August 13th, 2012

George Washington's Computer

The Dell laptop that work gave me to replace my older IBM ThinkPad has been failing essentially since I got it. The only reason that this has been tolerable is that it isn't my primary machine -- I really have only used it when out of the office.

But it failed in March, putting up hash across the display when I was out in the Santa Clara office around Consonance. Then it failed again in June when I was in our office downtown.

I loaded BIOS updates. They didn't help. I loaded updated drivers. They didn't help.

Finally, Dell scheduled a service call and replaced the LCD screen. The tech at the time said that the symptoms didn't sound like an LCD problem -- they sounded like a motherboard problem. But they'd given him an LCD screen to replace mine with and not a motherboard, so he'd try it.

The machine failed again in the same way within minutes of the time he pulled out of the driveway. So we called Dell again. (Ok, the friendly tech from work called Dell again, not me.)

Another tech came out and replaced the CPU and heat sink. The machine failed again in the same way.

Another couple of weeks went by and now Dell has replaced the motherboard. The machine has worked all afternoon.

This is good, because we are running out of parts to replace. And I can't see any way this could be the fault of the keyboard...