The Laptop - LapDawg (retired)

  • Dell Inspiron 600M
  • Mobile Celeron 1.3 GHz
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 40 GB HDD
  • 8x DVD-ROM
  • v.92 56.6K Internal Modem
  • 10/100 on-board NIC
  • 802.11b Centrino Wireless
  • Touchpad
  • Dual on-board USB ports
  • Logitech Wheelmouse
  • Belkin Mega-Office style carrying case

One of the guys at work had this machine and it crapped out on him - it would only run for a few minutes at a time and not even boot. He mentioned selling it for parts on eBay once he found out how much a new motherboard was going to cost.  I offered to buy it from him, but he wanted to keep the hard drive because of all of his stuff that he was sure I'd be able to pull off of it after a format - whatever.  I bought a new, bigger drive for $60... no biggee.

So, I took it home and started researching everything I could find on it.  I found a support forum on Dell's site that outlined the symptoms it was having and how to fix it - basically that the machine has a poorly-designed heat exchanger that needs to remain absolutely clean to work properly.  So, I pulled it apart and cleaned out what seemed like a half pound of dog hair, dust, and cigarette ashes.  Once that was taken care of it ran great for about 45 minutes - long enough to reload Windows XP Pro.

I also discovered that they had suspect power supplies that would overdrive the power distribution section on the motherboard, causing a thermal shutdown.  So, I got on eBay and found a new power supply which seemed to solve the problem - the machine runs like a champ.

Unfortunately, after about a month of running great, the motherboard crapped out.  Apparently too much abuse from the previous owner had taken its toll.  I was able to have a notebook repair shop in Austin, TX repair the machine (since they wouldn't just sell me a new mobo).  It ran $700 all said and done, but I'm still several hundred dollars ahead of the game considering the machine I have.