paradoxguy
2 Iron

Motherboard - replacing

I have a XPS M1330 notebook PC that recently experiencing hardware problems manifesting as a distorted and crazed screen accompanied by complete PC freezing and often total blackout.  The regular warranty expired 5 months ago.  Despite the fact that it has a Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS video card and that Dell has extended the warranty on the card, Dell refuses to replace the card because it is, of course, integrated to the motherboard, and replacing the card involves replacing the motherboard, which Dell refuses to do.  I'm trying to address this issue with some other Dell personnel.

In the meantime, I'm preparing myself for the worst-case scenario in which I would have to cover the costs of the motherboard.  When it comes to PC hardware, my experience is limited at plugging and unplugging UBS devices from the PC!  I'm looking for guidance for installing a motherboard myself.  I tried a Google search and searching two forums, but I could not find what I needed.  I anticipate that I will need to disconnect the CPU from my current motherboard and re-install it on the new motherboard, as well as be careful to connect the power supplies carefully.

Can someone provide a basic guide and advice for a novice installing a motherboard on his own or point him to sources on the web?

Thanks,

PG

PG

Dell XPS M1330 Notebook
Windows Vista Home Premium
Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 2.5GHz CPU with L2 6MB cache
RAM 4GB
Western Digital WD5000BEKT 500GB 7200RPM HD
SigmaTel sound card with Soundblaster Audigy software
NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS GPU

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18 Replies
8 Xenon

Re: Motherboard - replacing

They should replace the system board, as the warranty has been extended by one year:

http://en.community.dell.com/blogs/direct2dell/archive/2008/08/18/nvidia-gpu-update-dell-to-offer-warranty-enhancement-to-all-affected-customers-worldwide.aspx

 

If for some reason they won't, be VERY careful buying a replacement - at $300-400 a board, you don't want to end up with another board with a defective chip on it.

The service manual is here:

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/xpsM1330/en/sm/index.htm

 

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paradoxguy
2 Iron

Re: Motherboard - replacing

Thanks for the URL to the warranty extension notice and for the service manual.  I know about the extended warranty announcement already, but despite my citing this to the tech support agent, she still refused to authorize replacement of the system board.  I posted a comment on Lionel Menchaca's thread regarding the warranty issue, as well as sending him a private email.  If you or anyone else has ideas as to how to convince Dell that the mainboard should be replaced under the extended Nvidia warranty, please let me know.  I would certainly prefer that Dell replace the mainboard and handle the installation themselves!

Thanks,

PG

PG

Dell XPS M1330 Notebook
Windows Vista Home Premium
Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 2.5GHz CPU with L2 6MB cache
RAM 4GB
Western Digital WD5000BEKT 500GB 7200RPM HD
SigmaTel sound card with Soundblaster Audigy software
NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS GPU

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xxmusiclovexx
1 Copper

Re: Motherboard - replacing

Your best bet is not spending the extra money or even really wasting your time. I had Dell come out and repair my xps with an nvidia card and it's already gone bad again. I've heard the problem is it overheats the motherboard and it slowly just kills the video card. The only thing I think you can do is get the integrated intel video card but there are very few of them considering everyone with this laptop and an nvidia card is having this problem. Dell should honestly get killed for this designer flaw because I for one spent more then 2,000 dollars on this computer hoping it to work really well like my inspiron did for about 5 years. I thought I would just let you know though, that once you get the motherboard fixed again that the problem will come back again. I guess it all depends on how long you have your warrenty. Anyway, Just trying to help. Sorry for the sort of bad news. 

Courtney

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paradoxguy
2 Iron

Re: Motherboard - replacing

Courtney-

Thank you for sharing your experiences and well-considered honest opinion.  Your suggestions that the Nvidia problem is a design flaw and not to spend additional money on another Nvidia motherboard both seem quite valid.  The design flaw and slow-cook-of-video-card theory explains why the problems occurred abruptly after 17 months of flawless performance.  Somewhat fortunately for the moment, since my original posting, Dell notified me that they would repair my PC under the Nvidia extended warranty and I am awaiting final instructions to arrange this.  Hopefully the warranty on this repair will be long enough to cover a recurrence of this problem.

Your posting dampened my long-term hopes for my PC a bit, but at least I can be realistic for future options if the PC fails again after the warranty expires.  The design flaw theory is disappointing also because of the M1330's excellent combination of compactness, performance, and ergonomics.  At least I bought this PC used for a commensurate price.

Thanks again for your very informative response.

PG

PG

Dell XPS M1330 Notebook
Windows Vista Home Premium
Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 2.5GHz CPU with L2 6MB cache
RAM 4GB
Western Digital WD5000BEKT 500GB 7200RPM HD
SigmaTel sound card with Soundblaster Audigy software
NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS GPU

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8 Xenon

Re: Motherboard - replacing

The warranty on the repair is 90 days or the rest of the remaining warranty (one year beyond the end of your initial warranty for the nVIdia failure).  If you then have to replace a board on your dollar, I'd do so with the Intel-video board, which is fine for reliability. 

From the looks of it, every nVidia chip from the 7800/7900 series on to some yet-undetermined end is less than reliable - I've been recommending those who ask NOT buy anything mobile with nVidia chips until they've proved they fixed the problems - which will take a year or more.  I suspect the common use of ATI video by Dell and others means the OEMs are doing the same.

