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Dell XPS always breaking down

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January 22, 2007 8:30:31 AM

My 2.5 year old Dell XPS is ALWAYS breaking down. Mobo breaks down, WD caviar breaks down, CPU breaks down, RAM breaks down. I swear it's been back at the factory for over half a year with over 4 or 5 break downs per year.

What in the world is wrong with this computer? I think almost every single component has been changed in the last 2.5 years.

I can't see it being an electrical surge problem or the way I handle the computer. I don't beat on it or over clock it.

What could be the reason behind all the break downs?
Is Dell the problem? (meaning: they just make crap pcs)

Thank you for your advice in advance.

More about : dell xps breaking

January 22, 2007 9:17:25 AM

I had a similar problem with an inspiron 8500. I had issues that included the hard drive dieing and the screen went through several attempted repairs. I finally got sick of dealing with the screen and asked for a supervisor. The guy I talked to actually had common sense, and when I asked about fixing a few other minor problems at the same time he looked at the history of problems with my laptop and offered to replace it. I´m sure they are not required to do this, but if you can get beyond the first level or two of customer service and explain your situation. It may have also been partly the result of being 3 years into a 5 year warranty (cheaper to replace then keep fixing).

Good luck!
January 22, 2007 11:45:51 AM

Hey I also have a Dell XPS thats 2.5 yrs old. Ive got the XPS Gen 3 and havent had any hardware problems at all with it even though my 2 year warranty ran out last August.

Heck I love my XPS and I plan to upgrade it with another Gig of Ram and a 7900gs soon. I plan to use it for the next 2 or 3 years.

Related resources
January 22, 2007 11:53:44 AM

Well now that I come to think of it, my Seagate HD did fail the second time I tried to turn the PC on.
But thats old news. It works great now :) 
January 22, 2007 1:02:50 PM

With all those parts failing, sounds like you're giving them faulty power via the power supply or even the wall of your house.
a c 129 à CPUs
January 22, 2007 1:56:47 PM

Dude, you got a Dell!

--

Seriously, although you say you don't think so, this does sound like power problems. Are you using a decent quality surge protector and/or UPS? Is your PC on a relatively clean line, or does it share a circuit with a hair dryer, microwave, laundry equipment, or refrigerator? If you've got a modem in it, is your phone line also protected? I had power protection out the kazoo but lost half a system some years ago due to a phone line spike.

Is the PSU in this system too little to handle its configuration?

Could it be static?
January 22, 2007 2:38:51 PM

Quote:
My 2.5 year old Dell XPS is ALWAYS breaking down. Mobo breaks down, WD caviar breaks down, CPU breaks down, RAM breaks down. I swear it's been back at the factory for over half a year with over 4 or 5 break downs per year.

What in the world is wrong with this computer? I think almost every single component has been changed in the last 2.5 years.

I can't see it being an electrical surge problem or the way I handle the computer. I don't beat on it or over clock it.

What could be the reason behind all the break downs?
Is Dell the problem? (meaning: they just make crap pcs)

Thank you for your advice in advance.


What's wrong?? It's a Dell. An HP is not much better, nor is an Acer... generally the Tier 1 OEM retail vendors (HP, Dell) cut corners and often use questionable HW in their builds.
Damnit, you beat me to it haha.
January 22, 2007 2:43:36 PM

I agree that you could have serious power fluctuation issues. Anytime you buy a high-end system a UPS and / or a surge protector are in order. Got to protect your investment.
January 22, 2007 2:58:37 PM

Quote:
My 2.5 year old Dell XPS is ALWAYS breaking down. Mobo breaks down, WD caviar breaks down, CPU breaks down, RAM breaks down. I swear it's been back at the factory for over half a year with over 4 or 5 break downs per year.

What in the world is wrong with this computer? I think almost every single component has been changed in the last 2.5 years.

I can't see it being an electrical surge problem or the way I handle the computer. I don't beat on it or over clock it.

What could be the reason behind all the break downs?
Is Dell the problem? (meaning: they just make crap pcs)

Thank you for your advice in advance.


As frustrated as you are with Dud, it's time that you join the rest of us and just simply build your own C2D. You probably can take out the DVD burner and floppy and get everything else new. Of all the computer I have built in the past for friends or family, they never had an issue's. 2.5yrs, you are well over due for the new micro processor awesome power of video encoding and speed and it uses less energy.
January 22, 2007 3:11:00 PM

Yes, Dell is the problem. Build it yourself next time.
January 22, 2007 5:30:31 PM

I own a Dell desktop.... never again.

I remember when Dell was the standard for quality back in the 90s... now they just send out garbage.

Also, they have proprietary MOBOs (at least mine did)... which limits upgrades and overclocking. Oh, and opening my case voided my warranty... LOL.

