- My Experience with Acer’s Warranty Repair
- Recurring Power Problems with the Acer Predator Helios 300
- Replacement Power Supply for Acer Predator Helios 300
Due to reasons, specifically my ex-fiancée Melisa, I’d not been able to buy anything new for some time. There was always a concern that it would get destroyed. That, and quite frankly, I just never had any money because she’d spend it all on drugs. But, I digress, and that’s a story for another day.
On 15 September 2021, I ordered the Acer Predator Helios 300 (model #PH315-53-764Q) from CANEX (Canadian Forces Exchange System), making use of their no-interest credit plan for CF members. If I recall, I received it on 20 September 2021.
I’d ordered 1 × Corsair Vengeance 32GB (2x 16GB) DDR4 SODIMM 3200MHz CL22 Memory Kit, 1× Samsung 870 EVO 4TB SATA 2.5″ SSD, and 2 × Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 2TB V-NAND SSD. I don’t recall when I’d received them, but had installed them without issue.
Initially, it was working great and I was rather pleased with my purchase. It had been far too long since I’d bought anything new for myself. The first payment for the credit plan was debited from my account on 15 October 2021.
The trouble began on 17 October 2021. I was sitting on my ottoman watching TV, Netflix or maybe even YouTube, I don’t recall. Anyhow, my laptop made a noise and I saw something resembling a spark or flame in my peripheral coming from the middle of the keyboard. It then promptly lost all power and went dark. The only way I can think of to describe the sound it made was that of when you first strike a match. Not the striking sound itself, but that sound immediately following the strike when the chemicals on its tip burn-off.
I live in a relatively confined space. As such, I tend not to keep boxes and such any longer than absolutely necessary, given they take up valuable real estate. I’d, literally, thrown-out the box and stuff for the laptop just days before it decided to cook itself. So, I couldn’t contact CANEX for a refund/replacement of it.
My only options, at this point, were to contact Acer for warranty service or take it to a local repair shop. I’ve never had to make use of a manufacturer’s warranty in my life. So, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Acer regarding it. However, as I hadn’t had it in my posession for even a full month yet, I decided to contact them before anything else.
It was a, relatively, short phone call. The support person on the phone had me do a couple of things that I’d already tried and then submitted for a warranty-repair of it. I received a FedEx shipping label via e-mail to ship my laptop to their repair centre in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
The person I’d initially spoken to told me not to send in anything that didn’t come with the computer. In other words, remove my RAM and SSD upgrades. The only problem with this is that I no longer had the factory-installed RAM as I’d given it to my son-in-law. While I did still have the original NVMe that came pre-installed, it had been formatted, and I have it mounted in an external enclosure. Essentially, I’m using it as a 1TB flash drive.
The repair-related e-mails from Acer also indicated that they’d not be responsible for returning anything 3rd-party from the repair centre. I called Acer’s repair operations centre and asked them about it. Their operations centre told me to ship it as-it-is, with everything installed, so that they could troubleshoot it the way it is. I told him that my upgrades were worth as much as the computer itself. He assured me that the repair technician would fully document anything 3rd-party I had installed and would return it all to me.
Not the prettiest of packages, but it got the job done though. I’d completely wrapped the laptop in about 5-inches of bubble wrap all-around and then wrapped that in 2 layers of cardboard. I used almost an entire roll of packing tape to seal it all up.
I dropped-off the package to a FedEx OnSite location on 25 October 2021 and it was delivered to Acer on 27 October 2021. Acer had told me it would be 5–10 days from receipt for the repair, but didn’t specify if those were business days or not.
At some point, reading the repair-related e-mails from Acer, I realised they’d spelled my surname incorrectly. They’d spelled it as “Steward” instead of “Stewart”. It took several calls to Acer to get that corrected. I didn’t want to have any issues claiming my parcel from the depot whenever they were to ship it back to me.
I kept checking the repair case status online via Acer’s Web site, at least, once a day. There had been no updates to its status after 5 days, so I called Acer on 02 November 2021. They said that the technician determined the motherboard needed replacement, and they were awaiting delivery of it to the repair centre, so they could replace it.
After 10 days, there were still no updates to its status online. So, I called Acer again on 07 November 2021. They said they were still waiting on the replacement motherboard and that it could be another week yet.
On 10 November 2021, I received the FedEx shipment with my laptop having been returned to me. If Acer had meant business days when they’d said 5–10, they were right on schedule. 10 November 2021 was the 10th business day.
Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with their packaging, I’d like to think that my overkill packaging provided better protection to it than how they’d returned it to me. Regardless, it found its way home.
Upon removing the laptop from the box, I could clearly hear the sound of a screw rolling around inside of the chassis. Really‽ I sent it in for repair, because something had cooked on the motherboard, and they send it back to me with loose metal rolling around inside of it. Had I not been paying attention or just didn’t notice, potentially, that screw could have caused a short and killed the new motherboard too.
So, I opened-up the computer and found the screw. It was one of the screws from the 2.5″ SATA. After re-installing that screw, and taking a quick glance around to see if there were any more anomalies readily visible, I closed it back up.
Upon initially booting the system, I saw in the BIOS that Secure Boot had been disabled and I couldn’t re-enable it. That didn’t, particularly, concern me though. I’d figured it was due to the new hardware (i.e. motherboard), and would simply need to reset the BIOS to its defaults and reconfigure the settings, to get Secure Boot working again. I didn’t feel like doing it at the time though. So, I rebooted into Windows.
When Windows loaded, I was presented with a login screen for the local Administrator account instead of my Microsoft account. The technician, obviously, failed to disable the account when he was done. No worries though, a single command from an administrative command prompt, and it was disabled again.
net user administrator /active:no
Aside from that, the only other thing I’d noticed was an OEM folder had been created on the SATA. It had several logs files inside of it.
While the system was at the repair centre, I’d ordered 1× Kingston FURY Impact 64GB (2x 32GB) DDR4 SODIMM 3200MHz Memory Kit for it. Acer, officially, states that the system only supports 32GB of RAM. However, Intel says that its CPU can support up to 128GB. I figured I’d give it a try. Worst case, it doesn’t work properly, and I return the 64GB RAM kit to Amazon for a refund.
I shutdown the system, installed the 64GB RAM kit, and did what what was needed to get Secure Boot working again. Booting back into Windows, I could see the full 64GB was recognized. After doing some stress tests, everything appeared to be working just fine. Below, is a CPU-Z validation of it.
It’s been a few days now and everything seems to be working alright. I’ve had no issues with anything. So, hopefully, I’ll have no further problems with the system.
I, really, wasn’t sure what to expect from Acer. Not only had I never used any manufacturer warranty repair service before, but I’d read a number of bad reviews online regarding their warranty service. Overall though, I’m happy with the experience I’d had with Acer regarding their warranty repair service.