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Tuesday, 02 October 2007



It sounds like you had a "Cat 5" power surge that took everything down. If that's true, expect a lot of things to begin failing in short order.

If your laptop was plugged in or connected via wire to anything and there was a major surge, it could take out a number of internal components, even if it was off.


Don't think it was a surge. The TiVo had been acting up for several days, and the laptop wasn't connected to anything except the network cable until I plugged it in and started it up Monday night. And it worked fine for half an hour before going belly-up on me.

I took your advice, though, and just ordered a ThinkPad T61. When I was just looking around pricing things, Dell had a promotional deal on that made their box at least a couple hundred bucks cheaper. But that deal apparently expired between then and now, so there wasn't that much of a price difference between the Inspiron that I was looking at and the ThinkPad. Given Michael Dell's Republican sympathies, I'm not terribly upset that I won't have to pay him another kilobuck.


It sounds like a heat issue with the laptop. There are a number of component that work intermittently when they break, as long as they don't get hot.

You can probably pull things off by keeping the unit well ventilated and planning what you want to do before you turn it on. It will probably work for 20 minutes at a time until it gets hot.

Don't put it in the Fridge, you'll get condensation and really fry it, but if you could use it in front of an air conditioner vent that would help.

A big surge will generate transient voltages in telephone and network cables. This is what happens in close lightning strikes - they induce voltages in wires, even though they don't hit the wires.


Oh, brother....you do have reason to go back to bed & cover your head.

I had 'heat related issues' with an ancient Compaq laptop. I reseated the heat sink with some thermal paste, which I don't recommend unless you have an overwhelming desire for some hands-on fix-it experience and feel okay with taking the entire contraption apart (and putting it back together with no parts left over!).

The laptop fired back up immediately, but died again after about two weeks. Fortunately, I got everything of value off the hard disk before that time.

Good luck....


You might also try this -

Extracting data from a dead laptop with a laptop hard drive adapter

If the link doesn't work for you, let me know.

The procedure has saved me a lot of anguish several times.

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