Home for the holidays, can you look at my laptop? (Part 2 – the demise of a video card and the MBR)

My brother lugged two kids and two laptops from Phoenix.  At various times through the day today, I’ve been surrounded by all four of them.

This particular episode involves a Dell Inspiron 600m.  I’ve never seen a display look like this.  Either the LCD is totally shot, or the video card is shot.  After some diagnostics with Dell tech support, it’s the video card.  Which means a new motherboard.

During the diagnosis, the laptop ceases to boot past the Windows screen, repeatedly bringing up a BSOD about the master partition.  Pulling out my trusty new Slax bootable USB key, I can access the data on the HDD, so the drive controller and drive are OK.  As long as the drive is OK, the controller doesn’t matter—we’ll have a new one soon anyway, with the rest of the motherboard.

So, it’s off to eBay to locate a new motherboard, and then a Windows restore once he ships me the CDs.  Looks like he’s going home with 2 kids and 1 laptop.

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