My wife’s Toshiba laptop was having trouble a couple of weeks ago. Using my limited hardware knowledge, I figured the problem was some part of the communications path between the CPU and the hard drive. This could be the circuits on the hard drive, or it could be the controller on the motherboard. Either way, it was beyond my ability to diagnose further.
I was sure our warranty had expired, so all Toshiba had to offer was their depot service which takes about 10 days. That was too long for my wife to be without her laptop.
Instead, I called Precision Computer Services in Moline, Illinois. They’re listed on Toshiba’s web site as a Premier Service Provider, meaning they can fix Toshiba computers fast. The person I spoke to looked up the part number and serial number and confirmed that it was out of warranty. They told me it would take 3-4 days to repair (unless they needed special parts) and gave me a service order number.
I packed up the laptop and sent it via UPS ground on Tuesday for delivery Wednesday. The technician called me on Friday and we discussed the problem (bad disk) and my options. I called back to tell him I wanted to get the old disk so I could try to get some more data off of it. I called him back again to tell him that if it worked I’d like him to send it back with Saturday delivery so we could restore the data over the weekend. For each of these calls, I was able to speak directly to the technician working on my computer.
I got the laptop back on Saturday morning. It works fine. I hooked the old disk up to my desktop computer and was able to recover all the data. (I had it packed in ice to keep it cool.)
They charged me $185 for the disk drive (a slight markup), a $100 labor minimum, and $50 for Saturday return shipping.
My only peeve is a small one: I had sent the computer packed in the original Toshiba box, and they sent it back in a generic laptop shipping box. I think I can live with that.
So, if you live in the Chicago area, or anyplace else in easy shipping distance of Moline, Illinois, Precision Computer Services was fast, flexible, easy to deal with, and not too expensive.