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I need to break my laptop without permanent damage

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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October 15, 2012 8:14:42 PM

I don't know if know this is a regular request around here or not but I am in desperate need of money for a plane ticket and, well, I'm stuck with a 200 dollar laptop that I paid 700 for here In Mexico, planning on returning it a couple of days later, because I'm from the states and, well, that's what I'm used to, so yes, 100% my bad.

Before you say anything, no it's not fraud-related. This is just how this specific Mexican store played me. I was 100% assured they had a 30 day return policy before I bought the computer if I was not happy with it.

But when it came time to return, after speaking to like half a dozen assistant managers, they basically said I was mistaken and that what the policy really means is if there is anything wrong with the computer that wasn't already wrong with it before (it was their only one, as is on display, with a missing key and all), then and only then, would I get my money back. And this determination would be made by their computer technician.

I had my Mexican friend with me there who speaks better Spanish and who was able to overhear the conversation which basically came down to this: If the computer is in the same shape as when I got it, then I'm not getting my money back. And of course it is.

I've been building computers for a long time, I'm not an expert but decent enough that I know how to tinker with them. Because I've been traveling for the past 3 years (hence the need for a plane ticket to Russia for a new job), I've learned to tinker a bit with laptops, so I know how to "break" it, short it, or hell, just google and follow the steps.

But the thing is, because there is a half of a good chance that I do not get my money back, I don't want to permanently damage it. So I'm in dire need of help here folks. How can I make it look broken enough so that the guy goes yeah, there is something wrong with it.

I've already had random problems with it, like my proxy server has given me issues (I work online so that's a BIG issue), but none of which I can replicate. My Mexican friend says those problems, if I had a way to replicate them for the repair guy, would be good enough, but they're so random that I cannot. I only used the laptop for about 4 days while I had to work (I already had a new laptop from Newegg shipped to US where I flew to pick it up, cheaper and about 1000x better), so again, not only is it completely in the same condition but also, I have not used it enough to really see if there are more problems (I'm sure for a display/as is computer there would be). Given that I've been out of the country for over a week, and I have only 10 days left before the return date is up, I'm running out of time =/

Any help would be highly appreciated.

p.s. it's the Intel-3 version of Asus K53. The bad version not the one with the Turbo or anything like that, basically the most stripped down version of it.
a b D Laptop
October 15, 2012 8:23:42 PM

if you used a credit card call them up and do a charge back. also call asus and see if they can do the return or help you if it under 30 days. let them know there product does not meet your needs and one of there retailers wont honer there return warranty.
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October 15, 2012 8:34:52 PM

Man, I always use a CC except when I'm in Mexico, sigh, and my bank has the best fraud protection too... along with something like a 5% upcharge on international orders =/ Hence, me using cash.

I will call Asus in 2 hours after my current shift is finished, thanks very much for that advice, I wasn't aware Asus would do that, I only thought they replaced computers. (I've been using them for like 10 years.. awesome company.. that would make it even more awesome)
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a b D Laptop
October 15, 2012 8:41:31 PM

Ehh, even though it sounds like a pretty shady deal on their end, assisting with fraud of any type is not allowed here, even if I do feel pretty bad for you/see where your coming from.
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October 15, 2012 8:43:23 PM

Funny side note story, they gave me extra 5% off on the laptop because they royally screwed up my first purchase. They sold me an HP (again, the only one they had, a display, as is, etc. - I was just in desperate need of a computer for work that day, hence this happening) - and it had a windows password on it.
I get home, turn it on, boom, "What's your password?" I was like, huh? Thought it was a fluke, pressed enter.. nope.. it wants a real password. I go back to the store they again, spend about an hour figuring out wtf, realize they have to format the whole computer and for some reason they need the repair guy (who, of course, isn't there), to do it because yup, they don't know the freaking password... And they want to keep my 'new' computer for 3 days to do all that.
All that took me so long, I almost lost my job =/



edit: I respectfully understand that assisting with fraud is not allowed and if that is what I am asking, then please (mods) feel free and remove my post. I love this forum and do not wish to add 'fraud' stuff to it.

I simply didn't think that 'breaking it temporarily' was fraud. By breaking, I just need it to not work 'as well' as it did when I got it, I don't know, maybe weird screen flicker or something, I don't know enough about laptops to really recommend something that wouldn't fall under straight up breaking it.. I just want anything that lets him go, yeah, that wasn't there before. But again, if that falls under fraud, I understand.
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October 15, 2012 9:58:47 PM

Unplug the connector for the display internally and or remove the backlight transformer. Just be careful when you are taking it apart. Likely they will not open the laptop for that.
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October 15, 2012 10:41:33 PM

Yes, I was thinking that, but unfortunately, last time I tried switching screens between two laptops, I totally butchered it. I will probably just take my chances and see if this proxy thing can be replicated, take screens of it and use that but my friend thinks he'll just blame the software.
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October 15, 2012 11:25:10 PM

if they don't want to give you a refund without an error, you should be suspicious that they are going to change the deal again even after you break the computer and it will just be worse.
Just be prepared that this may not be the only hoop they want you to jump through, and they are just leading you on, into a deeper hole.
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October 16, 2012 12:14:22 AM

My friend used to work at a small computer store (where they also do custom builds) and one day his assignment was to disassemble a broken PC which "processor was burnt" and had been refunded for.

When my friend then opened the case he noted that the HDD wasn't plugged to the Motherboard. He then tested if it would work and it did.

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tl;dl: You could try unplugging the Hard Drive, it worked here : D
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October 16, 2012 12:54:44 AM

Well yeah, I can do little things like that. Another way I found out (by pure chance cause I wanted to stick more ram into this laptop) is that if you don't insert the ram correctly it won't start, cause of a short or whatever. But me and my buddy are sort of assuming that little things like that any half wit can figure out (your friend did, after all).

Re: Ray, hence why I said no permanent damage heh, I can always just short the *** out of it and be like oops it don't start. But then if he finds out I did that, I'm stuck with a piece of junk (not that it's not one already.. who wants a crappy stripped core 3 with a crappy 5400 rpm drive and no real video card. basically a heavy netbook on steroids.. yuck). Oh well, worst comes to worst, I'm out of 600 bucks, I'll take the hard drive for later storage use, add the 4 gig stick of ram to my already growing collection of like a dozen of em or simply give it away to a buddy of mine who needs it more than I need those parts).

After some googling, the best solution seems to be to buy a giant freaking magnet and kill the HD but the magnet is prolly worth more than the laptop lol.

edit: Not sure if it came off that way, but by no means was I calling your friend a half wit, just saying anyone can probably figure it out especially if their primary concern is to not give you your money.
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