Laptop QC Checklist

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Welcome to Quality Control!

A few things to keep in mind when you are working through QC:

  • Don't rush! Take your time and ask questions. Your fellow builders are great resources.
  • Minimal troubleshooting steps are included in this guide. If you are working in the Desktop Build room and find an issue that needs troubleshooting, check in with an instructor. They may have you return the laptop to Laptop Build in some cases.

1. Visual Inspection

☐ Check the Keeper label:

  • Make sure all Build steps and memtest have been checked off by the Builder. If not, ask your instructor for guidance.
  • Mark the start box on the QC section of the Keeper label.
  • Look for any unresolved issues or notes. Ask your instructor if you have questions.

☐ Check for missing screws or covers; install any missing parts. All needed repairs should be done by this step.

2. Cleaning and sticker removal

☐ Remove stickers and sticker gunk.

  • Microsoft stickers.
  • Any sticker identifying the previous owner, or added by a user.
  • Stickers added by the manufacturer (specs, model number, etc) should be left on the system.

☐ Clean the screen and keyboard.

  • Use screen cleaner for the LCD and a soft, non-abrasive rag.
  • Use a brush and rag to clean the keyboard, trackpad and palm rest surfaces.
  • Wipe down the top of the laptop.


☐ Boot to BIOS, making note of the BIOS key (i.e. F2).

  • Watch for any errors during boot, and resolve. The laptop can be returned to Laptop Build if needed.

☐ In BIOS, confirm that the boot order is set correctly:

  • Optical drive first
  • Hard Drive next
  • Network boot last
  • Disregard or disable other boot options

Save changes and exit BIOS.

4. Login to Xubuntu 12.04

Login as the Default User, password: freegeek.
☐ Open the printme pdf from the Desktop. Check the notes section for comments from the Builder.

5. Quality Control Build Steps

☐ Test wireless

  • Connect to the Free Geek wireless network. You may need to select the network from the wireless icon in the upper right-hand corner of the Desktop toolbar.
  • Browse to a website, such as Accept the Free Geek wireless usage terms to continue to the site.

☐ Confirm batterytest information:

  • Check the Keeper label for the battery life in minutes.
  • Open a Terminal and type batterytest. Make sure the Keeper label and the Terminal output numbers match.
  • If the Keeper label was not filled out, write the batterytest information on the label.

☐ Test USB Ports
Test all ports with a USB mouse.

  • Make sure the cursor moves and can move windows.
  • Any bad ports identified by the Builder should be neatly covered with black electrical tape.

☐ Run basiccheck

  • Open a Terminal and type basiccheck
  • Run through the prompts.
    • For audio, test the onboard speakers first. When the test completes, plug speakers or headphones into the 1/8" audio jack and type repeat to run the audio test again.

☐ Confirm the date and time listed on the Desktop toolbar. Reset as needed.
☐ Run stress-test

  • Open a Terminal and type stress-test.
  • Ask your instructor for help if the test returns any errors.

6. Software updates

☐ Install software updates

  • Connect to the internet via ethernet cable.
  • Open Menu >> System >> Update Manager.
  • Hit the Check button to look for updates.
  • Hit Install Updates to install.

7. Test the optical drive

☐ You will need three testing disks:

  • Live bootable disk (all optical drives)
  • CD-RW for CD read and write functions (all optical drives)
  • DVD-RW for DVD read and write functions (DVD-RW drives), or
  • DVD-ROM for drives without DVD write functions (DVD-ROM drives)

Live boot test

  • Insert a live disk and reboot.
  • You should end up on a screen from the disk, rather than the Xubuntu login screen. Remove the disk and reboot back to Xubuntu.

CD read and write test (all optical drives) Write

  • Insert a CD-RW disk.
  • Open the burning program Xfburn from Menu >> Multimedia.
  • Create a new data project:
  • Select New Data Composition from the Xfburn main menu.
  • Select a file to burn:
    • In the Xfburn file browser window select oem >> bat_mon.
    • Add the file by selecting the green plus.
  • Start the burning process:
    • Hit the Proceed to Burn button.
  • Eject the disk once the burning process has completed.
    • The disk will autoeject in some systems.
    • Eject by right clicking on the disk Desktop icon >> Eject.
    • Or, open a terminal and type eject.


  • Reinsert the disk, and wait a few moments. Confirm that the file you burned is on the disk.
    • A file manager window should pop up, with the file you burned.
    • If the window does not appear, check Places for the disk.
  • Blank the disk from Xfburn >> Blank CD-RW to prepare the disk for the next tester.

DVD read test (for DVD-ROM drives only)

  • Insert a DVD-ROM disk. Confirm that the operating system can read the files on the disk.
    • A file manager window should pop up, with the file you burned.
    • If the window does not appear, check Places for the disk.


  • Copywritten software is required to play DVD movies. We do not install this software, but verify instead that the files on the DVD are readable by the operating system.

DVD read and write test (DVD-RW drives)

  • Follow the instructions for CD-RW testing, with a DVD-RW disk.

Troubleshooting steps for -/+RW media
Optical disk media is finicky, and disks in the build room are used frequently.

  • Try several different -/+RW disks.
  • Try a read-only disk (CD or DVD-ROM), and see if the drive can read the disk.
  • If the drive can read a CD or DVD-ROM disk, ask your instructor for a brand new CD/DVD-RW disk or CD/DVD-R. Some media formats don't play nice with specific optical drives when running Ubuntu.

8. Check for boot issues

☐ Reboot the system from software:

  • Open a Terminal and type sudo reboot. The system password is freegeek.
  • Make the system boots straight back to the Login screen without intervention.

9. Instructor sign off via printme

☐ In a Terminal, type printme and follow the onscreen instructions.
☐ Ask an instructor to sign off on the digital copy of your work.

10. Print spec sheets

☐ Print a file copy of the Printme to the desktop.

  • In Firefox, select Print from the green section of the printme document.
  • Select Print to File from the list of printers.
  • Name the file Laptop_QC.pdf
  • Save in folder Desktop.

☐ Print a paper copy of the Printme

  • Select Menu >> System >> Printing.
  • Select Server >> Settings Show printers shared by other systems, and hit Ok. Close Printing settings.
  • From the Printme opened in Firefox, select File >> Print, and select the Build Room printer.

11. Finishing touches

☐ Clear Firefox browsing history

  • From Firefox, select Tools >> Clear Recent History.
  • Set the time range to clear to Everything.
  • Select Details and check all the boxes.
  • Hit Clear Now and close Firefox.

☐ Document system ID number

  • Shut down the system.
  • Unplug the laptop, and remove the battery.
  • Find the System ID
  • Write the system ID number on a blank sticker, and place the sticker on the body of the laptop, under the battery.
  • Replace the battery.

☐ Finish Keeper label
Take one last look at the Keeper label:

  • Check the Done box in the QC section.
  • Confirm that all fields are filled in, and all sections completed.

☐ Free Geek Stickers

  • Put a black square Free Geek sticker and a password sticker on the palm rest. Your fellow builders can help you find these if you're not sure.

☐ Instructor final sign off

  • Have your instructor check your work, and sign off on the paper copy of the Printme.
  • Fold the Printme lengthwise and place it between the lid and keyboard of the laptop.
  • Have your instructor show you where to put the completed laptop.

12. Cleanup your work area

  • Be sure to put away tools, rags, cleaning supplies and disks if this is your last task for the day.
  • Thank you for volunteering!