My grandparents purchased me a refurbished Alienware M17x-R3 almost 2 years ago as a gift for college. Considering refurbished should be a similar quality to brand new, I didn't mind purchasing it considering the strength of Alienware gaming PC's and the cost being considerably less($1600) than the original cost($2700) would have been. We purchased the computer not only for gaming but for my College work due to the need to have a powerful computer for Computer Programming, which is the degree I'm working towards, and we purchased it my Senior year of high school. After receiving the laptop computer in the mail I opened it up and found everything that was supposed to be in the box actually there, and starting up the computer I instantly noticed the difference between my old laptop, and even desktop computer, to the "shiny new" one who's screen I was now staring at.
Now for the issues...
Upon closer evaluation, after using it about a week, I noticed that one of the pixels on the screen (1600x900) had gone out. Since It was a refurbished computer, even under warranty, I didn't pay much mind to it since It wasn't a huge ordeal and continued on with my life.
A month after this, I found out that the disk drive in the computer had stopped working and would not even eject the cd's that were fed into it; it even began scratching one which caused me to shut it down immediately for fear of losing the disk, and possibly damaging the computer further. After I was able to get the CD out, I called services and they sent out a part to a technician in my area and he called the very next day asking when he could come and fix it. (The quick service definitely impressed me, don't get me wrong, the only issue I have is with the laptop.) I had to head to school for the day so my mother was staying home for the day and was there to meet him and allow him to repair the drive by replacing it. He opened up the computer and found that one of the screw's had STRIPPED the casing and made it so that he was not authorized to try and force it in case the computer became damaged further. (Really? This is the quick work and quality of a refurbished computer?)He gave us a number to call and report it then left. Calling the number immediately, we found out the laptop had to be shipped off to be fixed which didn't bother me as much as not having a working optical drive, so we went through with it. It took about 2 weeks to repair it (little frustrating, but whatever) and we got it back and it was fine again, for a while...
Approximately 3 days after the (One-year) warranty ran out, I began having issues with data not being saved and issues with the computer randomly black/blue screening in the middle of working on a major project, losing all of the data and having to start over again. Due to not having any service work, and the ridiculous cost of even just a year of warranty service, we tried to fix it ourselves. We re-installed the OS but that didn't help. I decided to live with it and just save my work every 5 minutes or so.
-Now a little more up to date... (As in problems I experience NOW on a daily or bi-daily basis)
It's been about 8-9 months since the warranty ran out and I'm having more problems than ever. Being a gamer, I play League of Legends, which is even Sponsored by Alienware. (kinda awesome considering I have one, but then I remember all the issues I'm having and have had.) I'll be in the middle of a match with a strong lead over the opposing team, then I'll blue screen or even black or grey screen and the computer will just freeze, coming back to the game since It was then a 4 vs 5 match due to my (usually) 5-7 minute absence from the shut down.
About 3 months ago, I had to replace the hard-drive (meaning it was put into the computer and sold to me approximately 1 year and 5 months before. (You put used hard drive, who should have a much longer life than this into a computer, hoping it would last long enough. Yeah, thanks.) I had to replace it because it basically blew itself up along with about 7 major essays I'd written for college courses and forcing me to rewrite all of them. After replacing it I obviously had to re-install the OS again, so I did, and am STILL experiencing the same issues as before with it black/grey/blue screening, very often. This is becoming increasingly more frustrating and making my college work and gaming an utterly terrible experience.
Along with having regular issues with that, I now have another problem with the keyboard. The keyboard has a great layout and is great for gaming, but after only 1 year and about 8 months, the keyboard finally failed itself. The keyboard now thinks that I am constantly holding down the "W" key, not allowing me to press it at all and makes it take forever to log into the computer and other websites, also making writing essays or any paper completely impossible. (Also of course ruining my gaming) I thought it may because it was sticky under there or something, but that was a false belief after cleaning it completely and it still does it. Along with that my Left side "Shift" key is Also starting to "press and hold itself" randomly. Thinking that I MAY be able to fix this cheaply I looked up pricing to replace the whole keyboard, the cheapest I could find was $140... That wasn't even Dell's pricing. I'm a poor freshman college student and don't have the money to replace that.
Also along with the regular blue/black/grey screenings, every time I start the laptop, I am FORCED to go to the Boot Menu (F12) to force it to boot up from the Primary hard-drive and then have to force it to boot up Windows 7 (the ONLY OS on the drive...) and sometimes It will go to the StartUp screen, but then won't even begin to load, it just sits there for hours, forcing me to restart it and then try again. By saying that I'm being forced to go to the Boot Menu, I mean that when the Alienware logo startup screen pops up, it will fully load, and then freeze, showing that it's fully loaded, but not allowing me to go any further or attempt to go to the boot up menu even, also forcing me to restart and try again. (the F12 button has to be pressed at Precisely the right time for it to go to the boot menu correctly.)