Trying "customizing" a computer on their website? I tried in order to get a comparision of build vs. buy... but it's nearly impossible to compare. They give you very general component specs.

I could go on and on.
January 22, 2007 5:32:33 PM

Quote:
I own a Dell desktop.... never again.

I remember when Dell was the standard for quality back in the 90s... now they just send out garbage.

Also, they have proprietary MOBOs (at least mine did)... which limits upgrades and overclocking. Oh, and opening my case voided my warranty... LOL.

Trying "customizing" a computer on their website? I tried in order to get a comparision of build vs. buy... but it's nearly impossible to compare. They give you very general component specs.

I could go on and on.


My late grandmother bought a Dell and had an issue with a loud fan and Dell service treated her like crap. I haven't been a fan (no pun intended) of them since.
January 22, 2007 5:38:08 PM

Quote:
Dell XPS always breaking down

Welcome to the absolute hell, that is dealing with Dell and other "box" builders, especially when it comes to enthusiast computers.


Is it me, or have I become more of a pessimistic bastard?
January 22, 2007 6:04:57 PM

Quote:
I agree that you could have serious power fluctuation issues. Anytime you buy a high-end system a UPS and / or a surge protector are in order. Got to protect your investment.


I would agree with ajfink and silencer, but Jack and Ninja as well.
To start, Dell's quality is not what one would describe as "of the highest order". Lower quality components are more sensitive and vulnerable to environmental variations, i.e power surges. Even though you may think your power drop is stable, they never are..there are always variations.

For ex, friends of mine were recently experiencing power drops at their house. This was due a nieghbors central air/heat systems heat exchanger fan motor going bad. Every time it would kick on, the demand increase was bad enough to sap the local grid.

To avoid inconsistanies in your power, I would buy a high quality UPS with AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulation), at least 1.5 x the capacity you think you need.
January 24, 2007 12:40:34 AM

Thank you all for the kind advices.

I called up Dell and they told me that the only part that has not been touched in the last 2.5 years is the PSU. And I told them to change that.

I will also install a high grade ups with an avr with plenty of over head capacity.

I figure after reading the advices that the main causes are surges and or psu otherwise it couldn't break down this many times. I checked to see what other electrical appliances are jacked into the same line and it is the humidifier and fish tank. Anyway for now I will try to combat this solution with a high grade ups with avr.

Thank you once again for all the advices.

Much appreciated.
January 24, 2007 6:25:28 AM

Great name. Haven't seen Red Dwarf in years. I think Holly was made by Dell. :wink:
January 24, 2007 7:21:17 AM

Dell is notorious for building pc's that only last until the warranty runs out.In this way they force you to buy a new machine every couple years.Now i admit that i build a new machine every 6-8 months,but not because they break down,but because I like to stay on top of things.In fact I'm over due to build my next machine,but I am waiting for the battle between intel and amd to well level out a bit.Anyways,it's my understanding that it has something to do with the bios on the mainboards.If I were you I would seriously look into it and possibly look up the class action law suites against dell right now.You might even want to contact the representatives in the law suite and explain your case.They may add you to their list.Goodluck.

Dahak

AMD X2-4400+@2.6 S-939
EVGA NF4 SLI MB
2X EVGA 7800GT IN SLI
2X1GIG DDR IN DC MODE
WD300GIG HD
EXTREME 19IN.MONITOR 1280X1024
THERMALTAKE TOUGHPOWER 850WATT PSU
COOLERMASTER MINI R120
January 24, 2007 7:34:21 AM

You DID get the five year extended warranty, eh? So what's to worry?
January 24, 2007 8:30:46 AM

Yes I do have the 5 year warranty.

But the problem is always having to make a back up copy of the data.

It's such a pain in the butt I don't want to have to live with that.

As for the class action suit, I will look into it. But my XPS breaks down every 3 months. Never mind breaking down when the warranty runs out. LOL

Well I'll get all the necessary hardware to protect the PC from all electrical outlet gremlins just to be safe. Last thing I need is the monitor getting fried up too. Since that is on a 3 year warranty.
January 24, 2007 9:25:41 AM

That's a crock of shite..you can customise your dell pc with 90days to 5 year warrantly. There is a lawsuit against Dell for a notebook but it's limited to just that one brand. I'm on my 4th Dell pc and I've never had a problem nor neither has anyone else I bought a dell pc for. As for the Op it's a definite power problem. If you're going to spend €2000+ on a pc at least buy a surge protector. All houses get surges ..some are just worse than others.
January 26, 2007 5:48:19 PM

Uroboros:

I’m at Dell Headquarters in Austin, Texas and I just came across this thread. Sorry to hear you've been having so much trouble with this. I can assure you that losing that many parts in that period is nowhere near normal. It sounds like you might have gotten it fixed but if the power supply/UPS route doesn't work feel free to contact me. Please put my name in the subject line if emailing so the message is routed to me.


