The Cherry Mobile Alpha Morph had been my only laptop since I purchased it from Lazada in November of last year. One of the reasons I bought it was the device was already running the latest Windows 10 OS right out of the box (initially offered with Windows 8.1) and it was also on a promotional sale which was for only Php5,999 from its original price of Php11,999. So when I saw the offer and since I was on a tight budget but needed a very portable laptop, I placed the order right away. It was actually one of the best deals I took advantage of from Lazada Philippines, and I did not regret it.
Fast forward to July 2016, the laptop is now dead, well sort of as it's still fixable according to the local Cherry Mobile Service Center here in Davao City. How it came to this situation? Please read on.
My Cherry Mobile Alpha Morph is not actually dead, as I mentioned it still can be fixed, but the situation I am in right now makes this device as good as dead as it's of no use to me anymore. The device would boot up when powered on, but not go beyond the where the Alpha Morph logo is showed and would just go black screen from there.
Now let me clear first that this situation could only be unique to my device and I don't mean that it is the same for all the Cherry Mobile Alpha Morph or any of their devices out there. However, if you are also encountering the same issues I had with my device, just be a little more careful when doing the same thing I did. Factory Reset.
So here's how it started. The Cherry Mobile Alpha Morph I got was working very fine, in fact I was very happy with its performance and it would really be able to do tasks I normally do on a regular laptop and desktop. As you may know, I am a blogger and not a gamer, so mostly I used it for browsing sites, streaming audios and videos, and creating posts here on DugomPinoy.
It was, I think, in January when the device started acting up. I believe it was also the first time my device received the first Windows 10 software update since I turned it on. So I restarted the laptop and when it was about to turn back on, the system said there was an update to be installed and asked for my go signal. I accepted the update and let my device process it and I was just there sitting right next to it as it tried to complete the update and showed me the progress in percent. It reached 100% in downloading the new update, then it started installing it. Unfortunately, it was not able to and said something very generic message that the system could not complete the software update and would need to undo the process. I was still able to use the Alpha Morph for months even after that first instance. And whenever I power cycled the laptop it would always do the same thing about processing the software update, downloading... installing... failing... undoing, it stayed like that for months and never in a single scenario it was able to successfully install the update. And since I was able to use the device, I just didn't care about it and let it be that way.
Couple of months went by, the device was still working very fine, until I noticed new issue it was having. The Start Menu window kept on popping up as if I was pressing the Windows key on the keyboard or clicking the Windows icon on the lower left side of the screen using my mouse. It was annoying as it would continue to pop up even if I was just browsing or typing on the screen. Good thing there was a simple fix, power cycle, but I still had to go through the software update fail process everytime. Since it was fixing the new issue and I was still able to use the laptop very okay, I let it that way again.
And then a few nights ago, the Start Menu kept on popping up on the screen like crazy that it was now very aggravating and it's disrupting my activity. I was actually creating a new post on my blog, so I was typing most of the time and every time the Start Menu would pop up, it would recognize the keys I was pressing on the keyboard as shortcut commands and would execute it on the screen by opening the windows or applications corresponding to the characters I accidentally typed while the Start Menu was up. Very annoying. Then I did the thing I regretted doing... Factory Reset.
I factory reset the Cherry Mobile Alpha Morph though its Windows 10 in-system menu in the settings.
I really thought doing the factory reset thing on this device would fix all the issues I was having as it was just going to reset everything and bring my Alpha Morph's state back to as it was when I turned it on the first time like what factory resetting does to my smartphones. I was wrong.
So I did the factory reset by going though the Windows 10 settings section. The laptop took about 30 minutes (again showing me percentage progress) to process the resetting. Now Resetting was done and the Alpha Morph restarted, then on the part where the Cherry Mobile Alpha Morph logo is showing up, it took quite a while to get out of there. Then the next thing was a black-but-turned-on screen followed, and it stuck there.
I restarted the device multiple times to see if there was just a minor glitch in the booting sequence since I did the factory reset. Sadly, that did not fix it and the I was stuck with the "black screen of death", as many Windows 10 users are calling it on the internet.
The next day I realized I would not be able to fix this on my own even after doing some research online and see how users with the same scenario tried to fix the same issue on their own. Then I remembered I purchased the device not over a year ago and I might just use the warranty coverage. But there was another problem I discovered, I lost my order receipt for the device. I know it was the only requirement the Cherry Mobile Service Center needs to recognize that the device was still under warranty, still I tried my luck. But since I purchased the Alpha Morph on Lazada, I thought the copy of my order transaction online of the device would be enough to get the warranty back since it is a legit proof of purchase.
On that same day, I brought the Alpha Morph to the Cherry Mobile Service Center here in Davao City. It is located just outside the Grand Menseng Hotel. I thought maybe they could just successfully reset my device using their own tools. The people at this service center were very nice and accommodating actually, however I was told they could not accept the print copy of my Lazada order details for the device, they need the actual receipt provided by the courier when it was delivered to me. Well that was really unfortunate. I even asked if there was a way they could just check my device's serial number in their database and verify that it was still under warranty, they said there was not. To cut the story short, I could not take advantage of the warranty service and would need to pay the actual cost of repairing the device which was Php550 if it was software related only. I was also told that if the issue was on its motherboard, the repair would cost me as much as 80% of the device's price. Not sure if she was referring to the discounted price or actual SRP.
I left the device overnight at this service center and prayed that they would be able to fix it, I was actually okay paying the Php550, I didn't have other options anyway, and besides I wanted my device repaired, that's all. The next day I came back and was sadly informed that their technician was not able to fix the device on software level and suspected the issue was on the device's motherboard itself. This meant, should I say yes, the device would be sent to Manila for repair and again would cost me around 80% of the device's price plus at least 4 weeks or more of waiting. I said no. And I don't have the budget for it just yet and don't have the patience of waiting too.
I continued doing some searching online in the hope of finding a fix for the black screen issue. You know internet is full of so many solutions and workarounds if you just know how and where to find them. I was lucky enough to be able to find a way to get through the BIOS and Advanced Troubleshooting section of the device and did some in-system troubleshooting and repair options.
I tried all the available on-screen options for troubleshooting... to no avail.
I surrendered. And now my Cherry Mobile Alpha Morph is of no use anymore. I might send it for repair but then if this will really cost me 80% of the price, then it's much smarter to just buy a new one, don't you think?
Lesson learned: Always keep the OR or Order Receipt as no one knows if I am gonna need it in the future or not. And if you own a Cherry Mobile Alpha Morph or other similar devices and showing the same symptoms as mine did, do not factory reset, unless you are ready to turn it into a paperweight, instead bring it to the nearest service center right away and have them fixed it for you.
Again, this case might just be isolated and unique to my laptop and not necessarily the same case for you or the device. But extra care is much more important, sabi nga nila Prevention is Better than Cure. : )