Never should a computer have this many problems within only 2 years of its purchase, even if it is refurbished (for the amount of money that was given for it). This is absolutely the WORST experience that my I or even my father(computer engineer for Rockwell Collins) has had with a computer but I'm willing to give Dell a chance one last time. If something can be done about this, great. I will continue to respect Dell and encourage friends to go with their computers primarily because of the service that they have provided me in such a frustrating time. If not, I can't support Dell or Alienware any further and let these issues I've had come to light in others questions about purchasing your computers.
Thank you for your time and I await your reply.
First of all, we don't do give technical advice on this forum.
I too, am a gamer and relate to what you say concerning gaming and getting a BSOD during a game.
Had you ever considered extending your warranty after the one year warranty ran out.? That would have solved all these headaches.
You're anywhere from 8 months to a year out of warranty, what do you want Dell to do? You should check on extending it but I'm not sure what their policy is on per-existing conditions, perhaps they'll fix it no problem.
As far as all those questions highlighted in black.. I'm not even going to get into those... some are legal questions which is not allow to be discussed on the forum.
My posts are read by Dell, if they feel that something can be done other than what I have said, they'll chime in.
Dell Forum Member Since 2004 but not an employee of Dell
If this answers your question, click Yes
Right, and see, I would have absolutely no problem extending the warranty, if I had money in the first place. I currently have about $4 in my wallet, and $5.62 in my checking account, and a non-existing savings account due to recently having to replace 3 of my tires on my car. The thing that bothers me is that a majority of the problems happen after the warranty runs out, some just days after. It bothers me that these major issues that will cost a good deal of money more to fix will happen after it runs out. I'm not pointing at the probability that this was planned, but I Am frustrated that it would happen in the first place. If it's not common for these things to happen in succession like this, then I'd like it to be known that it IS happening, and that it shouldn't. I mean, if you were to buy a used car and the guy gives you a year warranty, but only puts in parts that will last a little over a year, maybe 2 if you're lucky, wouldn't you be upset as well? (I know cost difference is there, but still, same concept I figure)
And yeah I know that this isn't a technical advice forum, but either there's no way for me to report this problem in just an email to them, or there's no other forum that I can find that this kind of issue would go under. I just looked at the fact that other people were posting problems they've had with their computers here, and did the same. Sorry, and if you point out where it should go instead, I'd be happy to change it.
Also, being in a small college town by the way, I've applied at about 7 different places saying they're hiring, but still no luck, so no chance of me fixing the computer myself anytime soon..
First of all, I don't think Dell makes parts to go out just after the warranty. Why, well for one, to have Dell work on your system is not cheap. You would probably go to some local place where they would be easier on the wallet so what's in it for Dell, fact is I don't think that's what's going on at all.
The fact is the amount of time that has transpired since the expiration of the warranty.
You know and I know that a warranty has a starting date and an ending one.
I really feel for you, but knowing what I do, I don't think anything can be done for you under the expired warranty.
Dell Forum Member Since 2004 but not an employee of Dell
If this answers your question, click Yes
Yeah I understand that. My father's company is directly partnered with Dell, though that won't go anywhere either most likely. But I felt this needed to be put up, even if they don't do anything for me just so people might see this before they buy a poor shadow of the once great line of Alienware computers. Will most likely refrain from purchasing Dell ever again, if you can't trust one of their top of the line computers, what does it say about the lesser pc's? Anyhow thanks for your help, I'll stick around and see what Dell has to say before taking the next step, though considering this is the end of my firs semester in just a couple weeks, with all these final papers due, looks like I'm gonna have to work something out... Again, thanks for the input.
Thank you for posting your comments and bringing your customer experience to our attention. Please allow me to apologize for any frustration you may have been caused while trying to resolve your concerns.
Unfortunately, you have posted your technical issue on a non-technical forum board. I am moving this post to our Alienware Dell Community Forum http://dell.to/pjUild for assistance.
It sounds like you've had a hard time, I apologize for the inconveniences.
There are a few things that need to be cleared out, If the system is out of warranty, part replacements are not going to be covered. About the HDD failing, it is always recommended to back up your information to avoid issues like the one you had.
If you are still experiencing Blue Screens, it's important to post as much info as you can get from them so that the community can help you, check out this article and video to learn how to do that:
If the system is not allowing you to boot from the HDD automatically, you might need to change the boot priority in the BIOS, here's how:
1. Re start the system, and press F12 several times when you see the alienhead logo to access the BIOS.
2. In the BIOS, find the "Boot" tab and highlight the HDD option, press the "+/-" key to move the Hard Drive to the first place.
3. Press F10 to save and exit.
4. Test the system.
Pleaes post back with the results.
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Sorry, and also an update, now the computer will not boot windows at all, even after reinstalling the OS and after about 4 system restores. The computer is now completely unusable.