 

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m900
1 Copper

Re: Motherboard - replacing

I am sorry to report that my M1330 has had three replacement nVidia and attached motherboard replacements since Jan, 2008.   The machine is covered until Jan. 2011 by the in-home next-day warranty.  The first incident with the often-described symptoms was in August, 2008.  The new board lasted until May, 2009 when it happened again.  The technician came with and replaced the motherboard with one from a box labeled "refurbished".  The machine would not even turn on.  He came two days later with another "refurbished" board and the same problem occurred.  When he called in to Dell, they gave him a DPS #, but when I called to check on it, Dell claimed that they had no such number.  After much persistence, Dell sent a box for return to the depot.  To make a long story short, the machine has been out of order for almost two weeks and no sign of when it will be repaired except that "it can take 6 to 8 days for depot repairs" from the "dedicated" XPS technical support  .  So much for the next-day warranty, which was not inexpensive.  I am looking for suggestions for recourse.  

I

 

 

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Highlighted
paradoxguy
2 Iron

Re: Motherboard - replacing

The warranty on the repair is 90 days or the rest of the remaining warranty (one year beyond the end of your initial warranty for the nVIdia failure).  If you then have to replace a board on your dollar, I'd do so with the Intel-video board, which is fine for reliability. 

From the looks of it, every nVidia chip from the 7800/7900 series on to some yet-undetermined end is less than reliable - I've been recommending those who ask NOT buy anything mobile with nVidia chips until they've proved they fixed the problems - which will take a year or more.  I suspect the common use of ATI video by Dell and others means the OEMs are doing the same.

I am sorry to report that my M1330 has had three replacement nVidia and attached motherboard replacements since Jan, 2008.   The machine is covered until Jan. 2011 by the in-home next-day warranty.  The first incident with the often-described symptoms was in August, 2008.  The new board lasted until May, 2009 when it happened again.  The technician came with and replaced the motherboard with one from a box labeled "refurbished".  The machine would not even turn on.  He came two days later with another "refurbished" board and the same problem occurred.  When he called in to Dell, they gave him a DPS #, but when I called to check on it, Dell claimed that they had no such number.  After much persistence, Dell sent a box for return to the depot.  To make a long story short, the machine has been out of order for almost two weeks and no sign of when it will be repaired except that "it can take 6 to 8 days for depot repairs" from the "dedicated" XPS technical support  .  So much for the next-day warranty, which was not inexpensive.  I am looking for suggestions for recourse.

 

ejn63: Thanks for letting me know about the warranty duration on Dell repairs and your thoughts on Nvidia GPUs.  90 days seems too short for repair warranties, as illustrated by m900's experiences (see his note below this one) with replacing the Nvidia GPU motherboard twice--the motherboard lasted 8 months and the second one lasted 9 months.  Dell should cover their repairs for at least 9 months and preferably 12 months; the latter is the duration of the minimum standard warranty.

m900: Thanks for sharing your experiences with the Nvidia GPU and the need for replacement three times within 16-17 months.  You and other users have really illustrated that the Nvidia GPUs in Dell notebook PCs are unreliable.  A general question for the forum:  Are other manufacturers who use Nvidia GPUs in their notebook PCs experiencing similar failure rates?

I empathize with your frustrations about the multiple repairs/replacements related to the Nvidia GPU and that you were not given in-home next-day service on your current repair, despite paying for it.  Although not exactly the same, my first inquiry for Nvidia extended warranty coverage was refused by a Dell Tech Support agent and I had to contact other people at Dell to help obtain this coverage.  As I mentioned in my note to Courtney, Dell ultimately indicated they would repair the PC.  Do you have a contact person at Dell you could work with to help track your PC and its repair progress at Dell?  I'll think about this some more and let you know if I have other ideas. 


PG

PG

Dell XPS M1330 Notebook
Windows Vista Home Premium
Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 2.5GHz CPU with L2 6MB cache
RAM 4GB
Western Digital WD5000BEKT 500GB 7200RPM HD
SigmaTel sound card with Soundblaster Audigy software
NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS GPU

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8 Xenon

Re: Motherboard - replacing

Every system that has use the 8400 and 8600 mobile chips has had reliability problems - nVidia is in trouble from all sides on this issue.

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/10113/nvidia_gets_served_over_gpu_packaging_fiasco/index.html

 

 

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paradoxguy
2 Iron

Re: Motherboard - replacing

Every system that has use the 8400 and 8600 mobile chips has had reliability problems - nVidia is in trouble from all sides on this issue.

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/10113/nvidia_gets_served_over_gpu_packaging_fiasco/index.html

Thanks for letting me know about the general state of Nvidia 8400/8600 mobile GPUs--quite a nasty situation for both Nvidia and the consumers who bought notebook PCs with their GPUs.  I chose my used M1330 with the Nvidia GPU primarily because I wanted to maximize play utility of a combat flight simulator game (IL-2).  Comparing my Nvidia 8400M-equipped M1330 (before the Nvidia GPU seized) with my brother's Intel GPU-equipped M1330, IL-2 plays notably better with the Nvidia GPU.  At this point, I just hope that once Dell replaces the Nvidia GPU mainboard, it'll last for a year or longer before it expires again.

PG

Dell XPS M1330 Notebook
Windows Vista Home Premium
Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 2.5GHz CPU with L2 6MB cache
RAM 4GB
Western Digital WD5000BEKT 500GB 7200RPM HD
SigmaTel sound card with Soundblaster Audigy software
NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS GPU

0 Kudos