This sweet little laptop was given to me by a very talented friend, with reports of unexpected shutdowns. My first thought was an overheating CPU, which was backed up by the constantly running fan and the smell of hot plastic when I tested it. Sure enough, when I took apart the CPU heat-sink it was completely clogged with fluff and the thermal compound was dry and crumbly.

With the fluff removed and the heat-sink reassembled with fresh thermal compound, the machine booted up and ran just fine. After creating a set of system restore CDs, I securely erased the hard drive and reinstalled Windows. It took a few updates to get the wireless card working with our WPA2-PSK network, and I discovered that the power supply was faulty ($15) and the battery wouldn’t hold charge ($52 + shipping). I took the plunge and ordered one of each on eBay. Not sure yet if I’ll keep it or try to sell it.

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