I think they said they were on the motherboard. They replaced the chips ($199) and returned the laptop.
    4) I immediately discovered that while the laptop could now power on with the adapter plugged in, the battery would still not charge. I returned the laptop to them the next day and they admitted the tech must have missed that, but that he should have checked it since it was stated in the original problem. They sent it back to the tech.
    5) The tech now said that the battery was failed. When I related that the battery had been in perfect health before this (several hours life between charges), they said that sometimes catastrophic failure could occur. Suggestions included the electric outlet not being properly grounded or inherent catastrophic flaw in the battery. They also said that the failure of the battery may have been what caused the two power chips to fail in the first place. Question – is that feasible or likely?

    Current:
    6) The replacement battery they ordered finally arrived. Now they are saying the problem is not the battery after all. The voicemail says: “It looks like after testing the technician over in the repair facility found out that with all the different batteries, he ordered like 2 or 3, he plugged them in and your motherboard is not detecting the battery and so that is why it is not charging. So, the motherboard is bad. But the laptop would still work with the AC plugged in, without the battery, but I don’t think that you would want to have it work that way. But the other option is that he says you can change the motherboard. And so for the motherboard change out, it would be overseas so it would take a while to get the motherboard and so the pricing for that would be $509. But since you did some other repair with the $199 I would talk with him again and see if we could work something out if you decide to go with the motherboard route.”

    I have really lost faith in their diagnosis and repair capability. First, they initially returned the laptop still not fully fixed, clearly not testing for half the problem. Second, I assume he must have merely guessed that the battery was bad, rather than actually testing it independently. I don’t understand why he would have ordered multiple batteries – did he not know which one was correct? And if so, maybe none are correct? The motherboard being bad – is that just a guess as well? Can he actually tell whether the motherboard is not detecting the battery? If that is possible, why wouldn’t it have been checked before ordering a new battery? If it can’t be independently checked, then this would be just another (expensive and time consuming) guess. Could there even be a motherboard failure such that the only manifestation is it not recognizing the battery, but it otherwise works? Would it be likely? And how would all this tie into the two failed power chips they have already charged for $199?

    Does any of this make sense? My job/field is reliability and failure analysis, but in LED lighting. I don’t know enough about computer hardware to properly evaluate the situation, but my basic failure analysis instinct is that this isn’t passing muster. I will definitely not pay them for the replacement battery since it was not the problem, and I am sorely tempted to take my laptop elsewhere at this point. I would really appreciate some feedback on what the problem might actually be, whether it is worth fixing or if I should just go without a computer (laptop was $1200 only 2.5yr ago, not shelling out that much again so soon), and if I should cease business with this repair shop. Thanks!!
    Last edited by alisonb; September 5th, 2018 at 11:05 PM.

  6. #21
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    It could be that the hardware on the motherboard is not detecting the battery, OR it could be the software that is not detecting the battery, especially if it is not a genuine OEM battery. You could pay for a new motherboard and still have the same problem. It might be time for a new shop, preferably an ASUS factory authorized shop, to check it out.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdc2000 View Post
    It could be that the hardware on the motherboard is not detecting the battery, OR it could be the software that is not detecting the battery, especially if it is not a genuine OEM battery. You could pay for a new motherboard and still have the same problem. It might be time for a new shop, preferably an ASUS factory authorized shop, to check it out.
    Thanks. That's a good point - I don't know whether it is a genuine OEM battery or not. I could ask, I suppose.

    What about connections? As I said, computer hardware isn't my background, but on general device trouble shooting principles I would also wonder whether the point of failure could be in the connection between the components. Connectors, cabling, etc. Is that something that ever happens?

    What is the best way to find a good ASUS factory authorized shop? And is a diagnostic likely to be very expensive? - Edit: searching on the Asus website, it looks like the only authorized repairs in the US are located in either NY or Ga?? That seems rather limited... and definitely problematic for someone located in Ca. Shipping just to get a diagnostic seems extreme and expensive. I'm in the middle of Silicon Valley; one would think there is some option for authorized repair in the area.
    Last edited by alisonb; September 6th, 2018 at 12:25 AM.

  8. #23
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    The connector and cabling from the battery to the motherboard doesn't get the stress like the AC adapter connector does, but it is still possible for it to fail, although that is unlikely, especially with multiple batteries. It should be easy to test though. If they can charge the battery outside of the laptop and install it, it should show charged in the software if it doesn't, they would need to fix that first.

    There should be a decent repair shop in Silicon Valley, but I don't have any information on one. You would need to do some checking. There is no guarantee that the factory authorized shops would do anything other than parts swapping either, although if you do send it off, make sure they know you want info on the issue communicated back and will pay only for a fully repaired laptop. Back up your data first of course.

  9. #24
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    The shop in question is Central Computers. I've been dealing with them for years, but only for parts and small items. I've never taken anything in for repair. I've always considered them to be fairly decent for my usage, parts and various smaller items. I find my daughter's experience with them on this repair to be very disappointing. They seem to be stumbling around in the dark, taking stabs at what MIGHT be wrong. I always thought the proper process was the diagnose, discuss with the client and get approval, and then repair. Central Computers doesn't seem to be doing such a great job.

