Memory write/read failure with DELL Inspiron 1200

I just recently bought a for-parts DELL Inspiron 1200 laptop from eBay, expecting to swap out the motherboard and a few other bits for use with an Inspiron 1200 I already own, but when I boot it up, I get the following message:

Memory write/read failure at 00020FDC, read 32ED02ED expecting 02ED02ED

The laptop didn't come with the hard drive, disc drive, battery, or any extra RAM, but I tried putting in the extra RAM I already had, and the message persisted.

After approximately three minutes, the laptop automatically shuts down. I know that the motherboard has 256MB of built-in memory, and I'm assuming it's bad — but I have no idea how it got that way, nor what I can do to fix it. :/

Is there any place I can send it to for repairs (for cheap)?
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  1. Presumably the fault is in the inbuilt memory -- or the motherboard. Did the vendor specify that the motherboard works ? In the circumstances I suspect repair is uneconomic but if a local repair guy will look at it without an upfront charge what have you to lose ?
  2. Well, the problem is, the screen of the laptop was also broken, so all he could say was that the laptop 'turns on' — he didn't actually know if it truly WORKED or not.

    My fault, I guess, for wanting a cheap fix for the few problems my other laptop has. :sweat:
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