Dell latitude D600 & D610

I fixed 2 Dells for friends, doing nothing but wiping Windows and installed Linux on them.
The computers had some dead keys.
Explain to me why the keys were dead on Windows but not in Linux ?
Planned obsolescence gone to far, considering now that our planet is dying.
I don't plan to buy anything new in the future.

To be fair to Dell, they are not the only one doing this, and not the worst one.

Did not know we are into Vintage and Retro listings on eBay such as…

Dell Latitude D610 Retro Gaming Laptop+Mouse+Adapter+Laptop BAG

Dell Latitude D830 Intel Core 2 T9300 4Gb Laptop Windows XP Retro Nvidia RS232

Just search Dell Latitude Retro OR search Dell Latitude i7 for faster models :) – so much choice - as with refurb A1’s from various companies though Dell refurb itself is very expensive.
Dell make some of the best sustainable laptops around, including the easily repairable Dell Latitude E52702017 which gets a top rating (10) from ifixit. This laptop is built so that you can replace the battery, trackpad buttons, display, and keyboard, and upgrade the RAM and the solid-state drive (SSD). Dell use minimal adhesives and instead use standard Phillips screws and offers clear repair and disassembly instructions, so you can fix or replace parts at home or have it easily repaired or upgraded by a professional.

Hey ifixit; my Dell Latitude E6420 has all that :) Suspect that all Dell Latitude models do same including the D600 & D610 :)
I have done all that on my old Insperon, plus upgrade the wi-fi card and change one of the daughter boards,.. Piece of cake :)
I must say, the old Inspiron 1100 (sibling of the more up-market 5100) was an absolute joy to work on. Mind you, it WAS nearly 2" deep - with a massive 19.2-volt battery pack (required by the full 'desktop' Pentium 4) - and when you did open it up, there was SO much space compared with modern lappies, you had plenty of room to work in.

I upgraded the CPU; RAM; HDD -> SSD; repaired both hinges - the XFT display panels weighed a ton 'cos they had a stainless steel surround sandwiching glass panels on both sides under the plastic protective cover.......if you removed the heavy battery pack, 9 times out of 10 it would tip over on the lid due to the sudden lack of a counterweight! With all this weight to deal with, the hinges had both spring AND 'tag' washers keeping everything fairly tight, but the reinforcing backplate on the inside of the case had a habit of coming adrift, 'cos Dell had used some very short screws that weren't really long enough for the job. I went down to our local engineering merchants and picked up half-a-dozen new ones that were all of 5 mm longer, which worked a treat when used with a drop of Loctite engineering adhesive. Never came loose again after that!

(I need to check the hinges on the D630; I think they could do with tightening up, 'cos the lid IS getting a wee bit on the 'floppy' side.)


The most awkward thing I had to do on the 1100 was replacing the CMOS battery. To access this, you had to completely strip the laptop down, remove the mobo and turn it over to reveal the battery hiding under the palm rest. This was a rechargeable lithium 'coin' cell, with tags spot-welded to it. This was then soldered to the mobo.....I managed to remove it OK, but my soldering skills are meagre at best, and how on earth the resultant 'bird-droppings' managed to hold it secure I will NEVER know.

I must have made a satisfactory job, though, 'cos it lasted another 6 years till the graphics chip and display lead gave up the ghost during the summer this year.


I wanted to upgrade the 1100 to use a wireless card like its big brother, the 5100.......but although the wireless cards were still available, AND the 1100 had a space - with screw-holes, natch! - just where the 5100's card would normally go, the killer was going to be the antenna. Not only were these no longer available, but it would have needed a lid from a 5100 since the 1100's didn't have the channels moulded in place where the wires would normally tuck into.....

I drew the line at all that, and just bought a NetGear PCMCIA wireless adapter to go in the slot above the hard drive 'caddy' ('period' laptop, so I treated it to a correspondingly 'period' wifi card). I'm using the same card in the Latitude right now; it, too, has a PCMCIA card slot, and the built-in Broadcom wireless card doesn't work. Well; it DOES 'work' - after a fashion - but it's not behaving itself like it should. So, the NetGear adapter card is still giving faithful service; it uses the ath5k driver, which has been in the kernel almost since Noah built the Ark. It works OOTB, and is extremely stable into the bargain; it's never once 'dropped-out' in all the years I've been using it.

Mike. ;)
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@Ziggi -- thanks for the reference to the Dell Latitude E52702017. I'll check it out as I need to upgrade hardware.

@MikeWalsh -- more power to you!

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