Lesson Learned - Laptop

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Last April I bought a really nice Acer Nitro laptop and have been thrilled by its performance. Kudo's to Acer for such a great model. Well last weekend I went to bed Friday night and when I woke up on Saturday the laptop was off (usually left on all the time, and run on battery occasionally). first thing I thought was one of my silly dogs must have knocked the charger out of the plug. (Happens more than it should) I check the cord and it wasn't that. I attempt to power on the unit and I would get a flash of the blue LED by the charging port and that was it. I pull out my multi-meter and check the charger under the load of a small bulb and sure enough it's putting out 19.5V, so I immediately thought it must be something internally. I even tried pushing the battery disconnect button with a pin through the pin hole on the bottom for this function. Nada, completely dead. So I jump on Acer's website and find the local service depot which is sort of on my way to work and get an authorization to take it in. (Took minutes, no receipt needed because I registered it when I got it.) In the meantime I think, I should take the hard drive out and make a copy of my data and then send it in totally wiped because of sensitive content I have on there so I proceed to take off the cover where the HDD should be and the bay is empty with just a SATA connector there for a secondary mechanical drive but no SSD. I look it up online and find out that you have to take apart the laptop to get at the SSD inside. Not wanting to do that because the laptop is under warranty I decided to send it in the way it was. I went through my last back-up of the unit (back's up nightly) and looked through all the data to see what I had on there so I could change passwords etc. in case the tech working on my laptop decided to make a copy of my files or whatever and try to get into my banking etc. using my password manager. I also terminated all saved login sessions and "authorized devices" for things like Team Viewer and other programs and websites and changed their passwords as well. It was a ton of work and it got me thinking that I should have either checked into the SSD location prior to keeping data on the machine under warranty and/or keeping all the data encrypted on the drive or keeping it all on my home server instead. Anyway. I didn't think about this and well now I have to hope that my data I can't control wasn't copied. The good news is I logged into my Teamviewer control panel online and it shows that the machine was never booted to windows with an internet connection so aside from them possibly taking the drive out and making a copy I'm good there. They also send you updates when they receive it and send it back and they only had it for 1 complete day between receiving it and sending it out repaired. I do have to say that although something failed in my laptop, Acer was super at repairing it quickly and at no charge to me. I have to give them credit for amazing service and turn-around time and I would buy another unit from them because of this experience. Lesson learned on the data though! smirk2

Acer.jpg
 
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That's not bad but definitely something to think about. Good it wasn't one of the apple laptops. Apple apperantly will install a new drive, even if the old one functions completely fine and lie that it is soldered on, on many of their models it isn't. Worse, they will refuse to make a backup copy for the customer. You basically not only lose all of your data, but you have no control over the old drive and what happens to it.
 
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StevieC

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Originally Posted by KrisZ
That's not bad but definitely something to think about. Good it wasn't one of the apple laptops. Apple apperantly will install a new drive, even if the old one functions completely fine and lie that it is soldered on, on many of their models it isn't. Worse, they will refuse to make a backup copy for the customer. You basically not only lose all of your data, but you have no control over the old drive and what happens to it.
I had a 2009 Macbook Pro and it was great but the memory and hard drive were upgradeable. I ran it up until 2 years ago when I accidentally spilled my drink in it and it fried the board. I was going to buy another one because I liked the construction of the aluminum body but when I heard about components not being able to be replaced / upgraded and the fact that the hardware specs were inferior for the prices they were demanding I bough something else instead. I used Windows most of the time on my Mac and just booted into OSX to update it once an a while. It was crazy durable though.
 
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It looks like they may just take out your SSD (from broken computer) and put it in another working computer and send it back to you.
 
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StevieC

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It has stickers on the backside of the screen that came back, looks like just the battery was replaced. Scratches on the bottom from wear/tear are still there as well.
 

