Purchased our M1530 in Jan 2009, and just had the Motherbooard replaced for the 3rd time. 1st replacement was in May 2009, 2nd was in Jun 2009, and now in Jun 2010;
Is anyone else experiencing this with their M1530? Are we the only one's, or is there a known problem? Hard to believe a MB only lasts 1 year
Warranty expires in Jan 2011; Can I buy an extended warranty as I think I'll need it based on this poor track record.
Is the M1530 lemon, and is it too much to expect a notebook to last more than a year?
What were the failures? The nVidia chip on these boards is known to be faulty - and though nVidia says the fixed the problem in later units, many doubt that. Yes, you can extend the warranty - but since the nVidia fault is known by the actuaries that set the warranty prices, expect it to run $300 or so for a year's extension.
Have no Idea what the failures were. They just replaced the MB.
Based on this track record, looks like the MB will have to be replaced every year.
Is it too much to expect an expensive computer to last more than a year?
No, but bear in mind that if it was video failure, that it's a problem endemic to nVidia. There are those who believe nVidia never fixed the problem at all.
There's nothing you can really do with this model - there are no other options for video. It's unfortunate, but nVidia really blew it big-time with this line of chips.
All three boards exhibited the same symptons- The computer kept intermitently shutting down and would not restart; on the 2nd board they also replaced the cooling fan.ing.
Additionally, there were start up problems. For example, Last Saturday Night I shut the computer off as I normally do; Sunday morning it would not start up. When I pushed the power button, the blue light would come on for a second and go out, then I would hear a clicking sound, which sounded like the hard drive.
I called Dell, and the tech walked me through multiple procedures to tyr to get it to boot up; to no avail, so he ordered another MB. Later Sunday night, I decided to give it one more try for the heck of it, and she booted right up, and worked fine till the service tech showed up yesterday. He couldn't replicate the problem, so he replaced the MB anyway.
This is not a motherboard problem. The laptop is supposed to shut down if the temperature of the CPU or GPU gets too high. Probably related to poor heat transfer from the CPU and/or GPU to the heat pipe. Did you ever monitor temperatures to see what was overheating before shutdown? Problem can be related to the attachment of the CPU/GPU to the heat pipe, or improper application of heat transfer paste or pad between the heat sink and the chips. You are not the only one to have multiple boards replaced. The repair people apparently do not care to clean the heat transfer surfaces and use fresh paste or pads when replacing the heat pipe.
I bought an XPS M1330 in April 2009, generallly I am happy with the performance and useability. But I have already had 4 new motherboards in first 9 months. Fortunately I took out extended and on-site warranty. Two failures seemed to be due to the video chips - the display would "distort" and freeze, and hang the entire computer.
One more was random hanging with a blank screeen, and one was repleced as the USB had stopped working (the one that is directly on the mother board). Only 2 further hang-ups for last 3 montrhs or so, but not repeating often enough to call Dell again.
I am assuming there were some known issues - but I have been very happy with the response from DELL - a technician came to my home within 3 days of each report and repleced the mother board and attended to other issues.
I have also had a new charger/adaptor, a new SATA/USB socket, 2 new palm-rests as the little rubber bumpers break, and 2 new assemblies with the "media" buttons. Having the warranty and on-site cover has made most this relatively painless, and I would probably still buy a DELL for my next computer, although I was less than happy with the initial Dell sales porocess that sold me a docking station that was incompatible with my laptop (even though I specifically asked the sales rep to give me the part number to order that WAS compatible).
As I did not discover this until more than 7 days after receipt (I was working away for a few weeks) DELL refused to refund me.
Hi everyone and hi KirkD.....This is my first time posting and I'm writing to you from Italy. I ended up on this forum after my XPS m1530 stopped working and after reading your comment Kirk, I wanted to ask you if what you are referring to (poor heat transfer from the CPU and/or GPU to the heat pipe) could be the problem my pc has. Let me give you a quick rundown of my situation and i'll also attach some pictures for you to see.
I was working on my XPS and all of a sudden it just shut down, the screen went black and I wasn't able to restart it. I noticed that if I plugged the ac adapter into the socket yet didn't plug it into the pc, the green light would light up on the adapter, but as soon as I'd plug the other end into the actual pc, the light would turn off. I did this several times and each time, the result was the same. Given that my warranty expired in January of this year (2010), and the problem occurred this July, I got my husband to open up the pc (he's a techie and also has the exact same pc so we were able to compare them) and to our surprise the pictures I attach are what we found. In short, it appears that the heat sink attached to the GPU wasn't actually resting on the gpu after one of the screws that was supposed to hold it down came off due to poor welding. If you look closely in the pictures you can see that when the washer attached to the board is turned upside down, there are little round, empty spots on it where the welding didn't take, so of course the screw mount eventually came off the board. Am I right in saying that the welding was done poorly when the computer was put together by Dell, from what you can see in the pictures? More importantly, do you think that this could have caused the pc to stop working? It's obvious that overheating didn't cause the screw support to come off because for welding to melt and come off we'd need to be talking about the pc running at temperatures between 180° C - 190° C.....that would surely have meant other components and plastic parts would have melted too, and there is no evidence of this as you can see. A Dell "business" technician on the phone here in Italy told us that even if the welding was done poorly and the heatsink wasn't held down, this couldn't have caused the problem, which seems rather strange to me, otherwise what would be the purpose of having a heatsink in the first place if they could run without them?! Looking at the heatsink from a side view, it clearly isn't touching the gpu (I couldn't get a shot of that angle because my macro lense is too bulky to get flush with the motherboard given all the components on it, but you can see how bent it is just by looking at the stainless steel arm that leads off from the heatsink to where the bad welding is. That's how we found it when we opened up the pc!! The welding is poorly done and Dell isn't taking responsability for it (and I've been for more than a month and a half without my work pc which has caused so many problems). This isn't due to normal wear and tear which I would have accepted without any problems (and have willingly accepted in the past, when hardware on other pc's we have has run its course.) This was welded badly right from when the pc was first put together and in the opinions of other technicians we have consulted, the damage done to the pc could have very well been caused by this poor welding, which Dell refuses to admit (at least which the Dell technician we talked to over the phone refuses to admit). Add the problems that the Nvidia GPU is reknowned to have and it's a recipe for disaster!
Can anyone give me some thoughts on what they think and what I should do?
Many thanks to everyone for the input. I really appreciate it.
It looks like perhaps the heat sink mounting bracket was bent, and the mounting pulled out either when first installed or after time. Thermal expansion/contraction could also have broken loose the soldered in part if it wasn't correctly installed. You often see warnings for being careful to not over-tighten these heat sinks. However, this may not be the problem. It's too bad you didn't routinely monitor CPU/GPU temperatures. This is a real need with laptops because of poor air flow through the machine. High GPU or CPU temperatures will cause the laptop to shut down, but they will restart when cooled down.
The performance of your power supply could be a bad supply or a broken wire in the DC cord. You should first replace you supply with your husband's to check this. More likely, the DC socket in the laptop may have problems. These sockets are not as heavy duty as I would like to see them, and many have problems with solder connections breaking loose. The fact that the green light on the supply goes out when plugged into the laptop points to a short circuit. The DC socket resides on a secondary PC board that plus into the system board. They are not too expensive (much cheaper than a system board), and are not difficult to replace.
You will still need to address the loose heat sink. It might be possible to repair it by re-soldering.