Friday, April 27, 2007

Update on m1210

I'd like to update one and all about the sad state of this laptop. Unfortunately this laptop was affected by the Nvidia chip issue and started to get really hot. One day, It just died & wouldn't turn back on. I tried. to revive it with no luck - the second I would plug in my power adapter into it the light on the power adapter would turn off - I guess there must be some kind of short. Also I think its possible it messed up my hard drive too.  If anyone has any idea what I can do (without spending more than $50, because at that point its better to just buy a new laptop), I'd love to hear it in the comments.



kennethdorman said...

I am sorry to hear of your misfortune with the M1210. Although it seems it has made it through tough times. Albeit, I find myself in the same situation as you did in 07' I do believe. I am looking for and guidance or knowledge that you could pass on to this Jedi, I recently inherited a Dell m1210 due to the state it is in. It served as a work horse for many years for my mother and now she passed the torch on to me. The issues I am having with the unit is, turns on fine, screen comes on fine, but after a good 30 seconds (or less when warm) the screen goes blank. I have been doing quite of bit of researching on this issue and really dont know where to turn. And thats what brought me to your informative blog. I have read it could be anything from the ccfl to the inverter to the video chip (in which on youtube, they suggest baking your MOBO for 10 mins at 350 to fix the issue and flow the chip back into place.
I can see the screen faintly in regular light and much better using a LED flashlight. The external monitor works just fine and does not power down at any time.
Here is where I ask for some guidance or suggestions on what you think I should do. I dont want to part this laptop, I would like to just fix it.
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Scratching head in Minnesota

Note: Is there a considerable difference in the M1210 screen and one from a 710m?

Bz said...

Kenneth, see my reply to your comment in my new blog post above.

mhax said...

Up to today of the M1210, this laptop still continues to run ever since I got it back in '07. I came across this blog while looking for CPU, memory and solid state drive upgrades.

This working configuration does not have an Nvidia graphics chip installed, therefore leaving an unoccupied footprint where the chip would be installed on the motherboard leaving all graphics up to the northbridge (with integrated Intel graphics).

To my knowledge, the Nvidia graphics chip phenomena of locking up by overheating can be remedied by:

1. reflowing the BGA solder under the chip with an oven or a heat gun (easy),
2. reballing the BGA chip with new solder (hard without a reball kit),
3. removing the chip completely (with accompanying components) leaving graphics up to the northbridge.

1 and 2 could be prevented ensuring the chip had complete contact with the heatsync assembly and while the exhaust vent wasn't blocked up by dust. It is a similar situation with early versions of the Xbox 360.

3 would probably work if there weren't hopefully something in the BIOS or hardware that would prevent it. I can't test this without spending on a broken M1210 with Nvidia.

An issue with my recent upgrade to 4GB of memory, the M1210 northbridge's (Intel 945 chipset) memory controller with 32-bit addressing (32-bit == up to 4GB) cannot map all 4GB, leaving me with 3.25GB of usable RAM for the operating system, regardless if the operating system is 32-bit. Which now leads me replacing the laptop with up-to-date hardware.

A possible current drop in laptop replacement for the M1210 I have seen is the Latitude E6220. Similar design, even though the line is business oriented. Maybe even for power users who believe the ultrabook lie. :P