I bought the laptop mentioned in the title, the Inspiron 17 7559, a little under 3 months ago for school as well as some gaming. A couple days before I spoke with tech support the cpu fan (fan on left side if you're looking at the top of the laptop and are in front of it) began making a horrible grinding/squealing noise.A little background: before going to school, I spent a decade as field technician on both military advanced electronic systems and production-class robotics systems. So I opened the back panel just to glance at the fan, see if maybe there was a glaring physical abnormalities, as the fan was clearly grinding on something and when it kicked into high would be scraping fast and hard enough to produce this noise.
I open the back cover, a screw falls out from its happy little home (which is, needless to say, both Not A Good Thing and Ominously Foreboding), followed by the shorn threading which had come from another screw. Also, three or four screws were VERY loose. Which explained why the case had begun to separate near where the monitor pivots attach to the case. Completely structural screws. I tightened those up a bit, but didn't mess with any screws in the component housing area, as thos can have specific torque settings and such, and overtightening can do real damage. As for the fan, its sitting a millimeter or so lower in its housing than the other, and even the slight spinning it did while I took the chance to spray it clean with some canned aircaused it to make a much lower version of the initial noise.I close the case and immediately call tech support.
I completely understand that sometimes, hardware fails.a certain percentage of parts will make it out and then fail. It's no big deal, very understandable. I am, however, very troubled about the screws. Theres no way vibration had done all that in 2 months. despite that, I called and told the "tech" what was going on, what I'd done so far, and what I thought the issue was. I know how hard it can be to work for fellow tech professionals, though, So I let him know that he was the Man in this situation, and we'd do any tests that were needed.
During all this, grinding starts again, which he says he can clearly hear over the phone dell support .we connect him remotely, he runs the dell short hardware troubleshooting tests, and proceeds to tell me that due to the test results, he is positive its a driver issue, and a complete OS reinstall will fix it. I once again said that I was pretty sure it was hardware, He told me he had read the test results, and all signs pointed at driver issues.
The series of tests that was run, with results, is actually viewable to me in my dell profile pages. There were no fan-specific tests run in that battery of tests, A couple days later I ran the POST tests, and they very quickly isolated the issue to the cpu fan.
I was left with Windows reinstalling (noise being made during both boot up and the reinstall process, I was told that was normal for a driver issue when I expressed my disbelief that the Windows drivers ran during post). Anyway, he told me to use it as normal for a few days and to make sure everything was updated, and my issue would be fixed.
I didn't turn it on for a week, as between being in a summer college session and having some anxiety issues left over from military service, I just couldn't even handle thinking about my next move. Obviously, I'm not going to start leaning on a potentially critically failing cooling system with my normal higher-resource uses, namely some fairly resource-intensive gaming to blow off steam, nothing crazy though, worst offender would be Watch_Dogs set at 60 fps and medium quality graphics, I dont really ever turn stuff like vertical sync or triple-anti-aliasing on anyway.
Anyways,eventually i started it up, let it update, and after all that...
Same noise. Because apparently it was actually a hardware issue. Who'd'a thunk?
This is verified a few days ago. I had installed a well-known hardware monitoring tool, and noticed the heat jump to 140 degrees farenheit. I shut it down immediately and when it had cooled, ran post Hardware diagnostic , and was notified that the cpu fan is now in a total fail state.
And I'm at a complete loss for what to do. Ignoring the cooling system issue for a second, the screws coming out paired with the casing separating point to issues during assembly,
So here I am: mid-semester, lost everything I had on it due to the reinstallation, with no other computer to use. That adds a bit of difficult to my scholastic endeavors, but at least I don't have a major that depends on me having a solid system of my own, like Computer Science....oh, wait. ***.
I'll wrap thing up, this got really long. My options seem to be to either send it in for repair, the prospect of which terrifies me, not to mention that at this point, the physical integrity of the system is gone. It's less than 3 months old, and I've taken very good care of it. I don't have the luxury of buying things like this for myself often at all. Unfortunately, that includes the current time and the foreseeable future. It's bad enough I live with a couple massively painful, chronic health conditions, and I'm only 33.The computer, MY computer, is the world that I have created to help me cope with a sometimes overwhelming and harsh reality, and I'm sure I'm not unique in that here. It's what I love. It's what I truly excel at. It's what gives me a reference point when I'm having 2 hour long anxiety attacks every morning that sometimes get so bad I get lost in the maelstrom, but if I can get to that box, and open a bash shell, and start scripting, or open steam and play Undertale a while, or jump on irc and help someone in a support chan somewhere fix their problem and be a little happier, then I have a waypoint against these storms, and I know everything will be ok. And I had Dell to thank for that, I love this computer.
And now its gone. And I don't have those things.
I'm not looking for a freebie, and I don't think any less of Dell for what's happened. I'm not even completely sure why I wrote all this, besides to document what happened and hope that maybe someone with the ability to make this right reads this and decides to. Partially to show how your products have affected one person, the good and bad. I fully expect both flames for this way-too-long, boring, indulgent support forum question, and a canned, unhelpful response, but some part of me, the part that still chuckles when he thinks about the "Dude, you're getting a Dell" guy, hopes you prove me wrong. But not about the getting flamed, cause what kind of person writes something like this in a hardware support forum? Some sort of slightly autistic jerk, thats who. At least, thats who did this time.