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Mini-Macaroni’s miraculous recovery


I named my netbook Mini-Macaroni because I am the PastaQueen and I absolutely adore alliteration. Mini-Macaroni traveled to London and France with me, and took a trip to Chicago and South Bend, when suddenly he DIED. His little green light went out. Kaput. I would turn on the itty bitty computer and after 45 seconds it turned itself off before it could even finish booting up.

“Sounds like a cooling problem,” my smart, techy friend said.

“Oh, God,” I said. “That’s what I get for buying refurbished.” And, alas, I did not buy the extended warranty!

So, I unplugged Mini-Macaroni and let him sit in the corner of my office for four months, not ready to bury him, but not ready to try resuscitating his silicon soul. This week I was organizing all my to-do lists because I am the type of person who likes to organize my organization. I decided to take another look at Mini-Macaroni to see if he was salvageable, so I plugged him in, turned him on, and waited for him to shut himself off from the world.

But he never did!

Yes, Mini-Macaroni has miraculously come back to life! I do so love it when problems fix themselves, especially $300 problems. I pampered him by updating his virus software definitions and installing seventy Windows XP system updates. No, seriously, seventy updates. That’s not hyperbole. He took it all well, and appears to be functioning normally, but I am concerned he could flip himself off again at any moment. Hopefully he will survive my upcoming travels. Please pray for Mini-Macaroni and me!

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Fanny • March 4, 2010 at 8:09 am

I wish my little pink Sammy(Samsung)-Junior NC10 would recover too.
She has a white display all of a sudden (oh no!). Took her everywhere, sad.

Good luck to mini-macaroni.


Mara @ What's For Dinner? • March 4, 2010 at 8:16 am

I had a very similar thing happen with my original Compaq laptop… she just died. Turned off, wouldn’t turn on, died. A friend told me to unplug it, take out the battery, then push and hold the power key for 30 seconds, then put the battery back and plug it back in. Weird as it sounds, it works… like laptop CPR!
Welcome back to the world, Mini-Macaroni :)


Heather • March 4, 2010 at 8:37 am

Also, you can get a 20.00 laptop cooling station for him, it’s a little platform that has a fan that plugs into your usb port. It’s a tiny bit bulky, but it solved my cooling problem, and it was way cheaper than the alternatives.


Jennifer • March 4, 2010 at 8:54 am

I also got some little rubber feet through Delight.com that suction cup to the bottom to allow air circulation under the laptop. My laptop would overheat, shut down, and then come back to life after it had cooled down. Made for lots of cursing when I was in the middle of something and hadn’t saved it! With the rubber feet and periodic extensive cleaning of the fans with compressed air, I’ve alleviated that problem. Might be useful if you start having issues with Mini-Macaroni again!


MB • March 4, 2010 at 9:11 am

I’ll be keeping you and Mini-Macaroni in my prayers. My laptop is on its last legs but I think I’ve gotten my $$ out of it.

So, where are you traveling to now? Anywhere exciting?


scone • March 4, 2010 at 9:22 am

Sounds more like a software problem– somewhere past bootstrap. (Because if it comes on and stays on, it can’t be a cooling problem.) When in doubt, blame it on Windows.


Nancy V • March 4, 2010 at 9:26 am

I have one of these too, and had it die almost to the day of the warranty expiration. I took it to the store where I purchased it and the tech said that was a “known issue” with these computers, so she took it back right then, and ‘flashed the bios” for free. Its been working fine for 6 months now. I know the Acer website gives details how to do it yourself. Just need a thumbdrive loaded with the new bios information. Hopes this helps!!


suzanne • March 4, 2010 at 10:11 am

I have mini macaroni’s sister :) We’re sending healthy vibes his way!!


Mary • March 4, 2010 at 10:43 am

@Mara @ What’s For Dinner? – We had an (admittedly elderly) laptop die the way Pasta Queen describes Mini-Macraroni and one of my 13 year olds fixed it the way you describe. He had a reason that was on the order of “stuck in hibernate”. I’ll ask him when he gets home from school in case it happens again to you guys. (This kid is frightenly good with computers — my husband, whose job involves software installation, asks for his advice.)


