Posted by: kurtsh | May 25, 2012

INFO: Repairing my Samsung Series 9’s power socket issue

UPDATE 9/10/12:
I probably should have updated this a long time ago but just so everyone knows, the surgery was successful:  My Samsung Series 9 works like a champ and is actually rocking Windows 8 now… and it has the vaulted ‘gesture support’ on the touchpad to reveal the Charms bar, the Configuration bar, and the Task bar.   But I’ll have a post on that later.

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ORIGINAL POST:

I suspect anyone that has a Samsung Series 9 has possibly seen some of the same issues that I’ve had with this model.

While it’s the thinnest laptop I’ve ever owned, it hasn’t been without its flaws.  I will concede that I work the living daylights out of my equipment (I am after all a travelling tech) but I’ve never had a laptop with quite this many hardware challenges.  Let’s just say that it’s been a version 1.0 experience for certain… most of which I understand were fixed in the 2nd generation Series 9s, but I don’t have the luxury of owning one of them so… yeah.

Here’s a list of current issues that I’ve had:

  • A crack near the keyboard formed lifting the keys a bit, causing some of the left hand letters to “not work” and need to be reseated.
  • The metal near the back along the display joint has bent out of shape on both sides.  This causes an annoying “snap” every time I open the lid.  The metal also tends to catch on things, getting hooked on things in my laptop bag, etc.
  • The power socket went bad.  The adapter seemed to not stay in place while plugged in and ultimately, it stopped charging the unit altogether.  Fortunately, I had 2 other spare adapters from Hong Kong that DID still work due to essentially the jack being too long for normal power sockets… but just right for the socket as it is now.

It’s this last issue that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I can’t very well use the laptop if I can’t charge it.  The good news is that the laptop is STILL under warranty.  The warranty, if you recall, is really really long on this device.  (3 years I think) and as a result, I was able to get the power socket fixed.

According to our office tech, Samsung traditionally does all the repair work for the Samsung Series 9 but for some reason they’re allowing field IT techs to do it now.  In any case, they sent him the part to fix my power socket problem and lo-and-behold…

WP_000132THE VAUNTED REPLACEMENT FACEPLATE
It’s the ENTIRE face of the laptop that needs to be replaced.  To the right, you are looking at the part that was sent.

This piece effectively fixes EVERY PROBLEM I listed above.  It fixes the warped metal, the power socket, and the cracks near the keyboard – and the associated issues with the keys.

This is pretty exciting.  I can imagine my laptop being BRAND NEW as a result of this new piece being replaced.  Having messed around with the unit myself, I can confidently say that this shouldn’t be terribly hard to replace.  My tech estimated 2-3 hours tops which sounded very reasonable… but maybe not to you.  One thing that needs to be done is that the ClickPad will require a new mandatory driver update I guess, and that’s something that’s gonna eat time.  Another thing is that he hadn’t done this before (since other Series 9s got sent into Samsung previously) so he’s kinda sandbagging admittedly.  I didn’t care so since I have my Sony Series S, so great.

WP_000130WHAT THE INTERNALS LOOK LIKE
When you flip it over, you can see how the components below the motherboard are laid out, and how the ClickPad is an integrated part of the chassis as with most laptops these days.

The bottom line however is that all the components and the mother board, etc. will need to be ‘moved over’ to this other keyboard/faceplate.  Even the monitor will need to be moved instead of the other way around… i.e. moving the plate onto the old laptop.

Weird ‘eh?

WP_000131THE POWER SOCKET.
One thing that our tech mentioned was that Samsung changed the design of this part.  In early revisions, the power socket could get bumped around resulting in the loosening of the jack – the very experience that I had – and this was due to some plastic part that would erode or get worn out or something.

So supposedly, this replacement will prevent this from happening again.  Thank God.  My envy of the new generation of Series 9 machines can take it a notch down for at least a tiny while.

WP_000137WHAT’S THE PART NUMBER, DUDE?
The replacement part has a part number on it:  BA75-02898A and it reads REV A00.  The date on the part was VERY new.  I’m writing this as of 5/25/12 and the date on the part read, 2012/05/09.

I also noticed a S/N on the part along with the label “SEC S/N: CNBA5902905ABYNF 247 0142” & “REV 3.0”.  I assume this was on the cable for the keyboard and not related to anything else.  Nonetheless I took a picture of it too.

WP_000138IS IT FIXED?
Honestly, I don’t know yet.  I haven’t actually applied the new part.  I am going to be out of town with my equipment for a while and so I can’t have our tech fix the laptop.  I need my equipment operational (and I can get along with the power socket using my Far East power supplies) so I’m putting off the fix for a while.

But looking at the part, you can see that the crack, the warped metal, and the power socket issue should all be resolved once I get this baby into the shop.

WP_000134WP_000135WP_000136


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