Wanted: ...help repairing my laptop!


Prominent Member

A while ago my Dell Latitude C400's USB socket broke, something to do with the plastics/soldering, and I now want to try and repair it with a little help, well, at least see if it can be repaired! I am a frugal creature so was wondering if there are any laptop-tinkerer types in the London area (SE5) who might be prepared to have a look at my machine for me, and tell me what is what. I was hoping to use a USB Skype handset with it, but until I know whether I need to buy a new laptop, I am stuck for the present. Oh and Dell wanted £400+ to carry out repairs!!!

Thanks for looking

Location: London SE5
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Established Member
Digger, You could try a trawl of ebay for spares for C400's. Dells are very popular machines and there is a thriving trade for all kinds of spares, including screens and motherboards for most kinds of Dell laptops.

I would guess that you will need a replacement motherboard to fix the USB port issue, I doubt if you will be able to resolder it, unless you have a specialist fine electrical iron and a very steady hand.

Dell support website will have the service manual for that model available to download, which will show dissassembly and reassembly exploded views and instructions.

Draper tools do a very good jewellers screwdriver set which you can find for less than a fiver, which has all the Torx, Philips and posi bits in the smallest sizes needed for taking your laptop apart.

Honestly though, if it just the USB port that is broken, a PCMCIA card as suggested would be the quickest, cheapest and easiest option.


Prominent Member
:oops: HELP PLEASE!!!

My partners laptop screen is cracked - big-time - a bit like the old "bullet in the window" thing!!! Can this be repaired?

We called Toshiba and they quoted around £400 - the laptop only cost 487!:eek:

The model is a new: Toshiba Satellite Pro M40 Cel-M 360 1.4GHz 512MB 60GB DVD±RW 15.4" WLAN XP Home (1 yr Toshiba warranty).
...and we got it from E-Buyer around 2 mths ago. (great notebook)

Can you help or point me in the right direction?

Thanks in advance


Distinguished Member
Being new & widescreen it's going to be expensive. If you strip the screen down & find the actual manufacturer of the panel you may be able to source a replacement that way rather than through Tosh with their markup.

Best bet will be to check the small print of your home insurance policy to see if it's covered. Also check the T&Cs of the card you used for payment as some used to offer insurance.


Prominent Member
:) ... im not very good with tech stuff crocodile and i paid by visa - i'll call them! Do you think i'd be better off just getting her a new one?

Also - the one weve got has a DVD rewriter 0 can this be swapped if we buy one with a combi drive or just a cd writer? I know you can change pc components but know nout about laptops:suicide:

Cheers a lot

PS: Just saw this on Ebuyer...Toshiba Satellite Pro M40 Cel-M 360 1.4GHz 256MB 60GB CD-RW/DVD 15.4" LAN X... £374.99 inc VAT


Distinguished Member
Looks like it's down to £375 now!

Shouldn't be any issues with swapping drives over.

If you're not covered by household or CC insurance, drop me a PM.

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