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To ask DSA for another Laptop/Desktop

(39 Posts)
Daughter96 Wed 31-May-17 14:50:50

Student finishing studies going on to do a masters. I will be assessed again for DSA as I'm technically starting another course, and want to know if it would be cheeky to ask for another pc. I only started receiving DSA a year and a half ago and was given a laptop and all the other equipment. However, for the past 6 months, my laptop has been giving me hell. The fan keeps breaking, overheating, freezing, deleting stuff, the mouse having a mind of its own. I have gone through the insurance 3 times to try and get this fixed, I called the DSA provider, explained my worries and said I'd like a replacement if they couldn't fix it as I was worried that it would wipe my work and I needed it running to do my dissertation. I got it back saying it was fixed, it wasn't. I then took to it to independent tech shop to get it fixed but still wasn't working correctly. I'm at the end of my tether.
I have a language impairment and rely on the technology within my PC to help compensated otherwise I would be getting 50s instead of 60/70s so it makes a huge difference. A FEW of the laptops on loan at the uni have this technology but they are only one-day loans and I can not get into university every day next year as I will be working and have to live fairly far away.
I cannot afford to buy my own laptop/desktop, even second hard as my postgraduate loan will only cover my course and most of my housing. Plus, it would not have the technology to support me in my work. I can't get a loan or ask my parents to help out as they aren't particularly flushed atm
Could and would they give me another PC? As otherwise I'm not sure how I could cope.

Daughter96 Wed 31-May-17 15:00:01

Also other suggestion are welcome

Addley Wed 31-May-17 15:03:48

Can't help with the DSA but in the meantime you need to be running regular backups of your work. Probably daily, preferably more. I save all my work in a OneDrive folder which backs it up and means I can access it from any computer. In addition to that you could copy everything to a memory stick daily.

TBH you should be backing up regularly anyway. Is there any reason you can't do this and hence the worry about your work being wiped?

Singyourheartout Wed 31-May-17 15:13:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LikeTheShoes Wed 31-May-17 15:18:08

If you're having a new assessment they'll ask if you have a computer, if you're​ honest and say you do but it doesn't work well. They'll give you a new (rubbish) one. The company who provide them have deals with educational laptop companies who make them to the standard required for the report. The reports specify some items (eg HD size, processor speed, graphics requirements) but don't specify anything else so they use the cheapest fans, motherboards, casing, screens, power supplies etc to keep their margins. You used to be able to pay for an optional upgrade, if you can do this do and get a reputable make (or tell them you only know how to use Macs!)

AtMidnight Wed 31-May-17 15:33:19


Yes, it seems quite 'I'm entitled to ...' in the approach.

Try looking after what you've been given. There's no reason a looked-after laptop should have a problem after such a shot length of time.

Despite liketheshoes knowing a few terms, they forgot to say that laptops rarely have 'graphics' (I assume they meant discrete graphics cards) or power supplies. The casing is just the plastic. A fan is pretty much a fan unless you really are looking at performance (see image). Screens make little to no difference when editing a text-based dissertation or much beyond. It almost always comes down to keeping shit off of the operating system and dust out of the internals.

Liketheshoes seems to also like the idea of getting a £1k Mac for free. Of course this only comes at the expense of someone else getting something that could help them so I think, if you've a conscience, take care of what you've been gifted and be grateful.

Spilling something onto the trackpad is usually the cause of the mouse moving around and "deleting stuff" is almost always a PEBAK issue.

Daughter96 Wed 31-May-17 16:04:26

Honestly, I just want a computer that works. I don't mean to sound entitled. I would be perfectly happy with the laptop that I have if the could fix it which I have tried many time to no avail. I honestly know what it is like to have to wait for equipment and don't want to deprive anyone of anything. That is why I have looked at using the university loan laptops but it is honestly not doable as they are only 24 hours. Ever going to university to use their pc would be an option but I only have 2 days free a week to go in when I have lectures, so again it's not doable.
My laptop was looked after, nothing eaten near it, and I tried not to drink near it as I was worried I would spill something on it as I'm pretty clumsy. But other than that I don't think I could have damaged it. I will take the laptop into Currys and ask their IT people to look at it again and do a diagnostic about the trackpad and the PEBAK thing? not sure what that is but I'm sure they know. Thanks for that! Hopefully that will be what it is and I can use it for next year.

Addley Wed 31-May-17 16:07:09

Think she means something like PEBKAC - problem exists between keyboard and chair i.e. user error.