Neil
customer_advocate@dell.com
Round Rock REC
January 26, 2007 6:09:28 PM

Hahahaha! This is great! You caught the attention of a Dell rep! I love it!
January 26, 2007 6:22:31 PM

Thats what I love about this site. We make the companies stand up and take notice. My opinion of Dell just improved.
January 26, 2007 6:39:48 PM

yeah, its pretty awesome when a rep stands up like that. good for them.

up until just recently i had a pc from mdg, people from canada might know the company. they're like dell, except canadian, and they're pretty good. i never had a problem with them, and they use good quality components. ati, wd hard drives, kingston ram... and their mobos arent screwed with like dells. so yeah, if youre gonna buy a pc from a company, mdg is pretty good.
January 26, 2007 6:41:08 PM

I got to say, if that is legit Kudos for Dell!
Anonymous
January 26, 2007 6:43:35 PM

Quote:
Thats what I love about this site. We make the companies stand up and take notice. My opinion of Dell just improved.


I AGREE Ninja.

I own a Dell XPSGen2 notebook and I LOVE it. I have been luck to call service once and was helped ASAP. The guy actually walked me through the fix on the phone so I didn' have to RMA it.

The small probably was that the video cable in the laptop under the keyboard was install loose to the LCD screen.

Other than that small prob I have had no issues with this laptop.

I have a friend who does service for Dell that I met while during my job servicing bank servers and he did comment on Dells problem with mainly bad mobo's in almost all their models.

But like you said they are mass producers or PCs and I guess those are the downfalls.

PS. I wonder if their purchase of Alienware has changed anything in the quality of those PCs
January 26, 2007 6:46:27 PM

I'd say buy a new motherboard / case / PSU and transfer all your other hardware into that and call it a day, man.
January 26, 2007 6:57:26 PM

Quote:
I'd say buy a new motherboard / case / PSU and transfer all your other hardware into that and call it a day, man.


Well perhaps the dell service rep might be able to help *shrugs*
January 26, 2007 7:16:27 PM

Ive got a gen 3 also it has never broke down the only thing that sucked was the cooling so I modded a zalman into it
January 26, 2007 7:17:49 PM

Eh. Dells hardware isn't as bad as you'd think. My main system is an XPS 410. Stable and fast. People have reported putting a 8800GTX, 2 hard drives, and an X-Fi Gaming edition soundcard on it's 375w power supply. It's been proven that Gateway and HP themselves put quality PSU's in thier systems (big conductors and fuses). Some HP's have been said to had been running 24/7 for 3 years straight.
Buying a HP or Compaq 6 or 7 years ago, hell no. Everything was integrated onto their motherboards. Gateway, as I remember, was nutorious for this. As for my XPS, not bad. Would I buy another one? Heh. No. The dude I contacted tried telling me a x1300 would play all of my games effortlessly. I insisted upon a 7900GS, yet somehow the build paper included a x1300 repeatedly. I had to spell it out for him 3 or 4 times. To be honest, I was quite eager to tell him to 'calm the hell down about making a sale and listen to me'.
January 26, 2007 7:26:59 PM

I must be really lucky cause Ihave yet to see a single problem with both of my systmes I've had from dell (inspiron 8200 and now a XPS1210)
the inspiron only problem was, no wireless, and.. SLOW XD
January 26, 2007 7:39:22 PM

My friend also has an XPS 410 with a 7900 in it. He loves it. He got it out of the box, uninstalled what he didn't want and it runs like a champ. He mostly plays WoW though with some internet browsing and music downloading.
January 27, 2007 12:04:11 AM

This is what Dell told me 36 hours ago when I called in.

Me: Now that we can see a trend of all the components breaking down at one point or another even after fixing the problem, I along with many others at a respectable pc site called Tom's Hardware have actually come to the conclusion that the PSU may be at fault.

A computer needs electricity, and that's it. If a part breaks down, unless it's beaten up, dropped, coffee spilling over or any other type of physical damage, one major reason for the malfunction is electricity.

The few components that have not been changed are the chasis, graphic board, sound card and PSU. All that require electricity. Many RAMS have infinite warranty toward the original owner. HD should last at least 3 to 5 years, motherboards hardly ever go bad, unless it was bad from the beginning. I don't over clock it or keep the computer running under heavy load 24/7. I play games, do work, download once in a while. All of which would never be considered heavy load. I am not a heavy user. There is something really not right about the build. And the PSU is the only connection to all the components in the computer and electricity is the common denominator that connects these things. Please change the PSU.

