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Fixing a Dell 1525 with Dead Motherboard (In Coquitlam)

Updated on November 17, 2012
Replaced the motherboard
Replaced the motherboard
Main screw from the bottom on the left. Two small screws broken leaving holes.
Main screw from the bottom on the left. Two small screws broken leaving holes.
Shortened screw which fits the hole.
Shortened screw which fits the hole.
Hinge with strong screwing that will last.
Hinge with strong screwing that will last.
Re-applied silver thermal compound on the CPU.
Re-applied silver thermal compound on the CPU.
Screen to restore the laptop
Screen to restore the laptop
Check box to clear the data.
Check box to clear the data.
Restore in progress
Restore in progress
Keyboard and mouse pad working good.
Keyboard and mouse pad working good.
Small scratches on top from normal use
Small scratches on top from normal use
Top view
Top view
Bottom view
Bottom view
OEM AC adapter
OEM AC adapter
System information
System information

The posting below provides the background on this Dell 1525 laptop:

"Originally got this laptop as part of the Telus promotion 3 years ago. Not sure of the specs other than it had Windows Vista and I think 1 gb RAM. It worked great until the motherboard died (at least that's what I was told). Moving and figure it still could be useful for the battery, plug or any other part that you can take out of it or even the shell."

I was interested to fix it. On 11Jul2011 after work, I drove a long way to North Delta to pick it up. It was owned by a lady who had been keeping it very well. Returning home, I disassembled the laptop. The motherboard had three parts, namely the power jack board, power button board and main motherboard. Using a multi-meter, I found the power button board failed. I brought one online and replaced it. Unfortunately, the laptop still did not power up. Motherboard is quite expansive. I would like to confirm the problem before buying it. I found a motherboard locally that had fan running when powered on. I used it and confirmed that the motherboard also failed.

I looked for a motherboard over two months and found a US seller who was willing to ship the motherboard to Canada in fair rate of $8. Other US sellers were asking $20 to $30. I received the motherboard on 9Sep2011 and installed it immediately. The motherboard is good. With it, the laptop booted up successfully. I cleaned up the fan. On the heat sink, I replaced the hardened thermal compound.

The left hinge has one big screw from the bottom and two small and short screws on the top. Due to opening and closing of the LCD screen, two small screws were broken. The big screw is still good. I applied DW40 to the hinge for lubrication. For the broken small screw holders, I used longer and bigger screws which go to the bottom of the holes beneath the broken small screw holders. The hinge is much stronger than before. If not fixed, the whole hinge would be broken further to outside like other Dell 1525 laptop.

I booted up the laptop again. At boot up, I pressed F8 to go to the repair screen. Fortunately, the laptop has the recovery partition and option to restore the factory image. On the next screen, I checked the box to clear the hard drive.

The restore completed within half an hour. When the Windows Vista desktop came up, I tested WiFi, sound and video on YouTube. When I tested the shut down, it took over 10 minutes. It was resolved by the following steps:

  1. Go to Control Panel
  2. Click Device Manager
  3. Click Network Adapter
  4. Click Wireless Card
  5. Uncheck the Power Management

The laptop is running again. I charged the battery to 100% and let it stayed on the desktop screen with LCD brightness for room lighting. The battery dropped to 56% in half an hour. By projection, the battery should last over an hour.

On 17Sep2011, the laptop has a new home in Coquitlam for a student girl who likes it.

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