All right, I'm gonna try some stuff. I found out that if I let the laptop sit for a while and cool off, it will boot. I then let it sit and idle for a week and everything was ok (had to leave town). I used it for trivial tasks, the most taxing being transferring files to an older desktop and everything was still fine. I started playing BF2142 and it crashed, let it sit for a couple hours, rebooted, ran just fine again. I'm thinking this is a video heating problem. So here's what I'm gonna try:
I'm going to completely replace the video card/heatsink and take out the winmodem so I can reattempt to install XP SP3 (a different problem, something another person said fixed their problem). I now have 2 questions. What is the biggest baddest card I can put in this machine? Can I remove/swap these components without disassembling the entire laptop case? I'm unfamiliar with the internal location of these components, but I'm completely capable of following directions. I've had all the bottom covers off this thing at one time or another but don't recognize what's what. The video card should have a fan attached, but I'm not sure where it's at.
I had to send it back a while ago to get the motherboard replaced and the paperwork returned said it had a 9890 m/b put in it. I'm currently running a GeForce 6800 GO 256MB card in it, can someone tell me the max card I can put in it?
I still love this machine, it's still a solid performer when it's running. I don't want to give up on it just yet if it's only gonna take minor stuff to get it back on it's feet.