I am running Mandrake 9.0 on an old Quantex laptop (450MHz, 192RAM) and
never had a problem until now (I was told that Quantex are Dell
clones). Since about a week, I have a hard time starting the laptop.
When I press the start botton, nothing happens for a while then,
sometimes the laptop starts, sometimes I have to press several times
until it starts. Once started, I have no problems of any kind.

While this is an old machine, I cannot afford a new one and it has
served me very well so far. I am now concerned that it might simply
not start one day. Can I do anything to fix this problem? Should I be
concerned about a permanent inability to start? Should I bring it to a
hardware shop?

Many thanks for any pointers!