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Last reply by 08-04-2016 Unsolved
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2 Bronze

Precision M3800 motherboard power defect: replaced with another defective motherboard?

I could use some creative customer service here. My M3800 shipped with the known power-on motherboard defect. It was replaced at no charge, which was very nice. However, the replacement (2nd motherboard!) is now having the same intermittent dead / no power problem.

To get the computer running, I have to remove the case (12 screws) and un-plug the internal battery to 're-set' the electrical fault. After I put it back together, the computer starts normally. This is not very convenient, especially when meeting with new clients.

The problem is that I am being told I am outside the 3-month repair warranty. I think this stinks! It's a known issue and I would like someone at Dell to step up make my expensive computer work normally all of he time.

Yes, I have run every diagnostic known to man and the internet.

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2 Bronze
2 Bronze

After a long conversation with Tech support, I was escalated to a manager-level tech. He suggested that the short, a known issue, may be a problem with my battery. So, I bought a brand new Dell brand battery for $70. A great investment ... if it works! It did not.

Within a week, the problem / defect has recurred. The computer was completely dead and would not turn on.

The only way to get it running is open the case, unplug the battery, plug it back in a few seconds later, and then re-assemble the laptop. This is getting old.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze


I have done the full system scan (the one from that takes an hour) and it turned up no issues. Three times. Either the test doesn't work or my problem is unique.

Oddly enough, a separate driver scan did not detect that the onboard video driver was out of date. I found out by going into the Control Panel → Device Manager, and checking manually. I also updated the 3D video driver separately from the nvidia website.

I have now contacted Dell support to re-open the support ticket. They apparently cannot open up an old ticket ... that they immediately closed when I hung up the phone, even though it's the same issue. I will have to wait until I have a free hour or two in the middle of the day and make another support call.

After that, I'm considering contacting senior executives at Dell and using social media to apply some pressure.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze


Upon booting the last few times, my system reported that the electrical adapter was not providing the correct 130W output. It came from BIOS / pre-OS boot (white text on black screen.) I had never seen this before.

This makes me think that the battery *might have been* OK, (I just bought a new one per tech support) and the electrical short was caused by the adapter + motherboard + battery. Is this the rare triple defect of failure? Too many variables to know for sure.

I ordered a new adapter and started using it. It has since booted several times with no warning / error message.

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