The computer arrived back here yesterday, with a new motherboard and a screen cleaning cloth in apology for my troubles. Allegedly it had also been “thoroughly cleaned”, but I don’t think so – it wasn’t extremely dirty anyway, but the dust that gathers on the sides of the keys (the keyboard is a bit weird that way, hard to describe) was still there.
Anyway, and more importantly, the computer worked. So good work on that, Sony, and the turnaround was good as well!
For some reason the support guys apparently found they had to restore the hdd to it’s factory state though – I don’t quite understand which part of replacing a motherboard necessitated that step, but there you go. Acronis TrueImage (great product, btw!!) spent a few hours restoring my complete disk image, and after that the system was running just fine again.
One thing I noticed was that Windows thought it was no longer activated on the machine – presumably because of the mobo exchange. I only noticed by chance though – three days to go before activation – and that’s not good. I might have been somewhere without an internet connection in three days, when suddenly my Windows stops working… why don’t they display a large notification dialog in such a case?
So, to summarize – it took one week from contacting Sony support to getting back the fixed device, plus the additional work required to get everything back the way it was. I’m not really disappointed by this, but still it has to be said that even in this most positive of outcomes there’s still a lot to be desired.