Help in diagnosing a motherboard or charger issue.

So hey, what's up? :) So I have to tell what my story is before the actual question since it might help with troubleshooting.

One of my friends was having issues with her Gateway M 6348 laptop that is only two years old and has gone through two motherboards and a third coming here soon. What was going on before it ultimately died was that Windows 7 was reporting that the charger was plugged in but not charging a few times. She knew what to do to fix that since it did that when vista was installed on it-shutting it down, pulling the battery out and power cycle it and restart. Didn't help this time. She then took it over to best buy since she thought she still had warranty on it for another year, which she didn't. They took a look at it though, she told me that they used a bunch of different chargers, I'm assuming possible different wattages on the chargers, and tested the aftermarket universal charger that she uses to see if that could be an issues. They told her that the charger was fine, but the laptop was somehow not drawing in enough power. They told her to talk to Gateway for warranty repair. There's no warranty coverage on the laptop at all.

That there makes me think that there might be something fatally wrong with the charger since she told me that before it died, with Windows 7 and with vista before installed, it would say that it was plugged in and not charging. So maybe the charger isn't capable of handling the load, the wattage might be fluctuating, or there's a physical issue with the charger itself.

My friend also told me that the original Gateway charger, there were no issues other than one time when she was importing pictures from her camera with the charger in and charging, it just shutdown right there. My first thought was it might have been something that tripped the circuit or too much or little voltage or wattage somewhere since one of my other friends had the same exact thing happen when they plugged in their Zune to their laptop. She doesn't have it anymore since one of the cables got frayed.

After that incident with the shutdown, she took it to best buy, they pulled out the two gig stick of RAM from it since they deemed it bad, they tested the ram slots and they were good but decided to replace the motherboard in question that has failed almost two years to the month. Freakish isn't it? So now, she came to me about it since there was really no other place to go and I called it as a dead mobo. I disassembled and took a gander at the board and nothing near the power jack looks at all wrong or damaged.

I know that this is a lengthy post but I really want to find and pinpoint what the cause or causes might be since a laptop doesn't go through three mobos in two years, absurd! And I desperately hate best buy and geek squad with all my heart it hurts. No joke. So basically, from all that, can anyone try to help troubleshoot the issue here so this laptop can last more than two years? :sarcastic:
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  1. Oh by the way, the RAM, one stick was of Samsung and the other Micron. I suggested to her that she should consider getting back her three gigs of ram of the same brand. Kind of violated a rule of thumb there.....
  2. At first glance one has to guess a motherboard problem, perhaps caused by the wrong charger damaging the power circuitry on board. This can sometimes manifest iteslf as a strong smell and visible burning of components and you say that there's no such evidence and presumably the original charger would not have caused that type of problem and yet the motherboard failed.

    I doubt if memory brands is an issue.

    I can't help but feel that the poor rep of Acer/Gateway may have more than a little relevance here and personally, rather than go on throwing money at this model I'd buy a new laptop of a different brand.
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