Also, since it's refurbished by dell, could it be that dell upgraded the firmware or whatever they do to fix the problem?
You should be able to get the service menu and verify the firmware version, if the friend is willing to let you do that.
The Model M is not for the faint of heart. You either like them or hate them.
Gerbils unite! Fold for UnitedGerbilNation, team 2630.