Friday, July 20, 2007

Gateway to hell (part 2)

So I was checking my blog visitor report today, which doesn't take long when only a handful of people show up each day. And in the report I noticed that someone had come here by searching for "Gateway laptop broken hinge," which got me to thinking.

Hmmm, maybe my problem with my laptop is not unique. Maybe it wasn't a fluke, freak thing that the hinge on my laptop broke.

So, I got to doing some research. And I found several user forums and review sites that feature complaints or questions about what people have had to do to deal with broken hinges on laptops by Gateway and a company called eMachines, which Gateway bought out.

Moreover, there are posts on these forums reporting hinge problems, cracking and breaking, dating back to at least 2004. Like this one, and this one, and this one, and this one that doesn't talk about the hinges, but does talk about hard drive problems, and this one about all sorts of problems.

Now, on my computer problems, I went through the people who sold me my computer, not the manufacture up to this point. But I think I need to change that and give Gateway a call directing and find out just what the hell is going on and why they have been selling laptops that they know are susceptible to breakage, and then when they do break they don't fix them. I find that very curious. Curious indeed.

Now, I'm really irritated.

I'm not sure where all this is going to lead or what is going to happen, but this is not over. Not by a long shot. I am not happy with Gateway, but I'm getting a little worked up about the folks at the store I bought the machine from either, if their purchasing folk knew they these types of machines had defects. I think I need to ask their service folks point blank when I pick up my machine if the problems I experienced are common with these machines. I will be curious to here what they they say and just how they go about saying it. We'll leave the name of the store out of it... for now.


Tim said...

Yup, Gateway hinge problems are rampant, and I keep hoping for recalls or the like. My 4530GZ has worked beautifully otherwise, though I actively gutted the software as soon as I got it (dropped XP Home and replaced w/ XP pro, and only loaded the programs I wanted/needed). But that hinge thing is killing me.

About 6 months ago, the right-side hinge broke at the point where it attaches to the LCD monitor bracket arm. Unfortunately, the cracked shards of metal were still hidden inside the plastic LCD frame/bezel, and so they tweaked and ultimately snapped off some of the hard silver plastic cover as they strained to move. By the time I took off the frame cover to find the defective part, much of the cosmetic damage was done.

Then came the task of replacing. Not too bad, tho a bit frustrating. Got an eBay replacement hinge from a junked model and it was easier to swap out than I feared it might be (tho a really teeny screwdriver sure came in handy).

Once i'd removed the old one I noticed it had completely seized up ... the hinge would hardly move at all without Samson-like strength applied to pairs pliers holding each side. I was steamed, but glad to have it fixed.

Until now.

Yesterday, the LEFT side hinge cracked. And, yes, it's the identical seizing problem with the other hinge. This is clearly a defective part -- Gateway's hinges are just faulty.

Now I've ordered yet another replacement hinge -- this time for the other side -- but I don't know how long that one is going to last. I don't relish the idea of disassembling, greasing, and reassembling on a monthly basis, like one might with a 1930s Ford.

Anonymous said...

I got routed to your site from googling gateway broken hinge :( The left hinge cracked 2 days ago . It looks awful :(

bob said...

I am trying to repair my second Gateway laptop. With both units, the metal in the base on the left side is very thin. When the hinge goes bad, the metal base breaks, which increases the expense drastically. I bought a used base off ebay for the first laptop, but can't find one for the second laptop (NX560X). Gateway said send it in, and for a little less than 200 bucks they will fix it. Design flaw. What if it happens again?

Timothy said...

I've personally seen at least five Gateway M255 laptop's with the left screen hinge broken.

Janet said...

The same happened to me as Bob. The metal base that the hinge screws into cracked. What a piece of junk Gateways are.

Both sides of my hinges are cracked.

I have a Gateway MA3.

We should all file consumer affairs complaints.

Rami said...

I have a gateway mp6954 broke the left hinge, i found a simple cheap solution, under $100. contact me:

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