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I have a couple of Dell Inspiron 6000 notebooks that work perfectly fine unless you pick them up by one corner (as most people would). When you lift the notebook it flexes slightly and the notebook shorts out. Sometimes even a gentle bump will cause this to happen. So far the notebook always starts back up without issue, but this behavior is...inconvenient.

It occurred to me that someone familiar with the innards might be able to suggest a little MacGyver fix for this. A little electrical tape in the right spot or something like that. Or perhaps this is a common problem and the answer is here, waiting for me to stumble on the correct keywords.

I would appreciate any suggestions

Note: It is probably worth mentioning that I have disassembled a Dell notebook before to replace a bluetooth card so I comfortable opening up the systems.

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If it's TWO laptops of the same make, it sounds like a possible design flaw. I'd look at Dell-specific knowledgebases and fora.

Is it any corner, or do you have to lift by one specific corner to trigger the problem?

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It is a specific corner, the right, front corner. I would definitely say it is a design flaw, but I haven't found it mentioned it the usual forums. That may just mean I'm not hitting on the right key words. – Jim Clark Jan 4 '10 at 13:07
You can try to debug it by thinking in an engineering fashion. Does squeezing the corner cause the problem, or do you have to flex it? Flex in which which direction? Can you flex just one surface (top or bottom) of the case, or must it be both? You mention being comfortable in disassembling laptops. Take it apart and look at the stuff in that corner. Any contacts that flex free or bare traces that touch something when you flex/squeeze it? – CarlF Jan 4 '10 at 14:34

You could check for simple issues, for instant are the battery contacts clean (both on the battery and on the laptop)? reseat any cables or connectors. Reseat any memory chips or even (carefully) the CPU if it is in a socket.

If none of the connectors or the battery fix it, then I doubt it will be repairable.

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Thanks Jim. That advice is pretty obvious and would be the first thing I would have done on my desktop but I must shamefully admit that it had not occurred to me to try this on these notebooks - DOH! – Jim Clark Dec 3 '09 at 20:44

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