Curvy Jones • March 4, 2010 at 11:34 am

I have the exact same mini! I call mine miniPC because I am not innovative in names. I ended up having to reload the OS and she’s working fine and dandy! And I haven’t used her since. I bought it for writing and never use it. I should!


tess • March 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm

we fixed our overheating computer by blowing trapped dust with canned air, vaccuumed for good measure


Erica • March 4, 2010 at 12:07 pm

My favorite part of this story is the picture. It looks like in the reflection you are waving some magical healing jazz-hands over his little macaroni soul.


Steve • March 4, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Does that mean mini-macaroni will be accompanying you to Baltimore? :-P

I’ve thought about getting a netbook, just to have a little something to carry around, but I don’t know if I could get used to using something so small. Have you had any issues besides the whole dying for 4 months thing?


Carbzilla • March 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm

I’m scared. I think Mini-Macaroni may be in zombie mode. Proceed cautiously and back-up like mad.

PS. I have a brand new work computer running Windows 7, and it HATES its own Excel program. It’s so sad.


Debbi S. • March 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I made my kids read this post. I homeschool them and loved your use of the words alliteration and hyperbole so I made my kids point out what you meant by those. Bet you never thought you’d be teaching 5th graders when you wrote that post!


Jen • March 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I think I just bought the same computer, or one of MiniMacaroni’s relatives, at least. Maybe I will call mine Couscous….


Amy • March 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm

@Mara @ What’s For Dinner? – I had the same problem with my Toshiba laptop, did the same thing, and it came back to life as well! lol


Bottomless • March 4, 2010 at 7:02 pm

I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you, but if it’s a fan problem it could well happen again. I like the idea of the cooling station someone mentioned, that would definitely be a good way to stave off computer death I think.


Lainey • March 4, 2010 at 7:42 pm

My mini (I named her Jasmine) had something go wrong with it, but it turned out to be an owner problem. heh heh. I can’t remember what the problem was, though.


Rebecca in SoCal • March 4, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Travels? Anything you care to talk about in advance??


ChrissyS • March 4, 2010 at 10:16 pm

OOooo Jennette is travellllling! I love going on your trips.

Looking fwd to it. Glad MM is now hale & hearty for the excursion.


Lynda • March 5, 2010 at 10:06 pm

I am glad your mini came back!!! woo hoo
…and I love others name their ‘puters…
My laptop is Big Red (yes it is)
and my mini is “Baby” (as in nobody puts Baby in the corner)


lauralei • March 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm

computers are such a part of my day – last week when the power was out most of the day – i was seriously going through withdrawal!


Matty • March 7, 2010 at 8:56 am

Hello “Pasta Queen”,

this post has nothing to do with the article it’s attached to. I just found your blog and was excited about it’s name, as I am probably the biggest pasta fan that has ever walked this planet (yes, I have evidence: http://www.pasta-blog.com ). However, I looked through the latest three pages of your blog, and there is not a single reference to pasta, apart from the cute name for your netbook! Has your passion for pasta died? I hope not, that would be horrible! I hope to read some pasta-related articles soon :-)


Gayla @ Slim Fit Mama • March 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm

I’ve only had nightmares of my computer crashing or being stolen. While I have a desktop I could fall back on, my laptop is my saving grace. I’d be entirely lost without it.

Glad you decided to give it another try – could have been a cooling problem that took 4 months to chill :)


Annie • March 11, 2010 at 7:39 pm

The netbooks are really cool I have one like that and only problem I have had it is the battery got so low it wouldn’t even try and charge it. I did some reading and found out I needed to flash the bios in it and once I did that it charged right back up and worked fine. I am glad yours is working again for you.


Jenn • March 17, 2010 at 2:21 am

I ADORE alliteration as well. My last name starts with an “N” and I named my children Nathanael and Noah. My two dogs are Nigel and Nico. However Nathanael broke my trend when I offered to let him name the kitty. I He picked “Sunny” for a black cat, nonetheless. I’ve tried to come up with a “N” nickname but none fit…so I call him Meow Cow…close to “N”.


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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