Is Your Dell Desktop One of the 97% That Are Defective?

  • Comments: 21
  • Written on: July 2nd, 2010

If you purchased a computer between 1999 and about 2003, you probably ended up with a nasty repair bill a couple years later.

The reason was a glut of capacitors that were manufactured in the gray market that contained a mix of electrolytes that was slightly off.  The result was capacitors that eventually bulged, popped, and leaked.  This would cause your computer to malfunction in any number of ways.

In our Service Centers at Schrock Innovations we have replaced many boards (mostly on 2005 and older E-Machines) that suffered from what became known as the capacitor plague.

Massive Desktop PC Failure

Owners of Dell computers are reliving some of those bad-old-days lately.  It seems that the capacitors on many Dell motherboards are going bad at an alarming rate.  Engadget is reporting that the failure rate for Dell computers is around 97%!

Most consumers who call with capacitor-related symptoms don’t really know why they are experiencing problems, so Dell’s technicians move the caller through the standard troubleshooting tree over and over as their warranty slowly ticks away.

The leaked documents explain that Dell is actively and intentionally telling their customer service representatives to ignore the capacitor problem:

The docs show that Dell asked customer service reps to deny there was any problem with their motherboards, telling them to pretend they’d never heard about the issue and to “emphasize uncertainty.”

These problems seem to be confined to Dell Desktop computers.  If you own a laptop you should be ok.  The only way to get your board replaced under warranty is to actually have a technician inspect your system looking for bulging, cracked, or leaking capacitors.

What Should I Do if I Own a Dell Desktop PC?

If you find one, call Dell’s technical support with your symptoms and then add “and I also have a leaking capacitor inside my computer.”  There is no way for their support representatives to deny you a motherboard is you KNOW it is bad and they know you are certain.

For a limited time at Schrock Innovations you can bring in your Dell Desktop system – whether it is in its Dell Warranty or not – and our technicians will inspect its capacitors free of charge.  If you have a bad one, we will check your warranty status and deal with Dell for you.

No appointment is needed.  Just drop your desktop system off – no cords or monitor required – and we will have it back to you usually within 1 day.

  1. Nick said on July 2nd, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    I doubt the issue will pop up much these days. Its referring to a pretty old problem. It was with the optiplex line, which most home users are not going to have.

    Interesting thing was, few years ago Dell finally admitted there was a problem and actually pre-shipped replacement motherboards for a lot of them.

    Pretty bad of them to try to cover it up though.

  2. viral marketing said on July 3rd, 2010 at 9:00 am

    When I was buying my first top of the range PC back in that time I was offered a Dell but they’ve run out of stock and gave me a Packard instead. I remember complaining but maybe it was a good thing lol

  3. Email Marketing Resources said on July 3rd, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    This is just one of the reasons why I don’t buy Dells.. Period. Their quality is way below the industry average.

  4. Laptop Briefcases said on July 5th, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    You had me pretty worried for a minute. I have a dell laptop. So I am relieved to hear that this problem is only affecting desktop computers. It’s too bad that Dell is dealing with this issue so poorly. I’m sure it will affect their long term reputation.

  5. cheap college textbooks said on July 6th, 2010 at 6:42 am

    That is really alarming number, and over a number of years. That is really good business on your part to offer a free check of a dell desktops.

  6. Laptop Briefcases said on July 6th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Yes I agree that your free Dell checkup is a great deal. Who wants to spend time trying to contact a manufacturer directly for warranty issues.

  7. Escort Service London said on July 8th, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Before Dell was supposed to be the leader of the PCs but now it seems the king has been passed over to another dealer which I think ACER has overcome them too huge.

  8. Moorpark Real Estate said on July 8th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I read about it more on blogs and changed my planning to buy dell’s desktop.
    I think its not good for multinational company like dell. Company sold their defective Pc’s in huge numbers and few of them start creating problem. It was a little electronics error.

  9. Bidet said on July 10th, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Thats a scary number 97% of dell pcs are defective, I wonder what they will do to fix it. And its bad that they are denying that there is a problem to the clients. They deserve to know what is really going on with their pc.

  10. used tires said on July 10th, 2010 at 10:03 am

    I’m so glad I stayed away from the Dell Hype years ago, and just learned to build my own computer and saved aton of money in the process! 🙂

  11. Fast Auto Shipping said on July 13th, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    what the dell? aren’t these things supposed to be reliable? the latest post made me laugh.. the funny part is, i just dropped a grand on a brand new dell laptop… we’ll see in six years

  12. Fast Auto Shipping said on July 13th, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    shwingg, so muuch for dell being number one!!!!!!!

  13. Fast Auto Shipping said on July 13th, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    HMMMMMM, i think i just might go with the alien models instead, i’m really feeling the gaming vibe

  14. Fast Auto Shipping said on July 14th, 2010 at 11:17 am

    This news that 97% of dell computers are defective comes as no surprise to me. I’ve had plenty of problems with my dell laptops over the years and it makes you wonder how a company like that is still big in the market. Clearly changes need to be made at dell.

  15. Laptop Briefcases said on July 14th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    @used tires: I used to build my own computers too, but it just became too much hassle to be dealing with hardware problems. So that is why I opted for a dell laptop. I’m just lucky I got a laptop from them instead of a desktop pc.

  16. vefasizlik said on July 15th, 2010 at 10:28 am

    This is just one of the reasons why I don’t buy Dells.. Period. Their quality is way below the industry average.

  17. Net Age | Web Design said on July 23rd, 2010 at 1:39 am

    It doesn’t surprise me that Dell isn’t taking responsibility. A 97% failure rate could cripple them financially, as well as deal their reputation a knockout blow. I am sure that they’re not thrilled about this blog post, at all!

  18. fluorescent lighting said on July 23rd, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Only 97%, eh?! 🙂 I got a chuckle out of this story…..I wasn’t familiar with it, but it doesn’t surprise me!

  19. izle said on July 27th, 2010 at 4:34 am

    shwingg, so muuch for dell being number one!!!!!!!

  20. small business s e o said on September 19th, 2010 at 6:54 am

    I’ve had nothing but problems with dells

  21. Dell Desktop said on January 28th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I think no matter what a computer is made of, it’s not gonna last beyond 7-11 years. So anyone who had to repair theirs recently should be really happy that it lasted even that long.

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