StevieC

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I use LastPass as well, so that was easy, terminating the authorized device from the web control panel, and then changing my master password so that whoever has my laptop can't login in anywhere, but I also have many other things on my laptop like programs for my cameras for example. I had to change the password on my DVR, change my remote password for controlling my Ubiquity Access Point. A bunch of smaller things not covered by Last-Pass. Plus there were things like utility bills etc. I had downloaded recently in my downloads folder of my hard drive. None of this would have been a problem if the drive was easily removeable or if I stored that data outside of the internal drive, but I didn't think about this because I never contemplated being in the position where I couldn't remove the drive before sending it in. (Not knowing the SSD wouldn't be able to come out easily) Anyway... All good now. Back up and running. I think what I will do is encrypt the hard drive with bit-locker (boot password) in case it fails again within the remainder of the warranty period, and there forward. grin2
 
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Why do some laptop manufacturers render a laptop useless when the battery fails? Pretty much all laptops in the past would continue working g fine as long as they were plugged in. And to make matters worse the new ones have built in batteries, not easily removable. Another method to convince people do buy new I guess.
 
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About once a year the local news channels have a picture of some kiddy porner being perp walked because he idiocally took his computer in for repair. Never thought if they caught the perv because they look at everyone's drive. Or is there something here I'm missing?
 
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StevieC

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Originally Posted by csandste
About once a year the local news channels have a picture of some kiddy porner being perp walked because he idiocally took his computer in for repair. Never thought if they caught the perv because they look at everyone's drive. Or is there something here I'm missing?
That's not what I meant by sensitive content and I don't appreciate you implying I'm a perv. For your information I was a victim of abuse as a kid and it took me a long time to get over it. mad
 
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StevieC

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Originally Posted by KrisZ
Why do some laptop manufacturers render a laptop useless when the battery fails? Pretty much all laptops in the past would continue working g fine as long as they were plugged in. And to make matters worse the new ones have built in batteries, not easily removable. Another method to convince people do buy new I guess.
My older ones I would take the battery out of and just run them always on the charger. No issues at all. Now it can't be done. I think it's to force service or replacement. mad
 
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Originally Posted by StevieC
Originally Posted by csandste
About once a year the local news channels have a picture of some kiddy porner being perp walked because he idiocally took his computer in for repair. Never thought if they caught the perv because they look at everyone's drive. Or is there something here I'm missing?
That's not what I meant by sensitive content and I don't appreciate you implying I'm a perv. For your information I was a victim of abuse as a kid and it took me a long time to get over it. mad
I didn't actually get that from the post, just that in theory your laptop could have been compromised because in cases mentioned before, they looked at the drive when it was brought in for repair. When I worked in IT, one of the guys would repair company laptops and while he didn't actually go fishing through them normally, I believe in one case he found a laptop was full of porn. I think the complaint there was that it was out of space. I used to blow away dead accounts too, sometimes I'd go through them to make sure there wasn't anything important left behind, other times I'd just blow them away, just depended on the position and how old it was.
 
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I have a 2013 MacBook Pro and it died last year while still under Apple Care. I took it to the Apple Store and they replaced the motherboard but before that the tech said all data will be backed up from the SSD. Glad they fixed yours!
 
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No reason not to run bitlocker on a portable device. Thats how my laptop is running. It wont keep the 3 letter agencies out but itll keep most individuals out, or at least cause enough of a time deterrent not to bother. Not only for this situation but say if it got stolen. You had time to prep the laptop before you took it in, but you can't prep for a theft. With modern processors having instructions to speed up AES the perfomance loss is negligable. Ive never noticed any difference.
 

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In today's world, our electronic devices hold all kind of personal information and pose a big risk to invasion of privacy, identity theft, etc. Can't be too careful.
 
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No reason not to run Bitlocker on all drives, desktop and laptop. It even works on external drives too. Another thing you could do is turn bitlocker on, and setup a Repair account. Only give them the password and don't make it an administrator. In theory they won't be able to access your files as they can't take control of them not being an admin. And booting from another OS will require the Bitlocker password.
 
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