My 3 year warranty expires in a few weeks, and of course my Inspiron 1520 is showing its age and acting up. Is there any way I can get these issues fixed before the deadline?
The headphone jack shorts out frequently. At low volumes it functions fine, but I'm hard of hearing so the volume at which I'm comfortable hearing things introduces a loud hissing noise until the signal cuts out completely and leaves a loud buzz. It goes away for a few seconds if I pull the earphones out of the jack then push them back in, but then it just cuts out again. This has actually been happening for over a year, but since I rarely use the headphone jack, I ignored it.
The video card is an nVidia GeForce 8600M GT. I have the latest drivers off of Dell's website (August 2008. emoticon.TongueTied.title ), but in the past few weeks the screen is either slow to refresh, it will flicker black really quickly, or if I'm playing a game, the game will flicker, colors will be 'off', and what I can only describe as 'warping and stretching' will occur. The whole screen will be pulled in one direction until I get a screen full of lines in the colors of what should've been on the screen. Unfortunately I haven't been able to grab a screenshot; I panic and immediately turn everything off before any permanent damage is done. I've also tried the official new drivers from nVidia's website, but those made the machine run slowly so I rolled them back.
The front of the machine where the silver media buttons are, there's a hairline crack coming up from the corner above the stop button. So far it's reaching up towards the lid latch hole.
Its a good thing that you have 3yrs warranty on the system, as time passes any device would start acting up. Any dell system can have a max of 5yrs of warranty, i would suggest you to extend your warranty for another 2yrs just to be on the safer side :).
Looks like we need to address 3 issues here
1) Headphone jack: Have you tried another earphones/speakers ? The noise occurs when the pin doesnt sit in the jack properly, try with another set of earphones and check.
2) Video Card: When installing video drivers one must make sure to uninstall the prev drivers completely else we will face issues as you are facing right now.
Follow these steps in order:
Restarting is very important.
3) Any particular reason for that hairline crack?
Sorry for the long turn around time. I did ask for a warranty extension on Friday or Saturday (14/15) but haven't heard anything back yet.
1) I've tried several different kinds of ear and headphones over the past several months, the static noise persists.
2) I followed the directions and nothing changed. This seems to be more of a problem with the inside of the machine getting really hot. I have a temperature monitor on my system tray, and the problem I described and similar happenings are mostly when games are playing, and the machine gets over 165F. I tried cleaning the fans and have a laptop fan underneath the machine, but it barely works (and sometimes makes it hotter since it draws power from the USB port).
3) I'm actually not sure why the crack is happening there. I rarely close the lid, and if it were an issue of my pressing that button too hard, it should've happened on the other side (the crack is over the 'STOP' button). I rarely use that side of the media bar, but the side I use far more often ('MUTE', 'VOL UP/DOWN') is fine.
You can just about buy a new laptop now for what you would pay for extending the warranty on an old (3yrs is old for a laptop and the battery is not covered by warranty & will need replacing soon $100+) The time to get warranties is when you buy a computer, not extending the warranty when it's about to run out. IMO, 3 years is the maximum warranty you should consider for a laptop. I would replace the failing one instead of extending it. No guarantee that your problems would be covered by the limited warranty extension. The problems might be consider normal wear and tear.
PS Since your warranty is about to run out, contact Dell directly right away or it will be too late to received any replacement parts or service. This is not support--just a user to user forum and does not qualify as reporting a warranty problem. Read this to find out all the things that are & are not covered: Dell Warranty The warranty covers only manufacturing defects--not normal wear.