My brother already posted about this a while ago here: http://www.daniweb.com/forums/thread99367.html. He's not so technically savvy.
Anyway, this has been gathering dust until it was given to me recently. I don't have the charger for it right now, and there's no power in the battery. I was going to purchase a motherboard on eBay, but I wanted to ask a few extra questions and try to pinpoint the actual problem.
When this laptop "worked", so to speak, it could never keep the time. The hour would always be way off after every boot.
I also remember downloading and installing software just fine. The problem would be after closing a program, it would give a strange error upon restarting it, but wouldn't run (this wouldn't happen all the time, but would eventually). I'd download the software and install it again and it would work, yet the same problem would come up. Sounds like a hard drive issue to me. By searching Google, I've also seen other people having the same problem with this particular laptop.
So my questions are whether this could be a motherboard or hard drive issue, or both (or would RAM and/or CPU be more common?). Also, I've noticed in some photos on eBay that there is a CMOS battery on the mobo, but mine doesn't have one. I'm not sure if it was there originally, or if someone took it out not knowing what it was. Can it function without one?
It couldn't be a software issue because I tried formatting and reinstalling (which worked for a little while, but the problems would happen again).
Thanks for your input.
By the way, there are two 512-megabyte sticks of RAM installed, standard Pentium M 1.4Ghz, 40GB Travelstar DK23FB-40 hard drive, motherboard is model number 6M856. Everything seems to look OK on the inside.