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Dell Issues (supposed spill on my motherboard)

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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
a b V Motherboard
June 7, 2004 6:49:20 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Dell is claiming that I spilled something into my laptop and that's
why the motherboard shorted (and thus my system is not under
warranty). However, I didn't spill anything and there's no obvious
sign that I did.

Does anyone know of any web sites that feature digital pictures of
circut boards that show different sort of damage (including spills),
so, I can point out to the reps that spill residue _doesn't_ look like
my board?

I tried googling, but, I'm not coming up with anything (it could be
just obscure enough that I'm not using the correct search terms)...

Thank you in advance,

Gwen
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
a b V Motherboard
June 8, 2004 12:22:32 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Hi Gwen,

I'm sorry to hear about your problem. I went through exactly the same problem with HP about 18 months ago. I had to do a lot of
complaining before they gave me a supervisor to talk to. I ended up getting the work done because I had taken it in to CompUSA
to have it repaired (it was them who set the machine to HP. The CompUSA tech let HP know that when they diagnosed the machine
that it did power up and that if there was liquid damage that it occurred once the machine got to their shop. All together, it
took more than 5 weeks before I had a working machine again. Fortunately, I had my Compaq laptop and all I had to do was restore
my backup to the Compaq and I was up and running.

My suggestion to you is to be persistent and demand that you speak with a supervisor (note that you should speak to customer
support not technical support).

Ciao . . . C.Joseph

That which a man buys to cheaply . . .
He esteems to lightly

Gwen Morse wrote:
> Dell is claiming that I spilled something into my laptop and that's
> why the motherboard shorted (and thus my system is not under
> warranty). However, I didn't spill anything and there's no obvious
> sign that I did.
>
> Does anyone know of any web sites that feature digital pictures of
> circut boards that show different sort of damage (including spills),
> so, I can point out to the reps that spill residue _doesn't_ look like
> my board?
>
> I tried googling, but, I'm not coming up with anything (it could be
> just obscure enough that I'm not using the correct search terms)...
>
> Thank you in advance,
>
> Gwen
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
a b V Motherboard
June 8, 2004 2:05:53 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Gwen Morse wrote:
> Dell is claiming that I spilled something into my laptop and that's
> why the motherboard shorted (and thus my system is not under
> warranty). However, I didn't spill anything and there's no obvious
> sign that I did.
>
> Does anyone know of any web sites that feature digital pictures of
> circut boards that show different sort of damage (including spills),
> so, I can point out to the reps that spill residue _doesn't_ look like
> my board?
>
> I tried googling, but, I'm not coming up with anything (it could be
> just obscure enough that I'm not using the correct search terms)...
>
> Thank you in advance,
>
> Gwen

Spills are generally visible from the residue on the mainboard. If it
was a sugared spill, the sugar often leaves carbonized/caramelized
deposits on the solder joints where shorting occurs. Many times the
only problem is that the main fuse on the AC adapter has shorted. This
is easily checked with a VOM by measuring the resistance across the
fuse. These fuses are often a labeled on the board and might have a
label on the fuse "8A, 50C" or similar. The fuse can be rectangular in
shape, 6mm X 6mm X 12mm (0.25in X 0.25 in X 0.5 in), grey in color. If
the fuse is open (no resistance), a picofuse of the correct amperage can
be soldered across the ends. This is a $2 fix if there is no other
damage. The main fuse is very quick acting in order to protect the
other components on the board.

You would have to open the case and carefully inspect the board for
spill residue. Spills often cascade off the edges of the keyboard, so
look around the margins of the mainboard.

Q
Related resources
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
a b V Motherboard
June 10, 2004 11:37:16 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

On Tue, 8 Jun 2004 10:05:53 -0600, "Quaoar" <quaoar@tenthplanet.net>
wrote:

