Giving life to very old laptops


xkcd0137

Active Member
Disciple
Hello people, I live in a Tier 2.5 city and getting laptops repaired here is a difficult job. I have two old laptops as given below -

1) HP Pavilion dv2910tx - This laptop is around 11 years old and is not in working condition since 3-4 years or maybe even more.
The display of this laptop is divided into 4 identical sub-columns and is quite blurry and unusable. This series of Pavilion laptops (dv2000) was prone to graphics issues. I once wasted Rs. 500 to get it repaired. It got okay for a few hours and the next day the display was back to the same issue. IMO since its a graphics card issue, replacing the motherboard is the only solution, but not to the original one (Core 2 Duo). I was thinking of replacing the motherboard with a more powerful config. I have found a few mobos on ebay from US (Cost: 900 Mobo + 1600 for shipping), and dropped query to the seller about their specs. I couldn't find any in India, if you know some reliable seller, do let me know.
OR
Is their someone reliable who can repair my current Mobo for nominal charges if I send them by courier?
OR
Should I salvage its parts? For eg. I am already personally using its 320GB HDD as an external storage. Its Display, RAM (DDR2), Panel etc work fine. Should I sell them for some bucks?

2) Dell Inspiron 15R N5110 - This is almost 10 yrs old laptop and currently this laptop is being shared between myself (5%) and my younger sis (95%) (who is a computer science student). I do most of my work on phone and use laptop rarely (for filling forms or opening some sites which are not mobile-friendly etc). I have upgraded its RAM to 8GB DDR3 1666MHz.

a) Its original display (LG display) worked okay for almost 6-7 years but then it started developing some vertical lines. Now these vertical lines cover almost 20% of the right region of screen, so 1 year back I got the screen replaced (Rs 1800-2800) from a local computer shop. He gave me a 3 (or 6) month warranty which ended in Jan (or March). Unfortunately, this screen too developed a few vertical lines but since we were under lockdown and the 3 (or 6) month warranty had passed, there was no way of/point in asking for a replacement. But then one fine night, maybe I sprayed a little more water to clean the screen and water seeped in and the screen went mad. There were continous Down-to-Up blurry movement and nothing is readable. So I am back to the original Screen right now.
There are two options for a new screen - Rs. 4800 for 1 Yr Warranty from local Dell Service Centre (NOT LG display) or Rs. 6800 for 3 Yr Warranty from Amazon (Seller: Online SBS, Brand: SellZone). Do you people know any other reputable seller?

b) Its Hard Disk makes hell lot of noise, especially when multi-tasking or while opening Chrome. The Back panel gets pretty HOT and CPU Usage also shoots to 90-100% often. I am currently running Windows 7 as Windows 10 hangs a lot on this system. Earlier I ran Hard Disk Sentinel to check if there was any fault with the HDD but found none. 2 days ago I installed CrystalDiskInfo and it showed 'Caution' highlighting the 'Reallocating Sectors Count' which is at its worst score. I think this HDD is going to fail in some time, so planning to replace it with a 256GB SATA SSD (May cost around 3-3.5k during sale). Will this improve performance in any way?

c) I don't know why but the laptop has also stopped charging since last week. Its running on direct power currently. I had bought this current battery in Jan 2018 only (Rs. 2653). I have already bought 2 batteries for this laptop till now.

So should I get a new Screen, SSD and Battery and spend approx 10k on this laptop? Changing Battery is not compulsory though.


PS - I have recently left my job so I am not really interested in buying a new laptop. But if its the only option, I may ask parents to buy laptop for younger sis but I will continue to use this Dell system only. So does (atleast) an SSD Upgrade make sense? I can manage with faulty display or plug it to the TV (lol) if needed.

PPS - I have a habit of tinkering with electronics and have repaired my phone (replaced display, battery, mobo etc) and Laptops in past. So I am pretty comfortable in buying parts and replacing myself and doing some small repairs too. Also, even if I have no need for these systems, I would like to get them to their best form if and when I resume my job and get enough cash.
 

vyral_143

Jarvis
Super Mod
1) HP Pavilion dv2910tx
I think, you should salvage it for some funds towards SSD for 2nd laptop.

2) Dell Inspiron 15R N5110
With SSD, this should hold good for basic works - given proccy on this is i5-2410M - AFAIK. I am running my HP DV6-3057TX based on i3-370M for basic work quite efficiently - have bumped RAM to 8GB and put 120GB SSD. Depending your budget and usage, get either 120/240GBGB SSD and use 320GB HDD from previous laptop as extra storage. About display, have you given thought of using it with monitor/TV ?

The Back panel gets pretty HOT and CPU Usage also shoots to 90-100% often.
Have you opened this laptop for cleaning and reapplying thermal paste ? It should work wonders. I did same with above mentioned HP laptop in April. It used to go near 89 degrees; opened it up, there was dust clogging on vents and fan assembly. Along with cleaning it, I applied Noctua NT-H1 - got it from PrimeAbgb for 450-500 bucks. It now runs comfy near 40 degrees mark.

Changing Battery is not compulsory though.
Skip it !
 

xkcd0137

Active Member
Disciple
Thank you for your advice. You've given a very sensible and balanced solution.

I think, you should salvage it for some funds towards SSD for 2nd laptop.

I'll try putting it up here and olx, but it may take some time to move. I am not really short of funds though, i just don't want to splurge.

With SSD, this should hold good for basic works - given proccy on this is i5-2410M - AFAIK.

Yup, you got it right. Core i5-2410m.

Depending your budget and usage, get either 120/240GBGB SSD and use 320GB HDD from previous laptop as extra storage.

There is not much difference in price of 120 and 240gb ssds. Also, I am planning to go for DRAM ssd (like MX500) and not cheap out with DRAM-less ones as SSDs are pretty durable item and this one can be used in any other system in future if need arises.

About the display, have you given thought of using it with monitor/TV ?

We have only 1 TV/monitor at home which is also quite huge (50'+) and that can't be placed in my room. I can plug it to TV only for special situations. I am managing normal tasks with 60% screen till then.

Have you opened this laptop for cleaning and reapplying thermal paste ?
I have opened it a number of times to clean and it indeed has very clean internals. But I haven't applied Thermal Paste till now. Will follow your advice and buy Noctua right away.
 

vyral_143

Jarvis
Super Mod
We have only 1 TV/monitor at home which is also quite huge (50'+) and that can't be placed in my room. I can plug it to TV only for special situations. I am managing normal tasks with 60% screen till then.
I think you can get a 19" monitor (easy to place) around 4.5K mark - may be lesser if scouted on OLX.
 

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