Old Laptops

A relative gave two old, defunct laptops to my dad. He gave them to me to see if they would be possible to fix.

Dell Inspiron 1150 with Broken Screen
Old Compaq Presario 1240
images © me; click for larger versions

First of them (see the image on the left) turned out to be a Dell Inspiron 1150. This machine seems to have an a 2.6GHz CPU under the hood, a 256MB of RAM and 40G HD. It is actually a pretty solid machine. The only catch is that the screen is totally busted. If you look at the pic, this is how the screen looks like after you turn the machine on.

I connected it to an external monitor and it booted all the way into Windows and then froze. I’m guessing that the mobo and RAM are fine, otherwise the system would bug out much earlier. I think the machine was dropped (the damage to the display suggests this) so potentially I might be working with a bad drive. There might have been a nice head crash caused by the impact, but since the HD is still spinning, and reading data I’m guessing that they didn’t break the head or wedge it into the platters. Hopefully, we are dealing with few bad sectors that will be just marked as dead when I reformat.

I’m currently souring eBay for cheap displays for this model. The “Buy Now” entries are tad expensive ($150-$200) which is actually a quarter of the price of a new laptop. I’ll see if I can maybe win one of the cheaper auctions…

Second machine was an ancient Compaq Presario 1240. Amazingly enough it was in perfect condition. Someone actually managed to install WinXP on it. Scarry! This thing only has 98MB of ram and 200 something MHz CPU. I reformatted it and installed Win2k which unlike XP is actually usable within these specs.

It has no network card, but it does have a PCIMCIA slot, so I’m going to pick up a wireless G card tomorrow, and set it up for my dad so that he can use it to browse the web, and get email until I fix up the Dell.

Heh, if I get the Dell working before Christmass I can probably convince Santa to bring my dad some RTS and turn based games this year. :)

[tags]laptops, relatives, dell, inspiron, inspiron 1150, compaq, pressario, presario 1240[/tags]

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6 Responses to Old Laptops

  1. Wikke BELGIUM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    How are they doing so far?

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  2. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I installed Win2k on the Compaq and it is running just fine. I found an old Belkin F5D7010 Wireless G card but I could not get it working on it (which leads me to believe that the card is bad). My own Linksys WPC54G ver. 1.2 worked just fine though.

    You just need to remember that the drivers for ver. 1.2 are really listed as ver. 2.0 on Linksys website. :mrgreen:

    I managed to upgrade it to Service Pack 4, but after that the machine was just sitting at the Windows Update screen and idling for 20 minutes till I had to reboot it after installing some other software. Sometimes the new update process takes ages on the old Win2k machines so I’m not that concerned. I’ll let it run longer next time.

    I also installed Age of Empires II and Caesar III on it (two of my dads long time favorite titles).

    As for the Dell – I’m still shopping around for a display. I’m hoping I can get one for below $50. Other than that, I will need to hook it up to an external monitor over the weekend, and see if I can reinstall Windows.

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