I've loaded the latest drivers from Dell, and unfortunately, no help... it's a pity, because the video card on this thing screams... the bottleneck is insufficient RAM on the mobo. On the very rare occasions when it feels like seeing both sticks at once, the performance improvement's stellar. (sigh). The most cost-efficie
nt move (to at least salvage my investment in DIMMs that can't be used much of anywhere else) would be to troll eBay for another laptop of this model (but working) and put the memory and hard drive into it. Probably cost me well under $100 and give me a very nice working system. But thanks for your help and everyone else's.
Did you do a BIOS update also or just the drivers? It's a bit different than just drivers as the BIOS updates the motherboard controller. If the system used DDR RAM, you may as well replace the thing for a Core 2 Duo or faster laptop, it will be a better place to put your money than buying RAM for a system that used DDR ram. Pentium M is pretty much a Pentium 4 optimized for laptop use. It's a bit too old of a system to put money in when you can buy a much faster used Core 2 Duo laptop for a it over $100. Another thing with RAM, systems from Dell, HP and such are usually picker with what RAM works with them, more so than the enthusiast parts like MSI, Alienware, ASUS, et...