Dell Rep: Sorry unless there is something mechanically wrong with the PSU that we can detect, we will not change the PSU.

Me: Jeez, the common thread is the PSU and you're telling me that you won't change that.... I've lost all my data at least 10 times just because the computer wouldn't start up windows. And all you've told me is to reload windows since the I can reboot the comp from a CD. I can't even put anything worth anything on the PC because I'm afraid it's going to break down. Be in my shoes, a little empathy would help. I buy this comp and I have to take a back up copy of 500 gigs every other day.

Dell Rep. Well I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but if it were a power supply problem, the computer would just shut down in a blink of eye.

Me: So you're telling me that if the problem is electrical, it would just have shut down? That's totally bull. Computer freezing up is an electrical problem. No one knows what makes computers freeze up. Sure people will tell you it's heat. But no one really understands HOW heat affects the operating system and hardware. We just know by experience that heat makes a computer freeze. And guess what, heat's generated by electricity. And you're telling me if it's an electrical problem, it would just simply shut down.

Dell rep: Well, there is nothing wrong with the PSU that we can detect from the error code 7 that you mentioned. It's a hard drive error that needs replacement...... We'll check the PSU for you.

Me: You once shipped back a computer to me last October that didn't even boot up. God know's what you fixed but I called in and told you that it's bs. The techs didnt even bother to boot the comp and just sent it back to me. And now I'm supposed to believe that you're going to check the PSU? How? plug it in and see if the PSU fan is working? Put a volt meter into the plugs and see if there's current coming? Jeez that says a lot. You're not even burning in the comp. Just checking currents and telling me that it's not the problem? At one point, you had this XPS at your factory for over 3 and a half weeks trying to fix some problem only to be fixed once again, 6 months later.

Dell Rep: (calls back after talking to her superior, this happened 2 times) We will do a 3 hour burn in under heavy load as you mentioned to see if there is anything wrong with the computer.

Me: Right. You're a big help. This is ridiculous. If it breaks down the next time, I'm going to get really pissed and you can bet that it's going to break down. I am going to demand a full rebuild.

That's the conversation with the Dell rep. I wasted over one hour talking to this person. I've used Dell laptops and they've been decent. But this XPS..... As others have mentioned, I have to say that their customer relationship needs a little more improvement. I'm a neophtye in pc computing. But thanks to this site and problems I've had with the XPS over the last 2.5 years, I've learned enough to be able to locate what could be potential bottle necks and problems in a PC that consists of 22- to 28 parts. The most ridiculous thing about this entire conversation is that I knew more than her about PCs. And I'm just a regular dude. For crying out loud, as some of you people would have said "you're just a dude who bought a Dell" And this dude who bought a Dell seems to know more than the customer service rep.

If there's anything important and useful that I learned from this entire 2.5 years of relationship with Dell, it's this:
You can actually train your workers to believe that they are selling one amazing product and the customer is never right with the analysis of the situation. That's even when the mass majority of the people would agree with the customer. It's almost a thuggish business conduct in which the workers are gavage fed a false sense of pride and security that they wield as a weapon in order to minimize loss and maximize profit for the sake of the executives. Brain washing and brain draining is a must inorder to survive. (it seems) This is the key to building an army of reps that will never give into customers rightful demands.

I guess I could use this stategy and tactics at my company. LOL
Oh yeah, I learned to re-install windows and drivers pretty well. Now I can do this in my sleep, and I can do it in record time. Many of my friends actually come ask me to reinstall their windows. Thank you Dell for making me a man in demand. Too bad it's all guys and never girls that want their computers running properly....

Anyway I'll call them up once more today and tell them about this site , official Dell rep rely and hopefully get this thing fixed finally.

Thank you Neil for your kind advice and support. I will look into your offer after I call them up one last time. If that doesnt work, I will mention your name.
January 27, 2007 12:14:16 AM

Please excuse my while I laugh my ass off.. *Insert evil laugh* ...Okay I'm good. This is typical for any large tech company. Unless you are a volume buyer, or are dealing with Falcon Northwest (to me the best in the pre-built business), you are generally ignored. The best thing to do is to show that you've had prior dealings with higher ups like the Dell Rep that did a good PR job for his company, and basically warn them that you'll take this case to the local BBB. Good luck on it all.
January 27, 2007 12:14:32 AM

My suggestion is looking good if you don't mind investing a little money.

My parents use an HP 512n from '01 or so. Still pluggin' along.
January 27, 2007 12:46:19 AM

Does it bother you that you work at a company that hardware enthusiasts almost universally hate?
-cm
January 27, 2007 12:52:15 AM

Wow, I had no idea that there was a second page to this thread. Whoops. I guess my post is a bit outdated. [/lame]
-cm
!