    If my daughter elects to continue the repairs, at another chop, the question becomes one of how to find an honest and a competent shop. We are, after all, right in the heart of Silicon Valley. There must be competent repair shops in the area.

  10. #25
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    I spoke with the person on the technical support line and explained that I could not consider whether to move forward with repair until I fully understand exactly what leads them to state that the motherboard is bad as opposed to several other options, and a demonstration that this is based on evidence and not yet another guess. The situation is complicated by the fact that I cannot speak directly with the technician; the phone person can only read the case notes, not answer my specific questions. To give credit, he was supportive and understood my requirement for more specific information. He will have the technician write a report with the details. He also mentioned he will have the supervisor give it "hot" status, given that they first received my laptop just short of 3 weeks ago.

    Regarding the multiple batteries, he said they were duplicates of the same, not different ones. He didn't seem to know (or was perhaps overwhelmed by all the other questions) whether it was an OEM battery or not. I did some additional research and have found references to similar sounding situations necessitating updating BIOS (especially if not OEM), re-installing the battery drivers, or reinstalling the Asus-specific ATK ACPI utility. There were also some references to cases where a Windows update can trigger similar problems (ie plugged in but battery no longer charging). Since Windows is always going and updating itself even without my permission, I can't say whether there might have been a recent update.

    I spoke with our IT dept at work. Alas, they couldn't give much more recommendations regarding good repair shops. They typically send our work computers to this same place. He said there just aren't very many repair shops operating anymore in the area; that some had migrated down to SoCal. Very confusing given this is silicon valley. He mentioned Best Buy's "Geek Squad" but we both agreed that was a lesser option. He did think of one other place - called "Mobile Kangaroo". They've apparently had a Mac system repaired there once.

  11. #26
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    The "report" I received back from the service repair technician was partially helpful and partially not. I was able to get a little more information from the go-between on the phone, but not a complete accounting. Putting it altogether they report that the power chip responsible for charging the battery (already replaced at the beginning of the repair) failed again. When I pressed regarding how they know it is the power chip, the go-between said the chip is "tested with a machine" and that it was shorted. Their conclusion, based on the repeated behavior, is that the root cause of the failure is something on the motherboard which causes the power chips to short out, and hence their diagnosis that the mobo needs to be replaced. It seems they don't verify that the mobo was the cause, but rather assume based on lack of other suspect, and they don't track any further than that to understand why it would be shorting out power chips. The go-between had no answer for why, if they can test the chips independently, this was not done earlier and instead the no-charging failure blamed on a bad battery. He did say that they verified that the BIOS and ACPI are up to date.

    They have offered a compromise on the repair cost. The original repair was $200 to replace the two power chips. The motherboard replacement is $500. They offer to put the original $200 towards the $500 given that their original diagnosis and action did not solve the problem. I appreciate their fairness in that, but am still debating whether it is worth spending $500 overall to repair the laptop. That's 40% of the original cost of the laptop only 2.5yrs ago. The alternative is to leave it as it is. They say it will work purely plugged in (no battery). However, I have my doubts about the longevity - if the mobo did indeed cause the power chips to short out, then it originally did it to the second chip which controls flow of power from the AC. I would not be confident that the second power chip wouldn't short out again, leaving me with a paperweight.

  12. #27
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    I don't believe for 1 second that the motherboard is "shorting" the power chip. If it was, the laptop would already be dead. It MAY be overloading the power chip and causing it to burn out though.

  13. #28
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    The guy on the phone is the one who used the term "shorting" to describe the failure. To be fair, he explained that he was on the software side and that hardware wasn't his area. Since I was being difficult enough already, I didn't press him on that characterization. I did wonder about it; I'm used to shorting being caused by metal migrations caused by inherent defects rather than induced by other components. In any case, the repair tech's written report, while very vague and unsatisfying, did not use the term shorting. It stated:

    "Laptop powers on, but it does not charge. The charge indicator is on, but the laptop does not retain charge or fill up battery. Perform diagnostic and call customer.

    UPDATE: Appears that the initial power chipset repair failed. On the motherboard different power chipsets control certain functions, in this case the chipset that control the charging of the battery, and battery indicator is bad. This was repaired but did not last. The tech has verified that ACPI and BIOS is correct and up to date.

    Laptop can be used as is, or motherboard can be replaced to resolve the issue."


    Does the story sound reasonable - namely, that a) they have a tool which can test the power chip and can verify that the power chip has failed, and that therefore b) the root cause is the motherboard and therefore it needs to be replaced?

  14. #29
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    Motherboard test setups are expensive. They may have one, or they may have other test equipment which can test a chip to verify that it is working or dead, however, it is unlikely that it can identify the cause of the failure if there are multiple possible causes.

    If you do get a "new" or replacement motherboard, will it have any warranty on it?

  15. #30
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    The repair work by the shop has a warranty of either 60 or 90 days. I'm unclear... their website says 90 generically for hardware, while the person on the phone said 60.

    The manufacturer's warranty for the motherboard part is only 30 days. Is that normal?? I'm more used to a year warranty on new replacement parts, but haven't dealt with a laptop motherboard before. 30 day warranty on a new piece of hardware does not inspire confidence at all.

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