Case Studies

Case Studies of Famous Fixes.


Some of us have a fix we're especially proud of, or can think of one which nicely demonstrates a diagnostic principle, or which taught us something new. This is a page of "Famous Fixes" which hopefully will contain an ever growing collection of gems for our shared education and entertainment.

Computers and Home Office

Windows laptop

The laptop owner (a very expert user) told the Restarter the harddrive needed "debugging" - led to blind-alley

  • Ran a harddrive diagnostic tool (ok)
  • Mounted the drive (ok)
  • Inspected system log (ok)
  • Booted on Linux and noticed there was rubbish coming up on screen at boot - suspected a keyboard or touchpad fault - isolated the keyboard fault


Mysterious intermittent trackpad problem in which the trackpad button became more sensitive and then stopped working altogether

  • Plugging in an external mouse, the mouse button was not working either
  • Noticing that the battery icon showed no battery present when a battery was present gave a clue as to the fault
  • Turns out the battery had gassed and was bulging, affecting the trackpad
  • After removing the battery (and safely disposing of it), the trackpad button was working fine

Electronic Gadgets

Home Entertainment

Kitchen and Household Items


Mysterious kettle owned by the venue - we did not know the circumstances of the fault.

  • Check the fuse (ok)
  • Visual inspection (ok)
  • Tested for continuity from the mains plug to the base (ok)
  • Tested base for resistance and continuity (ok)
  • By logical process, the only thing left was the physical contact between the kettle jug and the base - turned out it was not making a solid contact and needed to be remade