First post, by gladders

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Hi everyone,

A few years ago I grabbed the above vintage laptop and after some trial and error got it working. The clock battery and the sleep battery I removed without replacing and haven't missed them. I put in a 2GB compact flash. The only thing I couldn't get working was the trackpoint, which has never worked. Nor has a PS/2 mouse, for that matter, although PS/2 keyboards were fine. I got by with a serial mouse. I was very happy with this excellent laptop.

Then about 6 months ago some weird behaviour started happening. First, one time I booted, the screen was showing weird colours and intense flickering, and the keyboard would not respond. After about 10-15 minutes though, it booted fine, and the weird flickering and colour stuff hasn't happened again.

However the keyboard hasn't been the same since. You press a button and absolutely random garbage appears at the DOS prompt. Like pressing 'w' produces '^~v' or somesuch.

The few occasions I got Windows 3.11 loaded, I discovered that sound was also no longer working, and that the mouse is completely unresponsive. It's like systems are gradually breaking.

So what could this be? I'm wondering if I need to do a clean install of DOS and Windows although I doubt it's the issue, and I can't because of my other issue. The external floppy drive that came with it has broken. I put an old floppy disk in there which let out a piercing SCREECH and since then it doesn't read any disks. Should I get a drive cleaner for that?

TLDR: keyboard not working right, sound gone, mouse gone, floppy drive busted. Help?

Reply 1 of 1, by gerry

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Rank Oldbie

a deep and possibly multiply sourced mystery in hardware rather than corruption in software would be my suspicion, but you could start over completely from fresh and even open it up to see if anything obvious has happened like a capacitor problem - not that its easy to spot.