DinnerIsServed Wed 31-May-17 16:08:24

You should definitely be backing up daily regardless of how good the laptop is. Even the best computers can have "a moment" and then you've lost something vital. Get a USB drive and save it regularly on there.

araiwa Wed 31-May-17 16:09:11

currys? im not surprised it doesnt work well

take it to someone who can actually fix it

wowbutter Wed 31-May-17 16:10:42

I get DSA as I am a mature masters student. I recently got a new laptop, I had to pay 200 (everyone does, it's our contribution) they paid 250.
It got me one that as a lot smaller and easier to transport. As I have mobility and pain issues, so frequently need to move from the desk to bed, floor, chair and back again!
You can request a new dsa assesment, and you'll only get what you deserve and need due to yr disability. So do it!

Daughter96 Wed 31-May-17 16:13:41

I didn't actually get it from Currys I just used their diagnostic place to have a look at it. Will look for somewhere else to send it, is it really that bad?. I do save everything regularly I have a one drive thing I use and a memory stick and I couldn't trust it.

araiwa Wed 31-May-17 16:15:14

yeah currys are terrible

find someone who is actually good at fixing computers

LIZS Wed 31-May-17 16:16:48

Have you tried your uni it department. DSA aren't keen to spend money replacing things especially relatively new. Ds has a 6 yr old laptop and they wouldn't upgrade it.

Daughter96 Wed 31-May-17 16:22:40

I tried my student support people and they told me to use my insurance to get them to have a look at it. I also went to my dyslexia tutor and she said to get it looked at by someone else as DSA people were pants. However after that didn't fix the major problems, they replaced the fans and a few of the other things. She then told me to get my own, even though I can't afford it

TrueColors Wed 31-May-17 17:07:12

If you have a local Facebook group, ask if there is a computer person. I found someone who rescued my ancient laptop and fixed it completely for £30. It's still going a year later.

wildcoffeeandbeans Wed 31-May-17 17:34:14

Have you spoken to the person who did your assessment? Either they or their manager should know what you should do. I imagine they deal with this type of issue fairly regularly.

redexpat Wed 31-May-17 17:43:27

Wow you really are getting sent from pillar to post arent you.

You need to use something like googledrive to back up all your files regardless of how awesome or rubbish your laptop is.

Im not in the uk so dont really know who pays for what but who said that dsa is crap? You have to try them first. Basically you need to exhaust all repair and improve options before you can justify a new one.

Alternatively is there some sort of hardship fund at your uni you could apply to? Failing that go to the public library and get hold of the book that names all the grant giving organisations. Then get writing.

And if all that fails, then yes ask for a new one. If you dont ask you dont get. These days you need a working laptop to study and I dont see why you should be disadvantaged.

I also think you should keep a diary of problems and who you have spoken to, what was said and how you have tried to fix the problems.

redexpat Wed 31-May-17 17:45:20

There were paragraphs when I wrote that!

RufusTheRenegadeReindeer Wed 31-May-17 17:54:17

Are missing paragraphs a PEBKAC issue red


lougle Wed 31-May-17 17:59:20

Laptops are notorious for overheating because their fans chuck out at the bottom and the back, and you put them on a hard surface, or more often on a soft surface (such as a lap!) touching the bottom and the back! You can do things to help this quite cheaply. One of the 5 best laptop coolers might be worth investing in.

Are you using the inbuilt mouse or a USB mouse? I hate laptop mice so I always use a USB mouse with a laptop. But making sure your drivers are up to date will help, and that there is no lint on the track pad etc.

And yes to back up. I am totally distrustful. I save my work on my D:\ drive, my OneDrive and my Uni Drive, then I quite often email it to myself as well!

AnUnhappyStudent Wed 31-May-17 18:11:43

The uni where I am have a facility to help with issues like this. Have you spoken to your Disability Services at uni to see if you have something similar on your campus?

Daughter96 Wed 31-May-17 18:16:41

I can't talk to my original DSA advisor as they are from another university and didn't get their contact details.
I would definitely get a desktop next time as this laptop has put me off for life. I have gone as far as I can insurance wise as they have send its fixed and wont take it further that why I took it to currys. I have found someone to have a look at it soon though who sounds a lot better.
Diaries a good idea! will try.
I was suggested to get a laptop holder thing with a fan in it and it does help to a certain extent.
I have a plug in keyboard and mouse but still the mouse keeps moving around the screen. Not all the time but enough to be annoying and slow down my work.

Daughter96 Wed 31-May-17 18:19:32

UnHappyStudent i have tried
They told me to just buy my own. Or use the unis ones with the tech on. However, they have about 10/15 which you can only get out for 24 hours at a time and they get pretty booked up.

wildcoffeeandbeans Wed 31-May-17 19:00:12

Your needs assessment report will have their name and email address listed. If nothing else you can phone the university you went through and ask for the number of their needs assessment team. It should also be online.

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