Goodbye Old Companion

Samsung-X20 After 4.5 years my Samsung X20 laptop kind of refused to stay with me any longer. I turned it on as usual and all I saw was screen garbage – be it in text or graphics mode. All the other components appeared to work fine from the first glance. Booting up Haiku and openSUSE wen’t fine despite the screen garbage all over the place, booting up XP didn’t work out somehow and resulted in a black screen. Doing the latter in safe mode at least gave me the screen garbage back. I tinkered a bit with the resolution, switched it down from 1400x1050x32 to 1024x768x32 and wow … the left side of the desktop was displayed without glitches, and the right showed the garbage only. My initial thought which component might have failed was geared towards the graphics chipset, and the observation with the resolution change gave the last hint – graphics memory (partially) broken.

I disassembled the machine once again in order to have a look for any “burned” parts but nothing to see on the graphics chip itself. From some pictures on the net I saw that the graphics memory is aligned across the die on the chip itself – all covered by a aluminium plate. Besides that, no replacement is possible, as the chip itself is soldered on the motherboard.

The “box” has accompanied me “through thick and thin” as a work horse development and spare time gaming machine. Despite showing its age performance wise, I’ve never had any issues and that is even more frustrating having the machine “leave” this way. So, farewell and have a nice time in the new companions’ packaging …

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