>Gwen Morse wrote:
>> Dell is claiming that I spilled something into my laptop and that's
>> why the motherboard shorted (and thus my system is not under
>> warranty). However, I didn't spill anything and there's no obvious
>> sign that I did.
>>
>> Does anyone know of any web sites that feature digital pictures of
>> circut boards that show different sort of damage (including spills),
>> so, I can point out to the reps that spill residue _doesn't_ look like
>> my board?
>>
>> I tried googling, but, I'm not coming up with anything (it could be
>> just obscure enough that I'm not using the correct search terms)...
>>
>> Thank you in advance,
>>
>> Gwen
>
>Spills are generally visible from the residue on the mainboard. If it
>was a sugared spill, the sugar often leaves carbonized/caramelized
>deposits on the solder joints where shorting occurs. Many times the
>only problem is that the main fuse on the AC adapter has shorted. This
>is easily checked with a VOM by measuring the resistance across the
>fuse. These fuses are often a labeled on the board and might have a
>label on the fuse "8A, 50C" or similar. The fuse can be rectangular in
>shape, 6mm X 6mm X 12mm (0.25in X 0.25 in X 0.5 in), grey in color. If
>the fuse is open (no resistance), a picofuse of the correct amperage can
>be soldered across the ends. This is a $2 fix if there is no other
>damage. The main fuse is very quick acting in order to protect the
>other components on the board.

I'm fully admitting my ignorance up front and saying you need to speak
slowly and use short words ;) .

The main fuse in the AC adapter. This would be somewhere on the board
itself? I don't have my laptop right now, it's "at" Dell (at the
repair depot).

>You would have to open the case and carefully inspect the board for
>spill residue. Spills often cascade off the edges of the keyboard, so
>look around the margins of the mainboard.

There was no spill. Really. Honestly. But, Dell staff is insisting
that something was spilled on it to wiggle out of honoring my
warranty.

There's no "spill marks" (drips, smears, leaks, dried residue that
flakes off to the touch). There is some 'arcing'/'heat flash' damage
on one flat metal railing. There's no marks or stains elsewhere on the
board.

Here is a digital photo I took:
http://www.hatrack.net/dell/DSCN1099.JPG

You can see the board is 'clean' except for some very light
rust/discoloration around some tiny construction holes in the board.

So, I think the system shorted from something other than me spilling
something in the keyboard (especially since there's no
drips/leaks/stains around the keyboard except where that arcing
occured). But, I 'need' some pictures of what spills _do_ look like to
make my case to the Dell staff.

Gwen

(PS: There are other related pictures in the same directory if you're
interested)
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
a b V Motherboard
June 10, 2004 11:28:12 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"C.Joseph Drayton" <kalek1@mindspring.com> wrote in message news:<40c523bb$1_6@news.athenanews.com>...>
> Gwen Morse wrote:
> > Dell is claiming that I spilled something into my laptop and that's
> > why the motherboard shorted (and thus my system is not under
> > warranty). However, I didn't spill anything and there's no obvious
> > sign that I did.
>
> Hi Gwen,
>
> I'm sorry to hear about your problem. I went through exactly the same problem with HP about 18 months ago. I had to do a lot of
> complaining before they gave me a supervisor to talk to. I ended up getting the work done because I had taken it in to CompUSA
> to have it repaired (it was them who set the machine to HP. The CompUSA tech let HP know that when they diagnosed the machine
> that it did power up and that if there was liquid damage that it occurred once the machine got to their shop. All together, it
> took more than 5 weeks before I had a working machine again. Fortunately, I had my Compaq laptop and all I had to do was restore
> my backup to the Compaq and I was up and running.
>
> My suggestion to you is to be persistent and demand that you speak with a supervisor (note that you should speak to customer
> support not technical support).

I will do that. Thank you for the suggestion. It's been more than 6
weeks, already. Luckily, I have two desktops (one at work and one at
home) that I can use. But, my Inspiron was sort of my computer "life"
so it's really hard to be without it.

The staff in the Out of Warranty dep't (which is the dep't claiming
it's a spill) insists that there is no supervisory chain of command
for me to go through. I will try Customer Support, instead.

I found one picture of a motherboard with spill damage (plain water
according to the poster):
http://www.complexnumber.net/pictures/Motherboard.jpg

That's NASTY looking :) .

Here's my motherboard:
http://www.hatrack.net/dell/DSCN1099.JPG

Here's another one with the drive taken out:
http://www.hatrack.net/dell/DSCN1069.JPG

The second one looks like a white/milky residue, but, that's 'shine'
from the flash on the camera. The first one shows that it looks more
like heat flash. But, in both cases there's no crusty stuff on the
green board.

The entirety of the claim is that this corrosion on the rail is spill
damage. No one cares to explain how a spill can defy gravity and
'only' travel along a rail (with holes in it) and not drip down
anywhere else.

Gwen
!