Having taken delivery of a new E5500, we configured the machine (not that it took much effort, as it came with none of the usual “crap” that is pre-installed") and attempted to connect it to our WiFi in the office.

Every time it returned “Windows was unable to connect to CrocusWiFi”

Our network is nothing out of the ordinary – We use a plain old Belkin F5D7632 router, with WPA2-Personal security, TKIP. Nothing fancy, and plenty of other devices use this without a problem.

A phone call to Dell technical department predictably concluded that it must be our WiFi networks’ fault (not their laptop, of course) despite several devices (including other Dell machines) being successfully connected, without a hitch.

They agreed to replace the unit.

When the replacement unit turned up, the exact same error occurred.
I haven’t had time to dig around trying to find out what the problem is, however I suspect it’s a software issue.

If anyone can shed any light on this, please feel free to comment!

Last week, I started having trouble with my Dell E6400 Notebook.

There is an intermittent “flashing” on the screen – kind of a “solarising” of the colours, and flickering – it also displayed as “split screen” – split horizontally, displaying the same image top and bottom, but at very low resolution.

See flickering / solarising:

Sometimes, the screen would turn off, flash black, and then display “Display driver stopped responding and has recovered” – see image below:Display driver stopped responding and has recovered

I can reproduce the problem by holding the laptop by the left hand side, towards the top of the base, and sort of pressing the base cover.

Location of display cable on Dell E6400 Removing the base cover, I traced the problem to be with or around the LED cable (highlighted red in the image to the left)

If i pressed the cable or where it was connecting to the main board, the flickering problem could be reproduced.

I removed the cable, cleaned it, removed all dust from around it and replaced.

This problem is not totally fixed – but it happens far less now than it did before.

I suspect very strongly, I will require a new cable.

I generally (through bad habit) tend to pick the laptop up on that side of the base – so I think the cable may of worn out.

Fingers crossed a new cable is all that is required, not a whole new motherboard!

For reference, the cable I have is pictured below:

Dell E6400 Display Cable - Part Number: DC202000HZ0L

Part Number: DC202000HZ0L

Both of the Dell E6400 laptops I’ve owned came without the backlit keyboard (first one was stolen in Ibiza)

So, both times, I have retro-fitted a backlit keyboard.
The process is simple, and I’ll show you how below. They don’t need any drivers – they light up when you press a key, and dim to save battery after a minute or so.

Dell provides a Service Manual, with good instructions on doing this also –

If you want one, please contact me
I can usually get hold of them for around £20 – £25, plus delivery.


Step 1

Remove the battery. Fairly self explanatory. Just in case you’re not sure…. here’s a picture:

Dell e6400 - Battery removed

Step 2

Locate the little plastic clips that hold the led cover on (the bit on the front that runs across the top – above the keyboard, below the screen hinges)

Use something plastic and ease them out.

The led cover should pop off.

Dell e6400 - Use something plastic to pop out the clips holding the led cover on

Step 3

There are two small Philips head screws under the led cover that hold the keyboard in place.

Unscrew them, be careful not to lose them (my first laptop had one screw when I put it back together, thanks to me not heeding above advice)

Dell e6400 - Remove 2 screws holding keyboard in

Step 4

Theres a little plastic tab in the middle, at the top (see blue arrow)
Use this to gently pull the keyboard towards the top (as indicated by red arrows)
The keyboard should pop out of its connections at the bottom, and easily come away.

Dell e6400 - Remove keyboard by gently pulling upwards
Dell e6400 - No Keyboard

Step 5

Without sounding like a Hanes manual, refitting the new keyboard, is the opposite of removal.

Turn on your laptop, and press one of the keys – it should light up!