Monday, January 3, 2011

So my laptop died today...

Well, not exactly. The video card on my Dell Inspiron died on Monday. But since it's integrated with the motherboard, the laptop is a write-off.
Naturally, I had no idea at the time I bought it that there was an overheating issue with the Inspiron 9400s.

There were other early issues with the laptop as well, such as a faulty hinge. How something simple like a hinge can be faulty in this day and age is beyond me, but it was forcing the casing of the laptop to crack open, and in the end had to be sent back to Dell. The warranty had expired, naturally.

Things only got worse when it came back: There was a clicking sound from the fan, and shortly after, the screen started to go bad with columns of dead pixels. I called up Dell to talk to them about it, but they wanted to charge me money just to bring up these post-repair issues. I was so disgusted I hung up.

Around this time, the video card started getting hotter and hotter. The external laptop fan (the type that your laptop sits on and which vents air away from the underside) was no longer cutting it. The columns of dead pixels on the screen increased. I switched to using a desktop monitor, and I got a small desk fan the size of a melon to blow directly at the video card side of the laptop to keep the temperature down.

Just this last Sunday, the laptop failed to start a couple of times, but plodded on. On Monday, there were blinking lines on the screen when the computer was rebooting, and Windows wouldn't start up.

The video card had died, and basically took the motherboard with it. I asked around and was told I could probably salvage the hard drive and use it as an external in a drive case. I could also take out the DVD drive, but whether it would be useful to anyone is iffy. The battery, too, could be salvaged, but Dells can detect the type of battery inserted, and won't use them if they came from a different model.

I had recently committed to a real estate purchase, and right now I don't have the cash to buy a proper gaming computer.


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