If Marvin was so smart, why couldn't he just remove or fix the offending chip that was causing him all the unpleasantness?

Is there any indication that Adams had thought of this possibility?

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    He probably did think of it -- after all, he's got "a brain the size of a planet" -- but was too depressed to carry it out. – Ross Presser Jul 17 '14 at 17:14
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    I think @RossPresser is on to it. Given Marven's fatalism, he would likely just inherently assume that such a procedure would fail and not bother with it. – phantom42 Jul 17 '14 at 17:15
  • I thought he was literally just programmed that way, not 'broken'. – Zibbobz Jul 17 '14 at 17:37
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    Being an extreme pessimist he'd probably just assume that "happiness" is a hoax and doesn't really exist so he wouldn't believe that he would feel any better if programmed to be "happy" – slebetman Jul 17 '14 at 18:10
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    Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to reprogram myself. – user8719 Jul 17 '14 at 21:14

Marvin definitely knew that could have been a solution, and probably every other possible solution. However, he isn't much of a guy for actually implementing solutions.

For example, he spent 1.5 million years with his fake leg stuck in a swamp on Sqornshellous Zeta just walking in circles not because he wasn't smart enough to get out of the swamp, but instead "to make the point". Marvin never tries to solve problems**; he just laments about them.

** unless forced to do so. And then he creates a superweapon to destroy the universe.

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    I don't think Marvin ever created such a weapon. But a computer named Hactar did design such a thing. – kasperd May 26 '15 at 19:21

During Episode 2 (Fit the Second) we hear that Marvin is a personality prototype of the new Genuine People Personality feature of Sirius Cybernetics products.

He wasn't malfunctioning, just made that way. So he wouldn't necessarily think of changing.

  • He wasn't malfunctioning, except for those diodes in his legs causing him pain. – b_jonas Jul 17 '14 at 18:02
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    Every single part of him, throughout his long miserable life, was replaced with other parts. Except one........go ahead, guess which one. – Zibbobz Jul 17 '14 at 18:07
  • But he was miserable, and wouldn't that make him think to fix the problem? – theJollySin Jul 21 '14 at 18:03
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    @theJollySin - youtube.com/watch?v=PI0MRyUFIXU – user8719 Dec 7 '14 at 20:17

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